10 white lies all parents tell their kids

Parents, fess up to the falsehoods you’ve made to junior, plus, learn what you can say instead!

As parents, you’ve probably told your mini-me countless times never to tell lies. Yet, there’s no denying that a timely white lie is a powerful parenting hack to have in your arsenal.

Eni Sabrina, mum to Faheem, 6, and Sara, 10, notes that white lies helps ease parenting. “But I am conscious not to tell white lies that may instil fear or create unnecessary anxiety. For things like ‘If you’re naughty, the police will come and catch you’ — I don’t think it’s right.”

She points out that she has even heard other parents make extreme statements. “Things like ‘If you don’t study hard, you’ll become a road sweeper.’ While parents may mean well, such white lies may unwittingly send a wrong — and elitist — message to your child. So always stick to a white lie that won’t carry negative connotations.

Always stick to a white lie that won’t carry negative connotations.

Low Bee Hong, 46, mother of Clarice, 7, explains, “I think it’s okay if the white lies are told to preserve their innocence — like Santa Claus, for instance — or to impart positive values like not wasting food.”

Needless to say, white lies only work if you don’t get busted. Bottom line: Don’t tell falsehoods if these are easily be refuted. You’re probably guilty of uttering at least some of these fibs…

1. “We’ll see.”/”We’ll come back another time.”

You make this promise with the same sincerity as you say “let’s keep in touch” to a childhood acquaintance you bumped into on the street. And you know it’s never going to happen. But you use this as it’s less of a hassle than having to deal with the ensuing back and forth sparked when you give a resounding “no”.

2. “Don’t play with your ‘gugu jiao/wee wee/birdy’, it’ll fall off!”

You aren’t the only one who’s curious about dealing with your child’s privates. Your mini-me is just as curious about them as you are. That’s why it’s common to see him touch, tug and fiddle with it pretty often. But this harmless touching and toying can make you — and everyone, for that matter — feel uncomfortable. But to be sure, ask if he’s touching it because he needs to go to the toilet before you chide him.

3. “We’re leaving without you.”

You’re asking your child to choose between a plaything or his buddy and you! Still, you really shouldn’t be using this lie, lest it marks the start of junior’s abandonment issues! Plus, it’s another sure-fire way to start an ugly meltdown in public.