As a mom of four kids, I quickly learned that dealing with lies is just part of the parenting game.
We don't want to deal with it and we fully believe that our beautiful, innocent babies will NEVER tell a lie, but guess what? It happens. That's just the harsh reality of parenting.
Sometimes you don't even realize your precious child is lying, but other times, it is blatantly obvious.
Case in point: My oh-so-innocent 3 1/2 year old recently told her first lie, after I discovered she dumped out an entire bin of toys just before we left the house. When I asked her why she did it, she told me she wasn't the one who did it. She told an elaborate story about how her friends came to our house while I was in the bathroom for THIRTY SECONDS, dumped out the bin, and left. Her face was so serious that I was almost convinced she fully believed that was what happened. Unfortunately, she found herself picking up toys, which made us late for her playdate. Lesson learned. At least, I hope.
I later found myself laughing about it as I shared the story with my friends, but the important thing was that there was a consequence for her actions. It's still hard to believe my sweet little girl would ever lie!
At age 8, Lexie doesn't lie much. When she does tell a lie, it's usually just a partial truth with a few omitted facts, usually in the form of tattling. She always comes clean!
We can tell when Lexie is lying. The guilt shows on her face and is evident in her voice. All it takes is one repeat question of "Are you SURE that's what happened?" and she spills the beans. We always thank her for telling the truth, but she knows she will get a small consequence. We're always very reasonable with her, and she admits that she understands wrongful actions result in a consequence. She really is a good kid. She better stay that way as she grows!
Dylan is 10 years old now. We're walking on that rocky slope of parenting a tween. He is still a very sweet, polite, well-behaved boy, but every so often a "harmless" lie will slip out to cover up his poor choices.
He recently had a book report due that was half of his grade. He had a month to read the book and write the report, and I thought he was doing a good job. He reads at a reading level much higher than his grade, and enjoys reading. I wasn't worried at all, but I regularly checked his progress and made him write down a recap of every chapter after he read it.
When it came time to type up the book report, I read through the final written draft, then skimmed through the chapters to check his work. What I discovered was that he picked out ONE sentence from each chapter and expanded on it, even if it wasn't entirely accurate.
I was FURIOUS! I know it was his very first book report, but his work was lazy. We immediately canceled all Friday night plans and I made him redo the entire report. I sat by his side as we went over every single chapter and wrote a proper recap. While I do believe that he didn't quite understand just how big of a deal this book report was, he needed to learn that he can't just do a poor job and hope that the teacher never read the book.
Dylan did end up getting a 100% on his revised book report, but I made him tell his teacher exactly what happened and how we fixed it. She was very proud of him for stepping up and admitting his mistake, and he was overjoyed when he came home with his graded paper. I'm calling that one a win!
I fully believe that open communication and talking things out with our kids really helped. They do understand our reasons for setting consequences and they know that we love them very much. In return, they trust us. I know we're in for new experiences when the teen years arrive, but I really do hope we are able to keep our line of communication open!
As for my littlest dude, he'll never lie. EVER.
How do you deal with lying?
My children are just telling little white lies (and it better stay that way!), but the Rayburns, on the new Netflix original series Bloodline, are covering up some huge family secrets by lying. Although I haven't had the chance to watch the show yet, I've heard great things about it. I even heard a few juicy spoilers, but I still added it to our watch list!
As for now, I'm continuing my obsession with streaming Gilmore Girls on Netflix. There's definitely an abundance of little white lies on that show, which often results in hilarious antics or a harsh dose of real life. If you haven't watched it yet, GO NOW. Seriously. It might even be worth watching a second or, ahem, a third time through!
Here are a few more Netflix titles about lying and consequences:
For your little kids:
For your big kids:
And for teens and parents:
Here's what's new on Netflix for kids and families:
2. How to Train Your Dragon 2 (3/11)
3. Inspector Gadget (3/27)
4. SUPER 4 (4/10)
Happy Streaming, my friends!
*I'm a member of the Netflix StreamTeam. All opinions are my own. I was given a free year of Netflix Streaming and promotional items in exchange for my monthly review.