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Thread: When honesty is not the best policy??

  1. #1

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    Default When honesty is not the best policy??

    We've raised our children telling them to always be honest.. okay, so they tell white lies about who ate the last ice-cream or who hit who first.. but generally they are open and honest.

    DS2 received a Christmas gift he wasn't keen on - he made this pretty clear to the "gifter", asking if they'd swap it. Needless to say I felt extremely embarrassed at his ungrateful behaviour. Later at home I tried explaining about hurting feelings, and being grateful etc. But at the same time I felt like I was telling him to lie.

    How would you deal with this?

  2. #2

    Default Re: When honesty is not the best policy??

    You can honestly thank a giver for a gift you don't like. And that's what we do. Thank the time, the generosity, the thought behind the gift. Just not get enthusiastic about the actual gift.

  3. #3

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    Default Re: When honesty is not the best policy??

    I think that you should approach it in a different way. Instead of the kids thanking the giver for the gift (which they may or may not like), they should thank them for the obvious thought behind the gift. A gift means that the giver is thinking of you - a sign of love and kindness. When the kids scorn the gift they are scorning the love and kindness behind it which I wouldn't be OK with.

  4. #4

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    Default Re: When honesty is not the best policy??

    I can't see how old your DS is peekaboo, but i don't see it as lying. I totally agree with the pps about the gift being about the thought and love from the giver. You don't have to like the gift but hurting someone's feelings because you are not enamoured with something someone has taken the time to choose for you isn't ok.

    While honesty is always the best policy, sometimes there's an appropriate time and place to express those. I guess depending on his age and social skill level that might be still yet to be discovered.

  5. #5

    Default Re: When honesty is not the best policy??

    Just curious, and not criticizing, but you seem ok with some lies anyway. White lies about theft and violence. I understand white lies to be about not hurting people, like saying a new haircut looks good when you hate it but the person loves it. Not stealing lollies and hitting people.

    Why are those ok but not thanking someone for a gift they don't love the second they see it? Sorry if that seems rude, just something I've been thinking about since my earlier post and couldn't think of a less abrasive way of asking.

  6. #6

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    Default Re: When honesty is not the best policy??

    Quote Originally Posted by Ca Plane Pour Moi View Post
    Just curious, and not criticizing, but you seem ok with some lies anyway. White lies about theft and violence. I understand white lies to be about not hurting people, like saying a new haircut looks good when you hate it but the person loves it. Not stealing lollies and hitting people.

    Why are those ok but not thanking someone for a gift they don't love the second they see it? Sorry if that seems rude, just something I've been thinking about since my earlier post and couldn't think of a less abrasive way of asking.

    I don't think she's saying the White lies the kids tell are okay, just that they generally don't lie except to tell those typical children lies (which I assume she deals with) whereas this situation is different and is telling the child to lie in order to protect other people's feelings.


    I'd go with what CPPM originally said... You're thanking them for the thought, and you certainly don't ask for something different! Lol. Hopefully the gifted understood its kids learning social niceties. X

  7. #7

    Default Re: When honesty is not the best policy??

    My oldest did this once. He got clothes from friends of ours and turned around said "Clothes what sort of present is that". I was so embarrassed and apologised for his outburst. He has never received clothes from them since.

  8. #8

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    Default Re: When honesty is not the best policy??

    Quote Originally Posted by Ca Plane Pour Moi View Post
    Just curious, and not criticizing, but you seem ok with some lies anyway. White lies about theft and violence. I understand white lies to be about not hurting people, like saying a new haircut looks good when you hate it but the person loves it. Not stealing lollies and hitting people.

    Why are those ok but not thanking someone for a gift they don't love the second they see it? Sorry if that seems rude, just something I've been thinking about since my earlier post and couldn't think of a less abrasive way of asking.
    I don't think lying about theft and violence is okay, sorry if my post came across the wrong way. I just meant that usually my older two are very open and honest, apart from the odd lie to try avoid getting in trouble. Maybe calling them white lies was the wrong choice of words, but they are dealt with then and there.

    My DS2 is 7. I think I probably went about it the wrong way when I spoke to him later at home. I had apologised on his behalf, but was still feeling pretty embarrassed about his initial reaction. He had thanked the gifter (his cousin), but then asked his aunt to swap it.

  9. #9

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    Default Re: When honesty is not the best policy??

    I think that 7 is old enough to be able to politely accept a gift regardless of weather you like it or not.
    I would explain to my child that they are very lucky to have received anything at all, and that it's rude to ask someone to exchange or replace something they have given.
    I don't see how you are asking your child to lie, you are teaching them how to be appreciative of the kindness of others.

  10. #10

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    Default Re: When honesty is not the best policy??

    This is something that I have spoken with my kids about from a very young age. Basically because I have been around young kids all my life and I know that they don't have that filter to stop them from saying things that may hurt others feelings, they are just totally honest, regardless of what may hurt people.
    I have always taught them that they are to be polite and say thank you for the gift regardless if they like it or not, or even if they already have it, it doesn't matter, we will work it out later! This has always been done really well, a few times I have had to remind them to say thank you politely, and not be rude, but usually it hasn't been an issue.
    My DD9 is grateful for everything she gets now and is more than happy to get the smallest of things, she is usually a little over enthusiastic about things that I know she isn't too keen on. But clothes are a real hit with her, she is a total fashionista!!!

  11. #11

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    Default Re: When honesty is not the best policy??

    Similar here - no need to lie, but yes, always say thank you.

    With gifts we don't like, or which are duplicates, we thank the giver and then when we get home, we chat with the boys about who might like the gift

    Turn it around into something positive, and still we're able to be grateful that we received something, even if we're not wanting to keep it. And it gives a good opportunity to have a discussion about being thoughtful and intentional when we're picking gifts for others -- because it is the thought that counts, so we like to think and plan and be intentional


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