I don’t know about you, but there’s a direct correlation between the build up to Christmas and the use of little white lies in our house…
We’re all bombarded with festive adverts for way longer than is necessary and, as children don’t have the same concept of time and, indeed, patience that adults do, it’s perhaps inevitable that they act up more once the days get shorter.
I find that I have to tick off my older two children more at this time of year as a result, particularly at bedtime. Or ‘The Witching Hour’ as we call it.
I’m obviously not alone in employing the strategy I often rely on – namely that, if they don’t behave, I’ll phone Santa – as it has recently been named the number one little white lie that parents tell to their kids.
The survey, which was conducted by Blue Cross animal charity, found that parents tell well-meaning fibs to their children for a range of reasons.
We’ll look at some of the more amusing ones in a moment, but it’s worth mentioning that one of them is the classic “Your pet went to live on a farm in the country.”
While this is, of course, well meaning, I don’t think I would use this one. I understand why others may not feel ready to tell the sad truth though. Blue Cross offers a Pet Bereavement Support Service which often takes calls from parents looking for advice on what to tell children.
Back to happier subjects and there are a fair few that I have already used a lot in my first few years as a dad. I’m definitely guilty of telling my kids that ice cream vans play music when they’re sold out.
I’ve also told them we’ll return to the scene of disastrous family days out another time despite having no intention of ever going back, while “We’ll see” is a phrase I use with alarming frequency.
When I was a child, my parents told me some meat I didn’t like the look of was “Sussex ham”. As a result, I genuinely believed this dish to exist for several years. I don’t think there’s any harm in little white lies though. In fact, I’d argue that telling them is a rite of passage for any self-respecting parent!
Returning to those that can be told towards the end of the year, there are two more that I’ll definitely be pushing into action. “They don’t sell replacement batteries for that toy” will, I’m sure, get an airing.
I’ll also be telling them that Santa’s tastes vary from the normally accepted Christmas Eve offerings. Although he prefers Baileys when he visits our house.
Which little white lies do you tell your kids?