This is often one of a father’s (parent’s) real dilemmas. What level of openness and honesty should you have with your child when she is a Toddler or under 7? Should you tell her exactly what is going on and risk upsetting her, or are there ever times when lying to you child is acceptable? Every parent wants their child to be brought up to be open and honest and therefore you may worry that if you are not like that with your child every time, she may assume that not being honest is acceptable and normal behaviour.
It really depends on the sensitivity of your child and you may feel that a ‘white lie’ is acceptable if it is done to protect your child from something, particularly if they are not yet of an age when they can understand the full consequences of it. The dilemma of course, is that you may not want to tell a lie to your child.
Once your child gets a bit older and becomes more mature, you will decide when she is ready to hear the truth every time. But initially this may be very hard for her to take in or accept. Irrespective of the age of your child, you may decide that on very serious issues, you will never lie to her. This rule however, can be very difficult to stick to, but if you always keep in mind that your child deserves to be treated with respect, then you will always make the right choice for her.
If you do decide not to tell your child something and tell her a lie, you must ensure that there is no way she can ever find out the truth, until at least she is an adult. If she does, then it will say to her that this is an acceptable way to behave. Always remember, your child, particularly as a Toddler and up to puberty, will look to you as her role model and if you do something, then she will do it as well.
Hi to all my Followers, I hope you are enjoying my Blog, I love writing about my experiences with Fatherhood, and hopefully you like hearing about them. I am inspired that so many of you care about the importance of a truly involved Dad.
Since I started my Blog, I have been writing a book which will be called the same title, ‘Help I’m a Father’ and recently I finally finished the manuscript. I am now pitching it to Publishers, and some of them have been very positive about it, and have asked that I try to get my Blog Followers and Viewers up before they agree to publish it.
So I would like to ask you all a favour. Could you please let all your contacts online know about my Blog and encourage them to Follow it and view my posts. I know it may seem like a strange request, but it really would help me to get my book published. If you could share it on your social media pages, it would also really be appreciated.
Thank you in advance for your support.
A key social skill that your child needs to learn at a very young age is the ability to make a good first impression. He will only ever have one chance to do this with everyone he meets. So whether it is for an entrance interview to a new school, or a job interview, or meeting a new business contact to seal that important sales contract, first impressions are vital. So how can you help your child to succeed at this?
You can start at a very young age, when he is only a Toddler and encourage him to stop whatever he is doing when someone arrives at your house and go and positively greet them. A firm handshake, whether you have a son or a daughter, will always start the first meeting off in a good way. By stopping what he was doing, shows your visitor that he is important and worth stopping everything to go and say hello to. All your visitors will appreciate this from your child.
When your child greets your guest, encourage him to look the person straight in the eye when he says hello. Many children will look down or away when they first greet someone, so encourage your child to make immediate eye contact. Your child is not inferior to your guest, so being deferential is not needed. Your guest will certainly notice the confidence and warmth of the greeting from your child and will appreciate it. Your child will also feel good about himself and it will help his self confidence.
Not only will this make a good first impression, but it also shows your child has good manners, which will just reinforce the excellent impression that your child has created. This is a very important communication and life skill and will be liked by everyone. It will help make your child a positive and outward going individual, which is a great social skill for him to have as he grows up and moves into adulthood.
First impressions last, and you should make sure your child knows this. He will thank you in later life.
How annoyed should you get when your child breaks something? Should you make it a big issue if they do?
Your child will very rarely break something deliberately, so you should always keep your reaction in proportion to the misdemeanour. Many times it will be just because they were clumsy, so keep in mind, accidents do happen!
Your child will observe carefully how you behave when he breaks things. If you blow it out of all proportion, then he may have several reactions. He could become scared and nervous that you might shout or aggress him. This could make him become very timid. Or he may take your lead and over dramatize other things that go wrong in his life. Worse still, he may become very blasé and casual towards other peoples property, and treat their possessions with no respect.
Material possessions although often quite precious, can always be replaced (most of the time anyway). Therefore, you should always keep this in mind when considering your reaction to a breakage. If you exaggerate your response, the situation may degenerate, when in fact the lesson you really want to pass over to your child, is that he needs to pay attention to things. It doesn’t matter whether it is one of his toys, a glass, or even a window in your house, everything is replaceable.
How you react will determine his behaviour as he grows up.
Little children are like little sponges, and soak up everything that is happening around them, whether it is what you do, which they will copy, or what you say, which will eventually be repeated. This can be the most embarrassing as it will come out when you are least expecting it. I learnt this through experience, which eventually cost us a friendship.
I had offered to make a video at a friends wedding and give it to them after they returned from their honeymoon. As you do, before they got back, I was checking the video and doing a little editing to make it as perfect as my amateur talent could do. While I was reviewing the film, I had forgotten that my 3 year old son was sitting quietly in the Corner of the room playing in his play pen.
As I was looking through it, there was one particular shot which caught our friend at the wrong angle, and caused me to make an ‘off the cuff’ remark to my wife “I didn’t realise that Annabelle had such a big nose”. The comment was then forgotten about, particularly as that wasn’t the case in reality.
The next day she came round to our house and we welcomed her in. No sooner had she got into the lounge and my Toddler shouted out, “Daddy says you have a big nose!” At that moment, I wished I wasn’t a father, and that the ground would open up and swallow me whole. I was so embarrassed, and tried to say that my son was saying something like ‘be noise’, or an invented word ‘benose’, but he wouldn’t have any of it. He repeated and kept saying very loudly “no Daddy, you said big nose”.
Our friend was hugely offended, although she tried to laugh it off, but that day was the start of the end of our friendship. I have never made the same mistake again, so be warned.