Honesty is the best policy ... until your child embarrasses you

Aasma Day
Aasma Day

Parents strive to teach their children honesty is the best policy ... but they’re often left eating their words when their little ones blurt out the most embarrassing things in public,

Children say the funniest things, but sometimes their words are hilarious for everyone except their red-faced parent.

A child’s innocence and the way they have no filter is usually endearing and charming.

However, when you’re on the receiving end of their “truthful” outbursts giving total strangers the completely wrong impression, indulgent affection is replaced by an overwhelming desire to sell them on eBay.

For reasons I cannot fathom, children’s words to teachers often indicate their mother is a raging alcoholic who cannot possibly function without copious amounts of wine.

It did make me laugh when I heard about the mortified mum who discovered at a parents evening her seven-year-old daughter had drawn a creative picture of her suffering a bad hang-over.

The ingenious child had sketched her mum lying in bed with a sick bucket and written: “My mummy got sick. She had horrible juices to drink and she needs to rest.”

One colleague revealed when her daughter was at nursery, she was embarrassed to find she’d told the staff her mummy had a bottle of wine in the bath every night.

Another says when she was pregnant with her second child and suffering morning sickness, her toddler airily asked: “Oh, has mummy had too much to drink again?”

When I was a child, my dad warned us off smoking by telling us “only brainless people smoke.” He was left squirming when we walked past a group of smokers and I shouted: “Look at all those brainless people smoking!”

My sister also embarrassed my dad when she accompanied him to a parents evening and her form teacher commented how young her dad looked. “Oh that’s because he dyes his hair” she flippantly said. ”

Children have an exasperating habit of pointing out people who are overweight. When our son was little, we remember being flustered and trying to hush him at a restaurant when he saw an obese man and yelled: “Mummy! Daddy! Has that man got a baby in his tummy?”

Speaking of the facts of life...one friend’s son had recently learnt the basics of sex education at school and when he saw a pregnant woman, he started sniggering and pointing at her before saying: “I know what she’s been doing!”

A pair of our friends were hugely embarrassed when they realised their son had told teachers: “When me and my sister have gone to bed, my mum and dad watch adult films together.” They’d actually been watching thrillers.

Another friend who definitely wants to remain nameless, was left blushing when her loud daughter saw a policeman and shouted: “Look mummy, that policeman’s got handcuffs like the ones you’ve got in your bedroom drawer!”

Luckily, with our children almost teenagers, we can’t wait to get our own back on them for all the embarrassing things they’ve said and done over the years.

Just acknowledging their existence in front of their friends can be embarrassing enough at that age.