2.09.2010

Little Lying Lucy Has Been Visiting

And she has overstayed her welcome.

Exhibit A: Morning conversation after breakfast last Thursday

Me: "Annelise, did you make your bed and put your pjs away?"

Her: "Yes."

A few minutes later, I started walking up the stairs to put her hairbrush and detangler away. She ran to stop me.

Her: "WEeellll, actually...I forgot to make my bed and put my pjs away (sheepish giggle).

Me: (not swayed at all by cute sheepish giggle) "I don't think you forgot, I think you just did not do it and thought I wouldn't check. Is that right?"

Her: (deer in headlights look, small head nod)

Me: "Do you realize that is lying? You lied to me when you said you did do what I asked...(and so forth and so on about trust, lying, God knowing, tears (hers), forgiveness, and hugs right there on the second to the top stair).

Exhibit B: This morning as I was making her lunch

Me: "If you didn't eat your apples for snack yesterday (she brought the baggie home, still full), weren't you hungry?"

Her: "Mrs. S gave me two crackers."

Me: "Annelise, why? You had a snack, why did she give you crackers?"

Her: (deer in headlights look) (crickets chirping)

Me: "Did you tell her you didn't have a snack so that you could eat crackers instead of apples?"

Her: (small head nod)

Me: "Annelise, that was a lie. You lied to Mrs. S. (and so forth and so on about, lying, dishonesty, trust and forgiveness. Again.)

Then I told her she would have to apologize to Mrs. S. and tell her the truth.

Her: (deer in headlights look, again)

The drive to school was unusually quiet as she pondered her task. I went in with her, not only to hold her to her word, but to put up the sign-up sheet for the class valentine party (yeah, kind of late there, I know).

She told Mrs. S what she had done, shed a few tears and received a big hug and forgiveness from Mrs. S (and me). All before she put her backpack away.

These are only two recent examples, I know there have been plenty of others and there will probably be more, though I hope not. I want her to understand how important it is that we know we can trust her and that telling the truth is always better than telling a lie. I know she knows that, but then again, she's six and can easily get distracted.

How do you handle it when you've caught your child in a lie? Please tell me I'm not the only one that has had Lying Lucy (or Larry) over for a visit.

4 comments:

  1. ya... been there.
    the good news-- age appropriate. It's very common for her age to do this. She's just a smart girl & testing out the waters here.

    what would I do?
    I would first start off by praising her for telling the truth. catch her several times a day doing things (even small things) that are good & say- you know,"I knew you could do it & would choose to be honest- I love that about you!" You are really smart- because you know that telling the truth is better than lying-- yada yada...

    In my experience harping on a kid for lying will only make them sneakier. Letting them know that they CAn make better choices & DO -gives them hope & confidence that they can handle what is a difficult (to them) situation. With enough of that they won't want to lie so much. Of course, we all want to be lazy & lie at times-- remind her that telling the truth is courage & strength. Lying is immature & she's bigger & better than that.

    She is so cute. You are such a good mom- this too shall pass :)

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  2. We have definitely had this problem, especially with our first grader. Not just lying, but sneaking (another form of lying, we have explained) stuff too. We handle it largely the same way as you did.

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  3. My kids still do this sometimes and they're 9 and 11! I'm always asking, "Did you brush your teeth?" "Did you make your bed?" and so on and there is often some hesitation in their answer. We had a Family Home Evening about lying so things have improved since then.

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  4. Feels good to know I'm not the only one dealing with this from time to time.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences and advice!

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