Lie to Me: Five Lies I’m Proud of Telling My Kids

Parents lie to their children. That’s a fact of life. Some do it better than others, but we all do it. Could you imagine a world where parents were honest with their kids?

“Actually, Timmy, there’s a really, really good chance that you won’t be an astronaut. Considering your complete inability to understand long division, you’re probably going to sell cars when you grow up. Now let’s talk about Santa Claus.”

So we lie. Mostly about the little things. My parents were great at it. The most famous lie my parents ever told their kids happened during a move from Georgia to Texas. My parents told their kids that it was against the law to transport a dog across state lines.

Brilliant. The dog was a pain in the ass, they didn’t want to take him along. I understand this now, and it serves as inspiration for my own suite of lies that I rely on to get through the day.

The key to a good lie, is to lay the blame on a third party. For instance, let’s say you want your kid to wear a jacket. Tell him it’s an order from his pediatrician. “Dr. Love (our pediatrician) says you have to wear a jacket when it’s below 50 degrees. I’m sorry, son, there’s nothing I can do about it.”

We lay a lot of shit on Dr. Love. “Dr. Love says I’m not allowed to carry you on walks anymore. You have to walk on your own. I know, I think it sucks too. We should talk to Dr. Love about it the next time we see him.”

“Dr. Love says you’re big enough now to open the fridge and get daddy a beer…”

You see where I’m going with this. So, here are five lies I’m okay with telling my children.

1. Elmo is sad because you didn’t take a nap. (Simple, effective…no kid wants to disappoint Elmo. You can use that love to your advantage.)

2. Princesses always pick up their toys after they’re done playing. (I’ve never met a princess, but something tells me they don’t spend a lot of time cleaning up after themselves.)

3. Every time you flick the lights on and off, a fairy dies. (Harsh? Sure. But do my kids constantly flick the lights on and off, anymore? No.)

4. We have to leave this park right now, because there are killer bees. (This one works, but it comes with consequences. My kids are really scared of bees now.)

5. Mommy and daddy have a work meeting, that’s why we have to get a babysitter. (There is no work meeting. Mommy and daddy just need three hours of peace and quiet and a meal that doesn’t include french fries. Okay, even that was a lie. We’re totally ordering the french fries.)

So, parents, what are the best lies you tell your children? Or, what lies did your parents tell you as a kid?


316 thoughts on “Lie to Me: Five Lies I’m Proud of Telling My Kids

  1. My brother and I always go Xmas shopping together. We used to tell my son we were going to the “business office!” Sounds very official and boring, doesn’t it?

  2. My parents used to tell me if I didn’t finish my dinner I couldn’t be a member of The Clean Plate Club. Why I cared, or why I never questioned this club that never held a meeting, I will never know, but it worked.

  3. Two lies I am not particularly proud of are: “The dog pooped on the brownies, so no you can’t have one.” Which worked for years until they caught Daddy eating one of the crap covered goodies. “And, we have video cameras all over the house, so don’t even think about doing anything naughty ever.” That was busted when oldest tattled on youngest and asked to show me the video proof.

  4. Homeless people can’t feel the rain.

    If you press your bellybutton your arse will fall off.

    Stick your head out too far and it will go home in another car.

    When the ice-cream van plays music it means it’s out of ice-cream.

  5. “If you play with the electrical sockets, your ears will fall off!” – my eldest sister when I was 3 or 4. I checked for weeks (it seems now, 40 years later) if my ears were still there – it would have been SO embarrassing if they had fallen off so everybody could see I had been playing with the sockets…

    Worked like a charm, though. I stopped then and there.

    (The dumbest thing I ever did was tell my sisters about it when we’d grown up. Now they tease me at every family gathering, in front of their kids and grandkids. 😀 )

  6. Haha I seem to remember my parents using the princess bribe an awful lot…still, I always pick up my room today so it clearly worked!

    Thanks for a funny post!

  7. I remember my Dad telling when I was five; “Don’t touch the stove! When children touch the stove, the devil comes out and eat them! You don’t want to be eaten, do you?” Effective parenting! I was terrified of the stove until I hit my tween years and to this day, Im still eyeing it whenever I pass it. 😀

  8. my mother told me the most effective lie when i was kid. i was a boistreous lil girl who kept falling and then cred like a banshee over my boo-boos…mom said that with every boo i grow a little more. i didnt mind falling down all that much from then on.

  9. My 4-year-old son loved chicken. He hated fish. One night I brought home a family plate from Captain D’s. He had suspicions, but I told him it was Super-Chicken, and he ate every bite.

    • I was the same at that age! I went through a stage when i wouldn’t eat anything but chicken, so any new food was labelled “special chicken” by my parents. I was a very gullible toddler. 🙂

      • It was noted in The Matrix that everything tastes like chicken. Mouse got the reason wrong though, it wasn’t that the computers running the Matrix didn’t have taste buds and therefore didn’t understand how taste works. Everything tastes like chicken because even before the Matrix, (as in real life,) parents would tell their irrationally finicky kids that things they didn’t want to try were “chicken”, in the hopes of getting them to try it.

        So in a sense, those of us who were fed that particular lie by our parents are a little bit wired to misidentify EVERYTHING as chicken. You eat a piece of fish today, knowing it’s fish because you’re at LJS, you ordered fish, it looks like fish, smells like fish, tastes like fish, has a flaky consistency like fish, came on a plate shaped like a fish and included tartar sauce, in a cup on the side, but some little tiny part of your brain, formed dozens of years ago through pseudo-operant conditioning whispers in your father’s voice… “it’s chicken”.

  10. Love the post! While I cant remember any interesting ones from my childhood I can remember my parents trying to lie, but knowing they were lying: “You should stop playing on your computer now or it will melt and you will never be able to play on it again” – I knew they were lying but it didn’t stop me getting a table fan out to keep it cool.

    This took a rather sad twist a couple of years ago when I overclocked my PC and it went pop. Although aged in my mid twenties I should have known better :-S
    I will certainly going to note the lies down though for future use 😉
    Congrats on FP 🙂

  11. I don’t remember any specific lies as listed here, but I do remember that my own mother was incapable of telling us “no” when we asked for something. She always answered “maybe” instead. She felt that it saved her from the pain of seeing our sad little faces. (There were very few times when the answer was “yes.”)

    Trust me, I grew to HATE the word “maybe,” because I realized VERY early on it that meant “no,” and it certainly FELT like I was being lied to each and every time! Children are not as dumb as you think. And as much as I loved my mother, to this day I cringe when someone answers my questions with a “maybe.”

  12. I told them I had eyes on the back of my head and could see what they were doing *all the time*. I said it quite seriously and quietly. Even my 8 year old still believes. It all depends on your tone of voice 😉 And I totally convinced this same kid (when he was 4) that I swallowed his nose when I took it off his face with my fingers. He freaked out. It was HILARIOUS.

    • the eyes at the back of the head one is a classic. I really don’t believe i fell for that. Another one is ‘if food falls on the floor, you can’t eat it again because it belongs to the devil’. don;t know why i never questioned the reason it was just food!!

  13. Every time you whine, a puppy dies. Sadly this one isn’t working and there are theoretically scads of dead puppies everywhere now because of my children.

    Also, my son wants me to snuggle with him until he falls asleep at night. I tell him that I have to go do the laundry because he peed in too many of his pairs of pants today. Sometimes this one is true. I find it useful to weave a little truth into my lies to make them more plausible.

