In ages past there was something that seemingly was valued far higher than it is today, and that something was a ‘good name’. When people who know you well think and speak very highly of you then you have achieved a ‘good name’. A good name is to be treasured for with it comes honour and credibility in the sight of your fellow-man. Credibility is valuable in every relationship for without it trust is almost impossible to form. Positive discipline is often only possible if the parent has maintained the element of credibility.
As fathers the element of credibility is crucial in our relationship with our children. If our children cannot trust the words we speak as being true, then our effectiveness as a parent dissolve rapidly. Our children need to have complete confidence that ‘what daddy says’ is true and can be relied upon. No father would deliberately attempt to erode the credibility they have with their child, and yet in modern society the actions of many accomplish just that.
I would like to point out initially that I am really a fun-loving person, just ask my kids! But when I became a father I made certain decisions in agreement with my wife, as to how we were going to bring up our children. I considered whether I was going to be completely honest with my children about the very important subjects (in a child’s eyes) of Santa, The Easter Bunny and Magic Wands etc. Now I know some of you will be judging me as a fun sucker right about now but hear me out before you pass sentence on what I am saying.
There are certain things in life that I value very deeply, things that for me as a father were extremely desirable to impart to my children. After due consideration I surmised that if I wanted my children to accept my word as truth in the really important areas of life, that I had to have built that credibility in the smaller areas of life.
If I had gone along with the accepted norm of telling my kids that Santa really flew a sleigh around the world on Christmas Eve, then when they eventually found out that it was not true my credibility would have just taken a hit. If I told them that a friendly Bunny was dropping off chocolate eggs in the garden on Easter Sunday, then when they found out that it was actually me hiding them in the bushes then my credibility in their eyes would have taken another hit!
Now I enjoy Christmas and Easter and celebrate them wonderfully with my children and their young lives were not diminished because ‘the magic’ of Santa and the Easter Bunny were taken from them. My children still enjoyed the joy of hunting for Easter eggs in the garden, and the thrill of waking up and racing to the Christmas tree to open presents, they have just experienced these times without the ‘little white lies’ clouding their young minds. I have found that the ‘traditional’ meanings of Christmas and Easter have a far greater and more beneficial impact in the lives of young children.
The little white lies that many parents tell their children in the desire of giving them a more ‘magical’ Christmas or Easter will eventually return as problems as their credibility begins to erode in the sight of their children. We as fathers have a wonderful opportunity to teach our children about the value of telling the truth by the example we set and can ensure that our relationship with them continues to grow stronger throughout the years ahead.
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