I only rarely link to external articles, but this one struck a chord with me.
Kathleen says that I have almost zero credibility with my children. They never no whether I am telling the truth or not. Consciously or not, I think that I ever wanted them to grow up trusting anything I say at face value. I want them to question me, question everything I say, question the world around them. Look for truth but expect lies at every corner.
Mostly, when I lie to my kids it is with a wink. I say to Sam, "Sam, come here I want to tell you something." and when he gets near I tickle him.
I tell PJ that there are dinosaurs at the national zoo. He knew I was wrong. I tell Anna that New York was settled before Virginia. She later finds out I was wrong. It's just a game to them. Sometime, lots of times, dad doesn't tell the truth, so listen carefully and be careful.
Its like the X-Files. Trust no one. The truth is out there.
(In response to Gagi's comment) To clarify -- I don't just outright lie to the kids about things that matter. For instance I wouldn't say that it's okay to cross the street without looking, or that homework doesn't matter, or its okay to hit your brother. Yes, its more to make a point, if they ask me a question I'll either answer it outright, or say something wrong, hopefully with enough information so that they can tell that its wrong. And usually I end up saying what is correct anyway.
The whole point of the article was, I think, that may times parents lie to their children without thinking about the reason for it, or that sometimes it is unnecessary. My thinking is that its important to get your kids to question everything they see and hear around them, including you.
That said, I guess its not that simple after all. It never is, is it? You need to have trust in the first place in order to play games with the truth. Hopefully Anna and PJ and Sam know to trust me. They can always ask their mom, she never lies. :^)