  14. I’m not a parent, and probably never will be. But I have a lot of friends that are, and OH! The things they tell there kids! – Then ask me to follow suit! My favourite of all time is when a friend told his kids that ice cream trucks play the music when they’re OUT of ice cream! 😉

    • Dude, you WILL become a parent. Don’t think of yourself as horrible or that you’re a bad person. Its just that the right girl hasn’t come by. And remember this (I read this at 9GAG but I think its true): If a girl tells you you’re ugly, she wishes you but would be embarassed of you. If a guy tells you you’re ugly, he’s just jealous. But if a kid tells you you’re ugly, you’re ugly. So don’t worry about it, and keep looking. As for the lie about the Ice Cream, its a good idea to keep them from spending their allowance on ice cream because after all, its your money…
      If you can check out my blog. I’m sure it would sound kinda nerdy but I’m gonna improve it. It was made for my Science Class but I’m about to finish my year… So I’m gonna give it a rewind! Keep an eye on it! 😉

      • Thanks javianleu for your kind words and encouragement! I probably never be a parent because it just so happens that I am married, middle aged, and my biologically clock hasn’t started ticking. I have about 5 years left and if it happens it happens if not, eh, I’m not bothered. Good luck with your science blog! 😉

  15. We told our son (around age 5) that you couldn’t get married until after college – it was the law. Then (he was, maybe 7) we made the mistake of mentioning how long since we’d graduated (13 years) on our anniversary (15 years)… He did the math and asked us again – we told him that they changed the rules.

    The funnest one that we still use, though is that when you hiccup, it means you’re growing. Our daughter – now 7 – still repeats this whenever she gets the hiccups.

    • The college lie reminds me of the one I told my son when he was 5 years old. He wanted to know how many years he had to go to school and I told him until he was 30 years old! I never gave him the option of dropping out or just finishing highschool. When he realized the truth it made the time he had left seem shorter too. He is now in college!

  16. My baby is just shy of one year old, so I haven’t yet had the chance to lie to her. After reading this, I’m kind of looking forward to it…

    • When my 6 year old was little and she heard the ice cream she asked where the music was coming from. I got away with “I think that’s someone’s radio” for a year or two. Then some fool (my mum I think bless her) told her the tune was from the ice cream van, so when she heard it next time she asked “is that the ice cream van mummy?” to which I looked her straight in the eye and said “yes I believe so but listen, it’s ever so far away” (as I could see it passing the house through the window behind her back). My husband had to leave the room…..

  17. it is a really funny post! i was thinking about my parents’ lies .. hmmmmm.. that every time i won’t eat dinner, my soul will be trapped inside the rice cooker!! hahaha!! it worked until when i turned 5 and started dieting!! 🙂

  18. We told our daughter when she was little that the food left over in your mouth, if not brushed away really well, will end up growing into little tiny monsters. When she saw “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” she believed us.

    • I love this one! Can’t get my 6 year old to brush for long enough – this might just work! On the Christmas front a “positive” lie if you like, using the same website we use to get emails from Santa at Christmas, we also got a birthday email from Santa too! Just so that she knows that he’s watching all year!

  19. me and my brother wanted tomato ketchup on everything, so one day she puts down the newspaper looks at us says did you know ketchup gives you cancer it says so in the paper. Well rightly or wrongly she got me to stop eating tomato sauce even to this day I barely eat it, my brother on the other hand ate even more to prove her wrong. You win some and you lose some.

  20. I saw a boy hit crack his head open because he wasn’t buckled into the grocery cart. It was awful.

    (I suppose this could happen!)

    My son now buckles himself in. With gusto.

  21. I do not have children. I did impart many lies to my sisters to get them to behave, however. Or just for the hell of it…

    “You have to take care of your toys. When you go to sleep, they come to life!” (Yeah, pre-Toy Story)

    “Every time you eat broccoli, you’re contributing to the death of the broccoli forests. Tiny people just like you and me are gasping their last breaths!”

    “Ever wonder why green beans look like slugs?”

    “When you tell a lie, Elmo dies a horrible death. Then they stitch him back together until some other ungrateful kid tells a lie.”

    From my mom (to all of us):

    “Play with fire, you piss in the bed.”

    “Eat pickles before bed, and you have nightmares.”

    “You can’t watch this show before bed. It’s scary.”

    “Start out laughing, you always end up crying.”

  22. Just yesterday my middle child asked me why I didn’t get him any balloons for his birthday, and I told him the balloon store was out of helium. Also, if I want my kids to stay out of something (usually baked goods), I’ll tell them I put zucchini in it. Oh, and when the ice cream truck comes around, I tell them I don’t have any money. (If a coffee truck started coming around, suddenly money would appear out of nowhere…)

    Congrats on the fresh press!

    • I actually read somewhere that we are likely going to be out of helium, worldwide, by 2020. I sat there quite upset, really worried about what we would fill balloons with in the future. (I’m still concerned.)

      • there is cerntainly another element in this world which, in its gas form, is less dense than our atmosphere

  23. If you tell your child that doctor Love wants him to wear that jacket, then your child isn’t likely to learn about consequences, is he? If you say that having a tooth filling won’t hurt, he will never trust you again. Your child may never be an astronaut, but you can encourage his ideas by finding ways for him to develop his interests. You never know where he’ll land with your encouragement. It’s not lies, but encouragement that is the key.
    Do you evert wonder what the parents of astronauts told them?

    • From watching my own mum struggle to raise my younger brother, I get the feeling that it’s not so much about teaching lessons on consequences every chance you get – sometimes it’s just about making your kid put a damn jacket on so he doesn’t get sick. And I think the point about astronauts was removed from the real content of the blog post – the author was precisely saying that he would never tell his kids they couldn’t be astronauts, because sometimes what’s needed is encouragement and guidance, even if it does seem unlikely that they’ll end up being passionate enough to follow through with the dream by the time they get to high school.

      • Megan, I’ve raised children and often have grandchildren in my care. There are two things that all children seem to have in common: they won’t go to the toilet before a long trip and they don’t want to put on a jacket on a cold day. The consequences are up to them to discover. When you are feeling cold mum or dad won’t take them back home for a jacket. When they have to go to the toilet and their mum is driving on a busy highway, they might just have to hold on for a few more minutes than is comfortable. The more you insist that children wear their jackets the less inclined they will be.(although following up the experience with a gentle reminder about what a shame it is they didn’t want it before, won’t hurt). A couple of outings while they are freezing like popsicles will do the trick. Even if it doesn’t you’d be surprised how quickly they grow out of that phase. 🙂

      • My kid always refused to go to the toilet before leaving home. One morning, just after arriving at school, she peed on her uniform. She couldn’t go back home because her dad and I were already at work.
        Her teacher called. I had to rush to her school to wash her up and change her clothes. She looked so pitiful standing inside the restroom in her wet clothes. After cleaning her up, I made her wear her prettiest dress and put on Mum’s perfume so that she would feel better.

        Needless to say, she doesn’t need any reminder now about going to the toilet. Harsh, but effective.

      • Megan Madill……kids now grow up to be adults..if you dont teach lessons and consequences, and largely just feed them bullshit to make it eaisier on you (the parent) they will grow up with trust issues and general disfunction as an adult

  24. When I was a little girl my grandmother told me this only once and it worked for me until I reached the age of reasoning(which I cannot tell you exactly when that was):

    “Everything bad that you do God writes it down in GOLD ink and it can never be erased.”

    Now, I might mention here that all through my early childhood education(Baptist Youth Training) I never read or heard this from any source; never saw it in the Bible or quotes or from other scared kids.

    So if anyone out there has that scripture, bring it on! Maybe it wasn’t a lie?

    Well I will not go into detail, but at one point I was thinking God just may have run out GOLD ink on my record. Tee HEE.

  25. While I’ve used #4 occasionally, my personal favorite is, “Mommy and daddy are going to take a nap now. We’ll be awake from our nap when (insert favorite child tv show title here) is done.” Sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures.
    Thanks for a great posting!

