Liar, Liar... and how I got my feelings hurt



So it came to pass last night that I asked E something... Something that really is nothing worth remembering - what she ate for snack.

I was cleaning out her snack box from school and the snack was still in there from the morning. I asked her what she ate for snack and E said she did not eat anything.

I'll be honest. I did not believe her from the start.

I asked her a few more times. I asked if she was telling the truth and she maintained that she has nothing but her drink.

I found out from the teacher that she in fact had snack - just not snack that I had packed her.

We went upstairs to talk to Papa. He asked her what she had and she said she had nothing. I told him that the teacher said she gave her something. We told her that she would lose privileges if she was not telling the truth, but she maintained she was telling the truth.

Later she was lying awake in bed and said her tummy hurt. I thought she may want to actually tell me the truth and get it off her mind... but she didn't.

I went to bed that night hurt because my four year old was lying to me. I knew I had caught her in the lie. I so badly wanted her to be telling me the truth and the teacher just got confused - BUT I knew truth. I prayed that she would just tell me the truth

The truth that my little, innocent 4 yr old felt the need to lie to me (over something completely silly, mind you) really hurt me.

Now, I have told my fair share of lies in my life so I get it... sometimes you think something is worth lying over. But I wish I could have convinced her that snack was not lying over and NOTHING is worth lying over but the truth always comes out.

Well the truth did finally come out this morning before school - before we were going to have a chat with the teacher. Privileges were lost but there were some consequences that were avoided. I was so glad when she finally decided to come clean about it.

Parenting decisions are hard.

How to handle un-virtuous actions by your children is even more difficult.

Where do you draw the line of overreacting versus under-reacting?


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Comments

  1. That's so hard and I certainly don't have any advice because I'm in the midst of this stage myself. I try (once the child comes clean) to stress how wrong and hurtful it is to lie. But honestly, I still don't think they're doing it maliciously. I know it's hard and I'll be reading the comments to see if someone else has any advice.

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    1. I agree… It does not seem overly malicious. E was messing with the trash can yesterday as we were leaving and I asked what she was doing and she said "Nothing." I looked at her and said "No, you are playing with the trashcan - so just tell me that" I think I saw gears turning… Maybe

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  2. Thomas has started this too and I hate it so much. No advice , just solidarity

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    1. Oh to get into the mind of a 4/5 yr old!

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  3. I would be more curious about why she lied than whether or not she did. Adults lie all the time, often to avoid hurting feelings. I wonder if she just didn't like the snack, but thought she'd hurt feelings/get in trouble if she said that? I think kids are more likely to lie about silly things if they feel it's not really silly.

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    1. I agree that she definitely did not deem the snack as a 'silly' issue. It was an issue of importance for her (silly only in the grande scheme of things)

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  4. It is just part of a 4 year old stage, so don't worry too badly. You have been everything right, but this is now just a part of the independent stage of testing the waters for control. You do what you have to do to teach that lying is wrong and she will come around to seeing that just because she can doesn't mean that she should. She is not trying to be "bad" on purpose, she's just seeing with what she can get away with. Even over "random nothingness". Preschool kids are just as hard to figure out as teenagers.

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    1. Right… I don' think it is being naughty on purposes - at first. Once she is caught in the lie (and continues to lie) that is where there naughty-ness factor is getting turned up a few notches

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  5. I lied on Friday because I thought the truth wasn't a good enough reason. Joe called me out on it. Diego went thru a phase where he'd ask if I did "such and such" would you still love me... I echo the wonder of WHY she deemed it necessary to lie (the root) versus the action (stem).

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    1. Yes.. the why of the lie is interesting and I'll probably never know - which is fine. Those pesky roots of lies...

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