When my sister and I were kids, my mom would hide things in her closet that she didn’t want us to touch.

So, she would tell us that if we went in there, “el cucuy” would get us. El Cucuy is the Latin version of the boogieman and we did not want the cucuy to get us. I tell her today that she owes me therapy for that, but she still swears that it was for our own safety and she would tell us the same thing if she had to do it again. “Besides,” she said, “ you tell Sofia lies too!” I was about to retort, No way!! But, when I thought about it, I definitely am part of the liars club.


Lies to kids are often to protect them but there are a few out there that are meant to cajole or even bribe kids. Here are 7 great ones, see how many you recognize.


1. “It’s broken!”

My daughter had the most annoying sounding teeny baby piano that she loved to play very very loud and ALL.DAY.LONG. One day, mommy tried to “play” it (pretend to hit the buttons without really doing it) and Oh no, no sound! It must be broken. Don’t worry, we’ll get you a new toy. Parenting win!


2. “Santa Claus is watching you… Alllllll the time.”

While this is most successful the closer we are to the holidays, this is the card that I love to use since I know it’s limited til she’s maybe 8, 9 if we’re lucky. Oh, you don’t want to clean your room? I guess Santa won’t be stopping here this year since he only give presents to kids who listen to their parents….oh what? Sure, you can do it now. Works like a charm!


3. “Of course mermaids are real.”

I have said this way too many times to count. At first it was because I couldn’t break her little heart as she looked at me with her big, brown, very believing eyes. Now, years later, I just don’t want to explain the logistics behind way merfold can’t exist because of things like gills and science and pollution and… yea, you get it. This applies to all mystical beings and characters.


4. “We’ll get it next time.”

This too has an expiration point. My daughter never really broke down at stores because I was always getting it next time. Then, one day she remembered and this little lie was used no more. Parents, fight on the good fight and love it while you can!


5. “I was a good kid.”

If I say this around my mom, she pretty much collapses on the floor into huge fits of laughter. But when I’m alone with my daughter, I was perfect which means she should be too….right?


6. “I’m leaving without you.”

Why we keep using this I don’t know. My daughter is always the first to say “Ok mom, bye!!” Kids know fun lies somewhere not populated by grown ups. Leaving her here? It’s not even a threat, it’s a party.


Maybe it’s bad to lie to our kids. Maybe, but sometimes kids need a little embellishing to push forward and grow up. One day, I’ll laugh at the whoppers I told and smile knowing they are finally realizing how many brussels sprouts I got my daughter to eat under the guise that it would make her strong! I hope she remembers some of these, I can’t wait to see her use them on her kids someday.