I Lie To My Kids About Lots Of Things And You Are Lying If You Say You Don’t Lie


After I wrote about lying to my kids about the fireworks (still NOT going) I started thinking about a comment one of you made, which was:

Screen Shot 2013-07-02 at 7.22.37 AM

And ya’ll know what? I AM an untrustworthy liar, at least when it comes to my kids, because this comment made me realize how often I DO lie to them! I lie to them on an almost daily basis! And I have been doing this for years! And when I tweeted a link to my article, two of my friends replied back to me and I realized I am definitely not the only mama out there doing this.


I have TOTALLY done this too, but now that my kids are older it’s more of me saying something like:

I have NO idea why all of your DVR’d episodes of Adventure Time have vanished from the DVR, maybe it is broken. 

When in reality, I totally deleted that shit because I needed to make sure there was enough room for The Anna Nicole Smith movie on Lifetime. My pants are sooooo on fire.


This doesn’t work so well now that my kids know how to charge electronics, but you better believe that game controllers have been magically “lost” for a day or their batteries taken out when I want them to play outside instead of jumping down cartoon sewer pipes. Sure, sometimes I tell them the truth and explain I want them to get fresh air, but sometimes I have no good reason and I just want them out of my house so I can watch my DVR’d The Anna Nicole Smith movie on Lifetime. Other lies I have told? Oh let me count them…

 Of course HE is real



Only my eldest no longer believes, but I have not come clean to my younger ones yet. And when asked, I lie my pants off. I say things like “Oh come on, how would your father and I be able to do all this (and then I gesture like a gameshow hostess to the magical array of presents ) in one night? ” And I change the subject. And give them some cookies.

Same with this guy 



And this lady


 I have told them I have NO idea where certain items of clothing are 
A pair of shorts that are too short and tight on my daughter? One of my son’s gross oversized, stained, thread-bare T-shirts? I have NO idea where they are. Did you put them in the wash? Did you leave them somewhere? I have NO idea, wear something else. (and yeah, they are totally festering at the bottom of a garbage bag)
I have NO idea who ate the last ice cream sandwich 
It was me, while watching The Anna Nicole Smith movie on Lifetime, and it was awesome.
Stop knocking on the door, your father and I are doing taxes 
Or planning an upcoming birthday. Or discussing your grades. Or talking about wallpaper. My kids don’t have to know why exactly we want to be alone. Sometimes I tell them we need grownup alone romantic time but sure, I have been known to tell them we are in the bedroom with the door locked because we are planning the grocery list.
It’s not like I would lie to my kids about something important and that would cause them damage in the future, but I just don’t feel the need to be open and honest with them about every single thing that goes on at all times. I don’t lie to them to hurt them, sometimes I just do it because it’s easier than going into a lengthy explanation or having my reasoning met with debates. I’m extremely open and honest with my kids, but yeah, I totally lie to them. Even if they are just “little whites” like the fireworks being cancelled they are still technically lies. And if you parents aren’t doing the same thing, then you know what I think.
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    • http://www.sarahcooksthebooks.com/ Sarah

      I read, a long time ago, an interview with. . .Brad Pitt, I believe, and he said that when he and Angelina Jolie want ‘alone time’ they tell the kids “Mommy and Daddy are going to go kiss now.” I thought that was adorable.

      That being said, step-daughter, I have NO IDEA what happened to that really, really obnoxious app on your phone that makes the farting noises. And I have NO IDEA why you can’t access Google Play to get it again. Huh.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter


    • keelhaulrose

      The TV doesn’t broadcast anything else during the Bears games. Only football. Sorry, kid, Sophia is going to have to wait.
      And, yeah, there’s totally not garlic in dinner…

    • Véronique Houde

      OMG I so totally psychically predicted that you would write an article about that comment!! I love you Rachel, and I love you Eve, that article is priceless! lol. I would lie to my daughter if she could understand a word I was saying…. ;)

    • Amber

      I guess I’m weird. I don’t see the point of lying about most of these things. Santa Claus, the Easter bunny and the tooth fairy I can understand. They’re meant to be fun.

