Is it truthful to lie to our children in their stories?

I remember when I once attended a class with my daughter, and as I watched, and listened, to their music lesson for the day, the teacher started to tell a very fascinating story:
She told us about a man, named Pyotr Tchaikovsky, who one day went on a walk in a forest. It was a swan lake near his house, and it was at this area Pyotr walked, when he saw a swan came flying, and landed in the lake. It was so elegant, and it made some moves, all of them beautiful, when it suddenly died. When she told about the last point in the story, she gracefully made the moves of a swan, who put its head down over the wings.
“And therefore” she said, “he hurried home, and wrote the ballet “Swan Lake”.

After the lesson, I was filled with wonder and amazement from both the story and the music, and I walked up to the teacher to give her a compliment. I told her that although I had studied music myself, this was a fact that I never knew, and, up until now, I never remembered the person who made Swan Lake. The teacher smiled back at me. Then she told me that it was a story that she made along the way. That it was a fact that Tchaikovsky lived in a house near a swan lake, and that is was probably because of this that he got inspired to write Swan Lake, but the walk, and his witness of the dying swan was a story she made up herself. “But,” as she said, “we never know. It may have happened, it may not. The scene with the dying swan in the ballet is, in any case, a true wonder, and something that inspired me to make the story. So maybe it is true after all?”

The wonder, the way I finally remembered the composer of “Swan Lake”, as I told the teacher; “I will always, from now on, remember that it was Tchaikovsky that wrote the ballet, just because of your little remarkable story!” made me think about lying, or “twisting the truth, just a little”, and my feelings towards this.

When I grew up, I always felt cheated when I realized that a truth in my world was, in fact, a lie. It felt like the person who lied, really didn`t care about my well-being, or my self development. It was always like this huge disappointment, right down to my most secret little self. I felt abandoned, and left to myself, and that is why I don`t like to lie in a story. At least, not up until now.

Well, what can I say, I HAVE been writing on a story about an alien who comes to our planet because he wants to taste chocolate, but for me, this is fantasy. It is NOT the same as to consciously lie in a story, or to tell a myth like a true story when you know it is a myth. Especially to children.


But what about the wonder it gives us? What about the feeling the teacher`s story left me with? Doesn`t this count as something? The fact that Tchaikovsky may, or may not have been witnessing the swan’s death, doesn`t matter, does it? Cause we will never know anyway.

My daugther has been having problems with bad dreams lately. Tonight she asked me if she could get a thing that took her dreams, just like her best friend had. When we understood that she talked about a dreamcatcher, my husband went up to my office and took down mine. And we told her what we had learned about it. When she went to bed later on, she was very relieved, a lot lighter, and happy.

Should I tell her the truth? And what is the truth in this case? The power of our thoughts are a lot bigger than I think we ever can imagine! Why not give her that strength, just for now?

The teacher continues to tell little stories of people who once lived on a place here or there, and the pupils are really aware when she tells them, and they remember a lot more, too.

And I do remember who wrote the beautiful music in Swan Lake.

This, I have to think more about.

In the meantime, I would really recommend this video:


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