The Truth

Children need to hear the truth.  Granted, they need to hear the truth in what they are ready to hear.  I am NOT an advocate of lying to children.

I am not advocating in a blanket tell-all policy either.  We know children are ready for small doses of certain information when they ask.  Then, you answer the question, and ONLY that question.

There are some questions that, depending on your relationship with the parents, are better directed to the parents (think the birds and the bees questions here).  Often times when children ask questions in that regard I simply state, “This is something that you need to talk to mom about.”  Of course, make sure you inform mom so that she is prepared and, if necessary, brings it up at home.

However, the cause of this post really has NOTHING to do with those kinds of questions.  The question that came up that brought on this post was simply the “teacher lives at school” theory.

Yes, we know that children in preschool think that the teacher lives at school; however, we are not doing them any good by letting them continue this thought.

It is important in their development that children understand that teachers don’t live at school.

Why?  Because of their social understanding.  The global understanding that the world doesn’t revolve around them.

Do we go rub it in their faces that teacher doesn’t live at school?


But, when the question comes up, it should be answered honestly.

I often have children ask me, “where do you live?”

I am not a permanent fixture in their center so they know that I must go somewhere.  I’m honest with them.  I tell them the truth, “I live in San Diego.”

When two children are arguing/discussing whether or not the teacher lives at school (maybe because one saw the teacher at the store and the other doesn’t think that’s possible), I think it’s important for the teacher to say, “Why yes, he did see me at the store and no, I don’t live at school.  I have a home and a family just like you do.”

This allows a deeper connection.  There is now a similarity between you and the child.

The other day I was outside with a group and one girl had a shirt on that said, “My brother did it!”

I laughed and asked her, “Do you have a brother?”

She nodded.

I asked, “Is he older or younger than you.”

She responded, “He’s bigger than me.”

I then commented, “Oh, you’re lucky.  I have a big brother, too.  Do you do special things with him?”

She grinned, “Yes.  He lets me play with his keiko (no idea what this is).  My brother is Joe, what’s yours name?”

Her world was suddenly opened by the knowledge that the world does expand a bit more than just her…and that there are similarities and differences and amazing connections out there.

All because I told her the truth; I know that she doesn’t fully comprehend, but she is now further down that road than if I had tried to “shelter” her from that information.

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