When Kids Lie
Posted by Phil
Just yesterday morning, it was a Monday, we were making sure lunches were packed and teeth were brushed before Piper and I rushed out the door to take her to school. I was quickly walking into the kitchen when I stopped at the door and my eyes locked with the eyes of my youngest daughter, Lily. She was caught “red handed” pouring her breakfast into the trash can. While I fought back the smile, I just stood and stared at her. She knew right away that she was busted. Her plan wasn’t hard to figure out… quickly pour out my cereal, leave the empty bowl on the table, tell Mom and Dad that I had eaten it all. Peace of cake.
I am aware, by the way, that this is a “little lie” and not a big deal. But somehow it was significant. This was one of the first times Lily had bold-faced-lied to me, or had at least planned to lie to me on purpose. And I couldn’t be happier how it played out. Catching your kids in a lie is precious, especially if we can catch them before they get too old, and it becomes one of their habits.
Plus, let’s be honest, kids beginning to lie to us isn’t all bad. They are starting to think for themselves…to make their own decisions… and to realize that Mommy and Daddy don’t know everything and don’t see everything. This is a good step to growing up!
So what do you do? How do you react to some of their first lies? Its a challenging question with lots of right answers, so here is what I did. I made a bid deal out of the lie. Who cares about the cereal, but the lie is the thing to focus on. There were 3 things I stressed when I sat on the floor to talk with Lily, wiping the tears from her cheeks.
1. In a very calm and loving tone I wanted Lily to know how sad it made me that she would lie to me. Oh, how it hurt my feelings that she wanted to tell me something that wasn’t true. I probably tried to say this same thing in 3 or 4 different ways to make sure she understood that we did not want her to lie…ever.
2. The second thing I wanted Lily to know was that she could always tell me anything. I would always listen and help her. She doesn’t need to be afraid to tell Mom or Dad the scary or hard things. We won’t turn our backs on her. We love her.
3. The last thing I wanted Lily to know was that not only do we love her, but Jesus loves her too, even more than we do! And Jesus can forgive her just like Mom and Dad.
Simple I know. Nothing ground breaking. But if we aren’t intentional, we end up telling our kids all kinds of stuff, especially in moments of frustration.
Do you have any comments or words of wisdom about when your kids lied to you? Any great stories? What about when kids get older? Comment below…
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