Should you ever ask your husband, “Do these pants make me look fat?”

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About Corey

Corey writes regularly about marriage and relationships on his site, Simple Marriage, which is full of laid back information sure to improve your relationships.You can also catch his radio show - Sexy Marriage Radio, a weekly show filled with straightforward and practical information that will help your marriage.

No man has a good enough memory to make a successful liar. ~ Abraham Lincoln

If asked, you’d probably say you’re an honest person. Meaning, you don’t blatantly lie. But what if I asked if you occasionally omit some things. How would you answer?

It’s part of our creation and design to be honest. We all seem to have an innate sense that honesty is the best policy, that lying hurts others as well as ourselves. At the same time, however, have we reached a point where we feel it’s okay to omit certain details while still feeling as though we’re being honest?

The world in which we live is filled with lies.

And I’ll admit, I have a lying problem. Mine aren’t the big lies, the things like “No, I did not use any performance enhancing supplements, Senator” or, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” No, mine are the little lies. The half-truths. “Yes, let’s definitely get together for coffee soon.” “We can’t buy that toy now, son, the toy store is closed.” I know, lying to my own child — pretty lame!

The problem with lying is that it creates an alternate reality. And trying to keep up with multiple realities is anything but simple and easy.


One of the first things I counsel people who come to see me is to up their honesty level. Not that they’re lying all the time, or even occasionally — but when you up the honesty level in life, things may get worse temporarily, but they will get better.

This begins by upping the honesty level with yourself. Face the hard truths about your life, and your shortcomings. We all have them, own ‘em.

Many bad things in life originate from not being honest with ourselves and others.

Unfortunately, we all have the ability to rationalize and justify our thoughts and actions. In fact, many people can get good enough at it to actually believe their rationalization is the truth. But when it comes to honesty, your gut knows the truth.

Dishonesty keeps you awake at night, or wakes you up in the middle of the night. It gives you the twinge of anxiety in your stomach. And it comes out in your body language and facial expressions.

Honesty, on the other hand, allows you to rest peacefully. To act according to your values and integrity. And to develop deeper, more meaningful relationships.

Plus, honesty leads to simplicity.

Life carries with it a great deal of energy when you’re honest with yourself and others. You gain others’ trust easily because you live according to your word. You reach a point where you can let your yes be yes and your no be no. And, as the honesty between you and others increases, so does the synergy.

Honesty in life and marriage is not just the best policy; it’s the only policy. And a simple marriage is unattainable without it.

So what do you do with this question: Do these pants make me look fat?

(And fellas, if you’re wondering if you should be honest when your wife asks you, “Do these pants make look fat?” try this — look her in the eye, and with a playful smile reply, “I don’t know, I’d have to see you without the pants on.”)

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Comments

  1. I like what you said about lying to your son. I find myself telling similar little lies to my 2 1/2 year old son because it makes it easier but keep thinking exactly waht you are saying, at some point it’s going to be hard to keep track of and he’s going to catch on! Then what? He thinks I’m a liar and that he can do the same? New goal: done with the little lies!!
    Lindsay´s latest post: I might be loosing my mind a little

  2. Telling the truth is also about respect. I respect my child and my husband enough to know they deserve the truth.

    And as for the “Do these pants make me look fat?” I ask my girlfriend who is graciously but consistently honest.
    Janna @ Mommy’s Piggy TALES – Record YOUR Youth´s latest post: Enemies Become Friends

  3. When I asked myself how much truth I denied to keep my young children happy, I knew the Lord wanted me to stop the compromise and speak and stand for the truth. Several of our family customs changed. The tooth fairy, Easter Bunny and Father Xmas were revealed as myth and not truth. We still make and give gifts, rejoice over teeth that are out, eat chocolate eggs, but we don’t lie anymore. When we visit other families, I remind my younger children that other children still believe and we respect them.
    Our children should trust us to always stand for the truth.
    Compromise always removes our spiritual authority, so lies weaken us.

    • Although I’m nonreligious (and at a stretch atheist) now, I used to be a fervent Christian. What you’re saying about those small lies removing your spiritual authority is something that I often thought when I pondered the way many Christians raised their children.

