“If you make that face it’ll freeze that way” is a classic white lie standard for parents, but there’s a few more tall tales you should add to your list. These parents have proudly admitted going above and beyond traditional fibs, aiming to cleverly trick kids into eating vegetables, cut down on TV time, or even get to bed a few minutes earlier.
Whether you are reading for some new ideas or just for laughs, this list is sure to do both.
1. Fortune-cookie fibs
I pretend fortune-cookie fortunes say things like “Your bedtime tonight will be 15 minutes earlier.” Unfortunately, this works only until they can read.”
—Rebecca, Real Simple
2. Ice cream’s sad song
That the ice cream truck only plays music when there isn’t anymore ice cream left in the truck.
3. *Batteries not included
They don’t sell replacement batteries for that toy.
—Anonymous, Scary Mommy
4. Red light, green light
If you smile at the traffic light, it will turn green faster. The bigger the smile, the faster it goes. Go ahead and stick your head out the window to really speed things up.
5. Actual candy corn
“My mom brainwashed me as a kid. She put all of the candy out in the open and told me I could eat it whenever I wanted, but she’d hide the vegetables and tell me I could only eat them as a special treat at dinner. It worked. When I was six, I asked if I could have a bowl of Brussels sprouts for my birthday instead of a cake.”
6. Sleep tight, Dora
I told him all kid shows go to sleep at 8 just like him, and we have a timer set at 8 to turn the TV off automatically.
7. Visitors only!
My two-year-old believes that certain toys “live” at the store and are there to be visited.
—Cyn, Real Simple
8. One white lie, without pepperoni
I’ve told my daughter that our local pizza place’s ovens broke so we couldn’t order pizza that day.
—Anonymous, Baby Center Blog
9. Wishful weeding
When I was little my Dad told me that toys grew under the weeds in the yard and if I pulled them, eventually a toy would pop out. And I believed it for a long time.
—Anonymous, The Meta Picture
10. Pinocchio, let me see your tongue
My mom told my younger siblings that when they tell a lie, they would grow “lie bumps” on their tongue. For years, any time she suspected they were lying, she just had to say “Let me see your tongue.” Made it much easier to solve arguments where they both blamed each other.
11. Grandma’s secret recipe
“The sugar cookies that Grandma made are kind of spicy.” (So I could have them all for myself.)
—Rebecca, Real Simple
12. Magazine myths
That lady on the cover of the fashion magazine is a drawing. No one looks like that in real life.
—Katie, Real Simple
13. Saltine’s little secret
“When I was little, my mom told me Saltine crackers were called cookies. I loved ‘cookies’ and legitimately thought they were Saltine crackers for longer than I am willing to admit on the internet. One day I had a real cookie at a friend’s house and knew instantly I had been hoodwinked! Luckily, my mom made delicious chocolate chip cookies to make up for the deception.”
14. Taking turns with the TV
Someone else is watching that show somewhere. It’s not your turn now.