When kids are little, they think you know everything. You hold the answers to all their questions, leading them believe you are a walking, talking source of endless knowledge. If they want to know where carrots come from — boom! — you have the answer. When they ask why they can't play at the park in the middle of the night, you always have something brilliant to say. Little does your precious angel know, that sometimes you take certain liberties with these answers, because there are things you can lie to your kid about based on their age that are more innocent than harmful.
Sure, parents do a lot of preaching about being honest and always telling the truth, but every mom and dad knows that sometimes little white lies just happen. Sometimes it's to survive: Only five more minutes, you promise the whining child who keeps asking when you'll get to your destination. Other times, it's just plain fun.
Whether the things you lie about to your kids are big or small, as long as it's all in good fun, one day you can look back together an laugh. Just remember, each age allows for different levels of fibs, so keep these ideas in mind when bending the truth.
Your sweet little dumpling will believe anything you say at this age. I consider this the perfect time to start gently influencing them with some selective truths, such as:
- You will never love anyone more than you love Mommy.
- Bath time and bed time are super fun.
- Sleeping all night in your crib will make you big and strong.
As your small toddler is discover more of her world, she will begin to talk and start asking the dreaded, "why?" one hundred times a day. Use this time to pass on these perfectly (somewhat truthful) answers to that resounding why.
- Because if we don't leave the park now we won't be able to find our house in the dark.
- Because vegetables make you smarter than all the other kids.
- Because pooping on the potty is the coolest thing ever.
This is age can be fun and demanding all at the same time. This is phase when kids discover the phrase, "look at me," and beg you to watch them every minute. Don't worry of you have to lie a little to break away from the never ending show.
- I can't watch right now, I'm reading a very important article.
- My eyes are taking a break from looking for the next hour.
- I really want to watch you color that picture, but I have to take the trash out for the next 30 minutes. Sorry.
Your 4-year-old is making observations about her world and curious about more and more things. When the questions start coming, don't beat yourself up if you need to stretch the truth a bit.
- No, I didn't eat the last chocolate bar — I think the fairies took it.
- Yes, fairies are totally real.
- Of course we can go on a fairy hunt and catch one to keep at home.
Your little one is now in the world of kindergarten and the exposure to new things has piqued her curiosity. But she is still young enough to convince that you still have all the answers.
- The tooth fairy knows you lost a tooth because she has an app for that.
- I know when you're lying because you start blinking faster.
- If you don't stop throwing a fit, I'm going to call your teacher.
Not much is better than being six years old. You can ride a bike without training wheels, play outside without mom hovering so much, and start to ask lots and lots of tough questions to your parents. But somehow, mom always knows what to say.
- Santa only brings presents to kids who believe.
- You have to ride in a booster seat until you're 100 pounds. Don't blame me, it's the law.
- Oh that? It's chicken. Just eat it.
You can have a lot of good times with your 7-year-old — they are starting to get sarcasm but still possess enough innocence to be endearing. And they are also still pretty gullible.
- Sorry, Target/Toys R Us/Barnes N Noble is closed right now.
- The factory ran out of that toy you wanted, guess you'll need to choose a less expensive one.
- Nope, I'm all out of cash. Sorry you can't buy anything from the ice cream truck.
Things start to get a little tricky around this age, since kids' BS meters start to pick up on your shenanigans. This is the point when you need to up your game and become really convincing.
- I'm going to need to call the police if you ride your bike in the street again, because it is against the law.
- If you're not in the car in two minutes, I am leaving without you.
- Oh that old toy you're looking for? Don't you remember it broke?
Now your child is transitioning closer to double digits, and starting to get the sense that they know a good amount about their world. But you can always keep them on their toes with some little gems here and there.
- I know you don't like homework, but homework likes you.
- Don't your remember, you love vegetables. Yes, you do.
- If you don't start wearing deodorant, you'll be known as the stinky kid.
These kids are the kings of the elementary school and dipping their toe in the sea of know-it-all attitudes. Time to start beating them at their own game.
- Oh, I know what goes on at school. Your teacher emails me updates all the time.
- I have hidden cameras installed in our home so I always know what's happening when I'm not watching.
- Let me think about it. (When the answer is definitely "no.")
Your lovely child has officially reached that age where they no everything and you know nothing. The jig is up, and they have you figured out. But if you want to give it one last ditch effort, here are a few lines worth trying:
- It's illegal to start dating before age 18.
- I had a GPS tracking advice installed in all your shoes.
- I totally understand how to do your homework, but if I help you, that's cheating.