I wrote a post once (here it is) about the many lies I tell my kids.
At the time, I had clearly not yet realised the full potential of the empty threat.
Almost a lie, but not quite because the aim is no-one gets to find out because they do whatever it is you’re pleading and manipulating them into doing. It’s a glorious and well-used addition to my parenting arsenal. In fact I’d say that I am now the queen of making empty threats and it’s probably only a matter of time before my kids figure this out; I’m on borrowed time so let’s make hay while the sun shines.
Here are some of the empty threats I’ve made recently.
‘If you don’t stop fighting, you’re not going to nanny’s for a holiday!’
As if. I don’t know much for certain, but I know I’m looking forward to your three night stay at Nanny and Grandad’s probably as much as you. I wouldn’t pass up the offer of three nights of unbroken sleep for anything or anyone and when you’re behaving like monsters this does not make me less inclined to palm you off for a few days. Love you.
‘Get your shoes on or I’ll leave you here and go without you!’
Social services be damned, I’m off to the pub!
‘Right, no more TV for you!’
I mean, come on, we all have deadlines and I know if I hit a problem then Ryder and his team of pups will come and save the day.
“If you get that out, you’ll have to tidy it all up!”
Life is TOO SHORT. I’ll do it. As I always bloody do.
‘Stop fighting or I’m going to stop this car here and we’ll go home!’
Who cares if it took me half an hour to get out of the house and we’re only going to the garden centre for my sanity and a slice of cake?
‘If you don’t eat your dinner, you can’t have a yoghurt’
Because then I’d be up in the night with a hungry toddler. I don’t want to do that. Instead I will put it in the bin or feed it to the dog, all the while chiding myself that I wasted 25 minutes of my life attempting to make something you’d eat. Idiot.
‘If you don’t clean up that mess I’m going to get a bin bag and put all your toys in it’
Yes, you heard me… All those toys that I’ve paid good money for, straight In. The. BIN. Lies! I can’t even chuck out seven year old size ten jeans ‘just in case’ FFS.
‘Get dressed NOW or you’ll go to preschool in your pyjamas’
Because she’d care about that. And the school, and all the parents on the journey, would obviously be thinking about how she was clearly naughty as opposed to what an awful parent I must be and whether maybe they should be intervening.
‘If you don’t do XYZ I’m going to tell daddy’
Who will do precisely nothing because he’s worse than I am.
I really do say some quite stupid stuff.