Thursday, March 08, 2012

The Lies We Tell our Kids

There actually IS an app for that...
The Boy has really gotten into the whole 'lying' thing lately. He's gone at this particular milestone with gusto and I hate to admit it, but he reminds me SO much of myself at a young age. I'd like to think it's his keen wit and brilliant imagination that's got him making up these elaborate lies to tell us, but I know it's really just him being a kid and making stuff up. And, it's relentless... these days, almost everything out of the kid's mouth is a lie: a 'version' of the truth, a stretch, or an all-out fabrication. He does get a 'talking to' for lying, and we tell him all the time that it's better to tell the truth, than to lie and get in double the trouble.

But the other day it occurred to me that as parents, we lie to our kids too. All.The.Time. I don't believe the parents who say they are 100% honest with their kids - it's just not possbile to tell your kids the truth all the time! Hello... Santa? Easter Bunny? Sure they are fun 'make believe' stories, but let's face it: they are lies. We make up these things and feed them to our kids and they simply aren't true.

But, beyond the parental-obligation lies like Santa, there are the every day make-my-life-easier ones. Once you start to pay attention to them, you realize just how often you lie to your kids. Around here we're up to every day, if not several times a day of lies. And my kids aren't even home during the day all week!
  • No, there aren't any vegetables in that sauce
  • Coffee isn't good for kids - it will make hair grow on your chest
  • Yes, you have to go to bed by 8:00... your doctor told me
  • That's a bad word because... it says so in the dictionary. No, I don't really know what it means.

Oh but the best are the ones that the kids KNOW are a lie, but you keep telling because you're not sure what else to do.
  • If you get out of bed one more time, I'm taking all the furniture out of your room
  • If you don't stop pestering your sister, I am calling Johnny's mother to cancel your playdate
  • Get your boots on RIGHT NOW or we are not going to the party
  • I am going to call your father and tell him to get on the next plane home sohelpmegod!
(see a theme here??)

Of course, there are the Big Lies. The ones you kind-of hope never come up, and once you say them you really hope your kids don't ask more questions because they're hard to elaborate on, but then they do ask and you're stuck in a Web of Big Lies and at this point you're waiting for one of them to throw up or something to catch on fire to get you out of the Web...
  • No, Daddy and I are never going to die
  • Noooo... it's doesn't hurt to get a needle...
  • Those animals are just... um. Wrestling.
What lies have you told your kids recently? Have you ever been caught in a lie?