8 Things I Wish I Never Told My Kids (Because It Totally Backfired)

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

mom reading to kids Evgeny Atamanenko / Shutterstock

I have always prided myself in being the kind of mom who enjoys conversing with her offspring. I do try to be as honest as possible. In turn, we have had some truly awesome discussions throughout the years.

That being said, there have been times I regretted what came out of my mouth. Sometimes I used very poor judgment. In plain English, a few things I said have come right back to bite me in the ass. The following are just a few gems:


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Here are 8 things I wish I never told my kids — because it totally backfired:

1. "Sure, you can sleep in our bed!"

This statement is usually followed by "Just this one time!" Spoiler alert: my daughter never left. Due to various circumstances (including a neighbor pounding on our door at 3 AM), we have given up on trying to move her.


It's semi-unclear as to why she's petrified to sleep in her own room, but "Chucky" might have something to do with it. A classmate casually mentioned that Chucky is a doll that comes to life in the middle of the night. Oh, and that he kills people.

2. "The Tooth Fairy is coming tonight!"

OK, I'm the last one to try and ruin an innocent child's fantasy. In fact, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are two of my BFFs. They come around once a year. The Tooth Fairy, on the other hand, likes to visit a lot. I calculate about twenty times in all. Per kid? At some point, it becomes an invasion of privacy.

It didn't take long for me, err... the "Tooth Fairy" to screw things up. As a parent with a child who co-sleeps (see #1), there was a bit of confusion. Apparently, the Tooth Fairy was a bit tired on her first visit. Ironically, my daughter ended up finding the money under the pillow of the bed that she was supposed to sleep in. I gathered that the Tooth Fairy was trying to send my daughter a very subtle message: "Get the hell out of mommy's bed!"

Unfortunately, the plan never worked and my little one kept on sleeping with me anyway. I should have just handed the kid a twenty and called it a day. In the meantime, I'm looking forward to nineteen more visits. And I mean that in the most sarcastic way possible.


3. "In nice weather, we go out and play!"

This is something very easily said on a snow day while sipping hot chocolate in soft bunny slippers. You feel bad for the poor things. They are stuck inside during a long winter. Once it's nice, I always promise to go out on many fun outings.

Kids, like elephants, don't forget. As soon as the sun starts shining again, they assume it is high time to go outside. Every damn day. This also entails interacting with others  a process I never really enjoyed.

The playground is one scary place. On any given outing, I can expect at least one child to get hurt, another one to get lost, and a tantrum. It's enough to give mommy a heart attack. Or, at the very least, drive her to drink.

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4. "Let's turn on *insert your most annoying kiddie channel here*"

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Mommy was tired. And Dora the Explorer is an excellent babysitter. After ten hours straight of the same theme songs and ridiculous plot lines, one can go a little batty.

Oh, and forget about trying to take the remote and putting on your own program. That sh*t is just not gonna happen. That's OK, though  mommy will find out what happened on The Walking Dead once the kids are in college.

5. "Let's have a play date!"

Do you know how some people have aversions to the words "panties" or "moist"? Well, that is how I feel about the term "play date." I'm not against play dates per se; I actually love when kids spend time with one another. I love the time spent outdoors. I want them to have as much fun as possible.

I just never wanted to say "play date." Ever. Even typing it gives me hives. In my day, parents typically just yelled, "Get the hell out of here and go outside." If you complained to an adult figure that you had no one to play with, they would tell you to go find the little girl that lives down the street. Your sweet neighbor was always happy to see you as she just got kicked out, too. I sure miss those days.


6. "The ice cream man is coming!"

The sound of that truck is unmistakable. It starts out evoking very happy memories. However, those happy memories very quickly turn into a living nightmare. Your kid doesn't remember where he put his shoes, but he does know that the ice cream man comes at 6:33 every night.

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You try to mask the sound, but it's too loud and relentless. It doesn't help that mommy is forever craving a chocolate cone with rainbow sprinkles. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!

7. "Use your words."

I remember hearing that phrase when I was in school for Early Childhood education. I thought it was genius! Children need to find a way to express their feelings. As a mom who has always encouraged the kids to be verbal, it was my perfect go-to... until I realized children never stop talking. All day. Every day.


8. "If you do this, I will give you that."

More commonly known as bribery, I regret this one big time. The problem with a bribe is that you need to follow up on it. For instance, I promised my daughter a special day out if she slept a whole night in her bed. The next day was a horrible snowstorm and we ended up going nowhere. It may have something to do with the fact that I'm a complete liar.

Although I can't take back all of the words I have uttered, I'm grateful that my kids have listened to at least 50 percent of what I have said.

They have already shared many words of wisdom with me and I hope that continues.


I pray that someday my kids will leave my bed. For now, I will take the cuddles. And a bottle of wine.

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Kathleen Sullivan is a freelance writer who writes about the typical everyday challenges in raising a family, personality, and relationships.