Mommy Lies To You

4 Mar

HB asked me this morning if our house was going to get robbed. She said that her friend’s neighbors house was robbed and she would like to know if they were going to come to our house.

It’s questions like these that either shock me silent or send me into mumbling explanations of nothingness. What do I tell her? I want my 6 year old to feel safe in her neighborhood, in her home, in her bed. But, I don’t want to lie to her and give her a false sense of safety and set her up for disappointment in the world.

My genius Mother of the Year response: We are not going to get robbed. These bad things happen very rarely. We don’t have anything the robbers want and they don’t want children, so you are safe.

It was a mix of lies and truths. In our neighborhood these things don’t happen too often and for the most part she is safe. We could one day get robbed and in the most horrific situations children do get taken. I tell my kids little lies like this all the time. I don’t condone holding the truth from them when it will harm them, but as the Mom I use my own discretion to decide when a little fib is appropriate.
The time we were in Froyolife and the news came on, the headline flashed about 18 six year olds being murdered in their school in Connecticut. HB read it and looked at me wild eyed and said, “Is that true?!” I didn’t even think twice, “Of course not, it is a pretend movie, let’s finish our yogurt outside.”
If she had been 10 or 12 or 16 a totally different conversation would have taken place. There was no need for my 6 year old to know that in fact people walk into schools and kill kids her age in her grade for no reason and without warning. She thinks the lockdown drills at her school where they hide in the classroom in the dark are to keep them safe from swarms of bees. I intend to keep it that way, at least for a little while.

The world will come sweeping away her innocence soon enough, I’m in no hurry to speed up the process. She knows not to talk to strangers, she knows that her body is her private property. She also believes in the tooth fairy and asks if I can see her muscles growing as she eats her veggies.

Part of my job as Mother of three is to not only keep them safe from harm, but to make them FEEL safe from harm. I strap them into carseats, I put helmets on them, and get them immunized. Just as importantly, I check closets for monsters, kiss ouchies, and lie about the darkest truths of our world.


Do you agree with me? Comments and questions always welcome.


7 Responses to “Mommy Lies To You”

  1. Izzy March 4, 2013 at 11:41 am #

    Yes – I totally agree with you. Firstly, only YOU know how to raise your child and only you are there when the child asks a question. Based on what the atmosphere is like at that moment usually brings on the right answer. What is the right answer? It is what the mother wants her child to know. In my opinion there is no need to bring up a child who is going to be afraid of robbers and kidnappers at this age. Keep them innocent and happy for as long as you can. After all it’s not like you are going to leave your 6 year old alone at any time!
    I think you are a great mother! I could have learned a lot from you.

  2. Jlo March 4, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

    I agree with you 100 percent and thoroughly enjoyed reading this. Please write more often

  3. Tami (@CO_MtnMom) March 4, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

    Great post. So sad that as parents we have these kinds of dilemmas on our hands.

    I think this is definitely a moms perogative and discretionary decision… all kids are different, too. I have learned the hard way that my daughter takes warnings so seriously and to heart that i need to be careful how and when I deliver them, otherwise they just fill her with unproductive fear! Sounds like you are balancing it just right for your kids…. keep up the good work, mom!

  4. Adrian Gluck March 4, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

    Loved it!! Dad

    Sent from my Windows Phone ________________________________

  5. Ann Bird March 4, 2013 at 6:09 pm #

    Awesome!!!You are a great mom and i agree with you 100%!!!!keep on writing i love reading!!!

  6. Tamar Seff April 18, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

    Totally agree. The Sunday after the Newtown, CT tragedy our family was eating dinner at a restaurant with a huge tv showing whatever football game was on. The broadcast was interrupted by a special address by President Obama. I asked an employee to PLEASE change the channel, the volume was down, no diners were getting anything from what we were seeing and I was terrified that they would show footage of frightened parents and children. This was not the first, last or only time I have asked that a news type broadcast be changed in a public place with my children present. We hide the newspaper the day after a tragedy. This week’s Sports Illustrated with BOSTON and a fairly graphic cover photo was discreetly placed, face down, on Randy’s desk chair as soon as it arrived. They just don’t need to know yet.

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