Aren’t we all about honesty? It seems on the superficial level we are but if it is honesty that may hurt someone we tell our kids that it isn’t nice. How confusing is that? This past weekend I was with my nephew and he said something that was funny, honest, and could have been hurtful and his mom stepped up and said we don’t say things like that you need to apologize. He needed to apologize for being honest?! He had something to the effect that I my face was all wrinkly, and that his mom couldn’t be 35 because she wasn’t wrinkly like that. Now, I’m 20 years older then 35, I do have wrinkles (I’m a redhead, I’ve laughed and smiled a lot so duh).
Why do we make a child feel badly about telling the truth on one hand, and then on the other tell them they need to be honest? I know I have wrinkles I don’t like it but I’m older and I have wrinkles. I don’t like it but it is the truth. I have no problem when a child says exactly the truth, and as an adult I appreciate that honesty.
example of honesty that would be considered funny and acceptable.
Maybe with the lessons of honesty we should teach diplomacy, and not shame children when they tell the truth that they aren’t being nice when, in fact, they’re being honest. Maybe a better way of handling my nephew telling me I’m wrinkly (true), and that wasn’t nice why not let them know that saying it a different way might be a little kinder: Mom doesn’t have as many wrinkles as you why? Or You are so funny and laugh a lot is that why you have so many wrinkles? These still aren’t the best but I have to admit that growing older isn’t fun anyway, and as an adult hearing you have visible wrinkles isn’t fun but for God’s sake you have them, and your inability to accept the truth is the adult’s problem NOT the child’s!
I have frequently been accused of being brutally honest, but I believe it to be just honest and people just aren’t used to hearing honesty unless it’s a compliment (and that is usually a lie). People frequently compliment you with ulterior motives. If someone asks me if they look fat or if the color they’re wearing is good I’ll say something like I’ve seen you in more flattering things but you always look nice (which they do). And this, is considered brutal!? All I can say is I believe in telling the truth softly, and in a way that may be hard for the person to accept, but that has to be their issue not the person who is telling the truth.