Lying to your kids

So last week was Little Boo at the Zoo, it is a trick-or-treating event for toddlers and preschoolers at the Toledo Zoo.  I look forward to Little Boo every year. I have been going for the past 6 years and this year was going to be my first with only one kiddo, (boo).  Our little Minnie Mouse had been looking forward to it and couldn’t wait to see all her friends. We made this a playgroup event so we would be seeing our friends, getting candy, and seeing animals…the toddler trifecta!! Haha!

Before we left I had to get a pic…(yes, I am that mom) she is saying candy…you can really tell by how big her eyes are, haha!

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My plan was to get in and out of the zoo within an hour, hour and a half, then attack my list of errands that was a mile long before picking up the older kiddos from school.  So you can imagine my astonishment when we drove up to the parking lot and the line started there! No joke!

What was going through my mind when I saw the line….

If I just abort the mission now and drive away my little Minnie Mouse will be heartbroken and let’s be totally honest, she will drive me insane the rest of the day!

If I stay there is no way I can even make a dent in my errands….I will be lucky if I get out in time to pick up the older kiddos from school.

I am the head organizer for our playgroup and the moms might be in line, or inside already, how am I supposed to find them?


I kind of fibbed to my daughter. I wouldn’t call it a straight out lie because I was not initially trying to be deceitful. The last thing I wanted to do was hurt her. Plans simply had to change. We needed to be flexible with our day. But unfortunately a 3-year-old has no concept of being flexible. So I put it in terms she could understand.  I expressed to her that I had forgotten to get a reservation for this event and I was terribly sorry but I did make a reservation for the gift shop. Boy did her eyes get really big again. See we avoid gift shops at all cost at all times so this was kind of a big deal. So we walked past the LONG line and strolled on into the gift shop that was entirely empty…as if I had made exclusive reservations just for us, haha!

She lost her mind. She loved it! I total her she had $10 to spend as she pleased. So we perused the shop for a few minutes, she likes to know all her options. We even stopped for a quick photo op to commemorate this magnificent day.

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I totally lied to my child! Granted I have a whole slew of reasoning behind it and can totally justify my actions but truth is truth, and the truth is I lied. Which got me thinking, how often do I lie to my children and is it really that bad?

Turns out more often than I had assumed or would like to admit.

  • That same day we had a discussion over the dinner table about the Tooth Fairy.  See our 7 yrs. old only received $2 from the Tooth Fairy while our 6 yrs. old received $3. I suddenly found myself making up an entire fantasy about Tooth Fairies…talk about a lie that snowballed. There was no way I was going to break the news that mom and dad simply got their wires crossed.
  • During that same meal I convinced our 3-year-old to eat her food by expressing that it was Minnie Mouse’s favorite (FYI: If my child claims that carrots and meatloaf are Minnie Mouse’s favorite food just go with it)
  • The next day at breakfast our daughter was crossing her eyes and making funny faces and I told her that if she kept doing it her face would get stuck.
  • I told our 3-year-old not to swallow her gum because it takes years to leave the body…simply in an effort to get her to stop eating gum. (Update: She busted me that afternoon after taking a BM she made certain I notice that the gum came out of her body).
  • At the store the kiddos were distracted and we needed to get going. I explained we need to go now and if they chose to stay that they will want to contact the manager and see if he is hiring.
  • And I am sure you could tell that whole reservation story came too easily. This was not my first Rodeo…I use the reservation concept all the time…movies, toy stores, etc. “We have to make a reservation” is a phrase that commonly escapes my mouth.
  • Santa Claus
  • The Easter Bunny

Turns out I might just be one perpetually lying mother. Are you? When was the last time you lied to your child? Did you do it as motivation? Maybe as a control mechanism? And, is it really that bad? When have you crossed that line…when does the lying become detrimental? Please share.