Home » Featured, Moms, Notes From Motherhood

As a Parent, Sometimes You Just Have To Lie, But When?

21 June 2011 51 Comments

by Jill Krause

I got a sweet Mother’s Day card this year from my 3-year-old son. Inside, his teachers recorded his answers to a few questions they asked about me. According to him, my favorite color is pink (I can see that), my hair is black (so I’m thinking it’s time for some highlights), and what do I do while he is at school? I “make the Easter Bunny eggs.” Uhhh… I thought I was being sneaky about that.

Is the gig up? Did he bust me? Or is he too young to know I’m lying? Can I recover next year?

The truth is, sometimes lies are a necessary part of parenting, I believe. For example, telling my 3 year old that the mall playground is closed when it’s 20 minutes before naptime is, in my eyes, a justifiable lie. On that note, I do NOT appreciate it when random strangers correct me in front of him. YES, woman I do not know, I am aware the playground isn’t actually closed. Thank you and good day. I’ll be on my way now with the tantruming toddler.

But some lies, like lies about the Easter Bunny, might not really be classified as necessary. And it’s lies like those that take so much work! Not to mention, the age at which you have to start really working to maintain such lies sneaks up on you. As early as last Christmas we were able to shop for Santa gifts in plain sight of our son. We tried to hide them to a degree, sure, but I clearly remember wrapping some behind the desk while he played with his blocks on the other side. I wasn’t expecting him to be so quick to catch on.

And it’s not that I want to not lie about these things, because I have so many fond memories of that time in my life when I really believed in magical things like the Easter Bunny and Santa. I’m glad my parents kept the charade up for as long as I was willing to play along, and I certainly don’t feel damaged or traumatized for being led to believe such things.

It’s just, well, I had no idea how hard it would be! Even now that the holiday has passed, I find myself tripping up and mentioning in front of him things that give me away as the Easter Bunny. And I know it’s only going to get worse. If he’s onto me, I’ve got to put my game face on… and I MUST find a decent hiding place in this house for presents.

Do you ever bend the truth with your kids?


  • Michelle said:

    I love this article!! LOL and trust me I know how you feel. My son just turned 3 and he seems to know everything that he shouldn’t! lol. I bought a few extra things for his birthday this year, so I put a couple of them away for Christmas. I got him a remote control recycling truck, he hasn’t seen it, I ordered it online and when it arrived I hid it….didn’t even open the box! I’m pretty sure he knows about it though, since after he opened his gifts he kept saying “where’s my truck that drives by itself?” LOL so…Santa will have to find something else to bring and he will get that from his baby sister lol
    I also “lie” about stuff being closed…and HATE when people correct me. Do I honestly think the toy store is trying to close at noon which is why we have to leave? Do I really think the grocery store workers are getting ready for their nap, so we have to get home to take ours? Doubt it. lol
    My biggest lie right now…it’s kind of sad but at 3, there are some things that you don’t need to know. Hubby got me a lobster for mothers day….my son loves looking at the lobsters in the tanks at the store. so I told him that the red ones were food and the green ones were the pet ones. We were out today and the tanks were empty (big sale) so he was pretty upset that they ran away. I told him they all found homes. An old guy near by looked at me like I was insane and says “pffft! found homes!?” so we got out of there quick.
    I’m lucky that my son eats just about everything…he would be crushed and likely traumatized if he found out where meat came from. So to me…it’s better to “lie” about somethings…. especially when they are little.

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