Sunday, August 1, 2010

Parenting through Falsehood

I admit, I lie to my kids, ALL the time.  I prefer to call it parenting through falsehood.  It sounds more psychologically pleasing that way.  My neighbor with a PHD in philosophy made up that fancy term.

 You see, I have 3 boys.  Boy BoysDirty, mischievous, rambunctious boys.  They play dodge ball in the house, lick the dirty puddles they play in, and make a mess of just about everything.  They are hilarious (if you don't have to live with them), adorable, and did I mention naughty???  I swore I was going to have at least one girl........... I just knew that one of the twins was going to be a girl.  She was going to be quiet and sweet, have brown curly hair, and her name was going to be Cecelia.  That is until the ultrasound tech pointed out that my last hope was another BOY.  Five years later, I'm a great boy mom.  I don't freak out when they are 10 feet up in a tree, or bleeding down their foreheads, or riding their bikes with no helmets or shoes.  But I do spend alot of time lying................ 

It started a few years ago.  When my eldest was 3 and the twins were 1, I'd make my morning trek to McDonalds for a regular coke, extra ice.  What mom of 3 boys under 3 doesn't need a little caffeine and a shot of sugar to start her day?  But one day my 3 year old started realizing he wasn't getting anything at the golden arches this early in the morning.  So I hear his little voice from the backseat, "Mommy, can I get juice box?"  Now a good mommy would just answer "no, you just had juice for breakfast, you can not have a juice box right now", and would then listen to the tantrum ensue in the backseat, along with the screeching of 1 year old twins.  But not I friends.  I simply answered, "today is Tuesday, and they don't sell juice boxes on Tuesday".  I waited for the tantrum with bated breath, but it never came............. I waited and waited, and then I heard, "ok mommy".  And voila, parenting through falsehood was born!  From then on, I find myself lying all the time to get through my day with the fewest amount of tantrums possible.  Ofcourse this all works perfectly until your oldest child learns how to read (which is why I decided he didn't need to learn early, after all, that's what tax dollars are for when they enter kindergarten).   

My friends think I'm crazy, but did you know that Chuckie Cheese is only open in the winter???  This is a horrible lie I know, but who wants to spend a beautiful summer day there?    In my house, it's closed until the first snowfall.  And since we don't pass it on the way to anything, they still believe me 3 years later.  (Thankfully, we have never been invited for a birthday party there on a hot summer day). 

The grocery store with any child is a bear, but take my three and it's a recipe for disaster.  They are constantly whining for the latest sugar and dye filled snack they saw on Cartoon Network, and reminding me that the commercial said it has "real fruit" in it.  Yeah right.  No problem when you parent through falsehood.  See, when they can't read the sign, I just tell them, "that isn't for sale, it's just on display today".  And guess what?? No tantrum, no more whining.  Lots of confused, perplexed faces, but thankfully no poor behavior to show off to all our fellow shoppers.

In my house, things are only for sale on certain days, open during certain seasons, and available during certain months or periods of time. There are rules I make up that are flat out lies, but these little secrets keep me sane.  And with insanity knocking at my door each day, that's all I can ask for. 


  1. I love it!!!! I need to take some advice from you! Keep the posts coming...I need to stay sane myself with the third on the way! And, you know I still love a Mickey D's coke first thing in the morning!

  2. Parenting through falsehood! Yup!
    I get the slightest pang of guilt when we go through the drive through and my innocent little Evan says, "They're out of chocolate milk again, mom?" Me, "Yes, sorry honey." Then, just to be sure I remain painfully aware that I am deceiving my little guys, he invariably throws in a very sincere, "Awwww..."

    Nicely done, Stephanie! I look forward to more posts~

  3. Steph,
    You crack me up!!! Don't worry, they're not actual lies when there's a purposeful benefit to mommies when they say them! :) I've done it many, many times-like-oh, honey, the computer is broken, not working now-sorry...or, honey, that show isn't on tv anymore-sorry! haha!
    Nicole K.

  4. Well said Stephanie! Surely every mom does this at sometime..
    I look forward to reading more!

  5. Hey old Zeta sis. . . love the blog. I would say that I parent through falsehood on a daily basis. I might have to steal the term.:) Blogging is definitely a way of staying sane. I have been blogging for about a year!

  6. So I stole your idea today while at the store when my son wanted to buy something. I told him, sorry that is not for sale, it is just a display. Thanks for the advice, keep it coming! Looking forward to future posts.

  7. An age-old parenting standard... gotta love it. I sneak chocolate chips all the time. When Sydney was younger, I'd tell her they were "Mommy Raisins."

    When my dh was a kid and would ask for something, his mom would tell him it was "out of production." It's a line he still uses today.

    Love your new blog! Keep posting, I'll keep reading!

    Christine M

  8. Sephanie,
    Well, all that lying will come back to you when you are in your dotage. I found myself lying like a rug to by 90+ mother on almost every occasion. Of course like you it was all done with a tender heart trying hard to avoid disappointments and activities that had no appeal. I heard the boys were selling beer at the lemonade stand. That might be a South Side, Katie R. thing. Maybe a partnership could be formed. I leave you now free of kids but awaiting your next entry.
    PatDuffy ( after this APD)