If someone tells you they never lie to their kids, they’re lying. Some truth-stretching is essential in order to spare youngsters from life’s harsh realities, or just make parents’ lives a little easier. Stephen Colbert, host of Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report,” coined his own term for it: Truthiness – truth that comes from the gut, not books. So, here are four instances when we give you permission to lie straight to your kids’ faces.
Santa/Easter Bunny/Tooth Fairy Dilemma
We know this one is controversial. Some hardcore parents spill the beans from day one about Santa Claus and the rest of them being big fat phonies. But those families miss a lot – leaving out cookies for Santa and carrots for his reindeer, hunting for eggs on Easter Sunday, getting a quarter (a dollar? a Benjamin?) under your pillow in exchange for that first bloody tooth. Your kids will resent you later for plenty of things, but not for propelling these myths.
No. More. Cookies.
Yes, there may very well be an unopened bag of Oreos on the top shelf, but your toddlers don’t need to know that. When they’ve had enough snacks or other junk food, it’s perfectly permissible to whip out this classic line: “All gone!”
Good Grades = The Presidency
Odds are you didn’t score straight As every single semester, and you didn’t walk five miles to school in the snow. However, there’s nothing wrong with setting the bar high for your kids when it comes to their education. Instead of emphasizing the negative (If you don’t go to school, you’ll end up in prison!), accentuate the positive. Tell them they’ve got CEO potential. Better yet, mention that getting an education is the only way they’ll be able to move far away from you at age 18.
Mommy and Daddy Will Live Forever!
Little kids hear about murder, death, and destruction every day from TV, the Internet, and even playground chatter. So they’ll likely ask you how long you plan to be around. It’s fine to feed them a little (okay, big) white lie here; just revisit the subject more honestly when they’re older. But for now, think truthiness.