The Christmas season! The time of year we celebrate the birth of Jesus, give gifts to loved ones, and listen to songs about spreading joy and bringing peace on Earth. Christmas is also the season we, as parents, spend a great deal of time lying to our kids. Santa Claus, Elf on a Shelf, lies, lies, lies.
And please don’t take this the wrong way, I lie to my kids all the time. In addition to the standard Christmas lies, I lie to them about a variety of other things…
My kids have each gone through phases of sticking out their tongues. Hoping to nip this problem in the bud we started telling our kids, “If you stick your tongue out it will give you diarrhea.” Is it a scientific fact? No. Could there possibly be a link? Sure, why not.
As much as I hate to admit it, I cuss around my kids and so does my wife. Not all day long, but probably a few times a week. Over the years, our kids have picked up on it. Once at grandma’s house our oldest could be overheard in her bedroom shouting, “Dammit, I forgot to pack my jammies.” Our youngest knows a few curse words and is close to using them in context. Recently, while trying to play a game she handed me the iPad and said, “I need the dammit password.”
“What the hell happened to that?” My oldest daughter could be heard saying as she walked off the bus noticing some trees I had trimmed. Clearly, we had a problem on our damn hands. As a way of getting them to stop, especially the youngest, we started telling her that curse words are “baby words.” “You don’t want to talk like a baby do you?”
Lies come in handy in the strangest of places. Earlier this year we took our first family camping trip. My wife and I put our kids to bed in the tent and our youngest wouldn’t stop crying. It was the point in the night where all the campsites are supposed to be quiet, so we had to think fast. The best we could come up with was, “There’s no crying during camping…bears drink the tears of toddlers.” That quieted her right down.
Some of our lies are based on partial truths. For example, every time we drive by a Taco Bell, my kids can be heard squealing, “Eww, Taco Bell serves horse meat.” Not totally an untrue story.
So, this Christmas as you’re telling your child about coal in stockings, elves at the North Pole and a million other lies, remember, much like spreading joy and peace on earth, lies should’t only be reserved for the Christmas season, but should be spread throughout the year as well.