      But if clothes don’t fit or get ruined, I don’t feel the need to lie about getting rid of them. Same with things like ice cream. I’m allowed to eat it too. I just don’t really understand why some parents feel it’s necessary to constantly lie about silly and stupid things.

      • LET

        It might have to do with the temperament of your kid(s) or the number of kid(s) you have. Sure, I don’t ever have to explain myself, but my kid is the most strong willed child I know & he’ll argue with me about stupid stuff, which means I have to discipline him. It gets exhausting and, on a harder day, sometimes it’s easier to avoid conflict, honestly, especially if it’s something petty like just wanting to eat some ice cream in peace.
        That’s not to say I lie a whole lot, but on a rare occasion, it’s worth my sanity.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        for me it’s more sometimes I just don’t feel like explaining every damn thing and sometimes I just enjoy fucking with them

      • LET

        Haha that too!

      • Amber

        Maybe that’s why I don’t get it. My parents enjoyed fucking with me to the point of abuse. I guess that’s why I don’t understand the humor in this.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        I am not sure me lying about eating the last ice cream is abusive. Maybe some people think so. But my kids are all really happy and we all have a lot of fun together.

      • Amber

        My parents taught me colors and numbers wrong because it was fun for them. They told me monsters were real and every time a kid was abducted it was because a monster ate him. This led to a solid decade of screaming night terrors. Once our family pet choked to death and they spent four hours convincing me it was my fault and then shoved the corpse into my hands and sent me outside in November in Michigan to bury it at least six feet deep before I would be allowed back in the house. I was 11. I had to start a fire to stay alive that night.

        I never said you were abusive Eve, I said MY PARENTS were abusive and that’s why I don’t understand this kind of humor. Please don’t suggest that they weren’t or mock me for it. That’s offensive and uncalled for.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        I wasn’t mocking you. and that is horrific what they did to you, and I think they sound like monsters

      • LET

        I’m really sorry this happened to you, they sound terrible.
        That said, I think it’s kind of messed up to equate me telling my kid I don’t know what happened to a shirt I hate because I just want him to wear something else to that kind of emotional abuse. I would say the white lies in the article are a lot more on par with lying about Santa (which youre ok with) or explaining rain in a slightly inaccurate manner (I.e. the sky is crying) than emotional abuse.

      • http://www.facebook.com/RetiredSceneQueen Emmali Lucia

        You’re parents were absolutely awful, I’m so sorry you had to go through that.

      • Paul White

        What you went through is horrible but that doesn’t mean you should feel like someone joking with their kid is probably akin to it.

      • http://www.facebook.com/RetiredSceneQueen Emmali Lucia

        EXACTLY. What’s the point of having kids if you can’t fuck with them every once in a while?

    • meteor_echo

      I’d rather delete some biopic to DVR the Adventure Time episodes. That cartoon is fuckawesome.

    • LiteBrite

      I don’t know who ate all the Pringles. It was probably Daddy. I am NOT chewing anything right now. Especially Pringles.

    • CB

      My dad straight up lied to me ALL THE TIME–but never about the things that really mattered (those we just avoided talking about.) A small sampling:

      “What? Ice cream truck? Who told you that? That’s just a musical truck.”

      “No, C, you can’t pick up the dog poop yet. Maybe when you’re a big six year old…maybe” (totally Tom Sawyered me, there)

      “Drinking orange juice through a Red Vine is only for grownups.” (I believed this was because the Red Vine made the juice alcoholic)

    • hutch214

      My husband convinced my niece that it wasn’t the ice cream truck she heard – but in fact the broccoli truck. He’s the best.

      • Anne Cordelia

        I tell my son that the ice cream truck only plays music when it’s OUT of ice cream. I think he’s starting to catch on, though, because yesterday he commented that the ice cream truck is out of ice cream, “like, alla the time.” This comment was accomplanied by the suspicious squinty eye. I think I’m in trouble!