  26. Hi. I lived in Japan for 25 years, married a Japanese woman and had two girls.

    In Japan there is a festival called, Setsubun, where an oni (a kind of ogre) comes into the house and must be pelted with roasted soybeans and chased back out again, all the while shouting, “Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!” (Ogre out! Good fortune in!). I would dress up as the ogre and my wife kept the girls occupied in front of the TV while I snuck upstairs to start a noisy ruckus (I’d growl, snarl, jump on the ceiling above them, bang the walls…). The girls would squeal and chase the oni (me) through the rooms making an absolute mess with the beans until I ran for my life out the door, down the street, and into the dark night.

    Right away I saw the potential to leverage this for child behavior modification. 😉 Over a few years I incorporated elements of Santa and Easter Bunny and other stories and evolved this fabulously elaborate fib:

    When kids tell a lie, don’t obey their parents, or do some other bad thing, a baby oni is born in the attic. It is born with the first bad thing and with each bad thing done it grows a little bigger. In this way the oni keeps getting bigger with every bad thing done throughout the year. On Setsubun day they can chase the oni out and have a chance to start all over with a clean slate for the following year. (This covers clean up your room, help mom, tell the truth, finish your food… It became a panacea for all bad behavior.)

    By the time this charade was fully formed, my older girl was about 5 or 6 and could figure out the deceit, but she loved the excitement of the day and she could be smug at having inside knowledge. So the greater brunt of this fell upon the other one, who is 4 years younger. She took this so seriously — often terrified and crying at the sight of the oni and needing Mom to help her with the beans — my wife and I had to question whether it actually was okay. Yet, I was a teacher and familiar with the work of Bruno Bettelheim, having read his book, The Uses of Enchantment (recommend this to parents and teachers), and was confident enough to press on over the years.

    I would even elaborate on the story when the chance came up. For example, I’d often go into the attic to store boxes and one day noticed Anna (the younger one) peering around the corner trying to see up the attic hole but not wanting to be seen. Immediately I saw a chance to fill out the story and asked if she wanted to see in the attic. She asked if there was an oni up there and said it was too dark and I couldn’t see all the way back, but I’d lift her up to have a look. Well, she didn’t know that when ground is broken for every Japanese building project, a Shinto ceremony is held, and leftover from that is a large elaborately folded colored paper thing hanging in the attic to protect the house from bad spirits. (Yes, this still happens for every single construction project ever done… 😉 Anyway, I made sure she caught a glimpse of this thing and she bolted and never came near the attic hole again. From then, at random moments, I would occasionally find her eyeing the attic access hole suspiciously. Also, as Setsubun approached every year she would start getting nervous as soon as the usual oni paraphernalia started showing up around town, and would jump at any big sound in the house. You could see her little mind working to calculate how many bad things she had done and so how big the oni would be that year.

    It was a hoot for so many years! Anna is now 19, finishing up her first year of college, is making excellent grades, has a boyfriend and, as far as I can tell, still loves her dad. What’s more, unlike her wilder older sister, she’s well grounded and is still a very good, obedient girl. I think it worked!

    Bruno Bettelheim, The Uses of Enchantment

    Setsubun at a private school for little kids

    • Honestly, you are a horrible person, abusing that little child like that. And it horrifies me even further to think of you as a “teacher” of children. Did you pull the wings off butterflies as well? You didn’t just dress up as a monster, you are a monster.

      • Hi Zan: Did you watch the video? Are the Japanese dads in oni costume also really monsters? You might try stepping out of your small cultural backyard. It’s a big world out there. If it’s any consolation for you, I also played Santa Claus at a department store for several years. Now, that would make me a saint, I guess. 😉

    • i visited my brother in north japan this year and they have a similar thing in oga called namahage (ogres who come down from the mountains to take away any children who have been bad that year). we saw videos of the namahage coming into the houses and stuffing screaming kids in sacks! i also spoke to one of my brother’s friends who was born and bred in namahage terrorised territory and she said she was proper terrified as a kid, but certainly wasn’t seeking to outlaw the practice.

      the japanese have some interesting traditions which would no doubt horrify social services in this county. but (@zan) it’s dangerous ground questioning another cultures’ traditions without full understanding. as just one example, we learned that a villager accompanies the namahage and makes enquiries at each house before entering about whether it’s appropriate to enter (i.e. has there been a death or a birth or recent illness). the practice is not lacking all sensitivity. also, the japanese youth are certainly the most respectful that i’ve ever come across. coincidence? i think not.

      • Well said, monkeymuesli ! I never even mentioned the yearly haunted forest walk the neighborhood would put on where after a picnic the unsuspecting kids would be led into a forest by their moms at dusk while the dads quietly slipped away, quickly dressed up in masks, and gathered all manner of noisemakers in order to sneak up on them from the dark forest behind trees and make them scream. Some ran for their lives! LOL! The first time I was invited to one of those I was a bit worried, but I got into the spirit of things very quickly. My daughters were a part of that, too. I just talked to my younger daughter an hour ago. She got an A in psychology! Yea! She’s a very well-adjusted young woman so I don’t think all that scary stuff in Japan did her any harm.

  27. Hey, you’re pretty witty! Lying used to work on my three teenagers, way back when. Now it is THEM who do the lying. My best lie to my kids was when they acted up (in a store, in a restaurant, etc.). I would say, “Oh no, here comes the manager! He’s angry that you guys are really loud!” It worked every time. I just looked for someone who was walking our way, and they instantly stopped. It didn’t last very long, though…

  28. folks, what do we say to our kids?!
    well, i wont lie…… i’m just as guilty and my “child” is 18.

    i still say.. “mommie hears everything. all mommies do.
    we can even hear a mouse pee on cotton.”
    i use this line when she mumbles something under her breath

    and why do we talk about ourselves in 3rd person?

  29. When I was little my parents would tell me that if I lied to them my forehead would turn bright red. So I thought covering my forehead with my hand would fix that problem. I totally didn’t get away with anything, like ever.

  30. While I’m not yet a father, I was a camp couselor for eighteen 6 year olds for years. Lies became my favored currency.

    The conversations I had most often probably revolved around swimming. I’d look in their teary eyes and explain “No, you can’t go in the deep end. Why would you want to?! Sharks like the deep end!”

  31. My grandkids are altogether too smart for their own good. They never — even the 5 year old! — buy the “stories” that grandpa and I try to tell them. Although once upon a time, before we redecorated our dining room, they wanted to know why the wallpaper was peeling and grandpa told them it was because I made such smelly farts at the dinner table that it made the paper peel. They thought that was pretty funny, and kept asking me if it was really true.

  32. I told my little granddaughter that we couldn’t go to McDonalds because the bill man came and got all our money.She looked at me and said—–Nana then just write a check.

  33. My husband and I recently decided to tell our two teenage boys that there was no insurance on the car and that’s why they couldn’t drive it. We also told them that the cat had a heart condition and that she couldn’t handle the stress of people fighting in the house, or she would die sooner.
    Great post. And congrats on being FP’ed!

  34. Yikes – I always swore I would NEVER lie to my children. Hence the reason my daughter sometimes calls me a dream crusher. But I keep the crushing totally age appropriate – so of course, that requires a bit of lying. It wasn’t until they started asking the REALLY tough questions I started lying to them. Now they are old enough, I can’t lie – it is impossible for me to lie to them – I get the giggles or I start stammering – damn it. I hate that.

    Such a funny post – thanks!
    Congrats on Freshly Pressed.

  35. I told my son that water was juice until he was a little over two and he thought water was awesome and juice was disgusting! Then his taste buds realized I was lying and I can’t even water it down.

  36. When I was a child, adults hereabouts told kids that the police arrest misbehaving children. Could be true as many real crime cases went unsolved as ’em policemen were too busy putting wayward tots in jail.

