I’m not afraid to admit that I rely heavily on a controversial parenting strategy to get my kids to do what I want. It’s called L-Y-I-N-G.

If you think about it, manipulating children is just our way of showing them how much they’re loved. It’s why we fool them into thinking superheroes, fat white men in red pajamas and f’d up looking bunnies are real… so they can maintain their youthful innocence for as long as possible and have the childhood we all imagine for them.

Except what about the adulthood I imagine for myself?

I don’t know about you, but my vision of my late 30’s doesn’t involve my children making me look like a jackass in public (I can handle this all on my own, thanks), multiple trips to the Principal’s office (I spent plenty of time there when I was in school), or food fights at the kitchen table (soon the dog will be too old to clean it up).

I want it to be much, much easier than that.

Here are 21 white lies I tell my boys in order to maintain some semblance of control:

1. No, those aren’t onions in your dinner. They’re magical gems.
2. Yes, that fish did have a family. We ate them last week, so he’s really excited to be reunited with them.
3. Sure, you can live here forever and ever.
4. Don’t worry, the hike’s only 1/2 mile round trip and super flat the whole way.
5. If you don’t turn in your homework, you’ll have to go to school on the weekend.
6. If you don’t smile on Picture Day, the school will make a giant poster of you and hang it in the office.
7. The football team is for kids who are on punishment.
8. Oh didn’t you hear? The Tooth Fairy died in a car accident. So sad.
9. Sorry, we can’t. It’s illegal for Jewish people to hang red and green lights on our houses.
10. I wish I could take you to Funtasia, but you know how the bright lights give me seizures.
11. If you don’t floss your teeth, they’ll grow into one giant uni-tooth.
12. The Science Fair is not mandatory. Your teacher was just trying to trick you to see who the smart kids really are.
13. If you play more than one hour of video games per day, you’ll get permanent brain damage. Why do you think your friend, Tommy, acts like that?
14. If you fondle your penis in public, it won’t grow anymore.
15. If you don’t put your bouncy plastic balls away, the dog will choke and die just like Oprah’s dog did.
16. If you talk in a movie theater, the main character will jump through the screen and punch you in the Adam’s apple.
17. When you see a rainbow, mommy has to drink a glass of wine no matter what time of day it is.
18. If you kick the person’s seat in front of you, the airplane might lose control and crash.
19. If you don’t eat your broccoli, you won’t shit for an entire week.
20. Every time you stay up past 9, you shave an entire year off of mommy’s life.
21. If you tell white lies to your parents, you’ll go right to Hell.

Now excuse me while I run upstairs to remind the boys that if they don’t take a bath, their skin will shed off in one disgusting continuous sheet just like a python.

Jill Ginsberg has several 3-letter certifications behind her signature but the one she is most known for having is OCD. As a Writer, Holistic Nutritionist and the mother of three wild little humans, she relishes order, tends to think in lists, appreciates humor and doesn’t mind offending people. She blogs about her life at thejillist.com. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.

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  1. Alison Tedford

    You are my hero, Jill. We told my son heaven is basically Starbucks for dogs. Who doesn’t want to go to Starbucks?

    • Oh, I have a feeling my dog is going to be visiting “Starbucks” any day now. 13 years old! I think I might have to borrow your white lie, Alison. Or maybe I’ll say she’s at the movie theater in the sky … eating lots and lots of popcorn and candy:)

    • Yeah, Shannon, I like to follow that comment up with “Guess she shouldn’t have been texting and driving then” … totally erodes any sympathy they might have for her:)

  2. Ha! Love # 2 and # 9!!! I tell my 6 kids if you don’t go to college, you become a garbage collector. So far we have an engineer, an architect and a dentist but my 4 th is taking a special interest in how to discern trash from recyclable materials!

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