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I recently had a conversation with my four year old about having a “filter”. Basically, four year olds don’t have one. At all. But they are kind of starting to develop one. A little.

Little Man and I were in his bed reading a book at bedtime and this is how our conversation went:

Him: Mom? I have to tell you something but I’m going to whisper it.

{whispers} Your breath smells pretty bad.

Me: Sorry, I haven’t brushed my teeth yet.

Him: {no longer whispering} I mean, it actually smells really bad. It’s terrible. It smells like cheese. But not, like, rotten cheese. Just like regular cheese. And, I mean, I like regular cheese? Just not from your breath.

Me: I’m sorry my breath smells like cheese. Why did you whisper that to me?

Him: Because I didn’t want you to feel bad that your breath smells like cheese.

Me: Well then why did you tell me at all? You don’t have to tell people things that you think might hurt their feelings.

Him: But I’m not supposed to lie!

Me: It’s not lying if you just don’t say it at all.

Him: It’s lying if I say it smells like something good like cookies? But that’s a lie because it actually smells like cheese?

Me. Yes, that would be lying. But not saying anything is not lying if you are trying not to hurt the other person’s feelings.

I could almost see the wheels turning in his little blond head.


Read the rest here


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