Parenting Tip: Lies and Trickery

Alden is recovering from bronchitis. Night after night he was coughing himself awake. He coughed until he barfed on the floor at Shoney’s. That situation cannot stand.

Alden won’t eat food. So medicine… unlikely. But I really needed him to take it. I heard myself say, “Alden if you don’t take this medicine I’m going to have to hold you down and force you.”

I think that when you’re threatening to pin your child down and choke the medicine into him, it might be a good time to reevaluate the plan.

I looked right into this innocent little face.

And I lied. I told him the medicine is full of ferocious little guys who are going to run through his body chasing down cough germs and spank their butts. (He’s awfully interested in butt spanking for a kid whose own tuchus is pristine.) I held up the bottle and pretended I could see them. Then he could see them too. He sucked down the syrup and we talked about how many butts were getting spanked RIGHT THAT MINUTE.

Lesson learned: The more ridiculous the lie, the more likely my three-year-old will believe it.

Bonus lesson: Extend that precious precious toddler nap by waiting until he falls asleep and then filling his bed with a million Hot Wheels. He’ll forget to bug you for at least 15 minutes after he wakes up.


6 responses to this post.

  1. Wait… are you saying there AREN’T ferocious little guys in medicine?

    I have a bone to pick with my mom…


  2. Posted by Jeannie on May 4, 2011 at 11:53 am

    That is not at all a lie. That is simply a graphic representation of scientific truth. 🙂


  3. Posted by Amelia on May 4, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Best. Ideas. Ever.


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