Are there different levels of truth? Are things clearly black or white?
I used to think that telling the truth was easy. It’s something that you just do, right? Over the past week or so I’m finding myself perplexed over the complexity of telling the truth. How so? Here is an example.
I recently purchased a new toy for my son, one that he has wanted for some time. As I walk in the door with my shopping bags he asks, “Did you get my toy.” The first thought was, yes. The next thought was, I don’t want him to have it yet. Which was followed by the thought of, don’t lie to him. So, after diverting the question about 10 times by answering with things such as…”Oh, did you want a new toy?” and “Well, maybe next time when we go together we can look for that toy.” I found myself in dismay.
Another example. My son asked me if I would pick him up early from after school care. It was a day in which I “thought” I could make that happen so I happily agreed. Unfortunately my day was rearranged and I was unable to do so. When I arrived to pick him up, he instantly said, “You lied to me. You said you would pick me up early.” -hmph-
Explaining how the truth does not turn into a lie under circumstances that you cannot control is not always easy. And trying to divert the subject so as not to lie is just as exhausting. Learning how to juggle instilling an element of surprise in a child without lying is also just as challenging.
One thing is for sure: Our children EXPECT that we will tell them the truth unless we have proven otherwise. So, as hard as it may be at times, do you swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth?