We all know the story of Pinocchio, the little wooden boy who lied and suffered a growing nose as a result. The moral of the story is that lying is wrong, and this is a belief that most parents strive to instil in their children. However, it’s also the case that not everything in morality is so black and white, and that sometimes, it’s ok to tell little white lies in order to protect a child from harm or upset. And for many parents, sometimes it’s also ok to tell little white lies when you really don’t want to watch Toy Story on DVD for the 15,000th time (oops the DVD broke, how about we watch Cars instead?). Here are some of our favourite white lies that parents tell their children.
Lies About Food
For those times when you just want your child to have at least one of their five a day, or when you don’t want them to have any more junk food.
1. No, that’s not cauliflower, that’s just cheesy broccoli and you love cheesy broccoli. Oh and those small yellow pieces are just yellow peas. Yummy!
2. Oh no, sorry I just checked on the Internet and McDonald’s closes at lunchtime so all the people who work there can have something to eat. How about a sandwich in this nice grown-up coffee shop instead?
3. Yes, that meat is chicken. It’s definitely not any other kind of meat. It’s chicken. You love chicken. Delicious.
4. Sorry sweetie, but when the ice cream van plays that music it’s to let all the grownups know that they have run out of ice cream. Maybe we will catch it next time.
5. Nope, sorry, I have run out of chocolate biscuits. How about this apple instead?
Lies About Santa
Santa might be the biggest lie of all that we tell our children, but in addition to the one about him existing, there are a number of myths concerning the big man in red that do come in handy from time to time.
6. If you don’t stop doing that I’m going to phone Santa and tell him how naughty you are being. I have his number in my phone, we are really good friends and he will listen to me.
7. See that pigeon on the roof? That’s Fred. He belongs to Santa, and he has been given the job of keeping an eye on you during the year to make sure you are good enough to get presents.
8. No, we can’t buy any of these toys. They are just the ones that Santa has out on display to show all the boys and girls what kind of toys he can deliver. If you are good he might deliver one of these to you at Christmas.
10. See that bright glowing light going above us in the sky? That is Santa just flying over to make sure you are behaving. (This can either refer to the International Space Station or an airplane.)
Lies About The Tooth Fairy
The tooth fairy is our go-to girl when it’s mid June and we really don’t want to be thinking about Christmas just yet.
11. If you don’t brush your teeth properly the tooth fairy will know and she won’t leave you with as much money because your teeth won’t be clean.
12. If you don’t tidy your room how will the tooth fairy be able to find your teeth amongst all this mess?
Lies When We Are Out And About
Because sometimes, you just want to get from A to B without having to detour via the rest of the alphabet first, and get there at a reasonable pace.
13. If you don’t wear your seatbelt the car won’t start and we won’t be able to go anywhere.
14. I’m sorry darling, but the park / soft-play centre is closed today for cleaning. How about we play in the garden instead?
15. We need to hurry up because the park closes in an hour so you will run out of time to play there.
16. No, sorry, you can’t have a go on that ride-on fire engine because the light is flashing and that means that it’s broken. Yes, don’t worry, I will phone and tell the person in charge that it needs fixing.
17. If you run off in the supermarket, the supermarket boss will make you work there and you won’t be able to come home with Mummy.
Lies About Behaviour and Development
Because sometimes, we just want an easy life.
18. Every time you pick your nose a piece of your brain comes out and eventually if you keep picking it you will have no brain left and you won’t be able to learn to read and write.
19. You don’t need to be scared of any monsters because this is a special monster spray and is not just a spray bottle filled with water and it will keep all of the monsters away from you.
20. Every time you tell a lie, your nose grows / your tongue turns green / a spot appears on your head.
Do as I say, not as I do, right?…