Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Lying to Children

Sometimes it is necessary to lie to children. I don't generally advocate it. Mostly, what I do is tell the truth, however relatively that may be.
Sometimes I lie out of annoyance. After getting asked at least 10 times daily if I'm related to Lance, Louie, or Neil, I just start answering flatly: "yes."

The student asking will then grin, look at me and exclaim: "No, you're not!"

So if you didn't really think so, why'd you ask?

Yesterday I was subbing in an elementary art room. I was reading a book to the class, and having the students make predictions. I would take these until it started to get a little redundant or silly; then I would move on. One little girl started crying. When I asked her what was wrong, she whined: "IIII didn't get a tuuurrrrnn!"

"Neither did I!" I said, exasperated.

This is less of a lie, and more just incongruous.

In the same elementary art room, with an older class, I found one student had made it his mission to be a thorn in my side. After 20 minutes of distruption and insubordination, said student started asking to go to the bathroom. I would tell him no, and he would accept this, returning a while later with the same question. At one point he pressed further why I wouldn't let him go.

"Maybe I would have if you weren't being such a wiseahhh...."

I almost said it. But I didn't. I didn't look for his reaction, I didn't want him to see the look of horror on my face that comes with almost swearing at a little boy.

He turned, and quietly asked: "Did ...did you just...say the a w-"

I cut him off: "crack. I said Wisecrack."

Sometimes I lie to children because it is less complicated than confessing.

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