8 Lies You Can Stop Telling Your Kids
Part of parenting is being able to think on your feet when the situation calls for a decisive reason for "why not?".
Or, to put it another way, all parents must be dirty, dirty liars.
Of course, it’s only natural as sometime only white lies can easily protect our kids innocence (man in red suit), promote good manners (fingernails clog your intestines), or ensure they're well being (dig to far and you'll end up in China).
But sometimes, those parenting fibs eventually evolve into truths that everyone accepts. Your parents told you, so you tell your kids.
Sorry to burst your bubble though, most of the time these threats are as hollow as a piñata. Here are 9 common parenting threats that just aren’t true.
1. Gum Stays In Your Stomach for 7 Years
Growing up, I was scared witless into not gulping down my chewy for fear that it would stick to the side of my stomach and stay for an entire 7 years. The reality though, is that while the majority of your gum is actually indigestible, it will still pass through like any other waste. The exception to this is chronic gum swallowing. This habit can result in the kind of constipation that requires a medical extraction of a giant piece of gum and make for a cool story at the Emergency Room Christmas party.
2. The 5-Second Rule
That Tim-Tam you dropped on the floor, picked up, and brushed off quickly is probably still teeming with bacteria. Several recent studies have debunked the 5-second rule, reporting that bacteria such as salmonella can contaminate food almost instantaneously. Of course, it does depend on the floor surface and the type of food dropped but the longer the food stuff is in contact with the floor, the more bacteria that gets transferred.
3. Going Outside With Wet Hair Causes A Cold
Being the parent that you are, you likely require your kids make their hair as dry as possible before leaving the house because otherwise they’ll catch a cold! However, and this might make you uncomfortable, being cold doesn’t actually bring on a cold. Viruses tend to thrive in the winter, but aren’t really communicable via lower temperatures. You can only catch a cold via exposure to the viruses - and the nice warm kinder will take care of that.
4. Crossed Eyes Will Eventually Stick That Way
If they don’t cross their eyes, how can they demonstrate what a doofus their younger sibling is? You’ve probably said, “stop it or they’ll get stuck that way.” However there is no evidence (either scientific or anecdotal) that it will become permanent - even if they get whacked in the back of the head. Sure, doing it for extended period of time will cause a strain to your eye muscles, and you could suffer from some spasms or twitches, but they’ll return to normal within an hour or so. Same goes for faces and the wind changing direction.
5. Swimming Right After Eating Is Asking For Trouble
Nothing’s more of a summer killjoy than being told you can’t jump back into the pool after lunch because you’ll die. As with any exercise, swimming right after eating a lot could potentially cause a stitch, but it won’t result in any sort of full body spasm that will send you straight to Davy Jones’s Locker.
6. Cracking Your Knuckles Causes Arthritis
Horrible? Yes. Increasing your odds of developing painful arthritis in the future? No. Several studies have determined there’s no relationship between the habit and increased risk of the disease. You’re not in the clear, however. Cracking knuckles could contribute to reduced grip strength and swollen hands. So if your kid was looking to be the next arm wrestling world champion, maybe tell them to lay off.
7. Sitting Too Close to the TV Will Screw Up Your Eyesight
You grew up being told that the safest distance to watch TV from was at least one metre. It was like all parents got together and silently agreed on an arbitrary, eyesight protecting number. Did you know though that this figure actually stemmed from fears that there was radiation emitting from GE TVs in the 1960's. Somehow, it became a hard and fast rule. While tons of screen-time is problematic for a number of reasons, it won’t affect your kid’s eyesight disproportionately.
8. Shaved Hair Grows Back Thicker Than Before
Studies conducted as far back as 1928 have proven that cut follicles don’t grow faster. Why the confusion? Well, perception is everything: Shorn hair tends to appear thicker, darker, and coarser in the short-term. Also, that 13-year-old boy’s moustache is evolving, so yeah, it’s growing back thicker each time he shaves. But just let him have this one.
So, kick back, relax and STOP LYING TO YOUR CHILDREN! Unless you're trying to keep them in line. ;)