No one expects to enter parenthood and start lying up a storm. But sometimes, little white lies are necessary to help you protect your child’s health, reinforce discipline, or just get through the day with your sanity in check. Fortunately, you aren’t alone in your fibs. There are a few lies that all moms tell their kids. It’s in the kids’ best interest most of the time!
Sometimes the lies are imaginative: you make them believe that Santa will totally skip your house this year if they don’t stop whining. Sometimes they’re health-based, such as fibbing about being out of money when they beg for a soda. And sometimes they just happen so you can get your kid from Point A to Point B with as little difficulty as possible.
You can always come clean once the kids are older. And really, by the time they’re old enough to grasp the lies, your kids will probably understand your motivations (and — best case scenario — thank you for these sneaky parenting tactics!). Whoever said that honesty is the best policy probably wasn’t dealing with a wailing toddler. Read on to see the universal ways that moms bend the truth to make parenting a little less stressful.
1"McDonald's Is Closed."
You can convince your children that McDonald's is closed even when it's noon on a Tuesday and there's a line of cars wrapped around the drive-thru window. They are definitely not selling any Happy Meals at this hour.
Of course it's important to explain how the world works to your kids, but when they ask something that would require an exhaustive explanation — such as how computers work — it's often easier to just blame magic. You'll get around to the real story one day.
3"Santa Is Watching You."
Sometimes kids need a little nudge from the superego to keep their behavior in line. By enlisting the help of Santa and company, you can make your kids believe that someone is always keeping tabs on their behavior. You can convince them that Mommy is tapped into an international spy ring populated by magical beings, and that any misbehavior will be noted and reported back. Which is actually kind of cool.
4"We're Out Of Ice Cream."
They don't know. They can't reach the freezer yet. And if your worst secret is a bowl of Rocky Road after the kiddos are in bed, well, that's hardly a vice.
5"I'm Leaving Now."
Of course you'd never leave your kid alone in a store and drive home. But when a temper tantrum is eminent, this threat is usually a quick way to get junior to shape up in a hurry. It's also fine if, for added realism, you whip out your keys and step toward the door.
6"It Won't Hurt!"
Actually, getting shots and going to the dentist do hurt a bit. In fact, a lot of grown adults hype themselves up over these medical necessities. But you may need to fib a bit to your kids to make sure they're calm enough to get through the shot or filling without any incidents.
Runner up: "This liquid medicine doesn't taste bad!" Because we all know it's a spoonful of blerg.
7"I Already Spent My Last Dollar."
I mean, it's going to take a while for your kid to really understand the concept of credit and debit cards. Cash is a lot easier to grasp, and you don't have to bear the burden of denying them whatever they're begging for at the moment.
And in any case, you need to save your money to buy more secret ice cream later.