    • Stringbean

      Sounds like someone teaching their kids to lie and manipulate… maybe if you weren’t such a lazy selfish parent your kids wouldn’t argue with you when you told them something. I remember just wanting a decent reason for being given instructions by my parents, when I got something like “cuz I said so” or some lie, that’s what caused issues. I didn’t trust my parents from an early age specifically cuz of one of these so-called “white Lies”. I’m sure this isn’t healthy parenting either, despite how “normal” the people on here seem to think it is.
      I’m honestly disgusted, at this article, and the fact that something like this is portrayed as normal and “okay” with no research done to actually determine what sort of damage is being done. The next article should be about the humiliating repercussions of these lies parents tell their children, as my friends and I have often talked about… along with how we’re not going to do it to our children.
      …and I’ve been a live-in nanny for years and raised 2 brothers, this is definitely not how I manage children. I use honesty and explanation to help them learn and grow… which is why I often had the issue where the parents got upset that their children preffered me to them… it was simply cuz they trusted me, and knew I wouldn’t lie to them… this is exactly why parents don’t have open communication with their teens later when it’s really needed, it’s starts with this stupid crap right here.
      Don’t you people educate yourselves about healthy parenting?

      • LET

        I realllllly hated people telling me this when I didn’t have kids, but being a nanny is not the same as being a parent. It’s just the truth, sorry.
        Aside from that, I find it really strange when people, the majority of whom will lie about Santa (which I personally can’t do because I hate the detailed lying I have to go into to perpetuate the lie, but I don’t judge parents who do, we all have different relationships with our kids, I’m just awkward about that) are so against a white lie. I tell my son pretty much everything. At 2.5, we gave him scientific answers to questions, not the easy shortcut ones. We explain pretty much every single parenting discussion & talk to him like an adult. We tell him Santa is a fun thing to pretend & explain to him how some people celebrate. But sometimes he wants to ask why a million times even after we explained something to him and, you know what…because I said so. Sometimes I’ve explained something 18663255 times & you know what, I’m exhausted, so he’ll have to settle for “I don’t know”, even when I do.
        I’m sorry but sanctimommies who aren’t even parents judging me really get to me.
        Will you/have you ever lied about Santa? It’s a white lie just like everything else.

      • Aldonza

        I’ve found also, that sometimes I give instructions, and it is not the time to be questioning them. I teach theatre to kids, and there are times when I give them directions to do something, and it’s not open for discussion, and kids need to learn that there are times when asking questions is good, and times when it needs to wait.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        If one of my kid is DAMAGED by the fact that I , on occasion, lie to them about things as unimportant as missing cartoons on the DVR or who ate the ice cream, I will be utterly appalled that I raised such precious snowflakes. I would never lie to them about BIG things, world issues, how to treat people, sex, bullying, and other important topics, but if you think the majority of kids are going to be HURT by parents who tell them the whistle they got in a goodie bag is MISSING when the parent knows full on that it is at the bottom of a dresser drawer you are wrong. This doesn’t damage kids.

      • Nerdy Lucy

        Oh dear. Trolls be trollin’.

      • Psych Student

        Don’t you educate yourself on spelling? “Cuz”? Perhaps healthy parenting is teaching children that sometimes white lies are ok. “Tell Grandma you like the sweater she gave you, even if it itches.” Sometimes “if you dont have anything nice to say, don’t say anything” isn’t enough when we really are expected to give a compliment. “Oh sweetie, that’s a really nice haircut!” And again, kids are going to learn to lie regardless of whether or not their parents/guardians/care takers lie to them or not. The influence of peers is *amazing*.

      • Psych Student

        Don’t you educate yourself on spelling? “Cuz”? Perhaps healthy parenting is teaching children that sometimes white lies are ok. “Tell Grandma you like the sweater she gave you, even if it itches.” Sometimes “if you dont have anything nice to say, don’t say anything” isn’t enough when we really are expected to give a compliment. “Oh sweetie, that’s a really nice haircut!” And again, kids are going to learn to lie regardless of whether or not their parents/guardians/care takers lie to them or not. The influence of peers is *amazing*.