  37. How about: you can’t go in the water for two hours after you eat? which translates to I don’t feel like watching your little ass.

  38. I think there is some humour in what you are saying, but I also believe we need to acknowledge the potential psychological damage lying to children can cause. Many things are said to children without thorough consideration to the long term consequences. Maybe a healthier approach would be honesty. You could say, “Hey Jimmy, you can be anything you want to be, but it takes hard work and you will have to become better at long division. I know you struggle with that, so I am going to give you the resources you need to become successful at it”. It does not make sense to me to limit our children’s ability to be better contributors to society.

    • Hey, I think the theme lying was specifically aimed at the little white lies parents tell their kids to lessen confrontation, to enjoy the natural fantasy world of their kids, and and so on. It has nothing to do with the kind of deception you’re talking about. Reading my post above you might get the impression I took great pleasure lying to my girls, but that story was actually not about lying. It was about setting opportunities for my girls to learn self control and to understand consequences — a fine art that is so often missing in unfortunate youth who have less involved and attentive parents. Your concern about parents lying to kids about their math skills and that sort of thing is not really relevant to this blog discussion.

      With regard to what you’re talking about, I was rigorous in being straight with my girls helping them process and understand the world around them. When they had questions about the who’s, why’s, and wherefores of their world experience, I always began by asking them questions to understand more fully what was in their head, then offering any clear information or advice I had (if advice was what they were looking for), and then carefully engaged them in the critical thinking process to clarify their problem and craft a solution.

      Regarding the “damage” you imagine being done to kids by telling them about Santa Claus, or the Easter Bunny, or the Tooth Fairy, or eat your pea cuz kids are starving in India, or… (the kinds of harmless white lie this blog is all about), I can only say that if your family didn’t have the necessary creativity and love to enter your natural childhood fantasy world and take pleasure in helping you to decorate it with fantastic creatures and stories and to understand things in the only ways a child can, I’d say you had a deprived childhood and perhaps suffered some damage because of it. I wish you well in healing any damage you may have incurred this way. May I suggest you find a family with young kids who might be gracious enough to let you into their world so you may learn about what you missed. Good luck with any parenting you might experience in your future.

      • Public forums exist for people to exchange ideas and to interact. I made a comment regarding a genuine concern that your post provoked. I did so in a respectful and objective manner. You chose to respond to my concerns in infantile and attacking manner. I am clearly not the one with a damaged childhood.

      • reservedabandonment – You wrote: “Public forums exist for people to exchange ideas and to interact. I made a comment regarding a genuine concern that your post provoked. I did so in a respectful and objective manner. You chose to respond to my concerns in infantile and attacking manner. I am clearly not the one with a damaged childhood.”

        – Whoa! That was unexpected. Since you have blocked all response from everyone who responded to your post and so prevented any rational exchange of ideas, I’m forced to respond to myself.

        1. I saw nothing in your post (quoted above) that indicated you’d read my original post and so conclude that you actually were NOT responding to me, and could not have been “provoked” by anything I wrote.

        2. I saw much in your original post that indicated you did not understand the intent of this humor discussion and were distressed by it. I, in turn, felt moved to suggest that you reconsider this minor misunderstanding and so perhaps relieve your distress, to which end I expended no little effort to do so in the kindest, gentlest manner.

        3. I see nothing whatsoever in my response to your original post that indicates any form or degree of what you have called “infantile and attacking”. Can you please point out these bits to me? I know it’s a tad long, but did you actually read it?

        4. Upon a thorough examination and careful consideration of the manner in which you “exchange ideas” and “interact” on public forums, and from a cursory inspection of your blog site, I conclude:

        a. That you have longstanding personal issues with parental deceit,
        b. That you have trouble dealing with even the gentlest criticism,
        c. That you have not yet mastered the skills of equitable, polite, and meaningful online discussion,
        d. That due to some personal insecurity you, perhaps unawares, respond to the kindest, most good-humored comments toward you in the very infantile and attacking manner of which you falsely accuse others.

        So you’re living in a temple in Korea. Good for you! I have a niece who was there for a couple of years, but I doubt she spent a lot of time in temples; she taught English. I was nearby in Japan for 25 years and am planning to return there after about 18 months back here in the states. I love the place. I’ve spent lots of time in temples there, and earlier in India, Nepal and elsewhere, often immersed in long Buddhist meditation retreats. From this perspective I’d just like to point out that such intensive spiritual immersion tends to stir up long buried complexes of the mind, called “dukkha” in the Pali language of the Buddha. That’s actually one point of such a practice, as you may know. However, when interacting with others one’s personal dukkha can often unintentionally be expressed in words or actions and so cause harm. That’s one reason such intensive spiritual retreats are done in seclusion as far as possible. Please keep this in mind as you reach out from your temple home and attempt to interact with others online.

      • reservedabandonment – I wrote: “you have blocked all response from everyone who responded to your post and so prevented any rational exchange of ideas”

        My sincerest apology. It seems this blog is set up for threads only 3 levels deep. I guess you didn’t block anyone. My bad…

        Be well.

      • You’re a good dad. I can tell. When your parenting skills are attacked by someone who doesn’t know you, the first instinct is to defend yourself. Your initial reply to reserved abandonment was perfect. She was THE only person with a negative comment towards your hilarious blog. It is pretty obvious that she is commenting on the wrong blogs. She needs to stay away from blogs of parents with a sense of humor. It would be like a nun going to a rage. Not a good fit. Keep up the good work and don’t let people like her make you question your sanity, parenting skills or sense of humor.

  39. This is hilarious and I’m printing this for reference. My daughter is just 1 year old and sooner or later I have to actually get to talk to her and reason with her.

    In lieu of Emlo. I see her affinity to Barney so i guess I’ll use her love for the big, purple extinct, dino instead.

  40. OH, yes. The tangled webs we weave as parents to try make our lives easier. My husband and I got caught up in the Santa Claus vortex when we saw Santa at the mall, in the Parade and at a store — all on the same day, and once two at the same time. Then when asked about this, my husband and I gave two different explanations. We just hoped the kids would behave because Santa was “watching” but I’m not sure if our explanations garnered that victory.
    Congrats on the FP! Way to go, Dad.

    • My mom used to tell my sister and I she had Santa Claus’ phone number. I remember one time when my sister and I were fighting she actually pretended to call him, saying how naughty we’ve been. Needless to say we were pretty worried Santa was mad at us.

  41. When my son was younger, I very happily tried to clear up a lie – the Santa one. He asked me if he was real, and I told him if he ate all his broccoli I’d tell him. I assumed if he was asking me, he was ready for the truth. Apparently not. He promptly cried over his meatballs (at Ikea no less), and I quickly told him I was kidding.

    You’re funny man with a funny blog. Congratulations!

  42. Okay, I’m going to start using #4 with my kids. Let them work it out in therapy when they get older. Always fun to read a fellow stay-at-home-dad blog. I’d be honored if you gave mine a gander. Cheers.

  43. I posted about this recently.. I told my kids that a triceratops lived under their bed that would bite their feet when they got out. It was wildly successful until and we had a whole house full of deterrent triceratopses until they caught on and are still screwing with me over the one that lives in the garburator.

  44. Wonderful.

    I tell my 6 year old to keep of away from 4WDs (SUVs) because the people buy them like to drive around looking for children to run over. That one came back to bite me when she was on a playdate and wouldn’t get into the family’s car.

    My Grandma made the best chocolate cake – no one else’s was ever quite as good. I was in my 30s when I realised it was banana cake with chocolate icing – branded chocolate cake because I hated bananas. Still do actually, but I won’t say no to banana cake with chocolate icing.

  45. I once convinced a young relative that I am a Time Lord and had once met a dinosaur. It was mostly an attempt to get them to sit still for a few minutes.

