10 Big, Fat Lies We All Tell Our Kids

Say What!? 16

pinnochioMy entire life is a lie. Well, that's not completely true. See, I just lied. It's probably because ever since childhood, we adults have been lied to our entire lives.

Okay, so I still refuse to believe that Pluto is not a planet. George Washington never chopped down a cherry tree. And the Civil War wasn't a war to free the slaves. Whether in school or at home, kids are just told certain things to make learning easier. Maybe they're not the most blatant lies, but more a stretching of the truth. Regardless, a white lie is a lie.

So why do we lie to our kids? And don't tell me you don't. Everyone has lied to their kids at some point. Maybe we do it because their minds aren't developed enough to understand the full concept of some things. Or maybe we do it because it's just easier that way.

Since the average U.S. adult lies roughly 29 percent of the time (See, I just made that up. I lied. Again. It's so easy!), we're doing our kids a favor by lying to them. We're inadvertently teaching them that lying is a part of life, and the sooner they can accept it, the better.

Here's a look at 10 Big Fat Lies We All Tell Our Kids.

  1. It doesn't matter if you win or lose, it's how you play the game. Yeah, right. So why do we even keep score? No baseball player's getting a 10-year contract valued at $280 million for just playing a good game.
  2. Fictional characters. Santa Claus. The Easter Bunny. The Tooth Fairy. We make up these elaborate stories about mythical characters because ... well, it's just too darn easy to fool the little buggers.
  3. This will hurt me more than it'll hurt you. Yeah, the kids aren't buying this one either.
  4. Work hard in life and you'll get far. Sure, if by "work hard," you mean walking. That's about the only way you'll get anywhere. The older you get, the more you realize how true it is that it's not what you know, it's who you know.
  5. Stop touching that or your palms will get hairy. No, really? Parents don't STILL say that, do they?
  6. We sent Fluffy upstate to run around a huge farm. Dog, cat, fish, whatever. Whenever a family pet dies, nobody wants to tell the kids. So they're always sent off to some huge farm far away. That must be one ginormous farm if everyone's pet is there!
  7. It's what's on the inside that matters. That's what we apparently tell all the ugly kids.
  8. There's nothing to be scared about. Have you seen what college tuition is going to cost when your kids are old enough?!?
  9. Mommy and daddy were just wrestling. But how come on TV, the athletes all wrestle with their clothes on?
  10. Cheaters never win. Unless you're Lance Armstrong ... for a little while, at least.

What lies do you tell your kids?


Photo via TownePost Network/Flickr

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Elizabeth Ahmad

I have a five year old and I have never told her any of those things.  I tell her the truth in age appropriate ways.

danityjo danityjo

Ok I guess I'm just a mean mom. See I do remember My mom telling me some of those lies. Which made me question other things she said. So I don't want my kids questioning what i way, so i tell them the truth, even regarding santa and the toothfairy..ect.  

NOW about your "Inside that counts" My girls are Beautiful, and I'm not the only one that thinks so. HOWEVER their BEHAVOR reflects how others see and respond to them. I ask them "So That fit you just threw, does that show people that you are pretty on the inside or ugly on the inside?" Then they respond Ugly, "Do you want people to see you that way?" They say no and change their behavor.  It's How you APPROACH the inside that counts. Seriously.. Do you hang out with a someone that is Beautiful and a _itch. or do you avoid them?

danityjo danityjo

And ..."Mommy and daddy are wrestling?" I always heard "It's mommy and daddy Playtime." As i got older I realized nothing could be more true.  lol

amazz... amazzonia

What a bad article! I'm honest when I say that having fun is better than winng, that working hard rewards you and what's inside counts more than the outside. My kids are cute ones, but I don't want them to think that their appearance is important, I want them to work hard, maybe they will not be rewarded with money, but for sure they will be rewarded in their spirits. And we keep scores for jerk parents like you who only make their kids play a sport to see them winning and not for make them smile! 

