msnbc.com
updated 7/14/2008 7:02:27 PM ET 2008-07-14T23:02:27

Sure, some lies hurt, but others are just hilarious.

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In fact, our poll found that 75 percent of readers say lying to your kid is OK at least sometimes.

After reading an msnbc.com story about fibbing , you e-mailed us the whoppers you've told your kids and the fictions you remember your parents telling you.

"We told our children that the leftover pumpkins at the pumpkins lots were planted into the dirt and Christmas trees grew from those planted pumpkins within the month. How could they not believe us when Christmas trees suddenly appeared overnight at the pumpkin lots?" wrote in Kris, a creative prevaricating parent.

Read on for more tall tales:

I told my daughter that I went to the doctor and had him fix my ears so I can't hear whining. Now when she starts I just act like I can't hear her till she changes her tone to a normal one. Surprisingly, it actually works.
— Sarah, Md.

My boys loved listening to Raffi. I liked it too...but I reached a point that I'd rather be poked in the eye with a hot stick then listen to one more Raffi song. So, I told my sons (ages 2 and 3)that Bruce Springsteen was Raffi's brother and that Raffi would really love for us to listen to the boss everyone once in a while. Now my oldest son is 7 and he listens to the B-52s, Fountains of Wayne, the Eels, Better than Ezra, REM and yes...Bruce Springsteen. I never regretted that lie even for a minute!
— Lori, Birmingham, Ala.

Before my daughters were able to read I would take them shopping and I would point to a sign near the entrance and read it to them. It was usually one of two signs such as "thank you for shopping with us" or "no soliciting". I would read it as "children must walk with their hands behind their backs." I don't believe they ever touched anything on a store shelf until they could read.
— Teresa Seiler, Rockledge, Fla.

As a young boy I was in the backyard burning ants with a magnifying glass when my dad spotted me and said, "You better not do that, those ants will track you down and sting you". We left on a car trip and I was looking over my shoulder the whole way to Grandma's house. When I was about 16 it finally dawned on me that my dad was lying.
— Stan Davis, Tulsa, Okla.

When my son was 3, he began to fear going to bed at night because of monsters who might come and get him. I have 5 older sisters who have all faced this with their children and tried every bit of advice I could to teach him that there's nothing to fear. We would go through his whole room with the light on, but once they were turned off, he would be scared again. My husband's response was "he'll get over it," but he worked nights and didn't realize how affected our son was by his fear. After months of rough nights for both my son and I, I hit upon what I considered to be a brilliant plan. I came home from work one night with an empty box, called my son to the kitchen and put the box on the floor. I told him that on the way home that night, I stopped at a special pet store, where I purchased Ally, an invisible alligator that lives under his bed and eats monsters. We opened the box together and "watched" Ally scurry to his bedroom and under his bed. From that night on, whenever it was bedtime, he would bend over to peer under the bed and say, "G'nite Ally!" before laying back and going to sleep with no further fears. A year later when it was time to move, he pulled me aside and expressed his fears about what would happen to Ally. I hugged him and told him not to worry, that Ally just crawled into the ripped lining of his boxspring mattress and would be in his new bedroom at night. When he was nine, after he had faced and beaten leukemia (through which we were open and honest with him about everything except his chances of recovery), he sat me down at dinner and demanded the truth about Santa and the Easter Bunny. At that time, I also came clean about Ally and the Tooth Fairy. He took it well and said that he would miss Ally the most.
— Tami V., Mass.

My 4 and 6 year olds asked me what the tooth fairy did with their teeth. So I made up an elaborate story about how the tooth fairy trades alligators baby teeth for alligator teeth, and then sells alligator tooth necklaces in Florida so she has money for kids teeth. It never really occurred to me that they'd believe it, but they were mad when they came home and said their friends laughed at them for telling the story. They're grown now, and delight in telling my grandchildren not to believe any stories their Nana tells them!
— Jan Bhatti, Brooks, Ga.

When my children were very small ( now 11 and 8 years old) and we would be eating out, I would tell them the "smiley cookie" from eat and park was watching them or "Mr. Shorty" from Shortys was watching them to make sure they behaved and ate all of their food. Again no harm done and a pleasant time was had by all.
— Kim, Canonsburg, Pa.

As my brother, sister and I were growing up, my parents, along with my best friends parents, told us salad was a dessert and if we ate all of our dinner, we would be able to have some. It made us eat all our food for some veggies. In 1st grade my best friend and I were the only 2 kids who put "salad" down as our favorite foods. To this day, my siblings and I love salad and laugh about how we were tricked into eating healthy.
— Chrissy, Meriden, Conn.

My mother lied all the time, thinking little 'white lies' were insignificant. Unfortunately she was very wrong, as the effects have lasted a life time. Her lies, which became obvious by age 4, induced lack of trust and respect from me to her. Fortunately once she was gone, I have learned to forgive her, but while she was still here, I resented her and her lies immensely! I found it sad that she continued to lie, even when the truth was known, throughout my youth and adulthood.
— Randi, Evergreen, Colo.