    I almost felt bad about that. Almost.

  46. Gum doesn’t stick to your insides. Here’s what happens (as told to me by my parents). The seeds you eat grow into a tree inside you and all the hair you swallow gets tangled up in the tree then the gum sticks to that!

  47. I work as a surf instructor and everyday before surfing the kids have to take a swim test. They always try to cheat and kick off the ground the whole way through… I put on my sunglasses and tell them they can see through the bottom of the ocean. Randomly I’ll yell “HEY! SAW THAT!” and guilty conscience kids will randomly go back to the beginning.

    One time a child sniped my glasses off my head, put them on and said “WOAHHH you really can see all the way to the bottom of the ocean!!!” ??? What a little liar, but at least it gave me more credibility!

  48. We don’t lie to our kids usually (really, even Santa clause and stuff like that we don’t). However sometimes half a truth comes in convenient. We recognize the need to sometimes go out alone… So when we send the kids to bed after an dinner of sandwiches, they usually ask suspicious what WE are going to eat. We then nicely say we eat bread too…
    No need to tell about the hamburger inside it… And to be honest…. even pizza is bread, rigt?

    • For us it was “The crusts will give you curly eyelashes.” But I still didn’t care if my eyelashes were curly and to this day it’s a struggle to eat certain bread crusts…

      • hahaha! i don’t get the daft lies. at least give me something i can really work with/aim for… like ‘eat your sprouts and you’ll always have nice firm buttocks’

    • I got the “if you don’t eat your crusts, your won’t curl” one as well! My response was always, “but I don’t want curly hair!” It didn’t make a difference though, I still had to eat them. Now I’m at University, I never eat them and if I want curly hair, I’ll just use a curl stick! 😛

  49. Haha, my grandfather managed to convince my mum that when the ice cream van plays the music, it means it’s run out of ice cream. I’m still impressed with the genius of this.

  50. Love this! My mom once told me that I should finish my rice and make sure my plate absolutely empty – not even a single tiny rice or the Rice Goddess will come after me. I know it’s a lie now but the habit stuck. I’ll have my plate empty if I can but not always. Some parents’ lies are good. 😛

    • I told my kid that on her way to heaven, she’d have to pick up all the grains of rice she’d left on her plate during her lifetime. She’s 7 years old now and she always has a clean plate! ^^

  51. I had the classic ‘if you eat up all of your carrots you’ll be able to see in the dark’, however I discovered the deceit 3 hours later. I ate up all my carrots during Sunday roast and even went back for seconds, so when we left and it was dark outside I ran confidently to the car testing my new ‘night vision’. SMACK I ran headfirst into a concrete post in the middle of the path and my busted my nose. Needless to say I didn’t believe any of the adults vegetable related lies from that point on……
    However I did believe for a long time my dad was a lion tamer. He told me he did it to get some money when we were little and even brought down some white skinny jeans from the wardrobe to prove it (these thankfully turned out to be my mums)!

  52. As a youngster, perhaps 10 or so, I’d picked up the word ‘horny’ in the streets. I asked my mom what it meant. I still see us standing in the kitchen, can still feel the atmosphere of the dodged question, even though it’s over 40 years ago. She had no idea. “You really don’t know?” I knew she had to, damnit. She said she didn’t. Aaah, the old school!

    • whahahaha… brings back another memory. My li’l daughter started to play waldhorn (brass instrument) with the local harmony. One day she learned a little song at school singing pia-, pia-, pianoooooo, pianoooo, pianooo, etc…
      She had a problem with it ’cause she played horn, not piano. So while driving the car I really had a problem with keeping the car on the road once she started singing…”horny horny horny horn, horny horn, etc”…

      She was only 6, so it took a few years before we felt like explaining what the reason of that sudden explosion of hilarity was at that very moment.

  53. I come from a Chinese family. And parents would normally answer the age old question of “Where did I come from?” with “You were picked from the garbage trash..” just so they could avoid explaining about sex especially to 3 year old toddlers. Strangely that would shut us up and we were content with the answer ‘cos I don’t remember arguing about that. Haha!

  54. Funny! We begged for mom/dad’s food all the time. It didn’t matter that we had already eaten – mom had it and it must be better than mine. So they got telling us how nasty their food was and how we would hate it. It stopped us cold.

  55. My dad told a fab lie to a little kid one time on the beach. There was a big storm drain outflow with a metla grate over it and the toddler was naturally very curious. Dad was worried he would get hurt or stuck so he told him that it was the entrance to the lair of the rare Lincolnshire Rover Dragon. Its favourite foods were mouldy bananas and little boy’s fingers. The kid ran off excitedly telling his dad the story.

  56. My house has a large number of monsters in it. There is Alfred (Alfie) the Attic Monster, he is the king of all the other monsters and he eats little boys that don’t go to bed on time. My little brother never figured out that, technically, he sleeps in the attic (it’s a converted bungalow). There is Olivia the Oven Monster who eats the naughty boys and girls who try to play with the oven when it is on (although, he makes a nice pizza). Shelley the Shed monster is the guardian of the shed at the bottom of the garden (and she keeps losing my bike helmet, but her job is to keep the little ones out).

    Also, whenever I could hear, but not see the ice cream van I was told it was the onion van; it sells raw onions.

  57. Growing up, my husband told his brother and sister that you can only say so many words in your life and after you say your allotted amount, you die. It scared them into silence for a long time.

    • As a child I was a chatterbox ( don’t think I’ve changed much ).When my gramma got tired of it she told me if I didn’t keep my mouth closed a darning needle (dragonfly) would come and sew it up.For years I was nervous of dragonflies.If I was talking gramma just had to look around and say, ” I saw a darning needle ” and I’d shut up.

      • Interesting. When I was a camp counselor, I had one camper who was petrified of dragonflies…only she couldn’t identify them. I learned this when I accidentally referred to a dragonfly as a butterfly and noticed she wasn’t scared. So I stopped calling them dragonflies and she was fine. I wonder if a parent or grandparent told her something similar.

  58. “We have a family curse – your great grandfather was cursed, your grandfather was cursed, I’m cursed, YOU ARE CURSED. Your great grandfather always always always got ‘caught’. Your grandfather always always always got ‘caught’. Your mother always always always ALWAYS got caught – YOU will get caught. So be smart and quit while you’re ahead, you’re going to get caught, might as well make a good choice in the first place.”

  59. More often than not, I don’t lie to my children. I tell them the truth and they think I’m lying. I told my son I was the Tooth Fairy and he refused to believe me. I told him this for years and he argued with me every time I said it.

  60. I don’t laugh out loud reading posts very often but yours had me rolling. I LOVE it.

    When I was little I would constantly stick my tongue out at people. My mom and dad tried everything to get me to stop, but I wouldn’t. One day we were driving by a huge, very intimidating prison (Lorton Prison in VA) and I asked my mom what people had to do to get put in jail. Without missing a beat she said “that’s where they send little girls and boys who stick their tongues out at people.” I never did it again.

  61. My 3 year old believes that the only time monsters come out from under her bed or the closet is when she refuses to take a nap. (Now she takes naps!) When you whine an angel dies. (No more whining.) If you don’t eat all your food Santa Claus will not come see you. He’ll give all your toys to another little girl. (No more wasted food and no more “I don’t like that”.

  62. Outstanding post! I truly get your point, no a lie. One thing, the chewing gum myth isn’t totally a myth. When I was thirteen I chewed and swallowed so much gum it gummed me up for a week. I had to be admitted to the hospital. I spent two week there under the threat of surgery. Thankfully, everything work out in the end. Needlessly to say, I haven’t swallowed any gum since. Congrats on the FP.

