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My child, the liar

If you know me, you would know that my biggest pet peeve is lying. I don’t see a point in lying. 

I have known that one of the values I want my children to have is being able to tell the truth. I especially want them to always feel they can tell me the truth. I figure, how can I truly help them if they are not honest or if we are not honest. 

As soon as Pickle started asking questions, I have always been honest with him. I figured if I am always honest, that will help him to be honest.

Boy was I wrong. 

I would say for the last 6 months or so, he has been doing a lot of lying. Even when he has seen me catch him in the act he will lie to me. Want some fun stories about what he has lied about? Okay, here we go.

About a month ago, I was sitting in my bed and Pickle was laying on my floor watching t.v.. He was quiet, so I got up to see if he fell asleep. Well, he wasn’t sleeping, but he was peeling the paint off of my dresser.

I asked him what was going on and he said, “the cats just did it”. In my mind I was thinking about a time when my little brother blamed the cats for cutting up the couch-internally I was laughing. I said something to the effect of, “no it wasn’t the cats I saw you doing it, that is called lying”.

I basically told him I do not accept lies and he needed to always be honest with me. He also got grounded from his electronics the rest of that day. 

This morning, I get up and go to the kitchen to make the kids breakfast. I knew he either would want a donut or strudel because we just got them the night before. He wanted the chocolate donut. Of course, being the chocoholic that he is, he only peeled the chocolate off and ate it. He told me the rest of it was gross. Whatever, maybe it was, but I knew he needed to eat. 

So I made him a strudel. He picked the strudels out. He ate a couple of bites and had made the comment he did not want the strudel. I said,”well you already wasted a donut, you aren’t getting anything else (as an attempt to get him to eat it).” I knew he also had his eye on the Skittles on the counter, as he had asked to eat them for breakfast before we went in the kitchen. 

I had to take Poppy to the bathtub because she had oatmeal everywhere. As I am bathing her, he comes in and says he is done. I said, “ok make sure you clean up your mess”. 

I bring Poppy to the kitchen and something inside me said to check the trash can. He was standing next to me when I asked him, “If I check the trashcan, will your strudel be in there?” He looked at me with an “OH NO” face. I pulled out the trash can. Right on top was a perfectly flat paper towel (the one he used for his strudel). I move the paper towel and off to the side was his strudel.

I pulled it out and said, “what is this?” He knew he had been caught. I said, “you know what this means?” He was holding his Nintendo and said, “what?” I told him he was grounded, no tablets or Nintendo the rest of the day. I also had to add that if I caught him sneaking one that they would be “going on vacation” for a long time. I explained to him how it is important to be honest. I also explained he gets in more trouble for lying than if he would just be honest.

He is constantly doing things like this. Apparently my methods are not working, but I am not sure what else to do. Yes I am the disciplinary one in the household (because I am with them all day), so perhaps he is afraid of me punishing him. Perhaps he still doesn’t understand, entirely, what lying is. I really don’t know. I do know that it is frustrating. I also know that he is still only 4 and I cannot say what a 4 year old is capable of understanding the concept of. 

Going through this makes me leary of the future. What will he be like when he is 10, 13, 16, or 18? More than anything I want my kids to feel comfortable enough to tell me anything. Obviously, I know kids won’t always want their parents knowing every single thing, but I hope they will always know I am here for them; the good or the bad.

-Jenn

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4 Comments »

  1. Pre schoolers with greater IQs tend to lie more often. Reacting with anger will continue the lying because children fear anger responses and the reactions afterward. Just like physics every action has a reaction. He makes attempts at things and watches for feedback. Just because Pickle lies now does not mean he’s going to learn to be a pathological liar. If Pickle blames the cats again, tell him the cats have feelings too, did they really do it or did you?

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