Montessori World

An educational blog for children and adults

Lie, or no lie?

I read about this true confession from a grandma:

“Is it permissible to lie to children? I lied to my two-year-old granddaughter to remove her from a fairground ride without the tantrums I’d just witnessed other parents enduring. I said,”The man is going for his dinner now and is not doing any more rides.” She left without any fuss. But i am concerned that if she remembers this, she will not trust me when she is older.”

I was quite suprised by the columnist’s answer about lying to children, that “not only is it permissible, it is frequently obligatory“, with the excuse that a lot of research is required when children ask serious/real but natural questions like ‘Why the sky is blue?’ or ‘Why is there thunder or lightning?’. However, what he wrote later made more sense to me, that children deserve to be treated with respect, without putting too much detail of the reasons behind every decision. Sometimes, it is true that we need to simply order a child by setting rules and regulations to ensure order and safety. I still could not disagree with the conclusion he gave that “a certain amount of genteel fabrication also prepares a child for adult life, in the same way that a small dose of vaccine innoculates them against diseases later in life.”

Was the columnist saying to the grandma that it’s okay to tell her granddaughter a white lie? Isn’t it better that she set a certain ground rules and limitations before going for a ride, such as how many rides and which type of games are suitable for her? Remember that telling any lies can become a habit to a baby or an elderly person. Once started is hard to stop.


July 20, 2007 - Posted by | family


  1. That is a very delicate topic. And I think if in doubt, the truth will always save the day!

    Comment by Giddy Tiger | August 20, 2007

  2. sometimes a white lie properly decorated with the facts can also save the day! 😉

    i took the liberty to visit ur blog. u have such a joyful child.
    and i also put ur blog on my blogroll, hope u don’t mind!

    cheers, rani.

    Comment by rani | August 20, 2007

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