      Although making up stories about imaginary people and making your children believe them seems fun and cute, what happens when they begin to realize that Santa isn’t real, and start to question the other people you encourage them to believe in?

      It isn’t a huge leap of logic for a child to begin wondering if what Mama and Papa say about God is real when they know that sometimes grownups just make believe supernatural entities (like the Easter bunny) are real.

      And as for nonreligious families, it is important for children to trust their parents on issues of ethics and morality. If you want to teach your children that lying is not a game, then you shouldn’t make it one, yourself.

  4. I think there is a big difference between lying to our children and telling a few “untruths”.

    Personally, I don’t lose one bit of sleep allowing my children to believe there is a Santa Claus or an Easter Bunny. The time will come soon enough when they will realize the truth about these things, but for now, when they are small, I feel they deserve those childhood fantasies. I never held it against my parents for “lying” to me about Santa Claus. In fact, as an adult I appreciate how far out of their way they went to keep the spirit alive for me at Christmas,

    As for the pants question, I love this reply – “I don’t know, I’d have to see you without the pants on.” Too funny! Thanks Corey for that perspective!
    Kelly @ Mom’s Kitchen Gadgets´s latest post: Big Guys- Little Guys and Guy Fieri Knives

    • I don’t allow my children to believe in Santa, Easter Bunny, and the like. For me the spirit of Christmas is the story of Jesus being born and the importance of giving to others out of love the way that God chose to give Jesus to us. Teaching my children anything else is a lie. A lie, untruth, half lie, white lie it’s all sin in God’s eyes and wrong. Not something that I’d want to perpetuate in their minds and hearts.

      I try to be as honest as I can be. My problem, however, is doing it in love. I usually have little to no tact. If someone asked me if they looked fat I’d tell them the truth.
      LaToya´s latest post: Tell Your Time

      • Alternately, you could take the opportunity to educate children on where the traditions came from. That the tradition of Santa is founded on Nicholas of Myra who followed Jesus’s teachings by giving to the less fortunate by leaving coins in people’s shoes why we should give to those less fortunate at Christmas. Who in fact was a real person, lived approximately 300 years after Jesus’s death and who is currently buried in Bari, Italy. Or that Easter Eggs were originally dyed red and symbolized the blood of Christ that gave a new life to the world.

        These traditions are not lies or evil or wrong, and Santa and Easter Egss are not necessarily only a secular creations. They were started before education was common as a way for people to grasp ideas that might otherwise be to abstract and complex for common folk to understand.

        • I do explain to my children the background of the concepts of Santa and the like. These days I am hard pressed to find people that are perpetuating those ideas for the holidays. I never hear people speak about a kind hearted man trying to do nice things for those less fortunate than he was. I don’t hear people talking about red eggs representing the blood of Christ. It’s all about what they can get and how much that can get. However, I’m going to disagree with you on the lies and wrongness. Telling my children that a fat man in a suit comes down the chimney (that we don’t have) and leaves gifts under the tree is a lie and is wrong. There’s not getting around that for me. Telling my children that an egg laying bunny rabbit came by in the middle of the night and left them a basket of treats is a lie, plain and simple.

          In my home Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Christ and Easter his death and resurrection. Santa and the Easter bunny and any other fictional character that exists in the world simply do not have a place in my home.

          It’s something that I have to agree to disagree about with many of my friends that allow their children to grow up with these lies. Doesn’t make me better or them worse. Just means that we hold different values and beliefs about those holidays.
          LaToya´s latest post: Tell Your Time

  5. what an interesting question. If asked, I’d say that I’m an honest person. Yet I’m guilty of the “small white lies” told just to spare someone’s feelings or because I’m trying to be helpful instead of hurtful. It’s tough to stop doing that but oh so important.
    Tabitha – From Single to Married´s latest post: Nine

    • I’m guilty of the small white lies too…I’m usually guilty of it when I want to spare someone’s feelings but when I think about it it’s really not necessary because that honest opinion will go so much further…time to do the right thing ALL the time!
      Tina @ Dance Star Mickey´s latest post: Mickey Mouse Costumes

  6. The only honest answer to the pants question I can think of: “I don’t think it’s the pants.” Thanks for the tip, I’ll be sure to be honest next time.

