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updated 6/27/2011 3:19:51 PM ET 2011-06-27T19:19:51

1. "The tooth fairy called. She said the way you're behaving, you might as well keep the tooth." Parents threaten consequences all the time, but it helps to have a strong third party on call to bring perspective. From Halloween on, throw all your disciplinary needs onto Santa's lap.

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2. "Monsters like to eat dust bunnies. I bet you're going to get lots of monsters in this room." Call it a cleanliness incentive plan.

21 Big life lessons learned from little kids.

3. "Mommy and Daddy aren't fighting; we're rearranging the kitchen." Kids might not buy this one, but in our desire to be right, we jump into fights even if it means exposing our kids to adult conflicts.

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Need to scream? Get 'em out of the house first.

4. "Mommy and Daddy aren't fighting; we're playing leapfrog. On the bed. Without our clothes." In case the makeup sex gets out of hand.

5. "Reading books will make you a millionaire." In today's screen-dominated world, kids must grow up knowing that books, not blogs, will unlock the secrets of their universe.

How to truly be the best Dad—ever!

6. "Don't worry, sweetie, that can't happen here." Um, sure it can. Murder, terrorism, earthquakes—they can strike anytime, anywhere. But parents must be kiddie Pepto-Bismol: Coat them, soothe them, relieve them.

7. "I know everything." Before teachers, coaches, and the kid down the street get their shot, parents must be a child's go-to encyclopedia for all of life's questions. The important thing is that your children, not you, believe it.

8. "That guy is homeless because he didn't eat his vegetables." If you really stretch it, there's science to back this up, given the importance of nutrition to brain health. More important, this lie teaches cause and effect, and gives your child the power to determine his destiny.

Will your child be fat?

9. "I'm not afraid." Your smile is their Kevlar vest, your hug proof that everything will in fact be OK, no matter how bleak reality might be.

10. "This is Mommy's special juice, and it's poison to children." Happy hour is sacred ground, folks.

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