Whether they’re threats that we resort to that we know we are never going to carry out or whether they’re downright blatant lies, we all seem to fib to our children at some point.
Some of the lies are for their protection, others are to try and redeem some scrap of good behaviour. Lies can also be told simply because we don’t want to do something.
Here are some of the porkies I’ve told my kids:
1) No, that fluorescent / hideous top isn’t in your size unfortunately
I constantly tell this lie to my children whenever we are clothes shopping. Both my 4 year old and my 2 year old seem to be inexplicably drawn to the craziest, outrageous clothes and shoes, often covered in characters from a certain film or TV programme. They haven’t yet worked out that I’m lying but I’m sure it won’t be long before the eldest figures out that she can read her own age from the hangers and then I’ll be rumbled.
2) Stay here then if you don’t want to put your coat / shoes on
This one has been uttered several times to both girls in an effort to get them out the door. Of course it’s lie of the empty threat kind. I might have several parenting fails under my belt, but leaving my children on their own whilst I go out isn’t one of them.
3) Sorry there’s no chocolate left in the cupboard
A blatant lie which I once told my kids whilst burying my head in the fridge cramming chocolate in my mouth. I consider this a cruel to be kind lie which I mostly use to prevent my 2 year old overdosing on sweet stuff.
4) The TV isn’t working
I first said this lie to my children in the morning of a school holiday day when they were bickering over what to watch. I somehow managed to make the lie last for the entire day but it backfired because by 5pm I was desperate for some peace.
5) If you do that again then I’ll tell Katie’s mummy that they can’t come to play
What a whopper! There’s no way this is going to happen. Seeing Katie’s mummy could well be the highlight of my day. I need to see Katie’s mummy, preferably with a cup of tea and a biscuit and a chat every bit as much as the kids want to play with Katie.
6) If you don’t get ready for bed right now, we won’t have time for a book
I seem to use this lie at least once a week and yet bizarrely the kids haven’t yet realised that I’ve never ever carried out this empty threat. They love having a book before bed as much as I love reading to them. It’s an important part of their bed time routine, it calms them down and it’s important. So it has the desired effect in that they hurry up and get their PJs on, not realising that I will never NOT read a book before bedtime.
7) Father Christmas is watching you
This worked well initially when we told to our eldest daughter 2 years ago back in November or December. But the fact that she goes on about it to our youngest daughter during the months of May or June backfires somewhat. Yes it’s a blatant lie but surely all parents lie to their kids about Father Christmas.
8) We’re nearly there
Who hasn’t said this lie to their children in the car when asked the inevitable “Are we nearly there yet?” My 2 year old often asks me before we get to the end of the road. Surely this little lie is better than telling the truth and saying “No, just another 2 hours to go.” And suffering the resulting meltdown.
9) It tastes just like fish fingers
I seem to frequently lie to my kids about food in a bid to try and get them to eat something other than pasta and cheese. Whilst borne out of desperate measures, in hindsight it’s probably not the best idea. This lie will no doubt scar them from ever eating fish fingers or trying anything else new again.
10) The park / soft play / café is closed
I’ll be honest, I say this lie if I don’t want to go to the park / soft play / café. Mostly it works but occasionally I get rumbled by the 4 year old who likes to point out “But I’ve just seen people going in there.”
11) The Peppa Pig plate/ the purple spoon / the yellow cup are in the dishwasher
A seemingly minor, little lie, but believe me, this one can act as a quick nip in the bud saviour before an almighty row blows up about whose turn it is to eat with the purple spoon.
So there we have it, just some of the lies that I tell my kids.The irony of all this is that if I catch my kids lying, I’ll give them a telling off.
But we all do it don’t we?
We lie to protect them from physical and psychological harm.
We lie for their own good.
We lie because it can very well make the difference between a fairly calm, peaceful existence and one where all hell breaks loose.
So whilst I know that lying is wrong, I can’t promise to stop any time soon.