Little White Lies

When I was young, my Mother could swim despite being scared of water after having a bad dream where she saw me drowning. Consequently, I grew up not learning to swim and terrified of deep water.

Realising how hereditary fears can be, I did not want to pass this fear onto my children. I successfully kept this information from them and regularly joined them in the pool, encouraging them to fetch coins and toys from the bottom of the pool. My first two children didn’t find out about my fear until they were teenagers; and all my children have grown up being good and confident swimmers.

When my first daughter was around 6 years old, she asked me what the squeaking noise was outside her bedroom window. It was late evening and I was well aware of what was making the noise, I had some years beforehand been diagnosed with unusually high frequency hearing and knew we had a family of bats living somewhere close-by and would regularly fly over our yard hunting insects, etc. I didn’t realise┬ámy kids had inherited my keen hearing, and I envisioned telling my 6 year old that she had bats flying past her bedroom window not ending well. I told her they were tiny screech owls.

I must thank Roger Waters of Pink Floyd for the realization of where most people’s fears come from; but I would like to share a lesson I learned in 1973, if you have a dark secret that you’re intending to hide from your child, ie; who their Father is, if your child is adopted, etc, you need to tell them the truth before they pass 10 years old.
Simply put, if you tell a 7 year old he is adopted, he just accepts it as one of the things he knows. If you wait till he is 15, you could have a mega rebellious teenager, but even worse, if someone else tells them first, you’ll have lied to him and excluded him from the truth.

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