Most children are raised to believe that their parents know best. And many do…at least until they grow up and realize all the malarky they’ve been fed over the years. But, hey, can you really blame parents? Kids ask a lot of questions and sometimes it’s just easier to lie. From popular health misconceptions to the little white lies that help get our kids to do what we want them to, here are the most common lies your parents told you (that you kinda still believe).
Sitting too close to the TV will ruin your eyesight
Not only is this not true, but it just so happens that children are better at focusing at up-close objects than adults. So…old people in the back. Beware, however, that sitting close to the TV may be an indication of nearsightedness.
Looking inside the microwave while it’s running will deform your future babies
Unless your “Science Oven” has a leak in it, you, your future babies and your frozen Michelina’s should be A OK.
If you pee in a pool, there’s a special dye that will turn it red so everybody knows
While it’s a fact that this is a great idea, sadly, it’s just a myth. Not a bad one to propagate, though.
Eating carrots will give you night vision
This one’s not all fiction, but it’s not exactly an “if one than the other” situation. The fact is that vitamin A promotes good eye health, and carrots contain beta-carotene, which the body converts to Vitamin A. So, while it won’t increase your visual acuity (at night or during the day), and there are plenty of other foods that deliver Vitamin A (eggs, milk, sweet potato), it’s still the best reason we can think of for you and your kids to finish those carrots. All of them.
Oh, you don’t want the middle of the watermelon slice. That part is sour
This one usually only works the first couple of times. At least, we hope there’s aren’t any adults out there still throwing away the middle part of the watermelon…that would just be sad.
If you swallow your gum, it will stay in your stomach for seven years
Given all the gum found on the undersides of school desks, benches and basically any other public surfaces you dare to run your fingers beneath, you’d think parents would want to be propagating the opposite, that gum was best swallowed. When gum is swallowed the stomach just pushes it right along…along with whatever other weird things your child swallows.
Drinking coffee will stunt your growth
Some still view giving caffeine to a child as tantamount to giving them cigarettes. And while it’s true that we could all likely do with a little less caffeine in our daily lives (and the sugar that often comes with it), it will not stunt a child’s growth.
You can’t go swimming for 30 minutes after eating
There’s no doubt that water is a danger for kids at any time, but eating does not exacerbate that danger. A better reason for them to wait to go in the pool after dinner: dishes.
The family pet went to live on a farm…where he’ll have lots of room to run and play FOREVER!
Sometimes, when a young one asks a difficult question, the easiest answer is a straight up lie.
If you touch a toad, you’ll get warts
As a famous frog once said, “it’s not easy being green.” And toads, too, have a bad rap. But you’ll have to think of another reason why your son can’t have a pet toad, because this one’s out. Children are more likely than adults to get warts, as their immune systems have yet to build proper defenses, but nobody ever contracted a wart from handling a toad.
If you eat that watermelon seed, a tree will grow in your stomach
This one is almost true, only, it forgot one crucial step: you have to poop out the seed for the tree to grow. Unless you live in a Skittles commercial.
If you keep making that face, it’ll get stuck like that forever
This is one of the classics and it’s entirely erroneous. You face muscles are elastic and will always return to their original shape. Otherwise, Jim Carrey would look permanently like this.
If you sneeze with your eyes open, they might fall out
Sneezes are mysterious things. Do they hurt? Do they feel good? We don’t know, and so it makes sense that we make stuff up about them. Most people naturally close their eyes when they sneeze, but if you hold them open, even though the blood pressure behind your eyes is technically elevated, your eyes will absolutely not pop out of your head.
If a girl can lick her elbow, she can turn into a boy
Always fun to watch someone attempt. Never true.
Cracking your knuckles will give you arthritis
Is it annoying to hear tiny child bones repeatedly sucking and popping in and out of their lubricated joints? Undoubtedly, yes. But will it result in permanent damage? No, so long as it doesn’t cause pain.
Reading in the dark will damage your eyes
Adults will say anything when it’s time to get their kids to bed. And he may give himself a headache (and you a headache too when he’s less than pleasant the next morning), but reading in insufficient light does not damage eye sight.
Every grain of rice left in your bowl is a year of bad luck
Patience is a good thing. Not wasting food is a good thing. Believing the future of your happiness depends on few small bits of starch on the bottom of your bowl is maybe not a good thing.