Mommy Truth: Why I Lie to My Children

Life with children is nothing that I thought it would be. Before children, I envisioned myself looking like a “Desperate Housewife,” cooking like Martha Stewart and treating my children like the little angels I was certain that they would be. I thought that I had it all figured out. I used to look cross-eyed at the screaming child in the grocery and wonder why their mother didn’t simply stop and give the sweet child some much needed attention. However, somewhere along the way, none of my fantasies about domestic life came to fruition. I tend to look a bit more like a frumpy-lumpy-mom, we eat out regularly and…(wait for it)…my children are not always the little angels I had envisioned them being. It wasn’t until the other day that I realized we had crossed the threshold from fantasy into reality.


I was trying to take my children into Le Jouet for a birthday party gift when my oldest son refused to come inside the store with us. He wanted to play with all the fun stuff outside. Without missing a beat or looking around, I replied, “Get in here now or I’m going to tell that Policeman (in the store by chance) that you are alone in the street!” As I said it, a woman standing near me literally laughed out loud! Looking terrified, my little angel complied and was perfectly behaved the rest of the trip; it was glorious! It made me wonder, though; doesn’t everyone lie to their children?

Her reaction really got to me; it planted a seed. As the seed began to grow, I realized that I too once looked poorly upon defiant children. I used to chuckle and sneer at busy moms with wild children, not realizing that they were really just acting like normal children. Funny how a little experience can completely change a person’s perception of any circumstance. Here are some of my favorite little white lies that I’ve collected recently!

Little White Lies

“If you go under the table at dinner, the baby alligators will eat your toes!”

“Don’t pick your nose or your finger will fall off!”

Art in the trash

“Santa’s elves (or fairies) collect the toys that aren’t put away at night and they give them to children who will appreciate them.”

“If you go into the street without an adult with you, aliens will shoot down their light and take you into outer space!”

“Every time you lie, your tongue turns green and only mommy and daddy can see it!”

“If the ice cream truck is playing music, it means they’re sold out!”

“NO, Baby! I didn’t throw away your art project. It must have fallen into the recycling bin on its own!”

“I’m calling SANTA!” (and now I have the app to make it happen)

“If you swallow your bubblegum, you’ll toot bubbles and ruin your shorts!”

“No, son. Mommy is going bra shopping, you don’t want to come!”

“Honey, I’m going to take a S-H-O-W-E-R… Kids, mommy is cleaning with chemicals stay with daddy!”

Why We Lie

It’s no secret that we as parents tell a little fib here and there to avoid the dedicated plea, the complete meltdown, or persistent correction. Sometimes our lies are created for their safety. For some reason, children do not fully appreciate the severity of running in the street when they are being told the simple truth that they could be hit by a car. But when you add a little spice to story and tell them that they’ll be abducted by aliens, suddenly this magical story sparks their memory just as they begin to step foot in the street, and they stop. No matter the reason, one of the many advantages parents to young children possess is the ability to alter reality just a bit. It’s magical, fun and saves a stressful moment. To me, no harm … no foul!

We take ourselves so seriously as parents; this is one of the few imperfect things we get to do and have a little fun! It’s likely that they’ll be using some of your better material on their own children in the future.

Do you lie to your children? If so, what’s your favorite little white lie?

Mommy Truth


    • Agree! AJ will NOT listen to me if I tell him to hold my hand in the parking lot, but if I say, “oh no, there’s a policeman, you better hold my hand!”…kid is clenched to me! It’s fab! I think that when it comes to their safety, anything is game!

  1. From the daughter of a retired policeman, please do not use the police lie. Police officers are supposed to be good people who help, they’re safe, they’re not going around arresting children or giving them tickets for bad behavior. You don’t ever want your child put in a situation where they are afraid to ask a police officer for help.

    That being said, I’m a huge fan of these:
    “Sorry, that’s DVD is broken.”
    “No, all the goldfish swam away. Guess you’ll have to eat your lunch instead.”
    “Mommy is just going to put this away. I’ll be right back.” (Potty break)

  2. “Sorry I was late picking you up from school! A herd of elephants got loose and just stopped right in the middle of the street to eat their peanuts! It was crazy!”

    “I didn’t hear you crying when you woke up from your nap. The monitor must be broken.”

    FYI I’ve used both of these today

  3. Stephanie, I too am family to MANY police officers and completely understand where you’re coming from. However, I teach my child that police officers are there to help people. If he is playing in the street or parking lot alone, I would LOVE for a police officer to correct him. He is not only a danger to himself, but can you imagine the guilt a person would feel for hurting a child? I think that teaching your children that following rules is not only something that they must do at home, but also in society. If he fails to follow the law, the police officers will not hesitate to correct him…the same way his mother would!


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