Valuable Advice: 5 easy lies to tell your children to make your summer living easy


If you have, or plan to be near, children this summer, there are a certain number of lies you should tell to ensure that things go smoothly, by which I mean to make sure those children do not ruin your summer, as kids are wont to do, bless their tiny little summer-loving hearts.
  1. Ooh...those look fun! Too bad they don't exist.
    Water balloons do not exist. Or, if it's too late for that, water balloons are extremely dangerous.  Never, ever, let a child too young to fill and tie his/her own water balloons find out how absurdly, addictively fun those things are.  Of all the fun things to do with kids in the summer, this is the worst. Partly because it's the most fun, and therefore the thing they beg for most, but mainly because it takes AGES to fill up all those balloons, and a matter of seconds for them to finish throwing them at your neighbor's car.  Refill, repeat. Refill, repeat. And then YOU are going to have to keep filling up more until your fingers are bloody, and spend hours scouring the grass and driveway to destroy the evidence of their vandalism.  The best way to avoid this scenario is, of course, lying.  I recommend informing a curious toddler or preschooler that the balloons are "toxic" and "filled with a liquid that could burn your skin," like beer bottles.  This should work. Older, smarter kids who can't tie yet should be told that water balloons aren't appropriate for kids 12 and under because some families can't play with them for religious reasons, so it's not nice of us to disrespect their beliefs by playing with them in front of them. And you know what it feels like to be left out. It's not nice, is it?
  2. "Subject to change without notice" - I like that!
    The public pool/beach is "closed" on cool/cloudy days. Unless your children are old enough to swim independently under the supervision of the lifeguards while you lounge about and read novels in paradise, I highly recommend this essential summertime lie, or you will spend your day shivering miserably in the water and/or carrying an cold, wet person all over the place. Then be sure that whatever you do that day, you do not drive past the pool/beach, or you'll have to come up with a new lie for why the pool/beach is now "open." WARNING: THIS ADVICE IS ONLY GOOD FOR CHILDREN WHO CANNOT READ YET!
  3. If you don't hold still, you'll be blind.  This is an extreme and potentially traumatizing lie, so normally I wouldn't endorse it, but it's preferable to the equally traumatizing screaming and running and chasing and forcing plus crying and wiping and rinsing and more screaming that comes with your child jerking his/her head around just in time to get an open eyeful of sunscreen.
  4. It IS past your bedtime.  Adjusting to long summer days can be very taxing, and trying to get your kids to bed at their normal time gets harder and harder as the days get longer.  Fortunately for you, however, there's a pleasant side-effect of this in that your child no longer fully understands when he/she has to go to bed and is easier to trick as the summer goes on. This is a particularly helpful lie on camping trips, when there aren't a lot of clocks around, and you can put the kids down early and get to the adults-only business. They can have microwave s'mores when you get home. Don't feel guilty about it. Look what they just did to your tent.
  5. If you don't/do [perform x thing you don't or do want them to do] then we will not/will go get ice cream.  This is more of a threat/bribe than a lie, but let's face it: you're getting that ice cream either way. Because nothing can make a good summer go wrong faster than not getting ice cream.  But this threat/bribe works wonders in the most dire of circumstances and is a proven cure for tantrums, rudeness, sibling fights, refusal to carry one's one beach crap back to the car, and much, much more. Just make sure the kids don't catch on. I'd suggest that you show you mean business by maybe now or then only getting a cone for yourself if they've been particularly troublesome, but that's going too far. No parent should really withhold ice cream from his/her child. That's just not right.

Time to fill up all those balloons: about 1 hour
Time to throw/pop them: 1 minute, give or take. But almost worth it.
Have a great summer!

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  1. Good advice! My D-I-L has been telling my 2 year old grandson that the backyard is closed when it is dark. He doesn't ask to go out again, either.

  2. the one I used when my kids were little is when the ice cream truck played music, that meant he was out of treats...It worked for years! LOL