Last night, my seven-year-old lied about brushing her teeth. Want to know how I knew she was lying? I told her to stick out her tongue. You see, I’ve convinced my children if they are lying there will be a big black dot on their tongue and only parents can see it. When she refused open her mouth I automatically knew she was lying about brushing her teeth.
After we had a long talk about why we need to tell the truth and why lying is wrong, something startling occurred to me. I lie to my children ALL THE TIME! Let’s go over a few of the blatant white lies I tell them, in addition to the black dot on the tongue. These examples don’t even include the Big 3 – Santa (including Elf on the Shelf), the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy.
- The pool is closed. My kids love going swimming at the YMCA pool in the winter. I hate it! Besides having to pour my pasty body into a bathing suit, I have to endure them jumping into the pool no less than 100 times, insisting that I catch them, which often involves a kick to the chest, face or baby maker. So my standard excuse is “the pool is closed” or “the pool is busy because there are swimming lessons.” This lie also works with places like the bounce house or trampoline park.
- A favorite toy is sleeping. This only works for younger kids, but it’s very effective. Both of my daughters are infatuated with toys that make an type of loud and obnoxious noise. So much so that it’s often reached the point where I’ve removed the batteries from the and told them it was “sleeping.” Or, I hide the toy and act surprised we can’t find it. However, this has not worked for the infamous Hello Kitty drum set Santa brought last year.
- All of your friends are asleep. Bedtime has always been a challenge at my house. For some reason when I tell my younger daughter all of her friends from school are already asleep she settles down. Could be the peer pressure or the fact that she is extremely competitive. In any case, I’ll take whatever works.
- The store was out of Cheetos. My four-year-old’s favorite snack is Cheetos, but I rarely buy them because they are also my favorite snack. Give me a five minutes alone with a bag and I’ll emerge covered in orange powder. This is why I tell my daughter the grocery store was out of Cheetos. Although whenever she is with me at the grocery store she gets excited to see that the store has Cheetos back in stock.
- You must have eaten all the Halloween candy. Like most kids, mine inventory their candy and know exactly how many pieces of each kind they have in their buckets. Momma is a big fan of Kit Kats and Twix bars, especially since the mini size basically have no calories. 😉 That means a few pieces may go missing. When my children inevitably notice and question the lack of Kit Kats and Twix bars in their Halloween buckets, I always default to saying, “Well, you must have eaten it.” I use the mom tone and look so they know not to question.
Talk about a conflict of moral lessons. But you know what? I don’t feel bad. As a mom, little white lies are part of surviving.
What white lies have you told your kids?