Blog: 20 Lies Our Parents Told Us

What are some lies you remember your parents telling you as a child to get you to behave?

Throughout the years, parents have used many tricks, ploys, threats and bribes to encourage their children to behave.

I was raised by a single dad, who quickly learned that he was no match for five rambunctious kids. In order to gain the upper hand, he did what most parents did, back in the day when children were to be seen and not heard — he lied to us. 

Today, reality television shows, such as Supernanny, oppose such tactics, and encourage parents to influence their child's behavior using methods such as the naughty chair.

Now, I don't advocate lying, but, when a "time out" just wasn't working, I'll admit to resorting to this list of 20 lies our parents told us:

  1. Santa Claus couldn’t bring it because it was too big for his sleigh.
  2. If you swallow gum, it will take seven years to digest.
  3. Cracking your knuckles will give you arthritis.
  4. Don’t cross your eyes or they’ll freeze that way.
  5. Your pet ran away.
  6. If you sit too close to the television set you’ll go blind.
  7. You’ll catch pneumonia if you go outside with wet hair.
  8. The tooth fairy doesn’t come for teeth with cavities.
  9. Don’t talk so much or you’ll run out of your allotment of words.
  10. This is going to hurt me more than it will hurt you.
  11. Eat your spinach if you want to be strong like Popeye.
  12. You can’t watch cartoons because the TV is broken.
  13. Be good or Santa, (the tooth fairy, the Easter bunny, etc.) won’t come.
  14. It’s not the ice cream man; it’s the “music box” man.
  15. Be good or you’ll get sent to live with gypsies.
  16. The brown spots on the bananas are the best because they contain all the  sugar.
  17. The car won’t start if the seat belts aren’t fastened.
  18. Keep making that face and it will stay that way.
  19. You can’t taste your food if you eat while standing.
  20. If you swallow a watermelon seed, it will grow in your stomach and out your ears.


Even though I’ve learned that stepping on a crack won’t really break my mother’s back, and peeing in the pool won’t turn the water a different color, I’ve found myself guilty of not only perpetuating these falsehoods, but adding a few of my own. 

One of my idle threats actually came true when I once told my daughter that if she didn’t behave, she would grow up and have a child just like her. 

Grandchildren — a parent’s sweet revenge.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Cody Kitaura January 28, 2012 at 12:44 AM
A few of these definitely made me chuckle and reminded me of things I've heard. But do kids still know who Popeye is? I wonder if spinach needs a 21st century spokesman.


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