By Jolene Ewert
Parenting doesn’t come with a manual and there's no special course or training you can take to prepare you for the challenges you'll face as the leader of a household. Sometimes we make it up as we go along, and that's okay. Every parent tells a lie or two to their kids every now and again to protect their own sanity.
Little white lies don't hurt anyone as long as you don't get caught, and your kids won’t need years of psychological help from hearing lies if what you say isn't damagingly untrue. As parents we want to avoid tantrums, meltdowns or hurt feelings and sometimes the only way to do that is with lie.
Here are the top 20 whoppers parents tell their children, see if any you've told your kids are in here!
19 “I never would have done that when I was a kid!”
Yes you would. You did, and probably much worse. We want our kids to be saints and follow our example. Do as I say and not as I do, or did.
18 “I wasn’t eating anything.”
Once you have a kid, you will never enjoy candy or cookies in peace again. You are always forced to share (because caring is sharing). So, we sneak and hope we don’t get caught. If we do, deny, deny, deny.
17 “You did a great job!”
Whether it’s a drawing you can't quite make out what the heck it is or a wreath made out of macaroni, we tell kids they're awesome! If we told them the truth about their art, it would probably send them straight to therapy.
16 “If you don’t wear your hat, you will catch a cold!”
No, actually you will just be cold. Catching a cold comes from viruses. So, if you don’t wash your hands, you will catch a cold.
15 “We’re almost there!”
We have all experienced those never-ending car rides in the smoldering heat. The whole car is reeking of body odor and McDonald’s remnants. You still have 200 miles to go and the dreaded “Are we there yet?” comes from the backseat. So, we give them false hope for the next 50 miles.
14 “We’re going to bed too.”
Bedtime can become a great debate. Kids are always surprised when bedtime rolls around. They think if everyone is going to bed they won’t miss the excitement. Good enough.
13 “If you keep making that face, it will freeze that way!”
Sometimes we just can’t stand the cross-eyed, tongue sticking out mug anymore. Mothers had to find a way to get their kids to knock it off, so they started telling this lie. Once kids start getting a little older though, they LIKE the idea that their face could stay that way forever so this one has the potential to backfire.
12 “I don’t know.”
Once our children enter that why, why, why phase, we grow tired of the long, drawn out explanations. Sometimes we honestly don't have the answers. Beware: your kids will turn this around and use it on you when you ask “Who broke that vase?”
11 “Maybe we can come back another day.”
It’s been a long day at the theme park or play park. When you call your kids to come they start to whine, rather than create a scene, you give your little ones false hope that you may return soon.
10 “I didn’t bring any money with me.”
The ice cream truck, a candy bar at the store, girl scouts selling cookies; all these things can add up. In my case, I’m actually not lying. I didn’t bring any money because I really don’t have any! (starving author) Time to take the piggy bank to the coinstar again.
9 “I can tell when you’re lying!”
Not always, but they don’t know that. Good thing they can’t tell when YOU’RE lying. This is another lie that will backfire as your children get older. When they realize that you can't really tell when their lying, you're in for big trouble.
8 “Sitting too close to the TV will ruin your eyes!”
C’mon now, it’s not that extreme. But, to ensure our kids see the sunshine now and then, we scare them into going outside.
7 “It won’t even hurt!”
This one often gets told at the dentist or the doctor’s office. It will hurt, especially on a kid’s pain measurement scale. You could try telling your kids the truth, “It'll hurt like hell, but it'll save you from rubella,” but it's just not as convincing.
6 “Try it, you’ll like it!”
No, they won’t. But as parents we feel it’s our duty to get our kids to try new things. Telling them it will taste like chicken gets them to at least try a bite. Smothering broccoli in cheese doesn’t change the flavor, but cheese adds the illusion that it will taste different.
5 “I’m leaving without you!”
This is another great motivational tactic to get your child to move in the direction you want. Of course we aren’t really going to leave our kids at the mall. But I have exited the store and made them wonder for a few minutes.
4 “Santa Claus is watching you!”
I guess you could get off on a technicality with this one. Santa
is watching because I’m Santa. And Santa is not impressed right now.
4. “I guess I’ll have to give your toys to someone else who will take good care of them.”
When Barbie is missing a limb or the John Deere truck has a big dent in the side, we start to wonder what these kids are doing with their toys. In an effort to save the toys from further destruction (and our wallets too) we make an idle threat.
3 “No, I haven’t seen your dolly.”
Well, I haven’t. Not since I threw it out anyway. After being drug through the dirt, ran over with the wagon and dropped in the toilet, dolly was getting pretty ragged. It was time for her to retire.
2 “I’ll be there in a minute!”
We have good intentions, but a minute turns into 10, then 20…If only we had more minutes during the day! Before we actually get there, they've fallen back asleep, or they yell out 5 more times until
we finally arrive to battle the monsters under the bed.
1 “It’s past your bedtime.”
Alright, it’s actually 2 hours before his bedtime. But, I can’t take anymore today and he can’t tell time.