    When you get time check us out on our family blog:

  63. These are GREAT lies!
    My mom used to tell me that when I lied, smoke would come out of my ears. She always knew when I was lying because I would talk to her with my hands over my ears. Looking back, it’s BRILLIANT and I will most definitely be using that one on my kids.

  64. I ALWAYS knew the truth about Santa. No delusions there. I was the only kid in school to stand up for the fact that parents spend their hard-earned money on presents, not a fictional cookie monster in red. Thank goodness, lol! 🙂

  65. My grandpa used to make me say ‘vovva vovva vovva’ to ‘magically’ unlock the doors to his volvo while he hid the keys up his sleeve. Not many people had power door locks back then. I was fooled.

  66. Love it! When my son was small, I told him that mommies and daddies were not allowed to take their kids to Chuck E. Cheese; only grandparents and aunts and uncles could do it. It worked brilliantly for more than three years. Not only did I avoid having to take my kid to hell on earth, but I was also able to stick my brother with the task in one fell swoop! My mom finally ratted me out one day, telling my son that it was his mom’s rule, not Chuck E. Cheese’s rule.

  67. Nice ones. I tell my kids that, when they lie, an “L” glows on their heads. That way, they lie and then cover their head with a hand.

    I also chose to tell them, with complete authority, that yes I know God exists. I’m an atheist but often wish I had faith. We don’t do Santa, though.

  68. Loved your post. Brought back of flood of childhood memories and made me laugh at the little white lies I now tell my daughter–don’t eat your bogies ‘cuz they’re made of the same stuff that comes out of your bum; (upon spotting a dead bird) that bird is just taking a nap; WWMMD: What would Mickey Mouse do?

  69. Mine is actually a lot at my mother in law told her youngest son– that the family rabbit had run away, when in actuality it’d been mauled to death. He found out the truth 11 years later at 19. The complete shock on his face was classic.

  70. My favorite one the “a little birdie” told me lie. My kids are convinces that there’s a tiny tattle bird that is given to parents when a child is born. When they do something naughty it rats them out. They’re almost 8 now and still trying to catch a glimpse of their tattle birds.

  71. I mostly got the standard lies like Santa Claus and the tooth fairy. The only one that stands out is that Santa wouldn’t bring me any presents if I was bad. One Christmas (when I was 5) I really thought I wasn’t going to get any presents. I was pretty bad that year.
    I’m looking forward to telling lies to my future children.

  72. To avoid their children carrying money and spending them without their knowledge my parents taught me and my sister that police jail the kids who carry money.. And even today I forget to carry my wallet while I am leaving my home.

  73. To my daughter: “Cracking your knuckles will give you man hands.” I also kept a promotional tape from Disney World I got for free. In case she ever asked why I never took her to Disney, I could pull out the tape and say: “Here, it’s all on tape. You were just too young to remember.”

  74. I always tell my daughter every time one of her tooth fell out, just put it under her pillow and the next morning the tooth Fairy will give her a gift in exchange for her tooth..It was then i realized that it was all lies when i read your post. LOL!

  75. My son thinks I’m 23 (I’m actually 42), but he’s six and likes to broadcast everything. Several times he’s shouted out that “My mom is 23!”. Yep, after the first kid told everyone my real age, I learned to lie to the second one about it. My mom used to tell us as kids that if we swallowed chewing gum we would die. The day my brother swallowed his gum I cried and cried, thinking he was about to die!

  76. When the “Drunken Monkeys” (an old Hindu expression) in this world wake up, this place will be paradise.The “Truth” always prevails over falseness; good over evil… lies, excuses are for the
    weak, those who are sleeping, those who wish to serve and entertain themselves, hoping to control others. Why saturate a sensitive young mind with senseless dribble because one is to lazy, ignorant and insensitive to working hard to accomplish the desired results bringing up a child?
    Some examples given here are cute, and non-destructive in the long run. Little tricks, funny gags etc..Yes; I loved the Easter bunny and Santa Clause. Most kids figure those things are not true on their own. I do not find them destructive (maybe for the 14 year old who is still waiting for Santa at Christmas), and we realize their temporary value. I am for, fun for kids, but there is a over indulgence I see here, of un-necessary “lies” dumped on our innocent and un-suspecting children. All the other deceptive manipulating is at best a poor excuse for rigid discipline.
    No reason what so ever to lie to replace a correct sound rearing your child.
    Groom your child into a fearful, un-trusting, confused person, then use the lie approach
    to solve “your” problems.
    The world of politics is a good example of falseness, lies, and a major tool used in the destruction of good, success, and peace for all living in this world.

    • And how old are your children? Back in the days that I worked as a child advocate and was on the lecture scene I described abuse as anything that damaged the dignity of a child. That was before I had kids. Most of my lies are so crazy that even the smallest child wouldn’t believe them…if you never eat green vegetables eventually you’ll stop pooping and if you never poop again at some point your body will just explode and you’ll be a huge human poop bomb. Clearly no kid would believe that but at ages 12 and 15 they still laugh and encourage everyone at the table to eat green stuff. Kids tell crazy stories when they start to talk…they do it to get your attention, entertain you and to figure out what is real and what isn’t and where the boundaries of belief are. Parents do it for the same reason. In the real world of parenting, saying a strong No or you will be punished takes a lot less time and energy than figuring out what motivates a child to engage in or abstain from a particular activity and use that knowledge to weave a tale that they are likely to remember well into adulthood.

      Love and parenting take a million different forms, just because someone adopts a method that differs from yours doesn’t make them wrong and you right. Oddly enough humans are diverse and benefit from different approaches and there is more than one right way to skin a cat (no real cats were harmed in the making of this comment).

  77. Still not sure if our dog really was taken to a farm where she could run free. It sounded good at the time. Nice blog.

  78. Oh man, I don’t have kids but I definitely remember hearing these things from my dad. I turned out ok so don’t worry about the long term effects 🙂

    • I used to eat my apple core and I was told that if you eat it, then the seeds will grow into apple trees in your stomach. Much as I was scared of it, it didn’t work because I’m now 37 and I still eat my apple cores lol

  79. i thought babies came out of tummies until i was in grade 3 when my best friend told me the truth and i was disgusted. i told my son where babies really come from when he was 7 and he was silent for a very long time before he said, “well, this is awkward….”
    i’ve told my share of white lies. i like to think of it as preserving their innocence as long as possible. there are some things little minds do not need to know. i was saved on the whole ice cream truck thing tho, because one day we were driving beside a ice cream truck and the driver was picking his nose. i said, “Q, that guy is now going to touch your ice cream. how gross is that?” he has never once asked for ice cream from a truck since. sometimes, the truth can set you free.

  80. I loved this! I’m going to start telling every kid that whenever they flicker the lights fairies die, Sesame Street catches on fire, their dog will run away- Oh it’s beautiful!

  81. My father insisted the car wouldn’t start until I had a seat belt on… He’d turn the key to prove it… I’d even turn the key to try… Took me until I was 15 to realize his foot wasn’t on the clutch.

  82. After not accepting any other explanation on how How Wheels were made, I told my son that little tiny people made them. He believed that answer and we moved on! 🙂

    GREAT post, BTW. Loved it!

  83. My dad told me that he got his gall bladder surgery scar sword fighting pirates when he was in the Navy. He also told me that the button in the car that turns on the hazard lights was the self-destruct button, and that I should never, under any circumstances, push it. I believed both of these lies to an embarrassingly advanced age.

  84. The flicking the light switch causing fairy death made me laugh out loud.

    I’m not sure this counts but when my now 11-year-old was in First Grade, other little brats were threatening to end the Santa Claus magic by telling mine that Santa wasn’t real and that it’s really your parents. I told her that those other children’s parents probably had to do it that year because those children were bad and Santa wasn’t coming to see them.

