50 Lies Kids Say That Parents Always Fall For
"If we get a dog, I promise I'll take care of it!"
Let’s start with the good news. If your child is lying, this means he or she is smarter than other kids. According to developmental psychologists, kids who deceive have higher verbal I.Q.s and better “executive functioning skills.” Fantastic, right? Well, here’s the not-so-good part. They’re probably so good at lying that they’re fooling even you. A 2017 study, published in the journal Law and Human Behavior, found that adults are able to identify when a kid is lying to them just 47 percent of the time. That means you’re falling for their tall tales more than half of the time!
Let’s see if we can change that. Here are 50 of the most common lies by kids—meaning, anyone between the ages of one and eighteen, not yet legally an adult—that parents can’t help falling for. You might laugh at some of these, but there are bound to be one or two that make you think, “Uh-oh…. I think they got me.”
“If we get a dog, I promise I’ll take it for walks and feed it.”
Always effective, and man do we always hope it’s true. But we always know how this turns out: Mom and Dad are the primary caretakers of this poor animal.
“The school didn’t send out report cards yet.”
As every parent knows, report cards always seem to find a way to show up late. If only those schools could get their act together!
“If you let me (blank), I’ll never ask you for anything else ever again!”
If I can get that in writing, and have it notarized by a lawyer, I’ll totally believe you. And to spot even more everyday fibs, here are 40 Lies Everyone Tells on a Daily Basis.
“I need the money for books.”
Yes, by “books” you actually mean “candy.”
“He started it!”
Nobody says this unless they’ve been caught red-handed and just don’t want to be take the rap alone. Odds are, whoever you’re ratting out didn’t start it, they’re just a co-conspirator.
“I think I’m too sick to go to school today.”
No actual sick person says this. If you’re feverish or nauseous, you don’t have time for indecisive pondering. You just want to be left alone to moan in the dark.
“Dad said I could.”
Was dad looking at his phone when he said that? Yeah, spoiler alert: Dad didn’t hear a word you said.
It’s not the denial, it’s how the denial is said with folded arms, with a big frown, a furrowed brow, and an expression that practically screams “I am soooooooo mad right now.”
“My phone died.”
One thing we know for sure: Your most beloved gadget on earth is never, ever, dead.
“The party is chaperoned.”
You realize that a “chaperone” means a grownup, and not just a friend, right?
“I was late getting home because of traffic.”
Nothing worse than getting stuck in midnight rush-hour gridlock.
“Of course I ate the lunch you packed.”
Sorry, but they definitely ditched the celery for some chips out of the vending machine.
“I didn’t block you on Facebook. That must be a mistake.”
Congratulations on being the first person under 18 to be confounded on how social media privacy settings work.
“I’ll be super careful with the car!”
Just hearing this one gives us chills.
“I have no idea how the car got damaged. Maybe somebody hit it when I was parked.”
Oh sure, it’s entirely plausible that you wouldn’t have noticed the back bumper was dragging against the pavement, making a loud screeching noise, until the next day.
“I’m just going to play this video game for two more minutes.”
We believe it was Albert Einstein who once said, “the dividing line between past, present, and future is an illusion.” Or in other words, you have no intention of turning off that video game in two minutes, because time is meaningless, and also we are not suckers. And speaking of video games, consider giving your kids one of these 8 Cutting-Edge Video Games That Will Make You Smarter.
“I’ve never tasted beer.”
No, we’re not laughing at you, we’re laughing at past selves who thought this was a believable lie when we were teenagers.
“I would never pour bacon grease down the kitchen drain.”
Says the young person who literally just poured bacon grease down the kitchen drain. And for more on decoding your kids’ language, check out the 40 Slang Terms No One Over 40 Should Ever Use.
No you didn’t. When you’re older and you’re juggling too many responsibilities and your brain is fried from stress, you can say “I forgot.” You’re a kid. The best you can claim is “Whatever you told me wasn’t as interesting as video games.”
