The Most Common Lies I Tell My Kids
Joe DeProspero has two sons, a wife, and is complimentary birth control for anyone who sits near him in a restaurant. His writing has been described as “outrageous,” “painfully real,” and “downright humiliating.” He talks about the highs and unsettling lows of parenthood while always being entertaining and engaging in the process. Author of the dark comedy fiction novel “The Boy in the Wrinkled Shirt” Joe is working on releasing a parenting humor book. He currently lives in New Jersey and can be emailed at email@example.com or followed on Twitter @JoeDeProspero.
I lie to my children. Pretty much daily. You probably do, too. It’s not that we do it maliciously. We don’t wake up every morning thinking, “Today, I will lie through my teeth to my children.” But we do it anyway. It just happens. In fact, we lie to everyone, most of the time with good intentions. For instance, just this morning a co-worker asked what I did for Thanksgiving and I answered, “Just sat home.” That’s totally not true. Hell, I wasn’t even in my home state. I just didn’t feel like explaining it. Technically, I lied. But frankly, this is nothing compared to the blatant mistruths I spew at my sons.
I’m going to venture a guess that most of you have said these at some point. But here’s a list of common phrases I tell my kids that stretch the truth a bit, or a lot.
I’m not gonna tell you again.
I say this regularly. And immediately regret it. Because I most certainly, absolutely, no-doubt-about-it am going to tell him again. Pretty much immediately after I tell him I won’t. In fact, I say it about 16 more times, on average.
I will totally stop this car and leave you on the side of the road.
I mean, that would just be crazy, and definitely illegal. Just to keep them guessing, though, I start slowing down and look towards the shoulder, so they think I’m serious. But the fact that I’d never be evil enough to actually do it makes this a lie.
I’m in charge here.
I wipe their butts, change their diapers, feed them appetizing meals according to their personal taste preferences like they’re czars….and I’m in charge?
I don’t care if you cry; you’re not getting it.
Crying always changes things. Even if we try to resist. Try, just try, not to bend a little bit when a child cries for something. I have a son with a soy allergy. I refused to give him a cookie because of it. Then the waterworks started and before you could say “chocolate chip,” he had a mouthful of soy.
I’ll give you to the count of 3 to sit in that chair.
Okay, let’s get something straight. Counting to 3 by saying “1….2………2 1/6….2 1/3…..I’m serious here….I will totally say it…..okay, here it comes…..3!” This is not counting to 3. This is counting to 15, taking the scenic route.
Santa is watching.
If Santa is watching, and can hear and see everything we’re doing, why do we need to send him a list of things we want him to bring us? Is he just not paying attention? Is he hard of hearing? This is a clear plot-hole. And sometimes I tell them, “I’m going to tell Santa and make sure he takes a toy off your list!” Is he watching or do I need to inform him of things? I need to get this one straight.
I’m never letting you _______ again.
Talking in absolutes with children is never a good idea (see what I did there?). Saying you’re never going to let them play with a specific friend of theirs or take them to a certain restaurant because he acted like a complete goon there last time you went is incredibly unrealistic. And it makes you look like a tool when, inevitably, you go back on your word. So I’ve started to say things like, “That’s it. We’re never eating ice cream in the winter on a Tuesday again!” Narrows the scope and makes lying about 70% less likely.
You probably didn’t realize you were such a liar. Trust me, I didn’t either until I compiled this list. But don’t worry, the real silver lining here is that the vast majority of these lies are told to our children before their long-term memory is fully formed. So the only ones who will remember the lies will be us! And I can live with the guilt if you can.
I’m sure there are more to add to this list. So share some of yours! Add a comment below with your standby phrases that end up being lies! And follow me on Twitter for more conversation @JoeDeProspero and to let me know a topic you’d like written about in a future blog. Tweet me with the hashtag #blogtopic. And, as always, feel free to share this blog with a friend who you think would enjoy it!
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