Today, we are going to talk about lies. Lies we tell our children. And we have to accept that in order to be good parents, we need to be total hypocrites!
We bang on and on to our children about how they must tell the truth, always, and yet when they come out with the inevitable "why is everyone here so old?", "why is that lady so fat?", "why is that old lady in a pushchair, is she like a baby?" (Oh dear god the humiliation!), why do we act surprised and tell them off for being rude?! WE are the ones who said they must only ever tell the truth!
We even lie about lying! If I want to know if my kids are lying, I tell them to show me their tongue because their tongues turn blue after they lie! Yes, blue! I did not inform my kids of this, their well meaning grandparents did, so I had to go along with it or THEY'D look like liars! Although, that being said, when someone has done something, I know who it is as they won't show me their tongue (seriously, their IQ is that low?? Did I drop them on their heads as babies?! Surely they know they can never win, right?!).
So effectively saying "who lied? Show me your tongues! You're hiding your tongue so I know its you/you're tongue is blue so you've lied!"! So we force them to tell us the truth by actively lying to them! I mean, we are all just hypocrites!! And if you say you're not, you're a liar which makes you a hypocrite, so you can't win either! Hah! 😏
And there's the other lies we tell our children, some ones I'm not going to mention just incase a small child happens upon this post and it ruins their childhood dreams forever. So disregarding the big and obvious ones that I refuse to mention as I could never live with the guilt, we tell our children:
1. A giant bunny rabbit hops round to ALL the houses at Easter and puts chocolate eggs in the bushes. Lets think for a moment of the terrifying reality of a child's imagination, when if we, as parents and adults, looked out of our window and saw a giant bunny or a strange person dressed up as one, with a magic supply of eggs (as the basket has to service all the gardens in the world!), sticking them in bushes where the cats pee and poo, I for one would be calling the police and wouldn't touch the chocolate for fear of getting Toxoplasmosis! So how is this story supposed to make our children behave and be good, its a threat, not a treat?!
2. When they show us a picture we say "wow, that looks great! Is that....is that me? Oh, the dog? No? Your brother? Well what is it then?!" usually to be met with dirty looks as even children know that if we can't tell what it is, then its totally rubbish! This reminds me actually of a little story.....my middle child, we'll call him Mental, painted a lovely picture for his Grandma. All the colours had combined, as they do, to a dirty brown, so it was a brown splodge on paper. Grandma muttered that it looked like someone had taken a shit on the paper. When asked what it actually was, Mental said, extremely proud of himself "its a poo Grandma! I want you to stick it up on your wall!" And so Grandma, every time we were due round, had to put a painting of a turd on her wall. Full marks for that one, I would've 'had an accident' with it. As it was poo, its quite feasible that the dog would've eaten it, so I'd probably used that as the LOC (Lie Of Choice.).
3. We tell them that if they don't eat their greens they won't grow big and strong. Blatant lie, no kids eat their greens (apart from a few odd ones!) and yet it hasn't affected our world by making the majority of the population small, skinny, weak, pale skinned, sickly adults!
4. We tell them that their hair will grow curly if they eat their crusts, This one backfired on my mum as I had curly hair and wanted it straight so I never ate my crusts, my kids are also all curly and hate it so they don't eat their crusts either. If I'd just said "eat the goddamn crusts, its a waste of food and there are kids starving in other countries who have to eat mud for their tea you ungrateful little sods!", they probably would've ate them. But I can't admit to the lie because if I do, the floodgates will open, all hell will break loose, they'll be telling lies left, right and centre "because Mummy lies!" and I will no longer have the moral high ground! Which is all I have left in the BOBUC! (Battle of Bringing Up Children).
5. When another child hurts our child we tell them that the best thing to do is just ignore it and tell the teacher. If this was in fact the best thing to do, then bullying and fighting would never happen. It does. After my eldest (lets call him Sensible) was bullied in Reception, we told him the same lie "the best thing is not to fight back, but to go and find a teacher". Then one day a boy pulled him off the climbing wall, he banged his head and we ended up on an overnighter at the hospital with concussion. After a complaint to the school, (which was dealt with brilliantly I might add, plus there were never any problems after that day, and in fact my son is quite friendly with the boy now!), I decided to tell my son how to handle himself. I went into school and told one of his teachers "right, I've told Sensible that if anyone hurts him or is nasty to him that the best way of dealing with it is to punch them in the face, knee them in the groin and THEN tell the teacher once his opponent is crumpled on the floor!". I had in actual fact also taught him how to defend himself and the best places and ways of punching. I told the teacher that if it ever happened then to know that Sensible wasn't being a violent little shit, because I'd told him it was best and I'd told him he wouldn't get in trouble, and they'd have to take it up with me. Funny thing was, the teacher actually agreed with me as two of her children had been bullied too! Yet again, truth saved the day! There's a message somewhere in this story....
There are many many more instances but I don't want to ruin lives, or draw too much attention to the fact we lie to our children, but to make them feel good and to give them some much needed magic in their lives. Show me a parent and I'll show you a liar, but its all for the greater good. And just remember people, its NOT cool to let kids think its ok to have a strange person dressed as a giant bunny in your garden and you must always call the police if it ever happens; if your kid is shit at art its probably best they learn now than when they are taking the entrance exam to the Royal Academy of Arts; if your kids won't eat veg they need to know they won't turn into a weakling and die; eating your crusts will just make you less hungry; the best thing to do to bullies is to punch them, hard, on the nose - that'll stop the little sod; and finally that if someone's tongue is blue, you should call an ambulance!