Little white lies. They start off innocently enough. Usually I don’t agree with lying, but when it comes to parenting, let’s face it: sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Parenting is hard, so sometimes I find myself telling little white lies. It’s never a major issue, but sometimes a lie is understood a little better than a complex truth that kids can’t comprehend yet.
When my oldest was three, he went through a very hard time where textures grossed him out to the point he would hardly eat anything. We would beg and plead and bribe, but nothing worked. He was terrified of eating anything new and I couldn’t blame him; when he did, he would usually end up gagging and if he gagged, he threw up. It was horrible. He would basically only eat chicken and maybe a handful of other things (breads, cereals, etc.). The texture of chicken didn’t make him gag and he knew this, but if we tried to give him fish, beef, or anything else with protein, he would not even put it to his lips. One night, after realizing there was no chicken in the house, I told a white lie. The lie you ask? “We are having chicken for dinner.” The truth however was that it was white fish — Mahi Mahi to be exact. He ate all of it. So then the lie grew a little and every time he tried something new, we told him it was chicken. This got him to try things and though he didn’t always like what he was trying, it was progress.
The little lies we tell aren’t major and recently, while discussing this with friends, I realized that although the lie is different for each parent, there is one common denominator: we all do it. Whether we say McDonald’s is closed because we don’t want to eat there and don’t want the kids asking continuously or me telling my youngest that JJ (from her beloved Cocomelon show) is asleep for the night, we tell these lies with good intentions. I would never lie to my kids with bad intentions; it always comes from a good place, albeit it’s still a lie.
So what is the lie you have told or tell that you dread your kids discovering? For me it was my son finding out everything he liked wasn’t chicken. He found that out a few years ago and still laughs about his little phase with chicken. In fact, some of his current favorite foods were ones he tried while thinking they were chicken, and now is glad he tried them!