I lie to my kids. I lie like a rug. If you are not a parent, you may be gasping right now and thinking "I would never do that!!" Because, we are all better parents before we have kids. I know I was. But trust me, by the third kid, you'll just be glad they are getting a meal...no matter that it came out of the dog's bowl. I'm kidding! Sort of. But, you will be a little more lax about food that falls on the floor. Cringe if you must, but re-read this after a few kids and you'll be nodding and saying "Yeaaaaah. I get that now!"
They want to go into the woods behind the house? Nooooo, don't go back there! There are alligators and they will eat you and spit out your bones!
If you don't put away all of these toys each night, little elves come into the house and steal them!
No, you cannot stay in the car when I go into the store because the policemen will put me in jail. (Not such a lie really...)
Yikes, the toothfairy got confused and left money in MY room and it looks like she forgot to take your tooth! (This one came in super handy a week ago).
I read a fantastic parenting piece from a blog I found on Pinterest the other night. It had tips for getting your kids to mind. One was lying to them. Here's the scenario.
It never fails, as soon as I wipe the last crumb off the counter after cleaning up from dinner, I hear a tiny little voice squeak "I'm hungry." It's like they wait until they hear the soft thud of the wash cloth hitting the kitchen sink before they descend upon me begging for food. It is not until every single dish from dinner is washed and put away that they start asking for a snack. It's like they think we are at Taco Bell for 'fourth meal' or whatever the heck it is they are trying to sell us.
So, you have cleaned up. You are tired. You want to relax. The kids start bugging you for food...a drink....to get down one of the 837 games from the very top of the closet.....this happens to me often. Simply tell them that the President has put in place a new law that moms cannot, under any circumstances, work after 8:00pm. If you do, you'll be in big trouble. Because, breaking the law is serious stuff.
I was skeptical, but I tried this the other night. Well, a variation of it. Because I am so sick of the kids asking for food like we run an all night buffet, I told Middle Child this whopper:
"So sorry. Did you know the President just passed a law that NO kids can eat after 8:00pm? If they do, they get in biiiig trouble! Maybe jail time. I'm not sure."
He cocked his little head to the side and squinted his eyes...."Whaaat?"
"Yep, sorry. My hands are tied. I don't want you to get in trouble. Do you?"
Some of you may be thinking..."Why not just say no? That's what I'd do!" Good for you. My track record hasn't been so great with that. Maybe I need to be stronger. I try, but with the husband's schedule I'm a single mom a lot and sometimes I need some quiet time so I'll just throw a piece of cheese or an apple at the kids and be done with it. It's easier to pick my battles. The whining at 8:00 at night is one I'd rather extinguish with a quick snack. But, I'm trying.
Did it work?
Funny story. Thanks to the part of me that is not lazy (or overwhelmed), I have instilled a sense of honesty and integrity in my kids. The Third Grader totally called me on the lie and informed all of us that there was no such law and that honesty is the best policy. Narc.
I threw an apple and some cheese at the kid and sent him to bed.