50 Lies Parents Say That Kids Always Fall For
Honesty is the best policy—but every parent has told at least one of these lies.
Everybody lies from time to time, whether you're assuring a friend that their outfit looks amazing or taking some liberties with your boss regarding what "five minutes away" really means. However, there's virtually no relationship that requires more routine (albeit largely benign) deception than the one between parents and children. Whether you're assuring them that you don't even know what candy is or promising them that nothing fun happens after they fall asleep, every parent has told one of these whoppers to their little ones at least once. See if you recognize these 50 lies parents tell their kids.
"I'll think about it."
Parents make split-second decisions on a daily basis, meaning that when you hear "I'll think about it," what they really mean is, "I don't think that Power Wheels is actually a great addition to your tiny bedroom, but more importantly, I'm hoping you forget it exists by your birthday."
"I don't have the money for that."
Technically speaking, your bank account may have the $9 necessary to buy that toy. That said, it's pretty hard for your four-year-old to prove it, meaning you don't actually have to bring home yet another doll they'll play with for 10 seconds before tossing aside.
"It's way past your bedtime."
Ah, the joys of having a child who can't yet tell time. This excuse is a game-changer for many parents, making it easy to abruptly end a tantrum-filled afternoon by assuring your little one that, despite the fact they just had lunch, it's practically the middle of the night.
"We go to bed when you do."
If your kids knew that your evenings are full of movies, TV shows, and treats they don't realize you keep in the house, they'd never go to sleep!
"First one to sleep wins the sleeping contest!"
What we don't tell you: The only prize is knowing you won (and waking up well-rested, if that counts for anything).
"We can't get a dog—I'm allergic."
The fun of having puppy cuddles isn't always outweighed by the thought of having to take care of another living thing for a decade. And so, while you may not technically start reaching for the allergy medicine every time you're within a 10-foot range of a Golden Retriever, it definitely doesn't mean you're going to let them look through your local shelter's catalog of adoptable pups, either.
"We sent your pet to a farm."
Of course Fluffy didn't die! She is enjoying the best time on a beautiful farm that we can never, ever visit, but rest assured, it's real, and please don't ask any more questions.
"If you touch a frog, you'll get warts."
And if we take it home, it might turn into a prince and that'll be a whole annoying thing to deal with, too.
"That animal is just taking a nap."
The road is warm and the womb-like sounds of traffic must have just lulled that flattened squirrel right to sleep!
"I never skipped class."
Even if you were so rarely at school that your teachers routinely forgot your name, you'd never admit that to your own kids. So, for their purposes, you spent Senior Skip Day at school doing extra credit for your calculus class.
"I was a straight-A student."
Those old report cards are long gone—they're never going to see how many C-pluses you also received.
"We don't have any dessert in the house."
There is definitely no cereal box full of candy bars or pint of ice cream hiding in the back of the freezer.
"I don't know where your Halloween candy went."
Some parents let the Switch Witch take the fall for halving their kids' Halloween candy. Others just feign ignorance about where that epic pile of future cavities went, assuring their children that there will be plenty of time to collect Smarties that languish in the pantry next year.
"The cashier forgot to put your candy in the bag."
How. Does. This. Keep. Happening?
"That song means the truck is out of ice cream."
Look, we'd love some soft serve as much as you would. It's such a bummer that they're always out when they come to our neighborhood.
"It takes seven years to digest gum."
Your kid will inevitably eat a bunch of inedible things—Legos, dirt, a handful of their own hair—so what's the harm in shortening the list by one item?
"If you swallow a watermelon seed, one will grow in your stomach."
See that pregnant lady? She clearly wasn't careful enough at our July 4th barbecue.
"If you eat spinach, you'll become as strong as Popeye."
Those muscles weren't built in a gym!
"Alcohol tastes terrible."
Margaritas definitely don't taste like melted popsicles and mudslides are way different than chocolate milk.
"You won't like this, it's spicy."
Look, brownies are sometimes made with habanero peppers. You can never be too careful.
"It tastes just like chicken."
Chicken apparently tends to taste like a lot of other things: cod, frog legs, tempeh…
"It's a really short car ride."
Your destination is 15 minutes away? "It's a really short car ride." Your destination is six hours away? "It's a really short car ride."
