The Untruths we tell our children


It never ceases to amaze me how the do as I say and not as I do mentality continues and it is most seen in the parent-child relationship. It’s also very interesting how we believe any and everything about children and there are so many myths surrounding these little creatures. It all came from what our grandmothers and great-grandmothers told us. Sometimes I have to sit and laugh at some of the beliefs.

Let’s go from before birth. We tell pregnant women not to look at ugly pictures or horror movies because we are somehow convinced that they will give birth to some sort of monster. Then we tell them that if they crave anything then they should get it because they could “mark the baby”. Haven’t we considered that these things all have a perfectly scientific reason for happening and it’s a simple five-letter word called genes.

Children are True

What about the hard ears hole? Do we really think that that pin-sized indentation at the side of some people’s head is the cause of bad behaviour? What about freckles? Do they mean that some people are smarter than others? Oh please. Then after birth comes even more sport.

I heard a grandmother cautioning her grandson not to let something drop on his toe because all he had in his foot was grizzle. I couldn’t believe it. Grizzle? I thought milk was supposed to build strong bones and teeth, not to change grizzle to bones.

Then when we get to toddler stage and the little ones start to give trouble and throw tantrums, the mothers will look at them and say, “Why you don’t stop crying before I give you something to cry for?”

Don’t talk about if they are then playing around and doing dangerous stunts, “Boy if you fall down from there I shall pick you up with a slap.” Poor children.

We move on now to pre-adolescence and then comes the fun part. We teach them how to lie. If we have outstanding bills and the collector comes around, “Tell him I ain’t home.” Then we expect them to always tell the truth. We play tricks and call it April fools and invent all sorts of other creative ways of telling untruths and then expect the children to be better.

Then we show them even more how much we tell lies by telling them “I will tell you this only once and I will not repeat myself.” But any guardian or parent knows that sometimes even that same statement is said thousands of times over.

The teen years they say are some of the most trying. Then come the myths about how we get pregnant and the poor teens learn the hard way and often the wrong way what is happening with their bodies. And every rumour/myth from drinking to jumping up and down run the gamut of the teen conversations just so that they can share the knowledge.

We corrupt the poor young people by teaching them our prejudices. I remember hearing a woman relate a story of how she was sitting in a restaurant and there was this woman who she considered to be the “ugliest person she had ever seen, with warts all over her face”. A little child came in with her mother and the ugly old woman exclaimed to the man sitting beside her “Look how pretty that child is”. She proceeded to tell the child to come over and give her a kiss. The storyteller was anxiously waiting to see what the mother would do and how she would respond to this hideous creäture. The mother smiled and the little girl went over and kissed the stranger.” The storyteller said she had never been so ashamed in her life.

She noted that love was so real in that little girl and her mother and there she was sitting in a judgement seat. She had to repent.

Children can often lead in the right direction.

The myths that we swallow from adults are fed to us sometimes for our own good, but sometimes out of fear and no good reason.

Our religious teachings say that we should be like children and truthfully I agree wholeheartedly. Children have no pretense. They don’t care what colour you are; if you have money; if you have hair (or for that matter what kind of hair); they don’t know what your clothes cost or if they are hand-me-downs.

Children are some of the most honest human beings I know. They will tell you if you look good, or if you smell bad, if there is a boo-boo in you nose, eyes or any other place. Adults are now walking around and talking about keeping it real. My advice,  if you want to keep it real, check a child, and do as he does.

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