Sometimes I tell my kids, “If you don’t brush your teeth, you’ll grow a forest of mould in your mouth,”
I joke, I joke. I don’t have kids. But I do take the opportunity to tell other kids this. I used to tell my little brothers all sorts of stories. Once I convinced them, when they were both really little, that the dark blue tile dolphin on the floor of the swimming pool was real. I told them it had been cast away there by a horrible sorcerer, but at night it detaches itself and has a nice swim when nobody is around.
“Don’t step on it, okay? It feels everything.” I said solemnly.
My two little brothers, who were so cute back in the day, scoffed at the story, but I could tell they were spellbound. My youngest brother treaded water like mad when he was anywhere near the dolphin, while I nearly choked on my silent guffaws from the sidelines.
My mother has a friend who would tell us all sorts of silly things when we were younger, things that resonated with me as I grew up. Like she would say “if you swallow those watermelon seeds you’ll grow a watermelon tree in your tummy!”
I actively avoided watermelon seeds like the plague for years and years after that, even though I knew no such thing would happen, it was still a little likely right?
When my brother got the chicken pox she said, “You better watch out he doesn’t pop right into a chicken!”
I was terrified. I peeped into his room every morning to make sure the bundle under the covers wasn’t covered in feathers. Cluck cluck cluck.
You would’ve thought that these experiences would teach me not to lie to kids, but I can’t help myself, it’s so funny! Especially when they believe it and in some cases, it makes them behave and brush their teeth.
I think there is a line to be drawn, however, such as with the case of Santa Claus.
But that’s just my opinion. What about you, do you lie to kids?