    • surely you jest. let me save you from yourself: do not be honest next time.

      this has got to be on Page 1 of the husband’s handbook, right? The correct answer to the pants question is no. Delivered without a moment’s hesitation.

      • Kate: I wonder about women who ask their husbands that kind of question. Are you asking how the pants look, or are you asking your husband if he thinks you’re attractive?

        My hubby and I have no problem telling each other, “No, that really doesn’t look right on you.” Of course, he has better fashion sense than I do…

        • I was really just kind of kidding around. My husband would of course tell me if something looks funny or unflattering, and I’d be open to hearing it. As for the “do I look fat?” question, for me I don’t think it’s a veiled question of “am I attractive to you?” but maybe for some women it is. I think for me if I said something like that, it would just be borne out of a bit of insecurity about my appearance in general – like in that moment I just need the boost of reassurance of someone telling me “you are not fat, silly!” But I am very fortunate in that deep down, I am accepting of myself (no matter my size), and certainly my husband is accepting of me.

          I was just kidding around, just because I think when a lot of people ask the pants question, they’re just looking for a quick fix of “no!” – an affirmation of what they already believe to be true, that is – rather than a full on analysis of one’s bod or pants. : )
          Kate´s latest post: RAST results

  7. The truth doesn’t need to be an unsolicited opinion. We don’t need to call people out on all details of life. But I do struggle with keeping silent when I should speak up. Such as when someone is telling an off-color joke and I don’t say anything. I choose to not say anything, therefore implicitly giving the impression that I am okay with this type of humor. I wish I had the perfect line, like the pants come back.

  8. I am going to have to call someone today & lie to her. Tell her that we can’t come over for dinner because we have guests. Because we don’t really like her. How could I possibly tell the truth? She’s a cousin to boot.

    • There is a difference between telling the truth and removing the filter between your brain and mouth. I’m not necessarily encouraging the latter.

      Although, if there is something that you don’t like about someone, simply saying no without a reason is still an okay approach. We don’t have to justify our responses all the time.
      Corey´s latest post: Buck Naked Marriage- My new book on the essentials of marriage

      • This seems to me to vary depending on what part of the country you’re from. I’m originally from the Midwest (Nebraska/Iowa) and the custom there is to always offer justification. A “No” without a reason is considered rude and is often met with an inquiry as to why not. However, now that I live in Phoenix, I’ve noticed that “No.” is a perfectly acceptable answer and am training myself to leave it at that because it causes fewer issues down the road. Reasons, justifications or white lies, whatever you want to call them, are often an ingrained part of certain societies and the consequences for forgoing thoes niceities are worse than being caught in a white lie.

  9. I loved that last line (I admit I skipped most of the post looking for that answer). Just perfect.

    I’m more of the tell the truth variety of person (can’t stand lying actually of any form) and it has gotten me in trouble over the years because if asked I tell people the honest truth. I am having to learn how to be mindful of people’s feelings and still be honest. It’s tricky sometimes.

  10. I found your post encouraging.

    As someone who has struggled with truth telling it is an important reminder. Sometimes honesty is more difficult at the beginning, but it makes the day to day much easier when you don’t have all of those alternate threads of half-truths that you are balancing.

    In response to whether we should ask the question about our pants – if we ask, we should be willing to hear the answer.

    My husband told me yes and that I needed to loose weight for my health. He then helped me learn to live a healthier lifestyle and walked my journey with me. I am so much happier because I was able to hear him in his honesty and make the change he challenged me with.

    I now ask – do I look okay today? If he says ‘no’ – I change my clothes because I know he is being truthful and it isn’t about my butt – it’s the pants.

  11. Oooohhh…your answer to that questions was diabolically delicious and probably the only good answer I’ve ever seen posted to this impossible to answer question :)
    Julie @ First Birthday Party Supplies´s latest post: Dinosaur Birthday Party Supplies

  12. What a great point you make! When thinking about living simply, it’s not just about being more organized and green (for example) on the outside, it’s about your inner priorities as well. In fact if you have your inner priorities clear, you probably end up living much more simply and peacefully overall.

