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Apr 22, 2016 / By Dr. Sweta Patel

Lying: 15 Common Lies Parents Tell Children

“C’mon in! If kids stay out in the dark, the witch from the tree comes and gets them.” I grew up with this lie. The huge banyan tree (when trees surrounded our homes) was my most feared destination. The witch never came but my mother always managed to get me inside. In these ‘modern’ times we don’t plant these ‘witchy’ seeds any more. However, we parents have a few white lies that we tell our children. Some are age old, some are new at least to me. Here are 15 that I came across:

Milk makes you big and tall.

A classic white lie to get your child to drink milk. The comparison with a boy or girl, who has grown taller and stronger because of drinking milk, follows this lie. “He’s almost eight now but I can still get him with this one,” chuckles my sister-in-law so loudly over the phone that I have to hold it away from my ear.

Granny became a star.

Well, most grandparents become stars thanks to this yet another classic white lie. It is to explain their whereabouts since they were till yesterday, living with us. When grandparents die, parents use this lie-an awesome example of sugar coating since times of yore!

I’ll be back soon.

You’ve packed your laptop, your lunch, and are gearing up to spend the entire day in office when you tell your kid “I’ll be back soon!” Now if that isn’t a lie, God knows what is. Most parents use this lie when their kids don’t want them to leave for work. We should be thankful they are still innocent enough to believe us, every single time!

There are no biscuits in the house.

You have biscuits that can weigh their cost in gold, sitting in that tin in the kitchen and you tell your kid, “There are no biscuits in the house.” I even make a forlorn expression to follow this white lie of mine. It’s another matter that my son knows the tin and fetches a packet for me to open even before I finish my sentence!

I will bring you back here some other time.

Have you been to a toy store or a play zone? Yes, that place where your kids forget every lesson in manners that you’ve taught them? If you have, then you are a liar. No parent can come out of these places without this standard line to their children. Do you really wish to bring them back? Liar liar, pants on fire!

It’s not gourd, it’s potato!

Yes, and we live in Mars! Lying to kids about vegetables is the new-age way of making them eat. Most children are fussy and that leaves us parents with no choice but to lie!

The toy shop is closed.

The lights are blinding, the mannequins display an array of toys, there are even people walking in and out and we tell them, “That toy shop is closed.” Anything to save you from bankruptcy, isn’t it?

I’m going home without you.

The moon is up, dinner isn’t ready yet, papa will be home soon, and we’re still out playing in the park. Isn’t this a situation when you say, “Come home with me or I’m going without you?” This is my go-to lie every single time!

Chocolate makes your poop brown!

Now this is a new one. Pritha tells her chocolate-loving daughter. The two-year-old hates to hear how ugly her poop looks. Perhaps not eating chocolate will make her potty look better! Fair point well made I would say!

Pepsi is black water, you wouldn’t like it

Kinshuk is a dad, yes. More importantly he’s someone who hides behind closets at home to eat junk. Recently, he was caught drinking Pepsi in his not-so-effective hiding spot and this is what he told his three-year-old.

Chocolate will give you a boil on your bum.

Anya gets lots of boils on her bum since she’s allergic to dust. Her parents think why not use that as an excuse to stray her away from chocolate. Thus, this is the lie that they use. God forbid they get a boil!

You turn into a monkey if you make a monkey face.

And you turn into a dog if you walk on all fours! Huh? Shreya loves making funny faces. Her parents have quite successfully mitigated this love with this white lie of theirs. Cute and fun!

Chewing gum sticks to your tummy and never comes out!

This is another one from my childhood. I’m reminiscing a lot today. My parents were quite the lying lot I believe! My brother and I loved chewing gum and this is how our mom got us to stop. So effective was her lie that I still believe it!

I forgot to get my wallet today.

Chetan was running errands with his little one when she spotted a teddy bear at the grocer’s. Now, someone please tell these people that a grocery shop is not meant for teddy bears because otherwise, this is the foolish way in which we have to lie!

You only get 1000 words a week!

This is the latest!
I was out shopping for Diwali and a kid was harrowing her mom for more crackers. I think it’s a regular kid thing to talk a lot, but she surpassed them all. That’s when her genius mom told her, “We only get 1000 words a week and if you use all your words up today, you won’t be able to speak on Diwali!” “Shush” anyone?

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