As parents, we always have our children’s best interests at heart which is why sometimes we bend the truth the little. Yes, we know that lying is wrong and shouldn’t be encouraged, but you’ll have to admit that sometimes it is hard to avoid.
Rumours, myths and little white lies have been passed down from generation to generation for many years; tales that have very little truth in them, yet we have no problem telling them as if they were fact. Whether they are used to motivate, as a behavioural control or to keep our little ones quiet, we’d be Pinocchio’s partner in crime if we said we weren’t all guilty.
Here’s some of our favourites; chances are you will find them familiar…
1. If you make that face it will stay that way
Children love to make silly faces, but there is a time and a place for everything. In order to teach (or scare) kids into dropping the scowls for some much sweeter smiles, we warn them that their face will be stuck with this rather unpleasant expression for the rest of their lives.
2. If you swallow chewing gum it won’t be digested for seven years
We’ve all heard this one, and probably still worry about it today. Swallowing chewing gum isn’t recommended for anyone and it will take it longer to be digested, but it won’t stick around for seven years. Phew.
3. Santa Claus is watching
A real favourite in the run up to the festive season, a sure fire way to get your children to behave is to tell them that Santa Claus is watching. No self-respecting child wants to find themselves on the “naughty” list.
4. You’ll catch a cold if you go out with wet hair
Having wet hair won’t have a great deal to do with catching a cold; being exposed to the cold virus will. You may be more likely to catch a cold should you stay indoors in close quarters to those carrying the virus.
5. Carrots will help you see in the dark
When you are young you imagine that eating one carrot will provide you with super power style night vision- sadly not the case. Rich in beta- carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the liver, is always going to be a good thing for your health however.
6. Eating the crusts will make your hair curly
This myth originated in the 18th Century when curly hair was seen as a symbol of health and prosperity. In reality it won’t make your hair any curlier or straighter than it already is, but being the part richest in fibre and antioxidants you might find it shining a little brighter.
7. Chocolate will give you spots
This rumour has plagued teenagers for years, but unless you actually rub it onto your face there is little chance that there will be any kind of correlation. Any excuse to keep a sweet tooth under control, but perhaps a temptation too far so chocoholics…
8. You need silence to be able to sleep
It is more than likely this one was thought up by a tired parent having problems getting their child into a regular sleep pattern. Where noise may be an annoyance when getting to sleep, complete silence isn’t necessary.
9. Your pet has gone to live on a farm
It’s a sad day for everyone when a beloved pet passes away. In order to prevent further grief and annoyance to our children, many of our pets end up “moving to a farm” for a better life rather than exposing them to the bitter truth.
10. If you don’t go to bed early the tooth fairy won’t come
This is one occasion where you are guaranteed to get your little one off to bed early. The early bedtime gives the “tooth fairy” extra time to deliver the money and perhaps have a relaxing cup of tea too.
How many of these have you been known to say?