    Wait until your kids get older, the “white lies” thing becomes even trickier! One of our family priorities is to not become overloaded with social commitments. With some invitations, however, the response, “We’re already too busy,” just isn’t okay. So I recently had to keep reminding my son, “Remember, we said we couldn’t go to your friend’s family’s party because we have ‘your Dad’s work thing’ at that time.” He says, “What’s Dad’s work thing?” Then I have to explain that we’ve basically just lied and why we did it. (And we have three kids who need to remember these white lies!) Too much!!

    Yet this lie was in support of our family priorities in the first place. It’s all such a gray area, but I’ve recently made a commitment to go the honesty route with these social invitations 90% of the time.

  13. Your last line was funny.
    After 37 years of marriage I have learned to not ask my husband about whether this or that makes me look fat. He will say ‘don’t ask me that’… because he feels like it is a ‘if I tell her they look bad, she feels bad, if I tell her they look good, she may want to buy more.’ I will say ‘how does this look?’ leaving him room to say ‘good or try again’.
    I do think we are supposed to be ‘mirrors’ for each other in a kind way. But to set him up or myself up for a ‘not so good situation’ where he might feel led to ‘lie’ a tiny bit is wrong. I want truth even if it hurts my feelings.

  14. It seems like we try to justify small lies because we think they are a way to spare someone else’s feelings, but I’ve found that my friends (and even family!) are understanding and gracious when we tell them the truth: “We are feeling a little overloaded with commitments and needing some time with just our family.”

    We recently joined a weekly small group at church, and my inclination is to try and come up with a legitamite reason why we can’t be there every.single.week, but my husband pointed out that it’s okay to say, “Look, weekly is too much for us, but we’ll do our best to be here twice a month.” Being honest really takes the stress out of those situations.

    Now, avoiding the little lies with my 3 year old… gotta work on that one!
    Alissa´s latest post: Brain Dump

  15. I think it is unfair to ask a question when you know the answer or there is one answer you want to get…

  16. Ooh, I totally lie to my child that a store is closed. I’ve started trying to say something a little more honest, like, We can’t go in that store now. He might think it’s closed (he’s 2 – the difference between closed and it not being the time to visit a stor is too nuanced) but what I’m saying is true.

    As for the pants – I never, ever ask that of my husband. I take a girlfriend shopping if I want the truth of how things fit. As for my husband, I ask if he likes something and I believe him when he says he loves parts of my body that I don’t like – and I try to value his opinion more than my own. I mean, isn’t he the best judge of what parts of me are sexy? Even if I don’t like my butt!

  17. Generally, my top priority for clothes is comfort, not style. If something is comfortable and makes me feel good while I wear it, then I don’t care how it looks (really – I wore a school uniform for 12 years – I couldn’t care less about style). However, when I do want my husband’s opinion on a style, I ask “What do you think about this top?” Then he can say – looks nice, or “its weird” (which it usually is because I’m style challenged due to the uniform business). As a person with an actual weight issue, it would be stupid for me to ask him if something makes me look fat because that’s the way my body is! Rather, I ask about the style, the color and if he likes it because then we are just talking about the facts of the shirt…not what’s underneath.

  18. I don’t understand what’s wrong with a white lie. There is a time and place for them.

    Holiday traditions are traditions in my book and not white lies. If your child asks you a direct question about the tradition, then that means that the tradition needs to change. For instance – in my family, once the tradition of Santa as the magical gift bringer for whom we left cookies out for ran its course (and by that I mean, when my brother and I started asking about Santa), “Santa” (aka Mom) started bringing socks and underwear (both the outrageous and the practical). Everyone got new socks and underwear in our stockings – including my mom – and we all would unwrap our “Santa” gifts and laugh hysterically and make a big deal out of thanking “santa”. Now Underwear on the head pictures are just as much part of our Christmas tradition as the wide-eyed child on Christmas morning pictures were when we were younger. This all could be considered “white lies” but I don’t.

