Top Ten Things Your Children Lie About

  1. The existence of phantom siblings. These are usually older, smarter, stronger, and way cooler than the average big brother or sister.
  2. That Mom or Dad is getting married. Girls will divulge minutely detailed wedding plans–dress, flowers, cake, the whole shebang. Interestingly enough, even the ones whose parents are already married will come out with this one. 
  3. Allergies. Usually to vegetables, crusts or fruit peels, but occasionally allergies to things like sun, water, and even air will surface.
  4. Being sick/tired/injured when it's time to clean up. 
  5. Who has the poopy diaper.
  6. What they can do–the amazing things they are capable of when nobody is looking.
  7. How old they really are.
  8. Rules at your house. ("At my house we never eat at a table. We don't even have a table." Ditto for seat belts, car seats, soap, socks, beds, and any cleaning supplies.)
  9. What you have for breakfast/lunch/dinner at your house. Please tell me they're making this up. (There was the kid who had never seen a vegetable peeler, a raw egg, or any type of batter or dough before–I believe her. I trust that the rest of you occasionally do more than open prepackaged foodstuffs in your kitchen.)
  10. The tortures you devise to punish them. (At night, when I'm asleep, my mom pushes carrots up my nose.) Or oddly enough, to celebrate. (When I pee on the toilet, I get ice cream, and my mommy pulls my hair hard–like this.) I know, I should probably report you to CPS, just to be on the safe side of the mandatory reporting law, but I'm going with my gut on this. 
The really interesting thing is what they don't lie about–at least until they are closer to school age. Toddlers and preschoolers consistently tell on themselves when you ask who broke, spilled, drew on or threw something or hurt somebody else. Put the lies and the truths together, and it makes you think. They fantasize about weddings and cool siblings and family traditions that involve exotic vacations and presents but they are also secure enough in their families as they really are, that they can make up dramatic stories about rules and punishment and yet tell the truth about real misdemeanors so innocently that you know they have no real fear of cruel consequences. 
Can you imagine what our world would be like if we could all be so confident? Hmmm . . . is it the children who change, or do we change the way we react to their mistakes as they get older, thus instilling fear and fostering the tendency to deceive? And is the fear a bad thing? If only we could instill in them an aversion to the actual wrongdoing, and not just the punishment.

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5 responses to “Top Ten Things Your Children Lie About

  • Emjay

    LOL – as a teenager I did a lot of babysitting and was always amazed at what parents "allowed" their children to do. I still remember fondly the little girl who told me that her parents gave her ice cream in the bathtub just before bedtime to help her sleep! I once overheard my son telling a playmate that he wished her mother was his and the little girl replied that she wished she had me. Apparently in the eyes of each we were way more lenient than their own mother.

  • P.S.

    After dropping the older kids off at school, my four year old again reminded me that I have missed a lot of his Birthdays. (no I have not) But he holds this over me like I owe him several parties, presents and he should definatly be old enough for school.
    When my kids would tell a whopper to grandma' she would always say something like, "That is a very good story!" And truly act impressed- the kids wouldn't get defensive and they learned the difference between fantasy stories and the truth.

  • Kimber

    Yeah, my mom did the same thing and so do I. The kids always look at you like, wait a minute . . . oh, yeah . . . I did . . . make up a really good . . . story, didn't I? They are so relieved you think they are good story tellers and not just liars!

  • Ginger

    okay mine mostly lie about " what really happened to Avi, or whatever kid they beat on.

  • Karen

    When he was about 12, my oldest son told the doctor, "All we eat at our house is peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or macaroni and cheese." I said, "Oh, no, that's just for lunch sometimes in the summer…." And he persisted, "No, that's it. Peanut butter and macaroni!"I was so embarrassed. I figured the doctor was thinking, Okay, so that's the problem with this kid. He's malnourished.

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