Ask Grainne | Honesty in Kids

Need parenting advice that doesn’t read like you joined a new age cult? Ask Grainne for the unvarnished truth about modern Irish parenting.

Dear Grainne

Honesty in Kids

I’m not saying “kids ruin your life” but my child just told her entire class of senior infants that I need to pluck my chin hairs and dye my hair. ‘Look, look at the top of her head and you can see the white hair just starting to grow.’

Let’s not even start on the time she asked Mrs. O Malley ‘are you a witch? Because my Mum says you are.’  Or when she ratted us out to her teacher at school when the hubby and I went on an early Easter break. ‘Oh no I wasn’t sick, I was in Portugal.’  (Don’t judge Grainne, I know school is important but seriously she is in senior infants, they mainly play all day and the flights were 50% cheaper the week before the holiday break).

So, while I admire my little one’s sense of burning honesty, I feel the time has come to introduce her to the art of silence.  How to basically create some mystery about her life by not revealing everything to her classmates and teacher during their morning ‘my news segment.’ 

(seriously who thought ‘my news’ was a good idea, who? It just encourages little kids to spy on their parents).

Yours mortified Mum.

Dear mortified Mum,

The ability to lie is a sign of intelligence but unfortunately, children don’t always understand when it should be used.

There is only one reason for “news time” in schools. That is to spy on parents.  So, teachers can judge you at the school gate and gossip about your excessive drinking, your arguments, and whether or not you wash your sheets once a week. 

Your only way of dealing with this now that the cat has been let out of the bag is to feed your child the most far-fetched stories you can think of for their “news”.

Let them go into school and tell teacher their grandad is a space alien. That you are the president. That Donald Trump is his uncle. (Yes, I know, it sent shivers down my spine writing it!)

You need to make them as wild as you can so the teacher believes your child has a wild imagination OR is a compulsive liar. That way they will not know what to believe and what not to.

Don’t worry too much though, another couple of years and no one will be able to get a word out of them!

Dear Grainne

Selective hearing and kids

My wife thinks I am over reacting but I have been noticing that lately, our son doesn’t come to me when I call him. He also won’t pick his clothes off the floor when asked or do any small chores. I think it’s his hearing. 

I checked with his teacher at school and he noticed the same thing. He occasionally zones out when the teacher is talking, and, occasionally when called on, he blankly ignores Mr. O Brien.

My wife thinks I am crazy. As a demonstration, she whispered the word ‘ice cream’ when we were talking about this in the kitchen. Sure, enough our son instantly appeared. She thinks our son ignores me and his teacher unless he deems what we are saying is of interest to him. I think she just got a lucky break on the ice cream. Maybe our kid was just passing the kitchen and came in by chance?

Either way, I think I am fully in the right to insist we get his ears checked.

Yours ignored Dad.

Dear ignored Dad,

Yes, you could go off and spend money on a hearing test to confirm what your wife clearly knows. Your child ‘suffers’ from selective hearing.

You know it runs in families? Have a think about it! How often do you respond instantly when asked to do something? Or even more frustratingly say “yes sure” when a request is made, without actually listening to what it was. Then insist you were never asked in the first place? I’ll give you a few examples just in case.

1 Will you put down the toilet seat?

2 Will you bring out the bin?

3 Will you pick up your eldest from school? (I’ll send you the address on Google Maps)

4 Will you put cotton buds in the bin after use?


5 Will you get …. From the attic?

6 Will you stick on a wash?

7 Will you think of some of this stuff all by yourself, so I don’t have to keep asking?

Best of luck at the audiologist, maybe they will do a 2 for 1.

About Grainne: Proudly known as a bitch by her nearest and dearest. Surprisingly still married to the father of her three, only slightly dysfunctional children. Has opinions about everything.

*Disclaimer Grainne is not qualified in any way to answer your problems. She doesn’t do feedback but if you want you can leave a comment below or email her at [email protected] We can almost certainly guarantee you she will NOT get back to you, but, one of her cousins who helps her might. Alternatively, you can stalk them directly Twitter: @Triona_Campbell or @KearneyRoisin or both.