    And, in my opinion, a minor white lie to preserve the peace in a relationship is fine. I feel no remorse when I tell my Aunt that we can’t come to dinner because we have a prior engagement. The truth is that I don’t feel like driving 60 miles one way (I live in Phoenix, its a big city) for 2 hours of dinner and then to drive back or get a hotel on the other side of the city. I’d just rather stay home and watch TV, thanks. Yeah – that wouldn’t fly. She would be hurt beyond repair and so would our relationship. Or how do I tell my kid’s friend that wasn’t invited to a party, that my child can’t play with them because he’s going to a party from which this other child was excluded? Or do I tell my child that he can’t go to the party unless everyone is invited? How do I know what the party thrower’s intentions are? Maybe they’re financially strapped and they had to limit the size of the party? Maybe this other kid has been mean to the party host? Its none of my business why my child was invited and the other one wasn’t. And asking would put the party host in a position of either needing to tell me a lie (which wouldn’t be right) or telling me a truth that really isn’t my concern.

    However, when it REALLY matters, …when a friend or family member is truly seeking advice or counsel, or doesn’t really matter to the relationship and is wanting an honest opinion…then OF COURSE I would tell the truth. Even if its finding the nicest way possible to tell my best friend or husband that their new haircut really isn’t flattering or asking if they could use some gum because their breath is stinky. I would want them to do the same for me.

    • Thank you Elissa for putting some reality into this question! For the commenters who wondered what kind of people kids become when they are told that there is a Santa, the answer is, generally they grow up to be productive, happy members of society. They don’t turn into pathological liars or serial killers. And oh my God, they may even perpetrate the lie further by telling their OWN kids that there is a Santa! The tragedy of it all!

      C’mon people, absolute honesty in all circumstances can have disastrous consequences. I had a very wise philosophy professor say once, “Dishonesty is as valuable as honesty.” He was absolutely right. Telling a 2 year old that a store is closed so you can retain your sanity and get home on time to put the kid down for a nap is way more important than arguing with an unreasonable toddler as to why he/she can’t have a certain toy.

      I am generally an honest person. I don’t lie when it comes to the big stuff, but if I have to tell a small white lie to spare the feelings of someone I love, then I’m going to do it. And I’ll likely teach my kids the same thing. I don’t consider myself a liar; I consider myself a realist.

      I think sometimes people use honesty as an excuse to be mean. Answering a question with absolute honesty where you know the answer will hurt someone, and then using the excuse “I’m only being honest” is crap. It’s also a sign of immaturity.

      • I agree. Maybe we had the same philosophy professor. LOL! :)

        I think there is a lot of truth to the expression “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” However, some people might consider this a lie of omission. To use another common phrase, to be fully honest is to “Tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”

        If you don’t consider staying silent a lie of omission. Consider this – if you ask your teen if they went some place where you had expressly forbidden them to go (ie a party) and they say “no” but fail to mention that they went to another party without telling you where they were, is this a lie?

        Or if you ask your 8 year old if he kicked his sister and he says “no” but fails to mention that he in fact, pinched her. Is this a lie?

        I would say yes on both of those. To be fully honest would mean that you can’t just not say something because its mean or it would hurt someone’s feelings. Therefore, in order to live in society, preserve relationships and play well with others, sometimes white lies and keeping silent when the only thing that will come of something is hurt feelings is necessary

    • Why can’t you just say that your kid can’t go play? Is little Johnny really going to demand an answer about why your son isn’t coming over? Aunt Jane would probably get over her disappointment if you said you weren’t going to make it on Thursday for dinner. Why the need to make up an elaborate story?

      I totally get the whole Santa thing…just not getting the need to lie to save people’s feelings. Maybe fewer words would be better.

