“Is there any lie good?” My son asked me the other day. 

Good vs Bad Lies

  • Good: benefit others
  • Bad: benefit yourself

Good lies

That was a hard question for me to answer. Since I have taught my children not to tell a lie and always tell the truth. However, when he asked me that question the other day, I realize that the instruction isn’t good enough for him now. 

As an Adult, we know clearly there are many liars in this world. We have to teach our kids to know the reality so that they don’t either fall into a dangerous situation when they believe in bad guy’s lies, or being shocked later on when they learned the truth a hard way and have to re-establish their way to look at the world. Just like if you tell a young kid that Santa doesn’t exist, it might be hard to hear to them. 

Then how to answer his question? I suddenly remember that the other day he told me an incident happened in school. There was a boy in his class couldn’t dribble the basketball well and started crying. He approached him and tried to comfort him down by saying that he was as bad when he started and the boy was actually not that bad at all. 

That’s clearly a lie. My son never suffer as much in learning basketball, definitely not cried because of it, and the boy obviously did poorer than most of others. But my son’s lie did work, he stopped crying and tried harder and yes he made it. 

That’s clearly a good lie. Then suddenly I know the answer: if you lie to benefit yourself, it’s a bad lie; but if your intention is to benefit others, then it’s good lie. 

Side story: my son wasn’t like this until he learned his lesson last year. He used to post “rude” comments in classroom’s online board just because he thought that it was funny. The teacher let us know and we talked that through and make him aware of the problem by standing in other’s shoes. Glad to see the progress in him. Keep growing to good, son. 🙂



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