I have a massive confession to make. I’ve found myself, more and more over the last few months, telling little white lies. TO MY OWN CHILDREN! Its terrible right? We teach them to tell the truth no matter what, to be brave and own up and to own their mistakes and there we are eating cookies in the bathroom while they nibble on healthy fruit platters in the playroom.
Is it absolutely wrong to twist the truth sometimes? Or is it really just the same as telling them Father Christmas is real? I’m not sure but here are some things I think many parents (I hope its not just me) tend to “withhold the absolute truth” with. Here are some of the little white lies I find rolling off my tongue in a bid to get them to listen, understand and accept the NOs.
- Too many sweets will kill you. While this is quite a hectic one, there is a degree of truth to it. Research shows that too much sugar can cause cancer and while I don’t need to go that far, all they need to know is that too much sugar is THAT bad for you.
- Watching TV for too long and sitting too close to the TV will give you square eyes. I can remember the first time I told Noah this (Brodes was all like “Ha ha ha ha”) and his eyes turned as big as saucers as he gasped “But eyes are round, not square, eyes are supposed to be round mommmmmmy!!” My thoughts exactly my boy (cue evil laugh mwahahahah)
- The kitchen is closed after 8pm. Ok, before you all go accusing me of starving my kids let me just explain something to you. Living with my kids is like living with two bottomless pits, or better yet like having Garfield in the house. The eating NEVER stops and every five minutes there is a “mommy I’m HUUUUNGREEEEE” coming from somewhere in the house. If I didn’t put a cap on it and declare “kitchen is closing in 5 minutes as warning to the gluttonous pigs that are my sons, we would be living on salty cracks come the middle of he month.
- The pizza place is only open on Friday nights. My kids would eat pizza every day of the week if they were given the chance (freak so would I) so we have adopted a weekly tradition called Pizza Fridays. So if they ask for pizza on a Monday its simple “the pizza delivery guy only works on a Friday, sorry my love!” (I say this with earnest sadness as I feel their pain) Of course on special occasions or when mom and dad feel like breaking the rules (don’t you LOVE being the adult sometimes?) Butlers and Some Oaks pizzeria miraculously open their doors.
- The park is closed today. I love the park with my boys, but sometimes it’s the last thing in the world I feel like doing. Its cold, its windy, I’m tired, I’m LAZY. I used this little white lie once and Noah didn’t even ask again. Had I just said no he would have asked another hundred times before losing my cool and having it destroy our afternoon. Now I just use a sneaky little lie to defuse the situation so we can paint and do Lego instead. In the comfort of our home. Where I can drink tea.
- If you don’t brush your teeth, ants are going to crawl into your mouth when you are sleeping and all your teeth will fall out. Wow as I wrote that and confessed to it, I felt like the worst parent. But you know what? My gran told it to me when I was little and I haven’t skipped a day of brushing since. And neither will they if they don’t want to wake up with creepy crawlies in their mouths.
- Every child in the whole world sleeps in their own bed. At 7pm. So the little half an hour extra we give you is a BIG treat. Noah has been particularly bad with getting into our bed since he was young, despite everything we have tried. He recently went through a stage of sleeping through till 8am in his own bed but somehow he has regressed again and he finds his way between dad and I at 3 am. Do I hate it that much? NO. Besides the foot in my back and occasional punch in the eyeball, I love his snuggly body next to mine. But we need to teach independence right? We need to teach him how to be a BIG boy like his LITTLE brother who sleeps through in his cot every night. We hope that by telling him these little white lies he will find the courage to do what ALL the other kids do. Oh God, I’m evil. PURE evil.
- Your Ninja turtles top in the wash. I hate superhero/character clothing and knew I would regret buying him one. I felt like the worst mom saying no to what seems like a right of passage so I bought one. ONE. The problem is he wants to wear it every single day!!! People are going to think we don’t have money to dress our kids or at least change him out of the stain-ridden top he lives in. It’s easier for everyone this way.
- I’m not throwing away your art bub, I’m going through it all to put in a special file. I don’t know if it’s the same in every school but my kid comes home with more art that Van Gough did in his entire lifetime and while I LOVE the cute things he does, the thing is HE is no Van Gough! What do they expect me to do with it all?
- Carrots, spinach, peas and broccoli will give you superhero powers. This is quite true to a certain degree. Carrots help your vision and spinach and greens help your bones and body fight off infections. GO TURTLE POWER!
- The neighbor’s cat went to live on a farm with all the other cute kitties. The actual truth that this cat went bat shit crazy every time one of the kids came near it, attacked the neighbor’s cat and pestered everyone who saw the light of day. As sad is it was, it had to be put down.
- I have 10 more minutes of work to do and then we can go for a milkshake. We all know I’m gonna be at least another hour.
- If you don’t go to school today all your friends are going to cry because they will miss you too much. Half the kids don’t even know if it Monday or Thursday or whether they have soccer or ballet that day. But they will certainly notice that Noah isn’t there. And the truth is i really need to get the gym.
- Daddy loves doing LEGO at 6am on a Saturday morning. Wake him up first and mommy will join you later around 10am.
- If you don’t wear socks in winter your toes will get so cold they will fall off. You will be like Elsa in Frozen and you feet will turn into popsicles. We wear socks all the time now.
Some people may frown upon the methods I use but have you seriously got any better ideas for those moments when they just don’t want to listen? I dunno about you but telling these little white lies seems ok in the bigger scheme of things. For now, they can be used to defuse all kids of stroppy meltdowns and while my kids are gullible enough to believe them I intend on making the most of it.
When they are old enough to actually reason with I will take a different approach. THE SIMPLE, HARD, HONEST TO GOD TRUTH. But for now, white lies it is.
BY: LEIGH GEARY