"Eat them or you'll go blind!"
I think the lie I use most with my kids is "I don't have any cash on me", but of course they know I could use a credit/debit card, so really, who is fooling who?Most parents tell lies to their children as a tactic to change their behaviour, suggests a study of families in the United States and China.The most frequent example was parents threatening to leave children alone in public unless they behaved.
Persuasion ranged from invoking the support of the tooth fairy to telling children they would go blind unless they ate particular vegetables.
Another strategic example was: "That was beautiful piano playing."
The study, published in the International Journal of Psychology, examined the use of "instrumental lying" - and found that such tactically-deployed falsehoods were used by an overwhelming majority of parents in both the United States and China - based on interviews with about 200 families.
And while we're on the subject of carrots, eyes, and blindness, here's a Bill Plimpton animation:
Read more: Most parents 'lie to their children'. BBC News>>
Via Metafilter, Instrumental lying by parents in the US and China>>