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  86. Loved this:
    “Dr. Love says you’re big enough now to open the fridge and get daddy a beer…”

    When he was — I think — 3, my youngest could grab me the right kind of beer out of the fridge or a cooler based on color of the can. It was awesome.

  87. This one still comes back to haunt me – we were all in a rush to make it to a dinner date when my then four-year-old was upset and threatening to run away. I told him to throw some clothes in a bag and we would give him a lift out of town – to get him into the car.

  88. What I especially admire about my years lying to my kids is how it prepared them perfectly for lying to me. It’s bloody foolproof, the gift that keeps on giving.

  89. My parents told us that Santa wouldn’t come unless we gave our toys to other kids that Santa doesn’t visit as much 🙂

    It was simple, got rid of crap in our house and most importantly, we learned how to give to others.

    Great post!

  90. i have always gone for the single preserved cherry that decorates a cake, so once an elderly aunt told me that preserved cherries stay in your stomach for an entire month. unfortunately for her, i found this so cool that i wanted to believe it and resolved that i would eat a preserved cherry every month.

  91. I don’t think I’ve lied like that to my kids… but once filled a Coca-Cola bottle with Pepsi, so my dad would drink it thinking that it was Coke. He did, happily. He was just so annoying about the “I don’t like Pepsi” thing… of course, when I proudly disclosed the info, he got VERY angry at me.

  92. Okay, so it’s not really a lie. But my Dad used to stand at the top of the stairs and count down from 10 every morning when I wouldn’t get out of bed. To this day, I have no clue what would have happened if he made it to zero and I still wasn’t up. I can honestly say that the pressure of the countdown (and the fear of what would happen if I didn’t react) got me out of bed every single morning.

  93. My stepson never wanted to get out of the tub when he was in the bath and would cry when I drained the water. So I told him that the water “missed its family and needed to go home when bathtime is over.” Genius. He always waved bye to the water after that, but at least he finally stopped crying over me draining the tub. lol

  94. This reminds me of a lie my mother told me as a child, “if you drink coffee or dark soda they will make you ugly.” Now in my 30’s part of me still has a grudge against soda; call me vain of cautious, but hardly ever drink dark soda (or any other color/kind), however, I do enjoy a good cup of joe once in a while.

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  96. I probably would not have chosen the one about the bees…

    When I was a kid we had a calf that we raised for beef, but of course I made her into a pet. One day when Cookie was no longer around, my Dad said “we sold her to man”. Anytime anything was lost or one of my ersatz pets died, my dad said “we sold _____ to a man.” Of course that made me resent my dad for selling my animals and made me mistrust men who would be willing to buy a child’s pet, so I never told lies to my children.

    Congratulations on being freshly pressed – very funny post.

  97. another great third party to blame: the police, because there’s a kernal of truth, right? i just simplify it a little for them.
    truancy: “If you pretend to be sick and you don’t go to school…the police will take you to jail”
    seatbelt laws: “if you unclick that seatbelt one more time…”
    littering: “you’d better pick that up off the ground right now or else…”
    shoplifting: “put those gummy bears down, quick! we haven’t paid for those and…”

  98. I had never heard the chewing gum getting stuck in your stomach for 5 years if you swallowed it! But then I don’t like gum so I guess my parents never needed to use that one! And I don’t think I would ever have fallen for that…

    I once had a babysitter who told me if I crossed my eyes in the wind, they would get stuck that way. I did believe her for awhile but then as I got older, I realized it was complete nonsense.

    However to this day I hate riding escalators. My mother always double checked to make sure my shoelaces were tied before I got on because she remembered a story of a little girl getting her foot stuck in the escalator due to untied shoelaces. For years I used to jump a good three feet before the end of the escalator because I was afraid it would swallow my feet. I don’t do this anymore but I am still not fond of riding them!

  99. Too funny! I told my over active, adventurous toddler that there were monsters anywhere I didn’t want him to go. I know I am a terrible mother! I just figured it was better than him getting stuck in a well like that Jessica kid!

  100. I told my kids when they asked to go to church with a friend that Christians go to a place called “church” every week and what happens is the “preacher” or “minister” sucks out the soul and humanity of people and turns them into mindless zombies.

    It’s not a total lie, so I’ll be able to explain the why when my kids get older. ^_^

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  102. Amazing! You just stripped lies of all the ill in them. Well, some lies now seem cool to me.
    I was recently considering the effect of lies on children, and your example about killer bees just proved it. A lot of fears, doubt and panic that spread into forming timidity, inferiority complex and numerous psychological abnormalies could be linked to lies told by parents. We’ve got to think of the ones that have grave consequences and modify or eliminate them. Beautiful post!

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  104. Great post! Some of the lies my parents told me were: if you swallow cherry or apple seeds, a tree will grow out of your head. if you don’t clean your room, monsters will move in to your closet, and under your bed (i always kept my room OCD clean). when i was around 11 they even told me that if i kissed a boy i would get pregnant. i dont have kids yet, but after the ice cream truck lie im looking forward to it.

  105. My Dad used to tell kids who came over that a Kreepy-Krawly (a South African pool cleaning divice) in the swimming pool made the hole in his back (he had a Cancer scar) – cleared the pool in seconds – And yet all the kids loved him! THEN no kids would swim till he took it out which was a second pain in his back ha ha!

  106. If ya make ugly faces and the wind blows whilst you are doing it…your face will stay like that forever. Some old African myth to make sure children didn’t go sticking out their tongues and stuff at official occasions or when proper visitors where at you house.

  107. The most remembered lie from my parents: You need to give your pacifier (dummy) to a deer, she needs it too, for her babies.
    Yes, we lived right next to the forest. Ah, those crazy lying parents with a lot of imagination. And it worked! And I will surely use it some day too.

  108. My grandparents house backed up to woods and they had no fence around the yard. To keep us in the yard and out of the woods they told us “KittyWhompus” lived back there and would eat us if we went past the first row of trees. Talk about a terrified kid! I was scared to spend the night there and wouls spend almost all night looking out the window because I was afraid “Kitty” was going to come up to the house at night to get me. Grandfathers are wonderful, but can be the devil sometimes too.

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  111. I’m not a parent but I enjoyed every bit of reading this blog post. Every parent lies and when we become adults we laugh at these small lies. My mother told me I should make up my bed everyday because spiders hide in unmade sheets. This is silly now but I would (and still do) make up my bed religiously every morning (even if I’m running late). So yes, parents can create “happy” phoebas.

  112. My oldest daughter, when she was little, would not eat pizza if it had sauce. She only liked pepperoni pizza w/o sauce… One day we got sick or ordering pizza with the sauce on the side and told her that the sauce was “pepperoni sauce”. She knows now (she’s 17) that’s not true, but it got her to eat the pizza!

  113. Love your post. Very funny. I tend to tell little white lies about fairies….they don’t come when it’s raining as it damages their wings (this is a good one if you have run out of pound coins) or the one I used this evening is that they don’t come if anyone is sick in the house as it will infect them and they’ll most probably die. Not sure how many more years I can keep running with these though.

  114. Love it. I’ve tried the scare tactics too – I think I’ll be paying for a Psych in the years to come (not for the kids – for me). Nothing better than the blaming someone else. Soooo easy, which is probably why politicians do it. Very funny post 🙂

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  116. A river runs through our yard and the kids know that they are not supposed to get anywhere near it. One day my 6 yr old daughter went splashing in anyways. Instead of yelling at her, I calmy told her that baby mosquitoes were climbing inside her shoes and were going to burrow in between her toes and live inside her. She came out shrieking, “Get them off me! Get them off me!” So then I told her she had to sit in the sun and it would cook them off. She stayed away from the river for quite awhile. She’s getting bolder again, so I may need to break out the baby mosquitoes.

