We asked people to share the white lies they have told kids — and the answers are hilarious

Sean Gallup/GettyWhat they don’t know won’t hurt them.
  • Parents have been known to tell little white lies to their kids.
  • Annoying toys run out of batteries, and soup becomes a “milkshake.”
  • “We’ll be there in 20 minutes” can mean anything.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Toys that make loud, annoying noises have been known to conveniently run out of batteries. For picky eaters, rebranding soup as a milkshake can work wonders. And on road trips, “We’ll be there in 20 minutes” can mean any amount of time.

Insider put out a call for parents to share the hilarious little white lies they have told their kids. Babysitters, extended family members, and grown children also submitted the lies they were told. We included the best responses, and anonymised them for the sake of sparing the subjects from future embarrassment.

Here are nine amusing lies people have told their kids.


“Let’s play a game. The one who talks less wins.”

Clober No. 7 Photography/Getty ImagesShhh.

“My parent did this: ‘Let’s play a game, the one who talks less wins.’ I won and they have a quiet and peaceful day.”


“I told them it was a milkshake, they LOVED it and asked for more!”

Joey Hadden/InsiderSoup? Milkshake?

“My kids were incredibly picky eaters, I had to work hard at meal times. Once I made a fruit soup, they HATED it and no one ate it. I said nothing and took the plates away. The next day I put the soup in a glass and told them it was a milkshake, they LOVED it and asked for more! It’s all in the presentation!”


“My mum told my brother and I that she had a note from the doctor saying she isn’t allowed to see children after 9 p.m.”

Adam Lister/Getty ImagesNo children past 9 p.m.

“I was the kid. My mum told my brother and I that she had a note from the doctor saying she isn’t allowed to see children after 9 p.m. I was TERRIFIED of what might happen if the rule was broken, I thought it would somehow hurt her physically. She’s still very proud of that one.”


“I told her my pillows were magic and if she used one she wouldn’t have a nightmare. Worked like a charm.”

Shutterstock‘Magic’ pillows.

“My daughter wanted to know why she had nightmares in her bed but never when she came to snuggle with me. I told her my pillows were magic and if she used one she wouldn’t have a nightmare. Worked like a charm. A few months later she came to me and said, ‘I think the magic is running out in this pillow, can I use a different one?'”


“Here, I unmixed it.”

Shutterstock/Africa Studio‘Unmixed’ chocolate milk.

“I’m not a parent but have five younger siblings and am a very experienced babysitter. I try never to lie to kids, but sometimes you just can’t stick to your principles, ok? There was one time a kid I was babysitting refused to drink anything (during the summer) and I finally got him to agree to drink chocolate milk if I made him some. So I go in the kitchen, put some chocolate syrup in some milk, stir it up properly, and bring it to him. He promptly throws a fit and declares that he cannot drink this. ‘YOU MIXED IT??? WHY DID YOU DO THAT??’ Because apparently mixing the ingredients of chocolate milk to get actual chocolate milk rather than just syrup and milk is a massive faux pas that I clearly should have known about. My bad. So I take the cup back. I stand there for a second wondering what to do since I am lactose intolerant and can’t drink this but don’t want to waste a whole cup of perfectly good milk and pour it down the sink. And that’s when I decide to lie. I go back into the kitchen, make some rustling sounds, come back out, and present the cup to him again: ‘Here, I unmixed it.’ He drank it. The end.”


“We’ll be there in 20 minutes.”

Smith Collection/Gado/Getty ImagesRoad trip.

“My siblings and I used to get restless on family road trips. Whenever we asked how much longer we’d be driving for, my parents would just say ’20 minutes.’ It worked for a while until we figured out that ’20 minutes’ can mean any amount of time.”


“If you’re still awake in 15 minutes I’ll come check on you.”

Cavan Images/Getty ImagesWorks every time.

“‘If you’re still awake in 15 minutes I’ll come check on you.’ He just falls asleep. I use that all the time.”


“On a regular basis, I tell my almost-2-year-old that his (annoying, noisy) toys are broken and that we don’t have any more batteries.”

NurPhoto / Contributor/GettyQuiet toys that don’t require batteries.

“On a regular basis, I tell my almost-2-year-old that his (annoying, noisy) toys are broken and that we don’t have any more batteries. He’s pretty young, so he buys whatever I tell him. I also tell him eating broccoli will make him have powers like Spider-Man. He must believe me because as soon as I tell him that, he eats every last bite.”


“I’ve told my nieces and my son that when the ice cream truck plays music, it means they’re sold out of ice cream.”

ShutterstockNo more ice cream.

“I’ve told my nieces and my son that when the ice cream truck plays music, it means they’re sold out of ice cream. The 5-year-old is pretty smart, so I think she was a bit sceptical, but they all bought it.”

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