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Well, I have no problem with little white lies so long as they are harmless, but I think that this would eventually come out. If nothing else Max might spill the beans at some point in time. Saying that I think you handled it well. I would wait to see if Marko brings it up again...or reads your blog, whichever comes first.

you remind me of Lynette & Tom Scavo

I would probably say "I'm not telling you who knocked it over, because it really was an accident, and I don't want anyone to get in trouble for it." No lie.

What Jean said. You can be your child's advocate, but to tell a lie on behalf of the child is something else altogether and does not set a good pattern for the years to come (says the mother of four rambunctious boys who are now adults).

Oh dear! I have the same guilty conscious and view on dishonesty as you. Unfortunately, I have been tempted to blame one of the children to take the heat off myself, like when I knocked the passenger side mirror off my car for the second time in three months. (To be fair, they WERE distracting me as I pulled out of the garage!) Ideally, you could have just replaced the lampshade before he comes home. That's a need to know basis right there.

This is a tough one. My husband has some similarities to Marko and my concern is the children will grow up thinking that the "things" are more important to their dad than they are. Yet children do also need to be taught to respect and care properly for their own (and other's) possessions.... so it's been a tough balance for us. At what point is which child capable of "knowing better" or able to remember to make choices that respect the things around them? Plus, people of ALL ages do have accidents! Good luck. This is a tough one for me!

Why would you not tell the truth? Are you worried that the consequences for Max will be harsher than you think necessary? Are you worried that he will be unduly physically/emotionally injured?

If so, wouldn't it be better to tell the truth and follow it up with a "and please don't be too hard on him, because it was an accident?"

I guess I don't see why this would be something that you would need to white lie about.

First, I have to say that the forced choice he set up is wholly inaccurate in that it could have been one of the kids AND have been an accident. It wasn't deliberate on Max's part (he didn't set out or intend to break the lampshade), it was an accident on his part.

I think the real issue is that your husband has created an environment where you feel like telling a white lie is the better choice for fear of reprisal. His reaction, then, doesn't pass the reasonableness test.

I'm the one in our home (where I'm the only female among three males) that feels like I "care" more about our stuff, but I also know that accidents happen. If the accident occurred when a behavior shouldn't have been happening (ie don't throw balls in the living room), there will be repercussions for the behavior that caused the accident.

Maybe you need to chat with Marko and say that before you say which kid it was, you want to make sure you're on the same page as far as it being an accident, and what the consequences of the accident would be - maybe a chat with dad about the importance of looking after things that belong to other people, as opposed to a punishment?

It doesn't sound like you would want to teach Max that knocking over a lamp is such a serious offence that it needs to be hidden from dad?

PS Had a weird moment today at V&A waterfront, where I recognised a young girl, then saw her twin brother and realised they were your kids that I recognised from your blog.

You are setting an example to your son - if you make a mistake, lie, hide, do not take responsibility.

This really isn't "white lie" territory. You can't lie for your kids so they avoid consequences; if you feel Marko is unreasonable take that up with him but if you lie you're not setting a sound precedent for the future. This little stuff ripples up.

I think white lies are sometimes necessary, but since you asked, I don't really think that covering up for your kids is the right occasion for a white lie. I think of white lies as more in the cases where you say something that isn't a 100% full account of your actual thoughts in order to spare someone's feelings, not to cover up something wrong that you or someone else did. Obviously there are shades of gray, but really either a) you honestly believe that Marco is going to do something terrible to Max, which I don't think is the situation, or b) you are covering up for Max so he doesn't have to deal with his father's actual feelings about the broken lamp. No, I guess there is a third possibility--that you are covering up for Max so that YOU don't have to deal with Marco's actual feelings about Max breaking the lamp. I do find that one a bit more understandable. Spouses can be a total pain the arse, alas, especially when they have different ideas about parenting than we do.

I think max shld deal with the consequences and Marko shld be less severe. Having said that wouldn't it be wonderful if things were always done in moderation but life rarely is perfect.

I do feel strongly about about kids accepting responsibility though, my mom covered up the little things when my brother was little and then the big things when he was big.

