Mom Confession: I Tried to Teach My Kid to Lie & It Backfired

boy at Gaylord PalmsWell, I guess I can go ahead and add another doozie to the list of my most epic parenting fails to date. (I'm on a roll, people.)

Earlier this morning, I tried to convince my 7-year-old son to lie to his teacher at school today -- if he needed to. Yep. That's right, I encouraged him to tell a lie. To fib. To stretch the truth. But only if it was absolutely necessary, of course.

Let me explain the method behind my madness before you go calling the parenting cops on me for being the worst mom in America. (I'm NOT. I swear.)

I live in Connecticut, and while this is typically known as a cooler part of the country, today temperatures are going to reach upwards of 92 degrees. And guess what? The little rinky-dink elementary school that my son attends was built like 50 years ago, and it's not air conditioned. Did I mention it's a brick building, which basically makes it an oven when it's hotter than hell outside?

And since it's so damn hot, I'm all worried about my little dude overheating and being completely miserable in his primitive classroom that only has one fan to cool down 24 kids and a teacher. But something tells me if he complains about wanting to go home early because he's all hot and sweaty -- they probably won't let him.

So I devised a plan. (Here's where the lying part comes in.) Our conversation went something like this:

Me: "Honey, you know that lying is wrong, right?"

Him: "Yep."

Me: "Ok, well there are these things called 'white lies,' they're like 'little' lies that are ok to tell when you really need to."

Him: "Uh-huh."

Me: "If you get way too hot and school today and want me to come pick you up, here's what you do -- tell the teacher you have a headache and ask to go to the nurse. She'll call me, and then I'll come get you and you can come home and chill out with me in the air conditioning."

Him: "MOM. I'm NOT going to do that. That's LYING. And I want to be honest, so I'm not telling my teacher a lie."


Is this one going to come back and bite me in the ass, or is this one going to come back and bite me in the ass?

One of two things is probably going to happen here. Either he'll go to school today and tell his teacher that his mother told him to tell a lie -- or he'll wise up to the whole "white lying" thing and use it against me down the road.

I can hear his little voice already. "It's only a WHITE lie, Mom -- and you said white lies are ok sometimes!"

Sigh. Even when I'm only trying to look out for my kid so he doesn't pass out from heat stroke -- I still manage to screw up somehow.

Have you ever tried to teach your kid to do something only to have it backfire?


Image via Mary Fischer

elementary school


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Coles... Coles_mom

I'm sorry Mary, but this is wrong. Hopefully his teacher doesn't read your articles. I grew up in a town that was a big battle site during the Civil War. All of the buildings and homes were protected under local law that they couldn't be altered in any way. You couldn't even paint a house YOU owned without getting it approved through our historical board. Anyway, the school I went to - you guessed it - had no heating or air. I survived. I think it's insanely "helicopter" of you to assume your precious snowflake shouldn't have to endure the heat when hundreds of other kids are just fine. And to have him lie about it? Shame shame.

nonmember avatar Ezra

Honestly, I cannot believe this site lets you "write" articles...if you can even call it that.

Vegeta Vegeta

A lot of new England schools (the ones with cinderblock walls and small windows) were designed or redesigned to have ac and heat, the walls hold in the temperature. My schools were absolute ovens. We all survived.

amber... amberdotsmom

I think you went to far - you could have told him to tell the truth but warned him what to look for - what if you had said:  Sometimes too much heat is dangerous and it can make a person sick, if you get even a little headache or feel sick in your stomach I want you to tell the teacher right away and go to the Nurse because it means it's too hot for you and if you dont' say something it will get worse and could make you feel very, very sick later.

All you had to do was drive home with him the symptoms of overheating, that's the truth and what would really happen if your little guy is truly over heating; it's not that different from the way you approached it but it eliminates the white lie.  Otherwise if he's just a little sweatly and uncomfortable there's no reason for him to lie.

fave82 fave82

Well i do agree with you on one point... You suck. Not only are you teaching him to lie but your raising him to be a complete wuss. Im only 30 and my grade school and high school both didn't have air. Its not that urgent. Instead of teaching him to lie, maybe you should concentrate on showing him how to have some strength of character. I hope there's a father figure or some other adult in this kids life that can actually be a positive influence because every post you write is a massive FAIL.

Happy... Happydad73

Give me a break. This is s'mother'ing at its finest. A little heat won't hurt him and if it gets hot enough that it would, there are administrators there who will see to it that you precious little 'prince' isn't damaged. Are you gonna try to get him out of every uncomfortable situation he comes across?

MamaT... MamaTo2b2g

What makes me laugh is that she tries to act like she loves him so much she can't stand the thought of him being too hot, but she is constantly posting about how she leaves him several times a year for "mommy weekends" because she needs a break. Yeah, 1 grade school aged kid is so taxing. You suck as a mother.

nonmember avatar Kristi

I won't be as harsh as some others because you obviously know you acted pretty stupidly but it does say something positive about your parenting skills....your son REFUSED to lie. You had to have inadvertently taught him something :-)

daydr... daydreamer6170

i think this was a ridiculous reason for trying to teach a white lie, it does have its time and place but the kids gonna be just freaking fine with.some heat. mama, calling someone a bad mother because u dont agree with them makes you a shitty person in general...and newsflash shitty peple teach their kids to be nasty miserable human beings. so whos the bad mother?

MamaT... MamaTo2b2g

Ummm, I think the woman teaching her kid to lie and having to get away from him on a regular basis is a bad mom. But nice try :)

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