Usually all parents have lied to their children a few times, and I was just wondering, why exactly do you do it? For example, let's take some of the common lies that you have probably told. 'Santa Clause will leave you presents!' or 'The Pascha-bunny will leave you candy on Pascha!' or 'Babies come from the stork!'. What exactly is the point of these lies? I imagine that they would do more harm than good. The excuse I commonly hear from parents is that it is to 'preserve their child's innocence' but that really makes no sense to me. 'Preserving their innocence' is not really going to help them in anyway; in fact, I think it is more for your own benefit than for the actual child. You want to keep your child ignorant because it makes them seem more 'innocent' to you and you enjoy seeing them 'innocent' even at the expense of the child's own wellbeing. Lying to your child will only cause them to question everything else you have ever told them, breaking a bond of trust that they thought they had with you, and it really blurs the line between right and wrong in regards to lying. As parents you always tell your child that lying is bad, bad bad and to never lie; yet, when they find out that you have been lying to them, they begin to question whether or not lying is really that bad--and they become more likely to lie to you in the future. And then there's the worst lie that parents tell their young children; "Honey we'll always be there for you!" but then you divorce and they are stuck with only one parent, and cannot see the other parent often usually because of drama between the parents that they drag the children into.
This does not stop at early childhood; parents do it just as much to their children during adolescence. 'We never had sex until we were married' or 'I never drank or smoked until I was an adult' or 'It is always best to tell the truth to your parents' when in reality, I would say that generally all people--regardless of age--have concealed the truth about at least some matter from their parents. I was just wondering, why do some parents do this? My parents may have been pretty bad; verbally abusive, physically abusive at times, intolerant and highly dysfunctional. But one good thing I could say about them is that they NEVER lied to me before as far as I can remember. They always told me the truth about everything--that they had sex before marriage and as a result had me, that they've smoked cigarettes before when they were underage for fun or that my dad went to jail as an adolescent for stealing a car.
Yet, despite telling me the truth, they were always still able to explain to me why they do not want me to do the same things as they did--IE, having a child before you are married will make things harder for you, smoking underage can still harm your health and going to jail is still bad (obviously). And I respected them more for this; and I was less likely to make the same screw-ups as they made. I was also always much more honest with them as a result. Now I may have screwed up a lot before; breaking things around the house, wrestling with my anger, going somewhere different than where I told my parents I was going or getting into mischief, but when my parents confronted me about it, I was always honest about it and never tried to lie to cover myself up--even when I easily could have.
I do not think that lying to your children ever helps. So I guess my question is, if you are a parent and you have lied to your children before, why did you lie to them?