    • Rachel Sea

      But what happens when they get old enough to come wise to the fibs you tell for convenience, and mimic the behavior? Or when you tell them something real and they think you are pulling one over?

      Maybe it’s because the lies my parents told me were so incredibly hurtful when I discovered them (they were much worse than who ate the last ice cream), but I just can’t embrace the idea.

      I don’t have my own kids yet, but I was ‘mommy’ to my cousin for 5 years while his parents were deadbeat, and I spend a lot of time with friends kids, and I don’t lie to them, I just don’t see that it benefits me. Sometimes they get told that the conversation or discussion can’t happen now, but that we’ll have it later, but I don’t shortcut it. I feel like having the conversation is part of why they respect me when I tell them they have to do something, because they know that I always have a reason, even if I can’t go into it now.

      It doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes fuck with them, I just don’t fuck with them with lies.

      • Psych Student

        Kids do learn to lie from a very early age, often to avoid getting in trouble (no, I didn’t push that person down, etc.). And, unfortunately, even if the kids don’t learn lying behavior from the gaurdian, they will learn it from others in short order.

      • Rachel Sea

        But they also learn that different behaviors are appropriate in different situations, and with different people.

    • Blahblah

      Eeehhh, Santa Clause and Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy? Sure, I get that.

      “The DVR is broken.” They might catch on that your things never seem to get magically deleted when you want to watch them, though?

      I guess I don’t understand not saying “I ate the ice cream sandwich because I was hungry, and it was my share.”

      And “I threw out those clothes because they were ratty/didn’t fit you.” seems just as easy as implying that kid somehow lost it. Although I think I’d be mad if my mother threw out something I liked without saying anything to me. I’d probably forgive her more than for lying to me though. If you’re going to lie about dumb shit, are you also going to lie to me about real important crap, Mom?

      That’s just the way I think though, and I guess little kids probably don’t remember stuff.

    • jennifer

      I have my son believing I have eyes in the back of my head. You get them when you have kids, so you can always see them. He is almost six and the other day he said you left the fridge door open. I turned to see and he said why didn’t you look with the eye in the back?
      Haha , he’s catching on.

    • Amanda

      Not a parent yet, but I live with my 2 year old cousin who is currently going through a ‘pink is my favorite color so I need every single item of mine to be pink’ stage. I got her a bouncy ball out of a quarter machine the other day in the middle of Old Navy and it was a light-ish shade of orange. She had an absolute meltdown until I told her, “That’s not orange, it’s coral. It’s a shade of pink.” After that, she was completely satisfied with it until she lost it about 2 hours later and forgot all about ‘coral’.

    • Tusconian

      Kids aren’t that delicate. No child has ever actually been traumatized because their parents told them Santa was real or said Barney doesn’t come on at their house, only Grandma’s. Obviously, parents who lie about important things, because they underestimate their kids’ intelligence, or who lie just for the hell of it run the risk of screwing up their kid. But really. I was upset and became mistrustful when my school lied to the class about 9/11. I did not develop a complex because my mom told me a benevolent fat man gave me presents once a year.

      • Psych Student

        Harmful lies: Southern slave owners weren’t terrible people; Creationism is science that should be taught in public school; if you don’t eat your veggies you’re going to hell; gay people are inferior to straight people and don’t deserve rights (let’s thank conservative religious people for all these things).
        Acceptable lies (depending on age of child): Your other parent and I are giving each other a special hug (ok, so this isn’t great, but common and accepted); our finances are doing fine (worrying kids about things like money problems is not good); Mommy and Mommy (or any other combination of guardians) are not going to die; your sister doesn’t hate you.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        This is pretty much perfect and you summed up exactly how I feel

      • Psych Student

        Harmful lies: Southern slave owners weren’t terrible people; Creationism is science that should be taught in public school; if you don’t eat your veggies you’re going to hell; gay people are inferior to straight people and don’t deserve rights (let’s thank conservative religious people for all these things).
        Acceptable lies (depending on age of child): Your other parent and I are giving each other a special hug (ok, so this isn’t great, but common and accepted); our finances are doing fine (worrying kids about things like money problems is not good); Mommy and Mommy (or any other combination of guardians) are not going to die; your sister doesn’t hate you.