“The teacher didn’t give us homework tonight.”
Unless your teacher is going on strike tomorrow, sorry, we’re having a hard time believing it.
“He’s not a boyfriend, he’s just a friend.”
Uh-huh. You’re not fooling us, darling.
“When you close the door, I’m going straight to sleep.”
Works for us. No way you’re hiding a Gameboy under your blanket. But be forewarned, we’ll be on the other side of the door, ready to burst in at any moment and scream “J’accuse!”
“I’ll do it tomorrow.”
Sure you are.
“I didn’t start the fight, I was breaking it up.”
Of course you were. As Gandhi once said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world… with lots of shoving.”
“Of course I’m saving my allowance.”
You know, buying all the candy is not considered an investment strategy.
“I’m at the library doing homework.”
Oh really? The library is playing more EDM in the background than we remember.
“Of course I’ll wear that sweater you bought for me.”
We all know that, best case scenario, that sweater is going stay in your closet until it decomposes.
“I didn’t lock the door. Maybe you didn’t pull hard enough.”
Yes, we swear we didn’t hear it slam, too.
“It’s a clip-on nose ring.”
So you won’t mind if I give it a tug?
“I took the chicken out of the freezer when you told me.”
How strange it’s so pink on the inside. Hmm.
“I always drive the speed limit.”
Strange that our neighbors down the street called us to say that someone resembling you, driving a car resembling mine, was drag-racing down the street.
“I love our family vacations.”
We know you’re just waiting for a cake with a file in it so you can break out of here.
“I didn’t order that. The cable company must’ve made a mistake.”
Funny how the cable company keeps making that same mistake to homes inhabited by teenage boys. Such an inexplicable coincidence!
“I was up late studying.”
And… by “studying” you mean “texting.”
“I need an extra $20 for gas.”
Funny how that gas tank always seems to be running on empty these days.
“I got you a gift, it just hasn’t shown up yet.”
Maybe that’s what you needed the $20 for!
“I never got your text.”
“I just cleaned my room. Somebody else must’ve come in and messed it up.”
I’ve heard that our town was being terrorized by a bandit who breaks into homes just to cover bedrooms with toys and unmake beds. I can’t believe it happened to us! Hold on, I’ll call 9-1-1.
“I already brushed my teeth.”
Get back in there, young lady.
I’m sure you are. And whatever I’m saying sounds to you like the mangled trumpet of a Charlie Brown parent.
“I’m pretty sure the movie’s PG-13.”
Zombie Death Carnival—remind me: is that a Disney release?
“But I did study my hardest!”
Naturally, “studying your hardest” in this context means borrowing a better-prepared friend’s flash cards and cracking open the textbook an hour before the exam.
“I definitely didn’t eat that.”
Ah, so mice made that fork-shaped hole in your sister’s birthday cake?
“My friend’s parents always let them.”
Of course your friend’s parents let them drink wine with dinner. How European of them.
“I don’t have to use the bathroom.”
Until we’ve been on the road for 15 minutes and there are no rest stops in sight, right?
“That isn’t mine.”
It’s so weird how your friends’ vape pens keep getting into your backpack!
“I’ll be home before curfew.”
Clearly, it was my mistake for not asking whose curfew you’d be home by.
“I’m not embarrassed by you guys.”
Sure, you’re not embarrassed by us—it’s just our clothes, friends, family photos, house, and the fact that we still say “I love you” when we drop you off at school.
“I’m not tired.”
Well-rested kids are notorious for practically nodding off in their cereal.
“I never cut class.”
Yyou must have had a lot of back-to-back free periods to spend the whole day playing Fortnite!
“I don’t care.”
Ah, that practiced apathy. Just a warning, though: If you really don’t care, we’re going to make those decisions about where to eat for dinner, what clothes you’re getting for school, and where you apply to college. What’s that sound? A change of tune, perhaps? And if you want to be a better parent, nix these 40 Things You Should Never Say to Your Kid.
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