How do you Like your Lies for Breakfast?

A good friend of mine posted this link on facebook. It is an essay by Paul Graham about the lies adults tell children about the world in order to raise them from childhood to adulthood. It reminded me a lot about my constant battle with the ambiguities of postmodern parenthood.

I remember an event some years ago, when I was still an angry teenager. I had just been beaten up for no reason by strangers for the first time. I was growing more and more bitter with the world, moving further away from the open hearted tree-hugging country girl I had been. Dismayed at the realisation so many people seemed irrevocably evil, I asked a similarly  jaded friend whether she thought we would be better off telling our children the truth about the world so that they would be tougher early on. And she said ‘No. I think we should let them have their dreams.’

This was a long time ago but I still remember it vividly. And now as a mother I agree with her. The only difficulty is determining just how much wool parents should pull over their children’s eyes before they cross the line between protecting them and harming them.


4 Responses to “How do you Like your Lies for Breakfast?”

  1. 1 Jillian Page January 7, 2009 at 5:10 am

    I suggest you don’t lie to them. Instead, don’t mention all the bad stuff. Read to them, books like C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia. They will have many happy dreams — and memories later on.


    • 2 Professional Housegirlfriend October 24, 2009 at 9:42 pm

      Jillian, I have been trying to get hold of your blog for ages… I know that it is now private, but I would love to be one of your readers again… I have stopped writing so much because I have had a very difficult time lately but I am hoping to be back online frequently soon.

  2. 3 Professional Housegirlfriend January 7, 2009 at 11:37 am

    Aaaaaah I LOVE narnia… I was given the entire collection when I was 10 and got completely hooked. I even tried to conjure Aslan from my school grounds in Brazil once. I had a crush on Prince Caspian too, even though he was only a character in a book… I am definitely passing them on to my son, I can’t wait until he is old enough to beg me to read him just another chapter before I turn the lights out!

  1. 1 Don’t Pill the Rappers « The Observations of a Confused Young Woman Trackback on June 16, 2010 at 7:55 pm

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