07 May Why Is Being Honest Punishable For Our Children?
When it comes to honesty, kids nail it every time.
“How do I look?”
“I preferred your hair long and your belly looks big in that dress”.
Ok yes it’s brutal. It stings to hear revelations that you know come from the most purest of places.
They mean it.
My eldest has always wrangled with her own honesty. She has a conscience as big as her heart and is the world’s biggest tell tale of her own mishaps.
Every day when I collect her from school.
“Mum, I think I got told off 2 times today……or 3”.
Always over the most trivial of things but this pick up time confessional has just become commonplace.
I love that about her. She can’t keep secrets if she tried. This can be a brilliant thing.
Christmas 2015 however, after an expensive shopping trip with her Dad to get my gift, she stated (almost with a feverish outburst, the relief on her face like when one locates a loo just before crapping oneself)
“Dad definitely did NOT buy you expensive make up for Christmas”.
The downside is that sometimes she can blurt out uncomfortable home truths.
I was enjoying a hot bath last week. Naturally, she decided that she needed a poo. My bath time always acts as a mystical laxative for the entire house hold.
“Mum….you know your boob?”
“Umm, yes. Which one?”
“Not Esmé’s favourite, the other one”
“Well, it’s smaller than the other. It’s like a shrivelled up shrimp”
Now she wasn’t telling me anything I didn’t know here but to hear it said out loud, unapologetic, it as offensive as it is hilarious.
I did have the discussion that feelings can get hurt with being honest after she told me my teeth were yellow. I explained that this was something I was quite embarrassed by already and that by her mentioning it, my feelings had been hurt.
She was devastated and apologised for the rest of the evening.
The thing is, I don’t want to punish that honesty out of her. There is a fine line between being honest and rude and I do think that should be explained but then again I don’t want her to end up a sappy people pleaser like me either.
An incident at school last week upset her as she had been offered a sweet by her teacher and had politely refused explaining that she doesn’t really like sour sweets. The teacher told her she was impolite and should have just said no thank you.
I felt sad for her being pulled up on an honest comment that had meant no personal offence. It’s just the way she is.
An absolute chatterbox with long drawn out explanations for everything.
We drill into our children that truthfulness is the very essence of being ‘good’ only to then expect them to subscribe to the very adult dilemmas of white lies, half truths and tactful diversions.
I want to encourage her openness always, hoping that so long as I raise her as an honourable young lady she will choose her honesty wisely and in the right situation.
I was glad she told me after I had the baby that she didn’t think she loved me now Esmé was here. It alerted me to the fact that I had some relationship TLC to do to make her feel like she is still loved wholly.
I was glad that she told me she preferred my hair longer after having 7 inches cut off. It’ll give me something to aspire to again!
When she tells me she loves me, I know she means it. She really loves me.
Short-haired, yellow toothed, shrivelled up shrimpy tits that I am.