My kids have taught me a lot of things but one of the most disturbing and yet handy is my improving skill at lying. I know that at the same time that I am teaching my kids to be honest and tell the truth, I am also actively engaged in the art of deception. Here are a few of my favorite lies parents tell kids:
- "If you don't brush your teeth they will fall out." My husband told our boys this when he was little which resulted in Hockey Boy being terrified of going to bed without brushing his teeth. So no matter how late it was or where the toothbrush might be packed, we had to find it and let Hockey Boy brush his teeth. This lie while handy at first came back to bite us in the end, though still to Hockey Boy's benefit I guess.
- "Monsters are not real." My boys loved the movie Monsters, Inc. and they were convinced for years that the monsters only lived at the ride at Disneyland. Now we are telling them monsters don't exist but the truth is the world is full of monsters, evil people who hurt people for no reason. But we keep telling the boys that monsters are fiction because we just don't want them to be scared.
- "Your little brother is going to be bigger than you when he grows up because he eats all his healthy food." We tell this lie to Hockey Boy all the time to try to get him to eat his fruits, vegetables and even pizza. It doesn't really work as much as I would have thought considering how competitive Hockey Boy is. The truth is that Little One will probably be the tallest of the three simply because of his DNA. He was taller on his 3rd birthday than the other two boys were when they turned 4.
- "I'm working!" For some reasons the boys understand the concept that working is important and shouldn't be interrupted. So sometimes when I really want to get something done on the computer, or even when I just want a few more minutes to read blogs or Facebook, I will tell Little One that I am working when really I am just procrastinating a little longer.
- "You won't get hurt." A lie I often tell any one of the boys when they get nervous about doing something new that they deem dangerous. I think when Middle Man broke his arm ice skating I was caught on this one but I now have him convinced that it was a fluke and that he won't break any more bones playing hockey. Hopefully not another lie.
- And my favorite lie, "Yes, Virginia. There is a Santa Claus." I have never actually used those words but we talk about Santa like he is real. My husband and I both mention Santa not liking some boy's behavior or the naughty and nice list over and over again starting right after Halloween. We even have an elf named George who visits our house in December. Each night he magically flies back to the North Pole, reports all he saw to Santa, and returns before dawn the next morning sitting in a different spot than the day before. "I have no idea how he gets to the spot."