Have you ever been told “fake it till you make it”? Well, contrary to popular beliefs, this titbit of confidence-boosting advice was not coined by an entrepreneur, politician or TED speaker.
No, the concept of “fake it till you make it” was actually invented by a canny toddler who didn’t want to eat their veggies or sit on the potty. They probably whispered it into their bestie’s ear at playgroup, and then word spread throughout all the sticky-fingered kids in the neighbourhood, until they all agreed: ‘faking it’ was the best way to gain control of parents and get what you want.
I know this is true, because I’m a parent and am convinced that my children have conducted underground meetings with all the important municipal babies on this very topic. My kids are experts at fakery. Here, for our mutual benefit, is a list of the most popular faked behaviours among young children, and how to bust them.
1. Faking being sick.
Signs: The child will cough when you are absorbed in another activity. When you look at them, they will collapse in giggles. There will be an absence of fever, snot, lethargy or other symptoms associated with genuine illness.
What to do: Tell the child that you will call the ambulance, and that they can have an injection to get better. They will make an instantaneous, miraculous recovery.
2. Faking being full.
Signs: This usually occurs during a meal that is delicious for adults, such as soup or a roast, but not for children (i.e. is not chicken nuggets, spaghetti bolognese or pizza). The child will take one look at the meal and moan that they are full, despite having just complained that they are starving. On extreme occasions – i.e. when the child hates the meal – they will theatrically mime choking or gagging after one tiny spoonful is consumed. In our household, this happens with pumpkin soup, which is also deemed to be “too bicy” (spicy), despite there being no spices in it.