  19. I agree, we should be 100% honest, especially in marriage. If I had one piece of advice to give to dating couples who are planning on marriage, it would be- tell him/her everything. It was a huge turning point in my (now) husband and my relationship to trust him with things I had never told another person. It established the precedent from then on- if I was able to trust him with the most private parts of my heart, then why couldn’t I trust him to tell the truth in love about my pants, gross dinners and bad attitudes?
    But I still struggle with this in my other relationships, I’m too much of a people pleaser. I want everyone to like me and the fear of hurting someone’s feelings and then rejecting me pushes me to “white” lie. I tell myself its for them but really its for me. And each time I do it, I feel like I’ve disrespected myself more.
    So now I know what I have to do- tell the truth to everyone in love.
    Rhiannon´s latest post: Happy Halloween

  20. Well, I am a cut to the chase – practical person and honesty is the utmost of importance to me. It is all about integrity and knowing who/what you stand for. If I asked my husband a question and he didn’t give me his honest answer I would be crushed. Yes, honesty hurts at times, but I would rather have the comfort knowing that I could trust his word 100% no matter what. How will I know when/if he isn’t telling me the truth?

    Great topic and stir of conversation here – as always- nice job Corey!

  21. I’ve never asked that question before, however, I do ask the “which one do you like more” This way you get an honest opinion without getting your feelings hurt.

  22. When I became and parent and joined the great holiday conspiracy that lies to small children about magical beings that bring them presents, I found it difficult. My kids are very smart and as they would ask questions, then you are adding lie upon lie. By the time my son was 7, he determined that Santa was receiving royalies for his likeness on all the products at Christmas and that is how he funded his workshop….which actually just wrapped presents because they were all stamped “Made in China”. Believe you me, I was thankful when the kids didn’t believe any more. Honesty is always the best policy.
    Michelle Saunderson´s latest post: Christmas is Fast Approaching- Gotta Get My Christmas Mojo

    • That is so funny! You son is one smart cookie : )

    • Then, everyone who happily believed is stupid? Please. My husband happily believed in Santa and he has a PhD and is a university prof to prove that he’s rather smart. Seven is the age most kids figure it out, thanks to other kids with older siblings at school.

  23. I agree that honesty leads to simplicity and that it would be so much easier to just say the truth all the time, but I find that certain social codes almost oblige you to lie from time to time. E.g. how to tell someone that you just don’t have the energy to contribute to their charity event? We don’t want to look like we don’t care and don’t want to hurt other people’s feelings. It’s a difficult balancing act for me… Any advice?
    Alison´s latest post: Happiness Top 10 – What Money Can’t buy

    • Just because it’s a social code doesn’t mean you should still avoid the truth. What if rather than making some other excuse you simply stated what you said above? You could even add to it your support of their endeavor and hope for success.
      Corey´s latest post: Buck Naked Marriage- My new book on the essentials of marriage

      • I don’t see how you can give a fully honest reply without risking hurt feelings. Saying “I don’t have the energy to contribute to your charity event” implies that you don’t care. If you cared and it was important and you valued whatever service the charity provides, you would find the energy to do it. The fully honest answer is “I’m sorry, that cause isn’t important enough to me to rearrange my other priorities to contribute.”

        • While you should never intentionally hurt someone’s feelings, going around constantly being worried about everyone’s feelings is just not healthy. The reality is that we do all have priorities and that we need to live our lives in such a way that our time and money are aligned to our values and priorities. I recently had to tell a friend that we weren’t going to buy tickets to a charity event because we were saving aggressively for work to be done to our house. I often turn down invitations with the explanation that we have a number of other commitments that week/month and need some down time at home.

          It may make you feel better temporarily to “lie” about something but I’ll say from personal experience that I feel more freedom being honest (in a kind way) and that my friends seem to appreciate and respect it.

          • But you still felt you had to justify why you didn’t contribute. You didn’t just say no. My financial situation, and what I do and don’t do with my money is none of anyone’s business.

          • I frequently simply say, no thanks but thanks for asking. In this case, it was a close friend and I wanted her to know that I would have loved to have gone (genuinely) but had other priorities. I feel like my close family and friends deserve more than a “no” not because I need to justify my decision but because I think an explanation is more polite.

