By TMoM Team Member Katie Moosbrugger
I think one of the best perks of being a parent is the ability to tell a white lie when you need to – and not feel guilty about it (at least try not to). We all tell white lies to our children, and if you say you haven’t, then you’re lying! White lies are ideal when you want to put off the truth so our kids can hold on to the magic of childhood as long as possible. Plus let’s admit: white lies come in handy when we want to teach a lesson, encourage our child to do the right thing, or let mom and dad have a break every so often.
I brainstormed my favorite white lies (from childhood and parenthood), quizzed my friends on their most memorable misstatements, compiled them all in a list below, and they’re terrific! Let us know if any of these sound familiar, or better yet, share new ones (as a comment at the end of this post) that you’ve used and can recommend to other parents!
Holiday white lies are my favorites and most-used. It’s a wonder my children (ages 10 and 7) still “believe” after seeing Santa cram himself into a beat-up hatchback at Hanes Mall, or the Easter Bunny with sparkly painted toe nails, or noticing the bright white label stitched onto the Elf on the Shelf’s butt year after year.
However, no holiday white lie will ever top the one that Kelly from TMoM remembers best. When she was little, she awoke to discover the most amazing Christmas present ever: a full-size 1970s-style swing set – complete with a slide, teeter totter and swings – assembled on the roof of her house. Yes, her dad put the entire thing together on their roof to make ensure a magical Christmas. I think his little “white lie” to prove Santa is real was a success!
Here are more funny – and effective – white lies (feel free to use them yourself!)…
~ Our friends/neighbors had three young children, and when they wanted some “alone time,” they would tell the kids they had to lock the bedroom door and clean the shower with bad chemicals. It always makes me laugh when I think about it!
~ When my brother was studying Amelia Earhart in elementary school, my mom told him that our grandmother was actually Amelia Earhart, and made him promise not to tell anyone Granny’s secret. He believed that story for years and was infatuated with Amelia Earhart.
~ I told my son there are bugs that live in his nose that would bite his finger if he kept picking it. Totally didn’t stop him.
~ My godmother could never get her son to eat anything but chicken tenders. So once she fried fish and told him it was chicken. He ate it and loved it. Years later he found out the truth and was furious, but ironically today he is a chef.
~ After my dog bit me, my parents took him to live on a big farm out in the country. It wasn’t until I was an adult before I figured out the truth.
~ Child: Mommy, how did we ever get in your belly? Mother: You were a gift from God, of course!
~ I told my son that if he watches too much TV or plays on the computer for too long, his eyes will cross permanently.
~ As a kindergartner, I once climbed through a tunnel that lead to the median of a major highway. My mom (who was completely horrified I did that), told me she was surprised I made it through the tunnel because that’s where all the snakes in our state lived. That kept me out of the tunnel – plus she lobbied the state to build a fence in front of the tunnel opening!
~ My mom used to always replace our milk with powdered milk that she’d mix with water – and then put back in the milk jug. We thought it tasted horrible, but she just told us that cows graze in different fields which is why the milk sometimes tasted different.
~ Whenever my daughter asks for help with her math homework, I always say, “Go ask Daddy. He is so much smarter than me in math, and he loves doing math problems!”
~ “Don’t pee in the pool. If you do, a red dot will follow you around and everyone will know you peed!”
~ To get my daughter to eat salad, we convinced her that Taylor Swift eats salad all the time, and that salad helped improve her voice. My daughter eats salad all the time now.
~ We use the excuse that places or things are closed if we don’t feel like taking the kids. But it backfired once when I forgot that my son could read. I told him the bumper boats at Adventure Landing were closed, and he replied, “But Mommy, why does it say O-P-E-N? Doesn’t that mean it’s open?”
~ I’ve told my son the internet was down so he’d stops bugging me about game time.
~ “I don’t know what happened to your millionth art project that you gave to me and told me to keep FOREVER”. a.k.a “It has been recycled behind your back!!”
~ My sister-in-law told her daughter if anyone cut her hair besides a hairdresser it would hurt! (To deter her from every cutting her own hair!)
~ I blame lots of things on the dentist…it’s way better than fighting the “Because I said so” fight. It’s much easier for me to say, “The dentist will be angry if I let you drink anymore Sprite this week.” Or, “The dentist will be mad if you eat any more of that because it will give you a cavity.”
~ My dad used to tell me that drinking coffee (and beer!) would make you grow a beard.
~ I told my son when he was little that the TV ran out of batteries because he wanted to watch way too much TV!
~ My great-grandfather used to drink something that he called “kickapoo juice.” Every time he drank it he would let out a big “Whoop” in a high-pitched sound. When my brother and I were young, we thought it was the funniest thing so when we were over at his house we’d ask him to drink his Kickapoo juice. My parents told us it was a special juice that he liked to drink. Little did we know that it was shots of whiskey!!
~ For me, it was always “I have eyes behind my head, ya know!” My mom always told me that so I wouldn’t think I could get away with anything when she wasn’t looking and I catch myself saying that ALL THE TIME to the boys. Recently, my son wanted to look in my hair to see my “eyes”!
~ My mother use to tell us that she never drank or smoke while pregnant with us kids!
Can you add to our list of favorite white lies? Share your white lie as a comment below!