WE SHOULDN’T LIE TO OUR CHILDREN. Obviously. It goes without saying. And yet we do lie to them, with the full approval of society. Father Christmas. The Easter Bunny. The Tooth Fairy*.
In fact lying to children – or, at least, teasing them with false propositions – helps them to grow intellectually, and to realise that the world isn’t always what it claims to be.
These are some of the “lies” I believe it’s OK to tell:
- Chickens lay eggs, and pigs lay sausages.
- Wind turbines are giant fans that make the wind. That’s why they’re always going round when it’s windy.
- Zebras are horses that have been painted with stripes so the farmer knows who they belong to.
- Electricity pylons are spaceships left behind after a Martian invasion was defeated.
- Bees make honey and wasps make jam.
- There’s a parallel universe the other side of mirrors where people exactly like us do exactly the same things.
*When our older son was losing teeth and having them replaced with 50p coins (inflation!) our youngest spotted a major injustice. So he made a cardboard tooth and put it under his pillow before he went to sleep. I replaced it with a cardboard 50p piece.