Lies, Damned Lies, and the Stuff We Tell Our Kids

Okay, is there anyone out there who can honestly say he or she hasn’t lied to a child? We all do it and we know that everyone else does, but there’s something about reading a study that makes things sound a lot worse.

Turns out that 90 percent of parents have a whole arsenal of completely BS stories we tell our kids, according to Warbutrons, a major UK bakery firm. And this goes way beyond the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus. Here are some of the best lies (if you aren’t already using these, feel free to claim that you made them up):

  • A small hungry princess (or prince) lives inside your stomach and only vegetables will satisfy her or his hunger.
  • If you stay in the bath too long, you’ll get washed down the drain.
  • Carrots make you see in the dark.
  • Other veggies and fruits will turn you into a superhero.
  • If you keep making those faces, your face will stay like that.

Interestingly, moms have an average of nine lies that they cycle through, which dads have only five.

When asked why they tell these stories, 45 percent say it’s necessary, and that they do it to keep their kids healthy and safe. A few more details:

  • 38 percent invoke the Tooth Fairy.
  • 35 percent cleverly hide veggies in other foods to get kids to eat them.
  • 14 percent wind clocks forward to trick the kids into going to bed earlier.
  • 2 percent tell their kids that the mindlessly annoying music ice cream trucks play means they’re out of ice cream. Okay, that one’s just cruel—but I may have to start using it.
  • An unspecified percentage has pretended to take a call from a teacher as a ruse to get the kids to do their homework.

So how often do you lie to your kids? What lies do you tell them—and what lies did your parents tell you?

Whatcha think?

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