Jespren Jespren

I hate it when liars accuse *everyone* of lying. Only liars lie, and not all parents are liars. My parents didn't lie to me, I don't lie to my kids. And as amazzonia above stated, some of those things aren't even lies! Win/lose counts when $ in involved, but when you're talking love of the game and respect as a player (of *any* game), it's how you play that counts. Beauty is largely irrelevent to anything worthwhile, and hard work *will* get you far. It might not make you rich in $, but $ is about the least important thing we are forced to pay attention to. I'd much, much rather spend the day in good honest labor and feel tired, satisfied, and fulfilled at the end of the day than make a 'quick buck'. However far you travel on a quick buck will never be as far as you travel, as a human being, as you'll get on hard work.

the4m... the4mutts

I have told my 4 incredbly good looking kids that its the inside that matters, and guess what? Its not a lie. So shut up.

And the "mommy daddy wrestling..." it wasn't a lie. We were having playful wresting type sex. I called it grown up wresting.

I don't lie to my kids. I give them honest, age approperiate answers for thei questions.

And we don't "do" fictional holiday figures in my house.

Cassy Loewen

I dont think of Santa and the Easter Bunny (etc) are trust shattering lies. I grew up with santa, the easter bunny, and all that, and I loved it. Its something that makes it all more magical. So yes, my son will grow up with santa, and all them. And once he finds out theyre not real, he will learn that it is what you made of it that counts. Its the traditions that go with it. Like baking cookies and setting some out for Santa. Its finding the eggs that the easter bunny hid. Its finding the quarter under your pillow after your tooth fell out! Yes, they are lies, but they are so much bigger then the lie itself.

Izrya... Izryalsmom

I completely disagree with this article. I don't know the author's age, but I'm 36 and I remember my mom saying a lot of these things to me. I think more moms my age are choosing to tell age appropriate truths. My son is 3 and the only thing I've ever "lied" to him about is Santa, the Easter Bunny, etc. Like Casey said above, it's about the tradition that comes along with it. And when he gets punished, I have never and will never say it hurts me more than it hurts him. I hated when my mom told me that. I tell my son, that it hurts me to have to punish him, but that I'm doing it to teach him valuable lessons. And I always make sure he knows that I still love him. As for the what's on the inside. I completely agree. It is what's on the inside that counts, but in essence, if you are a girl, you really don't learn that until you are older. Teenage years can be cruel, especially to girls that aren't drop dead gorgeous and model thin. When an "average" looking, "average" weight girl likes a boy, most of the time their feelings are not returned and they learn that its because of their outward appearance. You can teach them all you want that its what's on the inside that counts, but kids are mean and most teenage boys only look at outward beauty. People in general don't usually get that inward beauty means more until their mid to late 20's.

nonmember avatar Dana

My parents lied to me A LOT!! So much to the point where i would ponder and try figuring out how in the hell it could possibly make any sense. With that said, a little lie doesn't hurt. There are some things children don't need to know about, its protecting their innocence. My kids will have the fun and magical moments of believing in Santa and the Easter bunny until all your children from the truth telling moms ruin it for my kids anyway. It allows them to be creative and utilize that imagination that somewhat disappears once reality/adulthood hits. Gotta admitt, knowing santa etc wasn't real really made the holidays less magical. I don't see any harm in in. Now telling your kids if they made this face for too long :/ that they'll get stuck like that forever...not so funny lol

Stacy Sewell Birkemeier

We tell our children the truth, mommy and daddy work hard to give them toys, not Santa who only takes away the real meaning of Christmas in the first place. Plus, what happens when you have financial issus and your kids don't get much? They will think Santa doesn't care or that they weren't good enough.There's no bunny thats going to sneak in the house and take their teeth, those things are precious and mommy and daddy actually like to keep them. I also agree that not everyone is a winner, because that is real life! Its good to encourage our children and help them have good self esteem, however, we also can't coddle them and pretend like they will always win because think about how much of a big sore loser they will be when the get older. Would that really be teaching our kids anything in the end? My children are beautiful but it is truly what is on the inside that counts! I want my kids to be respectful and also know that they can always trust me! 

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