5 Unconscious Lies Parents Tell A Lot
1. Santa Clause Is Watching You
Instead of threatening them with Santa Clause not leaving presents for them under the tree, take away something in the here and now so they know their behavior has immediate consequences. If they are fighting with a sibling and you want the fighting to stop so you say Santa is watching (and eventually they will find out you are big fat liar on this one) have a consequence for their behavior. Have a realistic punishment like taking away electrics for a few hours or giving them a time out period.
2. Nothing Bad Will Happen To You
This may be your intention, but it may not be possible. You can’t protect your child 100% of the time. Instead, use the truth, but frame it so the child does feel protected, yet aware of real dangers. Saying something like “I will always try to protect you, but there are bad people out there so that’s why I don’t want you to wander away from me in a store, as there are kids that are taken from their Mommies and Daddies. I am here to protect you, but if you wander away, then I am not there and you could be putting yourself in danger”. It may be scary, but its also a truthful reality. You don’t want to cause them any undue anxiety, so choose your words carefully.
3.I Promise It Won’t Hurt
They need to get a shot from the doctor, but they are screaming and you want the screaming to stop so they can get the shot. However, they are screaming because they know you are lying. You said it wouldn’t hurt the first time they got shots. They know better now. They learned from the pain that you lied. Don’t lie. Let them know it will be a small poke, a little pain, but then its over and they get a sucker.
4. We’re Leaving This House Without You
Instead of using a scare tactic, use specific and realistic consequences to move them into action. You can say “if you don’t have your shoes on and are ready to get into the car within 5 minutes, then you will lose your TV privileges for the evening.” Be sure to follow through with the consequences every time.
5. We Don’t Have Money For That
Instead of lying, explain it to your child on their level. Tell them you all want to go on vacation so we can’t go to the movies and sometimes do other things. Help them understand that sometimes to do something really special and fun, it involves sacrifice.