Lies We Tell Our Children and Don’t Feel Badly About

Lies We Tell Our Children

Honesty is the best policy; unless you live with kids. In that case, honesty is not always the best policy (well, honey, I think it would be a lovely idea for you to go to VPK tomorrow and tell all your friends exactly how babies end up in mommy’s bellies so daddy and I are just going to tell you all about that one, since you asked and all…um, no). Parents have to lie; it’s part of their job. And for those of you already mentally structuring the hate email you’re looking to send when you’re done reading this, I present you with:


The Tooth Fairy

The Easter Bunny

Where Babies Come From

What you were just doing in your bedroom with daddy when junior walked in

Thank you and good night.

Lying to our kids is a crucial part of life. We lie to them to protect them, to make ourselves feel better, to make life easier and to help them foster a love of the imaginary (except that one imaginary friend that hates everything you do and is a total jerk and you want to punch him in his stupid imaginary face because he’s turning your sweet kid into a jerk, too). We lie to our kids. And guess what; we don’t feel bad about it. I’m just being honest here – I’m saying what you’re all thinking. I probably lie to my kids at least a half dozen times a day, if not more; and I do not feel bad.

To my big fat lying parents, don’t let anyone make you feel bad about lying to your kids; we are all better for it. And if you need me to stand up for you and make you feel a little better about your Pinocchio-like ways, hop aboard my personal crazy train and see what kind of lies my husband and I tell our kids every single day and do not feel even remotely guilty about telling them.


“Yes, that was amazing!” “Yes, your jumps are getting so much higher!” No, no; they’re not. And no, I had no idea that scribble scrabble you just brought to me was me because it’s not that good and you’re not that talented and, in fact, you should give up your ‘creativity and talents’ now because you’re not that good at them. See, now that would be the truth, but how mean is that? I want my kids to think that they’re getting better at things so that they’ll keep practicing and maybe one day, maybe just one day, actually get better at things.

Elf on the Shelf

He’s watching; all the time. My kids think that this is the end-all and be-all of good behavior, and I’m fine with that. Sometimes Mr. Elf leaves a note throughout the year just to remind the kids that even though he’s not writing love notes on their bathroom mirrors in toothpaste does not mean he’s not still watching. He’s always watching.


My kids love to be helpful, even though they are not. They are not helpful. They make everything take like 18 times as long as it needs to, and they do it wrong, and I just itch and squirm and want so badly to just make it stop. But I don’t; I tell them they are such big helpers and then send them on their way still glowing from my phrase so I can fix all the things that they just did wrong before my inner OCD personality hangs herself from the staircase in despair. I want them to be helpful one day, so I love (hate) it today to foster good feelings and a desire to continue their helpful nature.

Magical powers

No, there are not actually eyes in the back of my head and I don’t actually see everything. However, small kids are not that smart and I don’t even have to break out my inner Nancy Drew to see that my kids did, in fact, play with the toothpaste in the bathroom and get it on everything. They might not think that anyone will ever know if it is not something they see with their actual eyes, so it works in my favor that my vast knowledge makes them think that I do have eyes in the back of my head. It keeps them in line most of the time.

Lost items

I have no idea what happened to your Frozen Karaoke machine’s plug. I have no idea that someone walked into your playroom, snatched the plug from the wall and hid it in the deep, dark depths of the room beneath the stairs because that person swore if she had to hear someone screeching “Let it Go,” one more time before 7 am on a loudspeaker that she was going to go find a serial kidnapper and beg him to take her away forever. No clue, kids. Perhaps, if you did a better job of cleaning up and caring for your belongings, it would not be lost.


“We are going to be late!” I scream every single morning 45 minutes before we have to be out the door. If I don’t say this, we will be late. Call it a lie, call it a foreshadowing; call it whatever you want. My kids get to school on time even though there are four of them, 3 need me to dress them, I have to dress myself and both the twins manage to poop in their brand new diapers and require a quick changes as I’m loading everyone into the car in the morning. I win.


Yes, the park does sound like a blast, but the weather (looks out window to see sunshine all around)…at the park, is pouring rain. I’d show you, but then I’d have to turn off Bubble Guppies and put on the weather channel, and that’s no fun. Mommy’s just going to finish this glass of wine and stand by the door until daddy gets home, okay?


God chooses people to have babies, the baby is in the mommy’s tummy and BAM! The baby is out. That’s all there is to it. Oh, and God only chooses mommies and daddies that are married and love each other very much and have plenty of money to buy their babies clothes and food and pay for their education. Because if you think for even one second that you can get pregnant as a teenager or an unwed woman, I’ll kill you.

The general population

I don’t know why little Susie’s mother never brings her to school or why she lives with her grandparents or how come she has no new shoes, darling. Maybe she likes to save all her money for something really cool, like college, so she doesn’t spend it on new shoes all the time. Do you really want me to tell my 4-year-old that little Susie’s mom is a drug addicted prostitute and her father is a drug dealing convict serving 7-10 and she lives with her grandparents who have no education, no job and live off the system and pay to support all her brothers and sisters since their baby daddy’s won’t help out, either? No, I’m not going there. The kids are going to see what the world is like eventually, and I’m not about to form my kids’ opinions of it for them.


In our house we have four kids. Our 18-month-old twins are the sweetest babies you’ll ever meet, but if we even try to keep them awake past 6:30 pm, they turn into tiny little exorcist-like monsters; so we don’t. Our 7 and 4-year-olds are sweet, too, but they go to bed at 7:30 otherwise they make me want to run away and join the circus within 10 minutes of waking up in the morning. And sometimes, they do that anyway. And sometimes, we tell them at 6:45 that it’s bed time – and sometimes we even set all the clocks ahead so that our oldest doesn’t catch us lying. Now is when most moms would insert hashtag sorry not sorry.

Photo by Getty Images


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