"You can get arrested if the light is on inside the car."
To be fair, it's really hard to see when the dome light is on in the car. And, more importantly, with it on, they never take car naps.
"It's illegal for kids to sit in the front seat."
The cops may not pull you over for having your 14-year-old in the front seat, but are you really going to risk letting them sit that close to the radio controls? How much Ariana Grande can one person take?
"The car doesn't start until everyone has their seatbelts on."
Prove. Us. Wrong.
"If you put your hand out the window, another car will cut it off."
You could certainly test that theory—but at what cost?
"Don't drink and drive means juice, too."
Sorry, kids: The law's the law. And seriously, have you ever tried to get grape juice out of beige upholstery?
"They won't serve you coffee until you're 18."
Frappuccinos are definitely not coffee-flavored milkshakes, anyway.
"I have to take a bite to test for poison."
Of course it's not that we wanted to order a grilled cheese and French fries ourselves. We're just trying to protect you.
"This isn't actually chicken/turkey, it's just called that."
"Pear" and "pair" sound the same but are different things, too! Don't overthink it! Language is so funny!
"The crust of the bread is where all the vitamins are."
Everything that's good for you ends up in the crust when you bake bread. Oh, you want to know how that works? Uh, it's very scientific and probably too complicated to explain.
"I'm going to tell Santa."
When the threat of a time out or loss of privileges won't cut it, there's a trump card: Tell your kids you'll let Santa Claus know about their bad behavior and enjoy just how quickly they turn things around.
"The Elf on the Shelf will tell Santa everything."
Don't feel comfortable telling your kids that you'll inform the big guy about their bad behavior? Thanks to the genius of the Elf on the Shelf, you've got the perfect scapegoat.
"This won't hurt."
Technically speaking, getting a shot will probably always hurt. But since it's your responsibility to keep them healthy, they can find out on their own time that you may have been stretching the truth a bit.
"The water turns purple if you pee in the pool."
Nobody wants their kid to pee in the pool. So, maybe they'll eventually see through this one—but until that time comes, at least you can feel comfortable doing the doggy paddle next to them.
"We found you in a cabbage patch."
The sex talk can be confusing or even scary for kids. But imagining a tiny baby plucked from under a cabbage leaf? Adorable!
"The stork brought your little sister."
She was definitely not the result of months of careful planning and a few rounds of IVF—or a handful of New Year's Eve cocktails.
"Your nose grows when you lie."
Tell them this one and watch them rush to cover their face when they assure you that they've already brushed their teeth.
"The TV stops playing kids' shows at night."
What are they going to do, call Disney and ask?
"It's illegal to see R-rated movies before you're 18."
It's not like they really want to watch Marriage Story, anyway.
"Chuck E. Cheese's is only open for birthdays."
Even Charles Entertainment Cheese needs a break sometimes!
"The toy store is closed today."
It's amazing they stay open keeping such weird hours, which never happen to coincide with when kids are out of school!
"This isn't a toy store, it's a toy museum."
No touching! And definitely no buying the priceless works of art!
"They don't make batteries for that toy anymore."
The joys of a permanently-silenced toy cannot be overstated. And as long as you keep them away from the battery aisle at the grocery store, they'll never be the wiser.
"My phone doesn't have any games on it."
I mean, it's not like they'd really enjoy Scrabble, anyway.
"This is monster spray."
Half of parenting is about managing your little ones' fears. And if that means putting some water in a spray bottle so your kids can fend off the Boogeyman, so be it.
"If you don't take a bath, moss will grow behind your ears."
Sure, their ears probably won't start to look like the roof of your shed if they don't get a thorough scrubbing—but you're definitely not going to let them find that out.
"If you cross your eyes, they'll get stuck that way."
More importantly, we're out of medicine for the inevitable headache those hilarious ocular tricks cause.
"It's the rule—I read it in the Mommy Manual."
If it's not in the Mommy Manual, it's just not in the cards, unfortunately. And, uh, no, you can't ever get your hands on a copy—it's out of print.
"If you tell the truth, I won't get mad."
The truth will set you free! Unless that truth is that you really did use all of Mom's lipstick for your art project, in which case, you're in big trouble.