When you become a parent, there are many moments you find yourself being placed back into your parents shoes, suddenly understanding what they must’ve gone though. The main one is realizing your Mum was right about absolutely everything, as an echo rings in your ear of her voice exclaiming ‘You’ll understand when you have kids of your own!’ Some realizations are quite serious, and some, like the one I am about to explain, are ones where you finally become aware you’ve been played! Yes that’s right! Your parents fooled you! This is all about the little lies your parents fed to you in their attempt to get you to behave. Most of them were (false) threats, which successfully deterred us from pursuing our naughty course of action, avoiding the threatened consequences. And I believed these. All my life. Even into my adult life. That was, until I had kids of my own and went to hand down these threats to my kids. It wasn’t until then I finally clicked and questioned the validity of the statements. It doesn’t mean for a second that I won’t use them on my own children. Oh no. I have these babies in my back pocket, locked and loaded ready to go!
Here are some of my favorites below.
If you swallow chewing gum, it will stay in your tummy for 20 years.
This one a beauty! It worked so well that I never, ever swallowed gum. I still don’t. And I get scared for the people who do. Is this true? Probably not. But my gosh, it’s effective!
You have to wait 30 minutes after eating to go for a swim, or you will drown.
My parents never offered the reason why exactly you would drown, but I just accepted it. I never, ever swam after eating because I imagined suddenly being paralyzed while my body failed to multitask digesting food AND swimming at the same time. I caught myself saying this to my daughter the other day. The only reason I said it was to buy some time so I could finish my lunch and chill out for a little bit. And then I clicked! Was that why my parents said it to me? It was a very handy saying if you didn’t want to face the production of taking your kids for a swim just yet. IS IT TRUE? I’ve done a fair bit of googling on this and I’m yet to find a concrete answer.
If you use too much water in the shower or brushing your teeth, there will be no water left for the fishes.
I honestly imagined this big damn slowly getting lower and lower, as the fish ran out of room to swim. This is also my favorite way to get my kids out of the shower. Playing on their empathy for animals.
Your face will stay that way if the wind changes
Used mainly in occasions where we’re trying to take a nice photo and kids are pulling a face, this is yet another effective example of getting your kids to listen. And I wholeheartedly believed this when I was little. Even now as an adult some remnants of this saying stick with me. If I wipe my nose upwards, I have to follow with a downward stroke because I’m worried it will stay pointing upwards one day.
If you play with your willy too much, you will go blind/it will fall off
Obviously, this was not said to me. But I asked around to see what other fellow parents were told when they were younger. The guys attested to this saying putting a stop to their frequent willy twiddling ways.
If you don’t eat your crusts, your hair won’t go curly
I hated crusts. I still do. But when I was younger, I ate them like a madwoman because I desperately wanted curly hair. I never saw results, yet I never questioned the validity of the statement. It’s understood there is a variation of the saying which is ‘If you don’t eat your crusts, your hair will go curly.’ I believe the aim is to throw the one that will inflict the most fear at your kid. I would’ve preferred this one because I could stop with the crusts and get curly hair. It was a win/win.
Santa won’t come tonight if you’re awake.
The perfect way to get excited kids to sleep on Christmas Eve! No sleep, no Santa and NO PRESENTS! However, this was the one thing that backfired on me. Little stubborn me thought CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! So I stayed awake, ready to bust the myth that Santa will come no matter what. And that was the night I discovered Santa isn’t real. I only had myself to blame.
What were the little lies you heard as a kid? And would you or do you use them on your own kids. I sure do! They’re so handy!