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03/11/2014 09:01 am ET | Updated Mar 11, 2014

The 6 Worst Lies You Can Tell Your Grandkids

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SPECIAL FROM Grandparents.com

We all lie a little. According to a 2012 study at the University of Notre Dame, Americans tell an average of 11 lies each week.

While some of these are harmless ("It wasn’t me who ate the last cookie!"), lies about bigger issues can be damaging, especially to children. “When you’re deciding whether to lie or not, you should think, ‘What is the message I really want to be sending about death, difficult times, and more complex areas of life?’” says Jeannie Bertoli, Ph.D., Relationship Expert and Counselor.

Before you address one of these "hot button" issues, always talk to the child's parents first and confer with them on how to broach a topic and what to say. Defer to them for age-appropriate explanations. “The discussion will facilitate a bond between parents and grandparents in an egalitarian way,” says Martin Novell, Psychotherapist and Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles.

Read more from Grandparents.com:
6 Family Stories to Tell Your Grandchildren Again and Again
How to Be the Favorite Grandparent
8 Great Ways To Surprise Your Grandkids

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