Well, we are all busy, we multitask, we are ambitious, we have to balance work and home, we are forgetful and we are under a lot of stress. And our tired bodies sometimes demand a way out - an easy way out, instead of an explanation or a confession. And we may have to come up with some white lies. They could go like:
I was stuck in a traffic jam.
If you don't finish this glass of milk the tooth fairy won't visit you.
Oh, I did send that e-mail. Maybe it's in your spam folder. Just check.
I've got plans for dinner. Won't be able to make it.
She won't be able to make it to the birthday party.
Damn! My phone was on silent.
But, let's not call the lies, let's for our own sake label them as conveniences, accidents, slip of tongue, excuses and maybe even self-care. We're all good human beings and, we mean no harm. It's just that sometimes, there is no other way out.
So far, so good, as long as these (lies) don't reach our children. Fortunately, or maybe, unfortunately, they observe and absorb more than we would like to believe and they will realise before anybody else that we are fibbing. And soon, they will learn how to wriggle out of eating dinner and submitting an assignment, or even how to get someone or themselves into trouble.
Their lives are 'happening' and overloaded with urban activities than ours used to be when we were their age. And there could be many more reasons for them to lie. But they should not and they need our help, in not just finding a way out of this maze, but also in understanding the web of lies they could get caught up in.
But why do children lie? To avoid the consequences of a report card with bad grades, to win the approval of a friend, to get permission from an adult. The reasons could be many.
Lying isn't acceptable, and that's a simple truth.
As adults, it's up to us to help the young distinguish between lies and truthfulness, circumstances and excuses, half-truths and the whole truth, fibs and whoppers, and hurting others and protecting ourselves. Amidst all the social skills, we need to teach them that lies are forbidden.
I'll leave you with these words from a poem titled, "The truth of a six-year-old's life", a recent contribution for Young Times. I want to eat the second piece of chocolate, I sigh.
Here's a solution, maybe I could just lie.
When mum's not looking around,
I could tell her the first one can't be found.
A simple, innocent poem that rhymes.