Adults “Just Teasin'”

In my opinion, parents should have a balance. They should be as truthful as possible while taking the feelings of their children into consideration. There are few circumstances where withholding parts of the truth may be justifiable but, if parents respect their children and their intelligence they should be able to be truthful within reason. For example, rather than telling a child their toy disappeared, another approach can be tested, such as explaining to them that their play time is up and they will have another opportunity to play at a later time. This method is not always sound of course, but as long as there is an attempt, a healthy relationship should be able to foster without deception. Nobody is perfect but doing something one out of ten times is better than not doing it at all. Making an attempt at being truthful is better than going straight to deception and not trying to be truthful at all. 

Parents and elders should be conscious of how they speak around young children, this could be being careful or it could just be acknowledging that they might hear what is said. Children internalize so many things, and they are just beginning to understand languages and how people communicate with each other, it is hard for them to always differentiate between what is appropriate for their age, what is appropriate in certain situations or with certain people, what is a joke, what is sarcasm, and what is the truth. So, while many conversations can be learning experiences or a way to spend time with family, sometimes censoring or an explanation would be beneficial. 

I feel that adults should try to tell the truth when possible, but the truth does not always have to be brutal; When considering feelings and respect is a part, the truth is often easier to accept. Nice things should be told to children when it is true or if a situation requires it, sugar coating is not necessary if you approach a conversation with respect for the other person, even if they are a child. Adults should mean what they say until children are able to comprehend the other aspects of language. The instability of life can be taught other ways that do not involve risking the credibility of their words. If adults teach kids how little words can mean, kids often say reckless things, this should only be taught when the kids also understand the weight words can have. Adults should avoid “just teasin” kids if they have no intention of explaining to them that they are in fact just teasing, or if the kids are unable to come to that conclusion on their own. If the child is aware they are not to take something serious, or if they can decipher whether something is a joke or not on their own, “just teasin” is fine because there would not be any consequences. Children will not feel hurt, confused, or deceived and adults will not lose the children’s trust or the credibility of their word. It is not an easy thing to keep in mind or execute, but when there is an attempt, all of these things are possible with children even if it is only some of the time.

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