Discussion time, class!
The general question is; how much should children be told the truth?
Is it ever the right thing to lie to a child? Give them a positive falsehood.
Is it ever the right thing to withhold the truth from a child, without outright lying? Obscure a negative truth.
Is it right to tell them you are certain about something that you really know is completely uncertain to you?
Should the information a child can access on its own be restricted?
Does the answers to these questions depend on specific age? Is it "yes" for a 5 year old, but "no" for a 10 year old? When is the line crossed?
I have a number of complaints about the way my parents raised me, but I liked their handling of information. They did not give me a philosophical or ideological agenda, they answered the questions I asked, and they almost did not restrict me from any information. I still remember when I was about six or so, and I asked mom "what's a prostitute?", because I just heard the word. She says "It's someone that has sex for money". "Okay", and off I went, back to my business.
I'm going to go even beyond my parents and make the radical proposal that a child should receive any and all information that it inquires for, as accurately as can be done (you can't spend all day explaining everything in minute detail, unfortunately).
I tend to think that there is no such thing as bad knowledge (of course, I am open to any cost-benefit analysis to the contrary). I think that keeping the truth from a child simultaneously leaves them vulnerable to the harshness of the real world, and starves their critical thinking abilities (on the bright side, their inclination to think critically might sky rocket if they learn what a huge liar you are, but I think that's a bad way to go about it).
What say you?!