Honesty (and some embarrassment)

I have always encouraged Brady to tell the truth – no matter what. He has also always been a typical only child: very rule abiding. While these things are a blessing, they also have gotten a bit embarrassing lately. For example, we were sitting at a local diner, where the booths are very close. We were there with one of his friends and her mom. They got up to go to the bathroom. Brady looked straight ahead and said rather loudly, “mama, I feel really sad for that man.” I looked up and he was talking about a man about 4 feet away from us. I leaned over quietly and sad “Brady, why do you feel sad for that man?” Then Brady looks at him, looks at me, and then back at the man and said “well mama, he is old – – he is soon going to die.”

At this point I wanted to crawl under the booth, instead I just prayed the man didn’t hear him, told Brady (quietly) that I was sure the man was fine and wasn’t going to die, and then quickly asked how his grilled cheese was. Thankfully he didn’t talk about the man again and our friends quickly returned to the booth.

The same week Brady was out to dinner with my parents at a local buffet. My mom took him to the bathroom. Apparently another woman was in the bathroom too. As Brady was washing his hands, the other woman came out of the large back stall and proceeded to the door to leave. My son (the rule abider) yelled: “WAIT LADY, you didn’t wash your hands?” The lady kindly explained that she had washed her hands and there was a sink in her stall. Brady said “well, I didn’t see you wash your hands. Hold on a second and let me check and make sure there was a sink in your potty area.” Thankfully the lady was nice and just smiled as Brady went and inspected the situation. My mom apologized to the lady and talked to Brady about why he shouldn’t ask an adult if he/she washed their hands, etc..

Many times I hear stories about an adult not wearing a helmet on a bike, a seatbelt in a car, or saying a” bad” word. In fact, if I pull into the driveway and unclick my seatbelt before I completely turn off the ignition…. I hear about it from my backseat driver.

While I am glad that Brady is very rule abiding and tells the truth (to everyone), at times I wonder how to tactfully teach him when it is best to whisper his concerns to me (or his grandparents). I guess this is one of the many challenging of parenting: teaching your child to be honest, but also when it is best to say nothing. I guess this is a learned skill. Although I must admit Brady does offer us many funny stories to share and smiles behind our embarrassed faces.

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