Friday, November 21, 2008

Little lies

A different kind of poll for Random Poll Friday today. This one requires you to actually comment. Pretty please! So, we've been having issues lately with Tyler telling lies. They're mostly small things, like him saying he brushed his teeth when he hadn't. And then telling me he dried the toothbrush off with the towel when I asked him why it was still dry (when it should have been wet). This has been happening a lot lately, with all kinds of things. We've talked to him about honesty, and the importance of telling the truth. He's been learning about it at scouts. In fact, we talked about honesty earlier in the week, to fulfill one of the requirements for his bobcat badge (which he got on Wednesday). This behavior is really puzzling to me. Tyler has always been a really good child, eager to please, and very conscious of the choices he makes. I'm not sure exactly what to do about him telling lies. We've gone through phases before, but never like this. What do you do when you catch your child telling lies? Do you think it's just another phase? I don't want to make a huge deal about it, at the same time, he needs to understand why it's important for him to be honest. Ideas?

11 comments:

denedu said...

I'm in the same boat at the moment with Jerdon. I am usually pretty good at being able to tell if he is fibbing or not. I usually just call him on it in a nice way...like.."well, I noticed your toothbrush wasn't wet. So, please brush your teeth." Sometimes he tries to argue, but most of the time he realizes he's been caught and does what he's been asked. I'm with you though...if anyone has some good advice I'd love to hear it, too. :)

Alicia said...

I need some advice too!! My Maxwell is doing the same thing. Maybe it's an age thing because all of these boys are the same age. But what do we as parents need to do? Help.

Kelley said...

I had the same problem with Matt. We did make a big deal of it, and he knows that lying is NOT okay at our house. Unfortunately I still catch him in lies occasionally. It really bugs me, too. I read "Little Men" recently and in there it tells the story of when Nat tells a lie, and then his integrity is compromised. We've told Matt that his integrity has been compromised, too, and that he has to earn our trust back. He tries, but sometimes the fear of getting in trouble is too much for him. Kills me, though, since we come down on him much harder for lying than for the original offence. This is such a hard area, but I think I'm going to read that book with him, and let him see what happens when people can't trust you. I'll even hold my tongue and keep from sermonizing to him (since that hasn't worked), and just let him learn from the story.

Prayer. That's about the best advice I can give. He knows what will work with your child better than anyone else.

Doreen said...

D, that's pretty much how I responded last night. I told him I was disappointed that he chose to lie about brushing his teeth, and asked him to please do it. I also told him I wouldn't feel one tad sorry for him if he ends up with a cavity next time we see the dentist... :p Maybe it really is an age thing, but it sure bugs me.

Kermit~the~Frog said...

Scooter's little lies about brushing his teeth or washing his face are about control. He's 8, he wants more responsibility over his life, he occasionally wants to choose to have a caffeinated soda or to NOT brush his teeth before bed.

When I catch him in it I call him on it. When I don't catch him, I try very hard NOT to accuse him of lying because I want him to know I think he's a good person.

When I catch him he knows some of the trust is gone, that if Animal or Gonzo come up and say "Scooter did this to me, or that" I will tend to believe the tattler over the tattlee. I think that has helped him understand what it means when I say "I can't trust you."

It's an ongoing process, like anything in parenting. Heh.

Doreen said...

Kermit, excellent point! Maybe I keep forgetting he's growing up, and needs to be able to make his own choices? Maybe instead of just talking about honesty, we need to talk about trust and what happens when he fibs...

Amy said...

I actually talked to Callan's teacher because he was telling me she was mad at him for stuff that she really wasn't mad at. She assured me that this is the age where both boys and girls start exploring being independant and lying. She didn't offer any advice but we take privileges away if we catch him. He LOVES to draw and play games on the computer and play outside with his friends. We'll take away all 3. Usually, Callan will admit to us a little while later that he lied to us if it's not something we caught him doing. And like you, Doreen, i forget that he's growing up. Having Connor being 3, I think deep down I want my cuddly little boy that I could mold into doing what I wanted him to do back and forget he's 7 and craving doing things himself. A lot of times, our Family Nights are about honesty.

kyleandbeth said...

I think we all go through this at some point. Marcus had only one major episode a few years ago. Lucky for us he was caught by his teacher and parents. He had lied because he was afraid of getting caught. In the end he decided getting punished for both the original act and lying was worse than telling the truth.

Kaci is a different story. She is queen of useless lies. Like, whether or not she fell down. It doesn't affect me one way or the other. I just want the truth. We have resorted to telling her when we know she is lying and asking her what she was trying to accomplish by lying to us. Hopefully, she doesn't think she'll get in trouble for falling down so she lies about it. Who knows if it is working, as it could all be a lie :)!! I am privately praying for a big one like Marcus so she can have some big natural consequences. Natural consequences seem to teach better than mine do.

Shannon said...

We have the same issue going on with Ryan right now. I think his is partly a growing thing and mostly a 5th child thing. Life gets kind of crazy and I don't always follow through on what I've asked him to do, etc. He's learned really quick that there's a chance he can get away with something and I'll admit that he does more than I probably care to know.

I've been trying to make a point when I catch him of telling him that I can't trust him. I also make a point if there's an argument or fight and I'm pretty sure he's the cause and is telling me otherwise, that I can't believe what he is telling me because his past lies make me think he'd lying again.

He's better some days and worse on others. I think previous commenters are right- this is an age when they are pushing boundaries and trying to exert their own desires and wishes. The other kids have grown out of it, so I'm hoping Ryan will, too. Do your best to be consistent. Beth's right, too, sometimes it just takes one really big something to really hit home. It's easier for everyone (including Mom and Dad) if they'll just learn from the small things, though. Wish it would happen more often!

miranda said...

Sounds like everyone's kid is lying! Mine, too. Mostly little things, but it's annoying. It probably is about control and choices, but it doesn't make me feel better. I guess we'll just keep talking about honesty and saying that we hope we can trust him in the future.

marie said...

I think it is a matter of not wanting to do things. I think you should remind them that somethings are just not optional. I also think it is a stage and age thing to good luck