We spend years telling our kids to tell the truth for a reason. Throughout life, being true to your word and yourself is key.
However, there is one exception to that...
During the last seven years that I’ve lived with a toddler or preschooler, I’ve learned to pick your battles and that the truth isn’t always the best for your sanity. Here are a few fibs I’ve told my 3-year-old lately. And you know what? I don’t even feel bad about it.
1. "If it isn’t on the grocery list, I can’t buy it." Both of my kids have seemed to completely accept this, even though the older one can now read. I set the rule from the beginning and we’ve avoided grocery store meltdowns for years because of this. It also doesn’t hurt to hang the free sucker or sticker over their heads as well.
2. "You can’t eat long noodles at restaurants until you’re 5 years old." What happens when a 3-year-old is out eating with older kids? They want exactly what the older kids have. However, spaghetti noodles are messy. I’ve told him the restaurants require kids to be 5 for long noodles and he seems to accept just fine that he will get to eat those when he’s older. So battle and mess successfully avoided.
3. "The automatic sink knows you haven’t scrubbed your hands long enough." Little hands have a hard time getting automatic sinks to turn on. My son is terrible about scrubbing his hands long enough but he thinks the reason the sink isn’t working is because I told him he hasn’t scrubbed long enough. He counts to 20, tries again with my assistance and, magically, it works. Everyone wins.
4. "Children’s music doesn't work in my car." How have I managed to listen to the music I like with little kids? I tell them children’s music doesn’t work in my car. Now my 7-year-old would prefer mainstream music over children’s music and I’m high-fiving any adult passenger who rides with me.
Many of these tall-tales are similar to the five second rule with food dropping onto the floor or that it’s a rule to not to exercise after eating. They aren’t life-altering for the child. They'll still grow up just fine. However, they have been life-changing for me. If I had to do it all over again, I’d continue with the same fibs.
And I plan to continue as long as I can get away with them or until my kids are old enough to read this article and realize my secret.