Why parents should always tell their children the truth
To answer the question of what is truth one can say: -Truth is that which conforms to reality, fact, or actuality- (Slick) and be satisfied with such a narrow definition. However, the interpretation of this definition may be even wider than one thinks it is. For example, if truth conforms to reality, what is reality then? What is fact and actuality? In addition, truth has quite a distinct interpretation when it is applied in philosophical, psychological, mathematical, and, the one we are currently interested – ethical context.
When the truth will appear more or less the notion explained and reasonable it is highly important to discuss the questions of parenting and bringing up children. Being parents is not an easy task and it is not always easy to tell the truth, especially, when this truth might bring towards destructive consequences. In the case of children, they always take to their parents. If a child suspects being lied to without appropriate explanations of rights and wrongs, his/her concept of truth and lie will be distorted and, thus, formulate a bad picture of the world. So, basically, telling the truth to children is of high importance, but what are the reasons?
Truth is a notion, which is pure, undistorted by any unverified or intentional inclusions with higher moral virtues to spare the person from unreasonable worries or moral vices, such as to harm the person by occupying his/her thoughts with unreasonable worries. The truth should be realistic – reality corresponding, factual – state the concrete matter, which is noticeable, and, actual – valid in every respect. -For the Christian, the ultimate expression of truth is found in the Bible, in Jesus who said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life…” (Slick). It is considered ethically valuable and morally righteous to tell the truth. There are truths that may hurt and truths that may joy, however, it is always better to know the bitter truth than the sweet lie.
A lie is defined as, -a false statement deliberately presented as being true- (ABC Online, Science News Online & The American Heritage Dictionary). Scientists consider lying as something natural, something a human is apt to do. People learn to lie at the early stages of their development. Growing older only polishes this unrighteous skill with the person not being aware of the reality, or harmless behavior he/she represents.
Relationships between parents and children form even before the birth of the baby. When a child is born into a two-parent family, both the mother and the father should have already established a way of relating to their baby on the basis of their own personalities. It is these personalities, with every characteristic, that guide fathers and mothers in the interaction with their infant (Ambert, 1997). The choices parents make have a great impact on their children and may either advance them and they will grow up morally educated good people or destroy their perception of the world up to the establishment of a moral freak. Every decision a parent makes considering his/her child affects not only the child’s personality, but further well-being of this infant. Thus, parents play a very crucial role in bringing up children, which is hard, but worthy in the end.
A good parent should always set an example by doing what is good, to teach with integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned. Speaking with integrity at your personal home is very important for it helps children develop appreciation and respect for truth. A lot of children all around the world grow up hearing their parents utter constant lies. Some children may even be told to lie intentionally for their parents (McDonald, 2010). This is not the righteous way of bringing up infants.
Usually, by not telling the truth to their children parents are guided by three common beliefs: 1. -It is part of growing up-; 2. -Not telling the truth can save someone from pain-; 3. -There is no choice, but to lie- (DOUGLAS HADDAD, Ph. D., 2009). Due to these statements parents are partially able to protect their children from hurt and pain, but cannot set them an example or explain the meaning of another statement – -the truth will indeed set you free- (DOUGLAS HADDAD, Ph. D., 2009). The real value of the phrase can be appreciated by children only due to feeling safe in confining the feelings openly and honestly, being listened to, understood and valued, and receiving all these features in return from their parents.
There are basic realities according to which children should not be lied to: 1. Children always copy their parents and borrow all the features they possess: this means that liable behavior will be inherited and considered as the only right one; 2. Children do not understand the real meaning of truth if they are lied to: practically, if the parents try to teach their child good behavior and still lie, the concept of truth is distorted and backgrounded in the child’s cognition; 3. If a lie is the prevailing factor in children’s lives they will lie every time there is an opportunity and soon find themselves lost in their lies, up to becoming social freaks; 4. Truth inspires positive features in children’s bringing up, while lies forms negative closed personalities that value gains more than people.
Truth is the virtue that should be taught from the very childhood. Being a good parent is very hard; however, it is always worth the try. Raising up morally pure children is the best achievement a parent can get. If the truth is not told, the children lose every moral sense of being good and use lies as their constant partners in daily lives.