To Lie or Not to Lie

"Mama, does my eye look red? At lunch some cleaner got sprayed in it," was the question posed by my anxious, yet still exuberant daughter when I picked her up from art after school yesterday. Using my mad on-the-spot Dr. Mom skills I told her it was a little red, dabbed a bit of gunk (eww!) from it with a scrap of kleenex from the depths of my purse and told her we'd flush it out with water when we got home.

After much water splashing, dabbing and more talk about how it happened and how her eye felt (basically fine) she disappeared upstairs to change clothes. A short while later a sobbing mess descended our stairs with wails of confession about how she'd lied about cleaner being sprayed in her eye at lunch, truth be told she was the culprit when she was tempted by a can of air freshener in the restroom and accidentally sprayed herself. Then, for some odd reason (or perhaps because she's seven) she decided to lie because she was worried I'd be mad at her.

It actually took some effort to decipher all of this through her gut-wrenching sobs.

Her confession was followed by many hugs, wiping away her tender tears, reminders about how she should always tell the truth first and assurances of forgiveness and love.

Once I processed everything I pondered: 1.) Have I freaked out over things one too many times to cause her to feel the need to lie? I don't think so, but...well...maybe a little because not only am I human, I am a woman and a mom; b.) Is her lying becoming a pattern and if so, WHAT do I do? Or is this normal growing-up stuff, testing things out and so forth and not a reflection of her developing character? (but let's not forget the spelling test incident last fall); and 3.) At least her guilty conscience kicked in quickly and she couldn't bear the burden of her lie for longer than 20 minutes.

I don't have answers to my questions and am not quite sure what to do.

(But don't tell her that.)



  1. My now 8 yo daughter went through a lying/sneaking phase. We just addressed it each time we knew it happened and gave appropriate punishment and it has stopped. My guess is it is just a phase for Annelise, and she is clearly getting the lesson as she is so forthcoming after the fact.

  2. All of our children did the same thing about age 6-7. We made a big deal to drive the point home and punished appropriately. I believe if you don't address it, they will become calloused as we sometimes are and the little things become BIG things. She gets it! You and Dad are doing a wonderful job!

  3. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I really appreciate it!

    I think (and hope) this is a phase she's going through--figuring things out and all--and hopefully won't be too repetitive. :)


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