Everyone knows that the first thing you learn at parent school is that lying is allowed.
If you’ve just strapped in for a 12 hour car journey, and as you pass the neighbours house your child asks “are we nearly there?” the answer is an unequivocal “YES”. Yes. You are most definitely nearly there.
Most parents would love to say that the lying stops as their children grow into teenagers, but...that would be a lie. The lying just evolves. Parents tend to slightly exaggerate danger, and downplay how bloody awful the experience of dating can be. Perhaps parents aren't even lying on purpose. But unfortunately, for most kids, the promise that "the boys will be lining up" never quite becomes a reality (seriously mum...where are they? I'm still waiting...).
The funny thing about children is that they tend to grow up. And the funny thing about growing up is that they realise they were lied to.
The spawn of lying parents have united in one mammoth Reddit thread, revealing the biggest lie their parents ever told them. Traumatised and confused, they offer each other support in the face of the terrifying truth.
Here are some of the highlights:
1. "Sorry sweetie you can't watch any more Elmo videos, it's Elmo's bed time and he's sleeping now."
Hang. on. It was not Elmo's bed time. That is not how television works. This was most definitely used by a particularly creative parent to coax their child into bed. Our overwhelming response is: good thinking.
2. "Heeeeeere comes the aeroplane!' I'm nineteen years old, and I've yet to have a damn aeroplane in my mouth."
No wonder children have trust issues. We were promised an aeroplane and all we got was a lousy spoon.
Watch: The moment I felt like I was a terrible mother. Post continues after video...
3. "If you just tell the truth, you won't get in trouble."
This is a trap. If a teenager has done something bad, they will always get into trouble. Parents have adapted this from police interrogation methods. If you confess to murder, you are still going to jail. If a teenager confesses to having a party while their parents were away, they are DEFINITELY still getting yelled at.
4. "If you ever need a ride when you're in trouble or intoxicated I will pick you up no questions asked."
This is a trap 2.0. All the questions are asked. It's on page 4 of the 'Parents with Teenagers' handbook. Pick them up, make sure they're alive, and then berate them for the next few weeks/months/years.
5. "Your school years are the best years of your life."
In fairness, how else is a parent meant to get their child to school for THIRTEEN YEARS? Oh, and compared to arguing with a 7-year-old about putting their left sock on, or screaming at everyone to get in the car at 8am, school days probably look very much like the best years of your life.
6. "That the ice cream truck ringing means it's out of ice cream. Believed this for the first 9 years of my life."
Er...can we track down this kid's parents? Because they need a Nobel Prize. This is nothing short of genius.
7. "Mcdonalds closes at 4pm."
No seriously. Parents do not get enough credit. Hold up while I write this down in my 'When I'm a parent' notebook.
8. "Everyone will offer you illegal drugs and will pressure you into taking them."
Teenagers and adults everywhere are asking; WHERE were all those illegal drugs!? They were counting on them and they never came. Teens who did come across illicit substances, and were invited to dabble by friends, found that the conversation ended when they said "nah, I'm alright thanks." The "you can't be cool like us unless you do drugz" encounter never occurred.
9. "Mummy and Daddy were just wrestling."
Oh, whoops. This one must be a mistake. You see, my mum and dad definitely were wrestling. What else would they have been...
And now I've exited the thread. I do not need my understanding of the world to be tainted anymore than it already has.
When it comes to some subjects, the lie suits me just fine.