Lies My Parents Told Me

The Truth About Growing Up

by Jessica Johnson

They told us that Santa Claus was real and that growing up was fun. When you think about it, we would all probably be a little bit better at adulting if our parents had told the truth sometimes. We asked for some stories of big little lies we were told to make the world go ’round — or at least until we found out the truth. Here’s what we got:

My southern Grandmother told me that kissing lead to one of two things: pregnancy if you were married and your lips falling off if you weren’t. She even went so far as to name the poor classmate who suffered the unfortunate consequences of premarital kissing. At the time, I wasn’t clever enough to ask for the schoolmate’s name. ~ Jasmine, 33


My parents told me if the ice cream truck came around and the sun wasn’t out, it was only serving sandwiches. ~ Jamal, 25

My mom always said that crushed ice in the freezer was medicine. ~ Ashley, 31

“Puppy fat,” no — I was just a bit fat. ~ Katrina, 34

Well, that’s one way to keep your children healthy. Other lies included the IQ test:

Smart people don’t cuss. That’s obviously bullsh*t. ~ Mike, 33

Some lies really do make help the time pass:

When we would visit my grandparents in Michigan, my granddad would take us “snipe hunting.” Not for the bird, but for an animal that was “a chipmunk, mixed with a rabbit, mixed with a fox.” Every now and then, grandad would claim to catch one, but we never saw it. EVER. ~ Adrian, 32

My father knew magic. He could make the traffic lights change. Now I know he was looking at the other light and timing it. But I do the same with my children, lol. ~ Ashlee, 32

Others, not so much …

My parents used to tell me that it was illegal to drive with the light on inside your car. To this day, I’m paranoid about it. ~ Deniece, 34

We’ll only stay for a couple of minutes — *8 hours later* ~ Sydney, 27

Some were fancy in their fabrications:

My birthday is on the Fourth of July. My dad used to tell me that, as a bonus birthday gift every year, he paid for fireworks on the National Mall. An ongoing lie that was told to all of us and shared with every grandkid is about the elephant at the National History Museum. For years we believed my dad shot that elephant and donated it to the museum while on travel in Africa simply because that’s what he told us.  ~ Desiree, 32

Hands-down, the best response was this one:

I distinctly remember being told that I could do whatever I wanted once I grew up. Guess I haven’t grown up yet. ~ Brian, 29

Clearly, lying to a child is a parent’s right of passage. So now we’re asking you: What’s the biggest lie your parents ever told?

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