Lying is bad. I don’t think there is anyone out there who would disagree. And to me, the worst part about lying is not the deceit, it’s the fact that I will always question the person who lied, and anything they say, in the future. Plus, lying can become a habit, and as most habits go, the more people do it, the better they become.
My kids are liars. Thankfully, at this point, they are both very bad at it. I have two girls; one is 4 and one is 7. They know that lying is bad. They know that Mommy hates it, and they know that if they get busted, it is big, BIG trouble. But still, they lie.
I don’t get it. I told them a long time ago If you tell the truth, no matter how bad it is, you will NOT get into trouble, but if you LIE… it’s all over.
How is that not a good deal?
But still, they lie.
And the thing is, they know I’m not kidding. If they lie, I take something away. I don’t forget to do it. And, the things I take away…they are the things that matter—to them, not me.
For instance, my 7 year old, F, vehemently dislikes “skinny jeans,“ but she looks so cute in them. It’s always a fight though. F is ALL about dresses, real ornate dresses, like she’s going to have her First Communion (except we’re Jewish).
Fine by me. Love your fancy dresses, I don’t care, but if you like…? I’ll pull every one of those dresses and guess what? It’s Skinny Jeans for 3 days! SKINNY JEANS!!!
And gum is out too. (She loves gum.) Don’t even think about asking me for gum, sister— you’re out on that too, but oh, what do you know? Mommy wants a piece…it’s SOOOOOOOOOOOOO good. Gum, gum, gum. I love gum! YUM YUM YUM!! Wish I could give you a piece, but I can‘t! Sorry!
Shouldn’t have lied!
My 4 year old, JJ, is also all about dresses, but she’s into “maxi dresses.” (The real long ones that go all the way to the floor.) She is obsessed. All she wants to wear are maxi dresses. Every day. Maxi dresses. I’m so sick of maxi dresses. …But that’s where I get her: You’re gonna lie too? Awesome. Say good-bye to your maxi dresses, doll face. TWO WEEKS!! And for 2 weeks, I get to pick out her clothes.
She has to wear whatever I want. It’s great for me because on top of all the stuff I get them, my kids get hand-me-downs from my friends, so they have a ton of clothes. It’s insane. They are like The Kardashians. (The hand-me-down version.) For 2 weeks that closet is super fun for me, but not for her. Sorry!
Shouldn’t have lied!
But kids lie. It’s what they do. They’re kids. All kids do it. I don’t know why. There really is no good ending, but there must be some part of their brain that truly believes they are going to get away with it.
I have tried to explain to my girls, as my dad did with me, that they should feel comfortable telling me the truth because no matter what they do, I have done worse. I still remember my dad telling me that, and it worked, except for once. (One time my friends and I decided to write the word S**T on a neighbor’s brick house using mustard, and when my dad approached me about it, I lied and said that I didn‘t do it. He gave me one more chance to tell the truth—he even threw out our family “stopper” and made me say “Honest to G-D,“ but I stayed strong. Later, when I admitted that I lied, he said that he knew. Parents usually know.)
My kids decided to lie to me a few days ago. It wasn’t anything big (it was actually kind of stupid, something about a rhinestone hair tie) and I don’t know if it’s because I was trying to get out the door for a 3-1/2 hour road trip up to camp where we live all summer, or if I am just over stupid lies about stupid stuff, but I FREAKIN’ LOST IT.
It was scary. I was even kind of scared. I walked into the playroom totally “Mommie Dearest” style. I even kicked a tub of Lincoln logs. They went everywhere, (I think I may have even hurt my back a little) but I had to stay in the moment because I actually had their attention. And the whole time it was happening, I was like Is this really happening?? But I didn’t want to waste the moment—I wanted them to know how NOT WORTH IT it is to lie: “See what you guys did to Mommy??? Do you like to see Mommy like this??? I hope that lie was worth it!!“
I made them clean everything up while I packed the car. Cleaning up that mess (most of which I made) couldn’t have been fun, but they knew I meant business and also, it was nice for me to have 10 minutes to get stuff done.
Then I decided that those 10 minutes were really nice, so I didn’t talk to them for the whole first hour of our road trip—and anytime they seemed like they might be having a good time, I told them they were NOT allowed to be having any fun!
Meanwhile, I was having a full-on party in the front seat blasting music, dancing, chewing gum and singing all of their favorite Billy Joel and Eminem songs really loud, but I didn’t let them sing with me, and I didn’t let them talk or laugh or ANYTHING.
Sorry! Shouldn’t have lied!
It was when we stopped for lunch at Cracker Barrel (best place ever) that it happened. F (that’s the 7 year old) all on her own, decided that if I ever think they are lying, I should say “Think before you speak…“ and that will be code for “This is your last chance—tell Mommy the truth or she will make your life SUCK for as long as it takes.
I was relieved. I loved that they were starting to understand the severity of lying. I was also happy to have my girls back, and honestly, I was tired. Being angry is exhausting.
I felt better, but as we got up from the table to pay the bill, I was still a little upset about everything that transpired that morning. Lying is bad, and I was scared about how easily they lied to me— still, it was nice to know that we were on our way to some kind of resolution.
But we weren’t there yet, so when they asked for candy after lunch, I responded the only way I could: “Candy? That sounds so good! Tootsie rolls? Tootsie rolls are the BEST! But not this time. Maybe next time, guys.
Sorry! Shouldn’t have lied!”
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