    • Kaili

      My mum pulled the “not sure where your clothes are” when a cream coloured body suit went missing in high school. I tore the house apart looking for it. I’m sure her resolve strengthened when I told her I wanted it for a college interview (I lied). I had great boobs back then. All the more reason for her to want me to hide them I suppose. My sister told me a month later mom threw it away.

      I was annoyed. However did I lose faith in my mother and I was ruined for life? No. My mother might have raised a high school girl who liked looking a little slutty but she didn’t raise a moron. I would have howled and caused a huge problem if she did fess up. So I’m sure it was easier.

      I also had Santa and the Easter bunny. Despite that today I am a well adjusted adult. Good job Mom, you miserable liar!

    • Iwill Findu

      Parents lie to their kids all the time my mother lied to me, I’ll lie to my children it’s a long standing shameless tradition.

      One lie I remember being told was at the age of 2or 3. I had this baby doll that I would sleep with every night, and took it every where with me, one night it fell out of bed and when my father came in to check on me he stepped on the dolls face cracking it in half. Now they weren’t willing to toss the doll in the trash because I had loved it so much and they were hoping they would be able to find a new face and fix this doll, so they hid it in the crawl space above their bedroom closet. And their panicked lie was that I had never owned such a doll and that I must have just dreamed it. But every time I would ask about the doll they would repeat the lie I had never owned such a doll and must and just dreamed it, if I talked about the doll ever my mother would tell me I had such vivid dreams. Since no one else ever said other wise (not my grandparents that saw me drag this doll around or my two older sisters who would have been ages 6 and 8 that I shared a bedroom with). After a while I found a new favorite toy to sleep with and the doll was pretty much forgotten about.

      We found the doll again when I was like 20 and I was helping my mother clean out that crawl space (she had never allowed me to access or help clean that space over the years) and way at the back we found the doll. Oh the look on her face was priceless when I picked up this doll looked it over and shoved it inches from her face and said ” You don’t have a doll like that you must have had a vivid dream” her response was this great panicked looked (might have been the same one on her face when my father had first busted it) and in this great oh Shizz voice “you should have been more careful with your toys”

      Personally I think the whole thing is freaking funny, and was probably easier to lie to the toddler then to deal with the melt down that would have come from Daddy killed your doll.
      So yeah totally gonna lie to my children.

    • EnigmaFish

      I told my kid when she was 2 that she was to put all her pacifiers on Santa’s cookie tray so he could take them to the North Pole and leave her a big girl toy (she was less than a month from 3 btw, timing was crucial). She got a playskool camera and I got to sleep that night… win win. She’s five and couldn’t give a shit less.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        That’s actually a really good idea for parents wanting to give up the nuk

    • EnigmaFish

      Oh, and my brother is almost 20 and my mom still lies to him about what’s in certain food so he’ll eat it. He turned out okay.

    • CS

      Well…. my bf and I don’t lie to our kids (read, separate kids) about most of these things, his oldest is only six and she knows santa isn’t real. But there are SOME things you just have to lie about. Take for instance, the fact that I am currently pregnant with our first child together. His two daughters are extremely jealous of his relationship with me, and also are the kind of children who want to do anything they see or hear about (the youngest saw us kiss passionately once and then tried to French kiss her father, which was swiftly corrected). So when they asked me, ‘How did the baby get in there?’, what was I supposed to tell them? ‘Well honey, daddy and I do something called sex which means he puts his penis in my vagina and then baby stuff comes out in me and it grew into a baby.” three words only- YEAH FREAKING RIGHT! :P They’ve never seen a boy or man naked they don’t even know penises exist! Not only would the truth be awkward in this situation it would also be extremely psychologically damaging. Long story short they now think that women take baby pills to grow babies ;)

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