Should you lie to your kids? Why one mom does

Should you lie to your kids?

Julia Obst doesn't have a problem with it. In fact, she's started a blog all about the lies she's told her daughter called "Lies I Tell My Daughter."

Obst has told such mistruths as, "We can't put your window down. It's broken!"; "If you eat shrimp, you'll become a better swimmer"; and "If you don't get back into bed, I will call the gate guy and he will put a gate on your door and you will only be able to get out in the morning!"

When asked if her daughter believes these lies, Obst said, "Absolutely. I'm her mom. Why wouldn't she?"

Obst said on "The Early Show on Saturday Morning" that the lies she tells aren't premeditated, but help her out of difficult situations. Obst said her daughter believes the lies and has even passed them along to her friends - the one about the "gate guy," for instance.

"(My daughter's friend's mother) really appreciated that one!" Obst said.

But psychologist and "Early Show" contributor Dr. Jennifer Hartstein said there are pros and cons to this kind of behavior.

"I think your children look to you to be their protector and guide and really instruct them," Dr. Hartstein said. "The more (lies) we tell, the less likely they are going to be to trust you -and trust other people - because if you start early with that, even though they seem funny to us, your child is believing them.

"Are we setting them up for not believing you later when you say to them, 'Driving and texting in the car is really dangerous,' and they go, 'Yeah, yeah, mom, whatever.' Are you damaging that bond? You have to be careful because when they find out the truths aren't true anymore, what will that do to your relationship?"

Obst said on the broadcast that not everyone "gets" her lies. She said, "The website I write for (has) ... a comment section and some parents share their funny story and say, 'I do the same thing and it's how I get through my day.' Some parents write, 'Shame on you,' and don't get it, and take it to a whole other level."

Obst said she plans to stop lying to her daughter after age 5.

Hartstein added, "I think the truth is that, different times in your child's life and your relationship with them, you are going to have lies of omission over different things. One of the things that parents often don't want to tell [is] how they use drugs or alcohol and what their experiences were with that, or going on a date if you're a single parent and what that means in the relationship with your child. You're not going to give them the details of that, even though they might want to know. Different periods of time the lies and kind of omissions might change, but we have to be aware of how that is going to impact our relationship with our children."

But Obst's lies haven't been believed every time by her daughter.

"I had told her I was calling Santa Claus (because) I had had it with her," Obst said. "I said I'm calling Santa and I called the Moviefone guy, and she said, 'Let me talk to him,' and I said, 'He's got to go.'"

Obst said she doesn't plan to let her daughter see the segment you can watch above.

Featured