I remember our Dad telling my sister and I that our dog, Sam, had run away with his girlfriend. We were kind of sad for his leaving, but also kind of excited about him having a girlfriend. We talked about him coming back and bringing his puppies to visit. We laugh about it now that we're older. Now that I'm a parent I try to always tell the truth to my kids. But, a little while lie now and then doesn't hurt either.
— Lisa, San Antonio, Texas

My grandfather told me a lie that I didn't figure out until I was 10. To get me to behave he told me that a big crab was outside and would get me. In all the fuss I never realized that he wasn't in the room and making all the noise and calling my name outside. When I went to school I told the other children that crabs could talk. They laughed and told me "no", so I went to my mom to confirm that crabs could in deed talk. She finally told me the truth about it being my granddad. Man was I taken in.
— Too Ashamed, New York City

I was five and school sent home a letter saying we were supposed to be practicing "stop, drop and roll". My mother took this literally and told me one afternoon to stop, drop and roll. I looked around, determined I was not on fire and explained this to her. Her answer to me was that I could be on fire and not know it. I remained terrified of "invisible fire" for about three years and would periodically stop, drop and roll just in case I was on fire and did not know it.
— Anonymous

My Daughter would not eat potato salad. I told her we were eating a new dish called Mustard Ole. She ate it and loved it.
— Susan, SilverLake, Ind.

My wife and kids (who are 5, 3, and 2 years old) found a little baby dove on a walk one day around the block. The bird evidently fell out of its nest. They brought the bird home and my wife and kids for the next 3 months nurtured the bird (hand feeding it for the first month or so). My wife and kids loved that little bird and named it Rainbow. Rainbow was always with them even when they went on their daily walks; Rainbow would sit on top of the stroller as if it were her perch. While having Rainbow was fun, it was our belief that one day the bird would fly away and the story would be a good and happy one for our young children. However, one evening, my wife and I left the bird outside alone, something we've done many times before to allow the bird to get fresh air and to be basically be a "bird". Rainbow still wasn't able to fly quite yet. That evening when we went to put Rainbow in her cage for the night, we discovered one of the neighborhood cats ate our bird. It was a disgusting sight and my wife was devastated (so was I since I had to clean up the remains). And while my wife was able to fully understand what had just happened, I encouraged to tell the kids that Rainbow decided to fly away and find it's mommy. My wife and I discussed it further and concluded that there are certain things that you simply cannot tell children, particularly at a such a young age. There's enough ugliness in the world these days that they will see it for themselves in short order, as they get older. So telling a little white lie to preserve that innocence in a child is well worth it. I'm sure someday we'll tell them what the truth about what happened to Rainbow, but until then, we get to hear the excitement in their voices each time they say, "Look Mom and Dad!, there's Rainbow over there. Aww, she so cute and big now"
— Phong and Alice, Phoenix

A long time ago I had to tell my two boys ages 5 and 7, that their mother was not feeling well and went to a special place to get better. The truth was that mom ran off and started working at a strip club and was jailed several times for prostitution and drugs over the course of 8 years. The boys did find out the truth years later after their mother "shaped up" and wanted back into their lives. At the time they were mad at me for not telling them everything. But now I think they appreciate the fact that I tried to spare them the ugly truth.
Bob, Sheridan, Ark.

In the 1960's and '70s, My mother sternly and regularly cautioned us to completely abstain from sex before marriage. She gave many lurid examples of women who had "fallen" and the bad things that happened to them as a result. When I asked how long she was married before she had her first child, she'd answer "about a year." Imagine my shock when I discovered her marriage certificate and my oldest sibling's birth certificate and did the math. She had been four months pregnant at the time she married our dad. Wow!
— Anonymous

Yes, I have I told our children that there pets went to live at the ocean and have baby's, when in fact they had either passed away or had to be put down for medical reason, now they admit that even now they look for there pets at the coast, even though they know it was a story.
— Darlene, Albany, Ore.

Since the time I was 12 my parents told me that they had been using three forms of birth control (condom, cream & IUD) when they got pregnant with me. I became convinced that my family must have some form of "super sperm" and/ or that truly no form of birth control was 100% effective. It certainly did shape my behavior and attitudes toward casual relationships. It wasn't until I was 33 that Mom admitted she had actually wanted to become pregnant and had stopped taking her pill some time before...
— Bryan, Texas

When I was young my father told me that only our family passed gas, it was a curse and never let anyone else know. I believed him until years later when I heard a friend pass gas. No harm done. Now a cherished memory.
— Susan, Greenville, N.C.

My husband and sons are meat eaters and I am not. I have been putting non-meat in our meals. I have always told the kids you never buy clearance meat. So I had made lasagna with non-meat. My son says "mom it tastes different." I said "oh...I bought the meat on sale."He said "oh thats why the sausage tastes different." Granted they ate every bit of the lasagna. I throw away all wrappers so they have no idea what the are eating. My husband said one of these days I will get caught! My sons are 19 and 17. So far, not caught!
— Denise, Riverton, Utah

For years my nephews were under the impression that once batteries died, they couldn't be replaced. It saved a lot of headaches from noisy noisy toys. One day the oldest came home from a play date very excited to tell his mother he'd learned you could actually buy batteries in the store!
— Anonymous

My husband and I would tell our daughter that if she didn't behave we would take her back to the kid store. One day she was acting up in the car and we pulled into a strip mall to "take her back". At age 31, she says she still needs therapy for that one.
— Barbara, Layton, Utah

I was probably 10 years old before I figured out that a car really could start without all the seatbelts being buckled. It worked though. I never ride anywhere without putting my seatbelt on before I start my car.
— Sabrina, Oklahoma City

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