Consequently he has no idea how to be an adult and to make matters worse holds her responsible for every thing that doesn't work out in his favor...

As several other people have noted, I don't think this situation falls under "little white lies" territory, mainly because it involves your children and their relationship with their father, not just your relationship with them, if that makes sense. At some point, the details will emerge, because everyone is human and things slip out, and having lied about what happened would make Marko even more mad, I think. (Or not? I don't know him. But I would expect that.) Perhaps if you & Rose told Marko that it truly was an accident which anyone could have caused . . . maybe he would understand. Maybe separately tell Max that he needs to be careful about playing in your bedroom because it has grown-up items which are more breakable than kid items -- would he understand that distinction? We weren't allowed to jump on my parents' bed because it was a very nice frame & mattress (ours were the same oak frames my mother and her sisters used, they were not going to break!).

I cannot fathom why you would want to take the blame for something you can blame on the kids. EVERYTHING is their fault around here

Kids break shit. Might as well get used to it. You can have nice things again in 20 years.

Haha Marko sounds very much like my husband. I am always covering up for my kids, or being over-protective as he says. And according to him he is the only one that cares about our belongings too!

Let us know how it turned out.

Are you going to cover for Max forever? I think it's a bad idea. I know he's the baby. I have one myself - who doesn't know how to accept responsibility for anything.

This does not qualify as a white lie in my opinion. You are not trying to spare anyone's feelings, your are covering up for Max, which will totally send him the wrong message (if he actually realises you are taking the blame for him) and will also send the wrong message to Marko, if he eventually finds out (which he most likely will).
I wouldn'd try it.

wow. I am sort of shocked by all the "you can't cover up for max" responses. what is he? 3? 4? I presume he was playing and it was an accident. not like he is a teenager. this very thing happened in my grandmothers house when I was much older than max and I remember her response to this day "I am just glad no one was hurt'

No! No lies. I hate lies. I want to know that every word out your mouth is truth so that when I quote you I don't end up with egg on my face, and so that I can trust you. If you're going to little white lie at me then I can't trust you. I wouldn't little white lie you. Sorry. The Little White Lie is my bug bear - I absolutely do not believe they have any place in a relationship that has any hope of lasting.
As for Max. He's going to learn, eventually, that he can't just do as he pleases - there are rules for a reason (don't swing the lion in the house, not because we don't want you to have fun, but so you don't break a lamp shade - take him outside and swing like a lunatic) and this accident is the PERFECT way to teach him this lesson. See what happens when we don't follow the rules? Daddy's upset, and he still loves you with his whole heart, but this is why he's made all these rules - so we don't have broken lamps. Now Mr Lion has to go to the top of the cupboard for a week so he learns not to swing in the house...
Do I sound like a mother of three? I think I sound rather like a nag...
I think maybe a mother of three should probably be all, 'what?.. there was a lamp there?"

Kids break shit. Make them clean it up and move on. Someday they will leave you. You have nice shit again then.

Erm doesn't Marko read your blog - if so - BUSTED! :P

I tell my 5 year old (and my older kids when they were this age as well) that it's not an accident when you swing the jump rope around like a whip and someone gets his in the eye with the plastic handle. I understand that they don't intend to hit anyone in the eye with the plastic handle - they only intend to swing the rope - but I believe since it is FORESEEABLE that swinging the rope could cause the plastic handle to hit someone in the vicinity (or a lamp) then it is not really an accident. I tell my kids that accidents happen even you're being careful - that's why it's called an accident - but foreseeable results from your actions is not an accident in my book. I always think about a famous law case that stands for the proposition that "The risk to be perceived defines the duty to be obeyed." If you can foresee that something will happen because of your actions then you have a duty to avoid that thing happening. I know the little ones live in the moment and can't think one second ahead of themselves most times but it's never too early to start sending the message. The way we can adapt to the fact that they're little kids and still need our guidance and acceptance is how we react.

Well, for me I always spell it out the way it is and when hell is let lose, I have a way of calming him down and making him see it a bit differently before he makes rash decisions but I always tell him the truth in black and white and I guess that is the reason the trust is there.

As far as I am concerned, one day, small lies will lead to big ones and that could be catastrophic.

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