  24. I would say, “Well, what do YOU think? Do you FEEL fat in them?” Let them answer their own question. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, No?
    Jimi Ann´s latest post: How to Bless our Children

  25. Great post and great comments (as always). I think the goal is gracious honesty. If someone asks me if something makes them look fat and it does, I typically say something along the lines of “I think your blue dress is more flattering.” I can understand how someone gets caught off guard and can’t think of anything gracious to say and therefore resorts to a “white lie” but I’m troubled by the number of people who claim to often lie to their kids. Not talking about Santa Claus here. Lying to your kids to keep the peace (i.e., store is closed, they’re out of chocolate ice cream) is just not good parenting. It’s lazy and dishonest.

    • You must be a much better person that I am to have the time and patience to explain to a 3 year old for the 10th time that day why we are not going to the store or why we don’t eat only cookies. Or do you just do the “because I said so” routine?

      • I do the same thing with my 3 yr old that my parents always did with me. I explain why we aren’t going to the store and if she asks again, I take a deep breath and calmly ask her what my answer was the first time she asked. She repeats whatever I had responded and I say that it’s still the answer. She isn’t allowed to whine so she’s learned that unless she wants to sit in her room by herself, it’s better for her to drop it.

        I think time and patience (both extremely challenging to practice!) are really the foundation for parenting. If you don’t take the time to teach them it isn’t okay to whine about eating cookies and exhibit the patience to stand your ground, you’re going to end up with a very unpleasant 16 year old one day.

        • Once when my 2 year old son wanted to go to a particular restaurant for breakfast, my husband just blurted out that we couldn’t because it had burned down. The next time we passed the restaurant, we remarked that it had been rebuilt.

          That same son is now 14 years old and we told him long ago (when he was at an age where he could understand reasoning but I can’t remember how old) and now we laugh about it. And my son is NOT an unpleasant teenager. He’s a great kid who tells the truth.

          So in this case, our “lazy” parenting has provided us with a fun story to laugh about with our family.

          With all of your parenting wisdom, Chantal, feel free to explain that one to me. Neither YOU nor anyone else here with young children have any right to predict how other people’s children will turn out when you’re still dealing with irrational toddlers.

          Preach to me till you’re blue in the face. I’ve been there, done that, and so far (and I qualify that because I’m not going to take anything for granted), my children are growing up just fine.

          • Oh, and after giving a valid explanation to my kids now (and when they were younger) about why we/they can’t do something, I ALWAYS resort to “Because I said so.” Why? Because that’s my HONEST answer.

          • pkzcass, Your subsequent response seems to indicate that the “restaurant burned down” incident was likely an isolated one so you don’t appear to be in the group who are glib about lying to their kids rather than being honest and facing an unpleasant reaction.

  26. While I see your point, there also sometimes comes a point where the child is in the gray area between asking legitimately why – “Why can’t we go down the toy isle?” “What did I say the first time?” “Because we are in a hurry to get home and make dinner. But it will only take like two seconds.” And at this point it seems to me you can 1) repeat your question to no end and be in a loop. 2) say “what did I say the first time? That’s my final answer and I don’t want to hear another word about it or your going to time out.” which is equivalent to saying “because I said so.” or 3) say “they don’t have any toys today.” and end the conversation.

    Now some would consider option 3 to be dishonest – which it is. Some would consider 2 to be lazy – which it is because there is no reason you can’t go with option 1 until you’re out of the store.

    I’m not saying any of these options are wrong because I would do all three…just depends on my mood and the situation. But don’t tell someone their parenting style is “not good,” “lazy” or “dishonest” because its not what you would do.

    • Honesty isn’t subjective. The lazy part is my personal opinion, not because it is or isn’t what I would do but because it’s taking the easy/lazy way out.

  27. Just last night, I asked my husband to comment on the recent improvements I’ve been making to my figure (all of my working out has FINALLY started to pay off). And he responds with, “Well, I didn’t really notice because you always look that good to me.” I’m not sure if I should take this as a compliment or a convenient excuse for not noticing. ;)

  28. Corey,
    I just have to say that I love the answer that you supplied for the men reading this. Too funny.
    Bernice
    Living the Balanced Life´s latest post: What’s on your mind

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