It never fails. One of the aggrieved parties to a divorce tells the dirty details to the child regarding the other parent. This is never appropriate or “ok.” Never. Never to a young child. What about when….? No. Never.
But that parent, with their righteous indignation tells me, or testifies, “I do NOT lie to my child?” My response? “Well, what about the Tooth Fairy?“
We lie to our children a lot. A LiveScience.com article stated it better, “Parents Lie to Children Surprisingly Often.” This article concluded that parent’s lie to protect their child and lie to preserve some semblance of innocence and childhood for their children. These are all good things.
The Tooth Fairy question gets that indignant parent every time. There is no good reason to spill the beans about the other parent’s misdeeds to the child. You should be telling them that “mommy” loves them very much. Not that she cares more about dancing on a pole with bikers than being a decent mom, even if it’s true. When the kids are older they will realize the truth and appreciate you all the more for allowing them to have a childhood and to love their other parent, even if the other parent did not deserve it.
It’s okay to lie to your children. Who says so? Me, a divorce attorney.
Disagree? Tell me why in comments or via email.
Matthew Thompson is a Child Custody Attorney in Mississippi and believes sometimes lying to your children is in their best interests.