Thursday 22 February 2018

The lies our parents told

Joe Donnelly

If you don't lie to your kids on a daily basis, you're not parenting well, writes Joe Donnelly

I'm amazed it still works. Every Saturday morning when I make the weekly pilgrimage to the supermarket I am safe in the knowledge that my anti-pester armoury includes a weapon that can't be beaten. It's a lie I tell my children.

As we meander around the aisles, with me trying to remember what we need, the two boys form a pincer movement and launch an attack on the trolley. Can we buy this? Can we have that? I want one of those! Why can't we buy that? And so on, and so on.

I have one response, a weary refrain that remarkably works every time. "It's not for sale today," I tell them. Simple as that.

I deliver it brusquely and in a matter-of-fact tone, and move on as quickly as possible. They buy it every time, if you'll allow the pun. Occasionally a teenage supermarket employee will be on the brink of assuring me that those sugar-coated, chocolate-covered, cocaine-enriched 'breakfast bars' are indeed for sale, but one of my trademark angry stares sends him on his way.

We all tell fibs to our children; if you're not fobbing them off with a cock-and-bull story at least once a day then you're not parenting properly. Some lies are handed down from generation to generation. What lies were you told as a child?

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