Oooh – lying to kids – it’s a bit of a minefield, this one.
But we’re not talking whoppers – or anything that would harm them – just those little ones (like that the ice-cream van only plays music when it’s run out of ice cream or that the toy shop doesn’t sell toys it’s actually just a toy museum) that will generally help them out in the long run or protect them from something.
And here at MFM we loved this Quora post, where mums and dads shared some of the little white lies they’ve told their children – albeit in their best interests, of course.
Take a look…
1. The back crank
“Funny thing: the other night Maggie, as per usual, did not eat much dinner, so I told her she needed to eat or her body would stop working one night, and I would have to crank her back up.
“She said, ‘What do you mean?’ and I replied, ‘You know that part of your back you can’t quite reach? There’s a crank back there we can use to crank you back up if you stop working.’
“She said, ‘Daddy!’, realising I was pulling her leg. But about ten seconds later, there she is, feeling behind her back with both hands. Heh.” – Michael K
2. Why the toy shop’s closed
“Not mine, but my husband’s: ‘Toys R Us is closed right now. They are counting the toys.’
“Worked for a while and as he got older and caught on, it expanded into a joke and helped diffuse some arguments: McDonald’s is closed because they are counting the fries, etc.” – Maria P
3. You’ll use your screams up
“Best lie I’ve ever told kids? Easy… and I still use it for noisy ones.
“Some kids in our old apartment complex were yelling and screaming, playing chase, whatever… I came downstairs and said, ‘So, you kids don’t really care about using up your screams, do you?’
“’What?’ they asked, curious. So I sat down and told them: ‘Well, in your life time, you *only* get a few hundred screams. If you use them all up as a child, you’ll never ever be able to scream again… not even if a monster was chasing you!’
“To their incredulous comments, I said ‘I learned the hard way… listen!’ and opened my mouth, and pantomimed a loud scream. Really threw my heart into it.
“Not a single sound came out! Their eyes went huge and they all looked rather scared.
“’It’s OK, you can scream when you need to… but don’t use them all up.’ I cautioned. Ahhhh blissful peace!” – Penina W
4. The single dad’s happy tears
‘My wife left, with the children, in May 2013. At the time the children were 9 (boy) and 7 (girl). The only person who wasn’t heartbroken was my wife. Even the spiders cried.
“A few months after leaving, the children were staying with me for the weekend. Their mum had gone away for the weekend with the guy she left me for. I felt like shit but struggled, as always, to stay upbeat whenever the kids were around.
“This particular night the kids heard me crying in my room and my daughter came through with her Snoopy dog.
‘Are you OK, daddy?’
‘Yeah, sure I’m OK, I’m fine.’
‘Snoopy wants to give you a hug,’ she said. My boy came in soon after.
‘Are you OK, dad?’
‘I’m fine son, I’m OK.’
There’s a pause.
‘Why were you crying daddy? Is it because mummy’s gone away with him?’
‘What? Oh, no no… no, it was happy tears, because you two are here and because mummy’s having lots of fun… which means I don’t have to share you tomorrow!’
“Big smiles all round, lots of cuddles, and, right then, I knew nothing at all mattered other than protecting these beautiful children.
“At a later date, when the pain wasn’t as raw, I explained my true feelings to them… I don’t particularly like having to tell them lies, but at that moment in time, it was the best course of action.” – Rob M
5. Spare noses
“I always keep my pockets full of extra noses if someone wants to take one of my son’s. He hates the ‘Got Your Nose’ game, but people insist on playing it with him, so to calm him down I make sure I always have extras, just for him.” – Ashleigh D
6. The Police will get me…
“I use this often with my two younger children: ‘It’s illegal. I’ll get arrested if I did that.’
“It works for a lot of things: ‘Daddy, can I have ice cream for breakfast?’
“No. It’s illegal. I’ll get arrested.
‘Daddy, can I watch TV?’ Not right now. It’s too early in the morning. It’s illegal. I’ll get arrested.”
What do you think?
Apart from Santa and the tooth fairy – are you ever tempted to tell your littles ones a white lie?