In our house this isn’t so much a lie as a stalling tactic. Ok, maybe it’s a small lie. It’s utilised in situations where you need to let the child think they have gotten their way without actually letting them have their way.
Typically used in situations of intense public scrutiny such as in the middle of the shops or during a school assembly, you can always argue about the definition of the word ‘maybe’ in the privacy of your own home later.
Lie # 2: When you’re older
Sometimes this isn’t actually a lie, like when you use it to answer questions such as ‘when can I drive Daddy’s new car’ and ‘when can I get a tattoo’. When it becomes a bit of a fib is when you know perfectly well the child can do it right now, you just can’t be arsed letting them.
Like when they ask to push the trolley at the supermarket at 4.45pm on a Saturday or when they want to try rollerblading.
Lie # 3: Of course it’s chicken
Your lie might be ‘of course there’s no vegetables’ or ‘of course it’s fish’ but regardless, most families have a stock standard lie to feed their fussy kids at mealtimes. In our house, it so happens that ‘chicken’ is the only meat my kids eat. Or think they eat…
I grew up eating ‘chicken of the sea’ and I was in double digits before I figured that one out, so it seems only fair that I am passing on this teeny tiny falsie.
Lie # 4: That’s the rules and I don’t make the rules
Talk about passing the buck! The good thing about having other people of authority in your kid’s life (day care, school, police etc) is that you can attribute to them a bunch of rules they know nothing about.
I’m not referring to real-life rules like wearing seat belts and having hair tied up at school, I mean the ‘rules’ like ‘you can’t wear your pyjamas to day care or they won’t let you in’ or ‘if you don’t do your homework the police will want to know why.’
Lie # 5: I think we lost that/it must be at Grandma’s house
This is a gentle lie to cover up the fact that you have tossed the item in question into the bin. Things like weird glitter glue, crappy Happy Meal toys, obnoxiously loud toys and half dried out play-do… plead ignorance.
What? You’ve lost your vuvuzela? I’m not sure hon, I think we lost that.
Lie # 6: That’s only for grown ups
Sure it is. Control of the TV remote, that block of chocolate you have hidden behind the cushion, and the litre of choc milk hidden in the fridge . Sorry, that’s for grown-ups.
If they protest, simply refer them to Lie #4.
Lie # 7: I don’t know
Let’s face it, as parents there are times when we do know, but we can’t be bothered explaining it to them. Why do boys have a willy and girls have a vagina? Why can I see the moon during the day? Why do babies like to eat their boogies?
And the big ones: how do babies come out of your tummy? And how do they get in there.
Speaking as something who has told the truth with regard to the above questions and now must live with the consequences, let me just say, that sometimes it is better to lie.