Why do we teach our children some lies?
I was teaching my son Jett, 9, about months of the year and seasons. A friend complained that what I was saying wasn't really true...
We live in Australia, and we have lived in Norway – so the seasons are varied in both…. So how to teach seasons are different….. there is no rule?
It was a moment of confusion for me, strange as it may seem, because I taught, as a child, that there were four seasons – and the four seasons each had three months to play their part in the full year.
We teach our children little lies because we don’t bother to question what we’ve been told. Not always.. I’m sure you can think of times when you realised a ‘truth’ and it changed how you spoke about and referred to the subject.
That happened to me with sunsets. Once I realised that it wasn’t the sunset that created the beautiful light, but actually, the earth turning… I thought, well, why don’t we say ‘earth turns’ instead of ‘sun sets’…. Its just a reminder that we think we are the centre of the universe.. ego centric.. earthcentric… and nothing could be further than the truth….
So – we tell little fibs because society accepts them as ‘truths’ – and if I keep pointing out to people that it’s the earth turning, not the sun setting.. then they will be irritated with my pedantic nature and probably not want to be in my company for long…
So – we tell them for society’s sake…
And the months of the year?
English heritage told us what the four seasons were; April as the cruellest month and June brides are part of our (Australian) understanding of life… but its not the truth..
When we were in the Northern Territory, we found out that the traditional caretakers of the land acknowledged 6 seasons, depending on the cycle of life around them- including rain fall and the flowering of plants. It’s a bit more realistic to follow these patterns, if we were close to nature. But today, to say to someone, I will meet you at the first big rain, when the giant figs are bursting with flower doesn’t seem quite as sane as September the 4th at 4pm.
We teach our kids lies cause some lies are convenient and make our life a bit easier. I’m not saying it’s the right way to go for the future.. we need to ‘challenge everything’ – as the saying goes, and keep our feet rooted firmly in a nice balance of truth and humour… what say you?