A Kid's Guide to Faking Sickness That Will Fool (Almost) Any Parent

LOL 19

My son has a case of IDWS (I Don Wanna-gota Skools). You know that illness that causes you to try any tactic to avoid the dreaded S-word?

Just today, he told me that he couldn't go to school because his stomach hurt ... and his leg ... and his elbow ... and he may have had a nasty hang nail .... REALLY? This is what you're going with? The old stomach/leg/elbow ache? Listen kiddo, I invented the 'sick' ploy and frankly, I expected more from you. So much more.

Look kids, don't act like you're disappointed too. I've got your number and I'm pretty sure my kid isn't the only one relying on such amateur techniques. Which is why I decided (as a seasoned pro) to give you youngsters some sound advice so you can stop embarrassing yourselves and make us proud.

These tips will help you gain your parent's sympathy and maybe even regain their respect. Good luck:

1. Complain about the appropriate body parts and stay focused. There is a general list of pains and woes we parents find acceptable to lend our sympathy to: stomachaches, headaches, sore throats, nausea. Pick one and don't stray. Don't lead in with a stomachache and think that adding a toothache, leg cramp, or shooting pain in the elbow is going to help your cause. That's an insult to our intelligence. Stay the course ... a thousand points of light ...

2. NEVER fake a cold. Moms can tell a real cough or stuffy nose from a fake one. Oh, we're that good, which is why the dry Sahara Desert cough is a dead giveaway that you can and should be going to school. And never blow your nose unless there's something in there. The faux nose blow is a one way ticket to the carpool lane. Remember this trusty phrase: "No phlegm or snot, home you will be not."

3. Don't oversell it. We don't have little gold statues to give out, though many a morning we wish we did. When you act so sick that you can't move, and then you fall to the floor from your bed as if you attempted to rise but just couldn't muster the energy, and then you lay on the floor like a sad sick seal moaning and only lifting your head, it takes everything in us not to fall to the ground laughing and later sign you up for Julliard.

4. Understand the concept of temperature. OK kiddos, you cannot have a 107.2 body temperature and have a conversation -- or a pulse for that matter. We get that holding a thermometer under hot water is like the kid equivalent of MacGyver using a toothpick and a piece of gum disarm a bomb, but understand the highest temperature does not win a prize -- just a funny Facebook status update.

5. Avoid immediate trips to urgent care. With #5 in mind here is a short list of complaints that will get you a trip to the doctor or ER without passing go (never say these things, unless they're true).

  • "I'm having trouble breathing."
  • "I can't swallow."
  • "I feel like something inside me exploded."
  • "My head is really itchy"
  • "It burns when I pee."

6. Avoid trips to a therapist's office. Getting too creative could send you straight to the shrink's cushy couch. Avoid fantastical verbage like: 

  • "My eyes feel wiggly"
  • "I think I have amnesia, who are you?"
  • "My toes are too cracky."
  • "My finger bends all the way back."
  • "I have an invisible rash."
  • "I'm seeing four of you and they're not all doing the same thing."

(PS: I've heard most of those, scary right?)

7. Be tired and sad. We already discussed overdoing it, but you should at least be sluggish. Don't let us catch you playing, running, wrestling with the dog, fighting with your sister, singing, or taking part in any merriment. Being sick or pretending to be sick is exhausting, you should be exhausted.

8. Never talk about school. When trying to avoid the S-word, don't discuss it in any way. Don't tell us you wish you could go, but alas you're so sick. Don't mention that you have a test or unfinished homework. Don't talk about an annoying enemy at the playground or even a tutor that will have to be cancelled due to your unfortunate absence. We will put two and two together. Yep, we don't even need a tutor to do that.

9. Always remember, we're not as stupid as you think we are. Though it's hard to imagine, we were kids once too and we tried every trick in the book ... twice.

Follow these simple rules and you'll be wrongfully staying home from school in no time. That's right, you can fool us or at the very least make us proud trying.

Does your kid ever feign illness?


Image via TheSuburbanJungle

education, grades, independence, homework, middle school, tweens, sick days, illness, bad habits, mommy bloggers


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Todd Vrancic

Our kids soon found out that saying they were sick earned them an immediate doctor's appointment.  Funny how they never faked once they knew that.

Laura Walter Pryst

So far...no. Even when I ask them if they need to stay home because they are looking ill...they go. It's weird, I'm pretty sure they've been abducted by aliens and swapped with computers. That'd actually explain a lot. Hmm.... Mental note: see if magnets stick to them....

Boobo... Boobookittt74

Hahahha good list! Wish I read it as a kid!

Jespren Jespren

Don't understand why 'my ears hurt when I bend over' is supposed to be crazy talk. That's indicative of several possible health conditions, most commonly, a head cold!

GlowW... GlowWorm889

Unfortunately, I had parents who had heard it all. In fact, there were a few times I got sent to school sick because they were so convinced I was faking! Of course, the phone call five minutes after the start of the school day saying I had a 101 fever and had to be picked up was the best kind of revenge.... ;)

a.korz a.korz

My oldest did this yesterday...he somehow tricked his body into being overly warm (my battery conveniently died in my thermometer yesterday morning), he was sluggish, coughing and complaining his stomach hurt while taking almost an hour to eat his breakfast. A few hours later he was running around raising hell and the school day was pretty much over or I would have brought him right then, right there.

Rachel Booker

My kid is a pro at number 3. He will throw himself to the ground, bemoaning the fact that he cannot walk and must be carried. Fortunately, he's only 3, so he's got a couple of years to perfect this before he will start trying to avoid school.

Reba McGlothlin Hernandez

My stepson one time used that he had "mad cow disease" to avoid going to school, when in all honesty he had a test and knew he wouldnt pass it!!

nonmember avatar Jax

My daughter tried to be sick a few times the past couple years and after checking her temp and telling her she'll see a doc she changes her tune. Too bad for her I know when she's lying...tone of her voice says it all. And usually those times she was either being bullied (which i have resolved with the teachers) or she was upset with someone and didnt want to deal with anyone. Of course I tell her if she is truly sick, the computer and iPod touch is off limits until she gets better (we don't have tv so less things to worry about). She'll definitely go to school when she can't do anything and she's not sick.

Allison St. Pierre

From day one, my kids knew they had to be bleeding our vomiting to stay home from school.  A cold or cramps didn't cut it.  They have the best work ethic today because of that; graduated with honors from school, and won't tolerate lazyness. 

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