  117. My father told me that if I whizzed in the public pool, it would cause a chemical reaction with the chlorine and the pool water surrounding me would turn purple and everyone would know what I had done. And I would never outlive the shame.

  118. I tell my ten year old daughter that every meat she eats is ham. “Mum, what is this?, she says. “What do you want it to be?,”I reply. “Ham,” she says. “Well it’s ham then.”
    Growing up, my mother seemed quite partial to the “drawing on yourself will give you lead poisoning.” It didn’t matter what you used either; pen, marker, paint, it all led to lead poisoning!

  119. This is too funny, I love this blog! I have told all my grandchildren when they lie a red dot shows up on their forehead, so when they tell me something, (if its a lie) they cover their forehead………….and then want to know how I know they are lying………… funny!

  120. “The tv is broken… For some reason it only works when a mommy show is on… I’ve called the cable company, but we all know how terrible they are…” I use this on both my husband and daughter when the mood suits.

  121. i love this! my children are teens now… but this cracks me up!
    my lie(s): i have a website that i can view all of your text msgs. believe it! (and my teenage daughter did, so much so that at 16, a bf had sent her a text telling her that he was going to marry me.. she came to me frantic, “MOM, don’t read my text msg. Matt said something that is really secret! Please don’t read that one! I told him that you could see them… but after he sent the text to me.” Ha ha… silly teens. Yes, I’m brilliant! 😉

  122. My grandaughter doesn’t like her veggies except for aspargus. She has a beautiful curly hair that she is very proud of, so I told her that aspargus helps her hair grow strong and shinny, I even showed her the tip of the veggie… she now eats it without any complaint. I dont know when she will discover the true, but doesn’t matter, she already likes it.

  123. We use the pediatrician as an excuse for a lot of things…. Dr. T said you need to stop yelling so much. It’s hurting your voice. Dr. T said that you need to drink your orange juice or you won’t get strong bones (it was extra calcium). We blame a lot of things on Dr. T. I wonder what Mr. T would have to say about this.

  124. Here’s a lie I tell my kids…”If you don’t finish that cup of water, you’ll dry out and become one of them zombies!”. It works on my 5-yr old every time.

  125. “You don’t eat the peels and the seeds of fruits because then it will start to grow in your stomach and it *censored*. You see now don’t you?”

    Couldn’t they have just researched it and told us the correct version? I was terrified of fruits for years.

  126. My mother told me and I told my girls that there is a ‘Mommy Connection”, so if you do something wrong and a Mom finds out, it will get back to me. Sometimes it worked and they fessed up just in fear of me finding out, and for the most part it worked until they were smart alecky 14 year olds.

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  128. I am totally using the “fairy” and “killer bee” lies when I have kids. And the lie from the show Gilmore Girls about not touching the oven knobs: “those are the devils’ hands”! Ha, oh man you are the coolest dad ever.

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  130. I have always said if you pick your nose your eyes will fall out. LOL. A few years ago I was driving with my 5 year old nephew and when I turned to look at him he had one hand covering eyes and was picking his nose with the other. I askd him what was he doing and he said I don’t want my eyes to fall out

  131. I guess the tooth Fairly and Santa are the biggest and most accepted lies we tell our children…. It was so disappointing to me when they found out the truth…. They were also disappointed and took a while to trust me again.

    My boys used to say “Well you lied about Santa, why should I believe you…. ” lol… … I think I’m forgiven now….

  132. My Grandma (paternal) used to baby sit me and she could not go upstairs. One day she let me at age 5 watch a movie that included vampires and she told me that a family of them lived in the closet upstairs! I personally use the doctor as you do, as my son got a little older a couple of times he asked the doctor questions about, apparently docs are used to this b/c he played along. 🙂

  133. When we were young, my mom always told my brothers and me to finish every single grain of rice on our plates. If not, we were gonna pick up everything in purgatory (after life) using our eyes. How dark is that? So until now, I still finish all on my plate when I eat! Morbid!

  134. I can’t remember my parents ever lying to me. My two older sisters however, are a different story. When I was four, I was curious about why I didn’t look like Mom or Dad (I looked like a mix but couldn’t see it at the time). One of my sisters told me it’s because they found me on sale for $9.99 near the plants at front of Fry’s, a grocery store near our house. Talk about causing identity issues! Guess this was more of a nasty prank than something to change my behaviour.

    Oh well. I don’t have kids, but your post was such a good read and very entertaining! Great writing. Thanks so much for the laughs!

  135. I decided to ask my mother about Santa while I was 5, in the bathtub in the middle of July. When she was honest I burst into tears and said I couldn’t believe they had lied to me for “all these years” and made her feel awful. Haha, bet she didn’t see that one coming. I was a little shit.

  136. I remember how my dad stopped me from throwing a banana peel on the track while we were waiting for the train. He said, “If I throw the peel, it will derail the train”. Whenever I see any accidents on TV, I used to wonder who threw the peel on the track. But only after I knew the reality, I came to know he told it so that I will use the waste bin.

  137. My favorite lie I’ve told my kids is something I tell my daughter when she picks her nose, I tell her “If you keep picking your nose you’re going to get a brain infection.” It’s a pretty extreme lie, but it sure gets her little finger out of her nose quick! This is a great atricle.

  138. Ok, too many comments to see if this was already written, but we had a fireplace growing up. My Mom would say, “Don’t play with the fire or you’ll pee the bed.” This of course did not keep my brother from poking at the fire.

  139. “Eat your crust and you will grow hair on your chest.” Mostly said to boys… one time my Grampie said it to me. Hello, what girl wants hair on their chest!? I didn’t eat crust when I was a kid.

  140. I don’t even have children but I loved your commentary – and your wit… and I think wit is what saves kids in end and helps them navigate effectively through the world… it’s more or less all I ever got from my parents – but it’s got me to 3 continents as a resident and over 40 as a visitor and generally made my life
    enviable to many so keep telling those lies… and teaching your kids your great sense of humor. They will turn out great 😉

  141. I love it!! I have twin three year olds and I can’t tell you how many times we tell them they are going to be left at home alone if they don’t put thier shoes on.

  142. I was told that if I don’t take my afternoon nap the Japanese warriors will come to our house and kidnap me. I was so terrified I would force myself to sleep whenever the clock strikes two.

    And if I swallow the seed of a fruit a tree will grow inside of me. Aaack

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  144. Driving home in the car one dark, rainy December night my 8 yr old asked – you have two sisters right? I’m from Ireland, we live in American, the family is all over the place. I said well – there is Auntie Paula in Australia and Auntie Heather in Germany and….I have no idea what came over me…I carried on in the same tone…and Auntie Freeze in the North Pole. I guess I thought the 8 and 11 yr old at least would fall about laughing …but no. “I don’t remember an Auntie Freeze?” says the 11yr old ..and oh I just went for it. ‘Freeze? oh yes you remember her.”. Then comes the inevitable pick up on the North Pole location…’Does she know Santa Claus?’ ..I look confused …” why would you ask that.,,,,is that where he comes from?’ . Now the interesting thing was when I got home and asked family and friends whether we should keep it up or let the kids know Mummy was just being silly ‘again’…….

  145. Mommies need quiet time every once in awhile. However, with 4 kids, that can be quite hard to accomplish. So – I tell my kids, “Mom has to make a very important phone call…it is an extremely important work call and I need to make it in private. You must not interrupt me!”. Then I steal away to my bedroom or my vehicle and thoroughly enjoy my 20 minutes of solitude. I’ve been using this one for years because it is so effective. My kids think I spend a lot of time on the phone!

  146. Hey are using WordPress for your site platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and set up my
    own. Do you need any coding knowledge to make your own
    blog? Any help would be really appreciated!


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