Parenting

Liar Liar Pants on Fire

Oftentimes I feel like this parenting thing is drowning me slowly. No matter how diligent I can be, I miss appointments. I forget to remind my kids to brush their teeth {because after 10 and 6 years, they still need to be told. And after that same amount of time, my memory can be just as bad}. I can get so behind in laundry. I even raise my voice more than I’d like to, and more than I should. 

The list goes on and on. It’s all so trying.

One of my biggest parenting goals, is to teach my girls not to lie. It’s a quality trait that I despise most. In fact, when I catch them {or anyone for that matter} in a lie, my blood boils instantly. Lying falls under the arrogance and ignorance family to me, the superiority and audacity in thinking one is above what’s right. In fact, if it was possible to own a portable lie detector, I’d have three.

The root of this challenge, is because I’ve always felt that lying is directly in the way of an honest and open relationship. If that pathway is open, then my girls will feel comfortable talking to me, no matter what. Now and when I need it most – those teenage years. *shudder*

Basically, I took baby steps all along, like pulling the weeds to hopefully get that gorgeous garden. It’s a long shot, but when I became a parent, this was one thing I really wanted to succeed in.

So, when lying showed it’s ugly face in the early days of toddlerhood, I tried my best to put my foot down.

Oh right, there’s that raising voice again. OK, calm breaths and explain why lying isn’t right. And explain. Explain. Explain.

You know the round-and-round, repeat-yourself-a-million-times routine. Just like telling your child to pick up their coat 736 times before they actually do it. Well, they haphazardly throw it in the general direction of the hook, all mad-like. Does that count as eventually doing it?

Again, deep breaths and try to put your calm parenting-face on and stay on track. It’s hard to stick on target when distractions {like tantrums} get in the way. It’s the hazards that come with the job.

The frustrating part is spending years trying to instil the ‘no lying policy’ and ‘you’re punished worse when the lie comes out’ – and they still don’t get it!

In the early days, it might have been clearing who wrote ‘Katelyn’ on the banister with a pen.

pen drawing katelyn lying

Yet as they age, their skills improve. Names are mastered so now it’s onto drawings. Like this one.

drawing lying kids

It’s not so clear who did this one, especially after ‘it wasn’t me’ claims, in unison. Having twins means that many times in a situation, I know there’s lying happening, but the truth isn’t so clear. 

So, I needed to get a little sneaky. 

Me: “Kateyln, what is this drawing of?”
Katelyn: “I dunno. Santa maybe?”
Me: “Sophia?”
Sophia: “It’s Kristoff and Sven!”

Gotcha! 

Teaching my kids not to lie is one battle that I’ve been fighting for way too long. Is it possible that my one main parenting goal, will be a total failure? Did I mix the message somehow and instead make way for compulsive lying disorders? Should I wave the white flag and instead push for them to seek a profession, where lying is a strong and beneficial trait?

Just when I think all is lost, I’m told about a particular conversation which I was absent for ….

Relative A ~ “ok, Isabelle. You can have one more cookie. That’s it, but don’t tell Mom I gave it to you”
Isabelle ~ “Thanks but I have to tell her, I don’t keep secrets from Mom”

Let’s push aside the fact that someone outright told my child to lie and hide something from her parent. That is a whole other rant and wrong-doing in itself. Instead, I concentrate on her response. No secrets? No lies? The heavens part and the angels sing!

I may fail at doing dishes tonight, and I just ran to the mailbox across the street in my ‘I don’t do mornings’ pyjamas. After telling the kids for the 629th time to not be so rough with the puppy, I’ll probably raise my voice and maybe threaten summer school. Also, dinner next Wednesday might be freezer-burnt fish-sticks.

Yet there is always that little ray of light that keeps me from drowning in the waters of parental failure. This time it came in the form of ‘I don’t keep secrets from Mom’. In actuality, this same daughter will most likely lie to my face next week about who took my lip balm from my nightstand. Yet, I’ll always have that one time, when it really mattered most. 

I may take one step forward and be pushed two steps back on most days. Yet this time, I’m doing a little dance while taking that one step earned.

Have you danced a step lately?

 
 

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I’m a #MomsIntuition Ambassador sponsored by Schick Intuition and while this is a compensated post, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

 

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43 Comments

  1. It sure is a challenge this parenting gig. I feel like I am failing sometimes and hope they appreciate these hard lessons later in life!

  2. Parenting, I swear, should come with some kind of instruction manual LOL. I Love how you figured out who did the drawing on the wall. I had a kiddo one time draw their hand on the wall, I knew it was them because they were obsessed with drawing their hand LOL.

  3. I went through the lying thing with one of my kids and it was really difficult. I’m not sure how we got past it, but we did, thankfully.

  4. It’s easy to tell when my kids are lying. They’re dogs, so all I have to do is look at the ears to see whodunnit.

  5. I feel like sometimes I have to play these games with a certain full grown man, and it gets frustrating. Sometimes you have to outsmart the liars. I’ve found that the age old ‘cry wolf’ scenario usually puts an end to lying.

  6. I so agree with you on the lying thing. BOILING BLOOD all the way. My kids know nothing good ever ever happens from a lie and if caught, all hell breaks loose. So they didn’t usually go there.

  7. Oh man, I feel like my life is a full on dance party! Toddlers can be like that though!

  8. This is a rough one. I have a friend who has a son with autism and he literally cannot tell a lie. So, when the phone rings and you say, tell them I am not here..he tells them she is there lol

  9. My son isn’t quite at the age of knowing what a lie is, and still doesn’t understand certain things. But I know that starting age is headed my way. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep my composure and have the ability to teach him about lying also.

  10. The lies defintiely get worse in the teenage years, so brace yourself. LOL. I cannot stand lying either, so it’s great to teach your kids at an early age.

  11. I tell you, I think we all have those issues. We all try to be the best parents possible and teach things like no lying, but chances are at some point they are going to do it. I guess it all just shows us that no matter how much we say something, they won’t learn until they do it.

  12. That was smart to ask the girls what the drawing was of. I tried to be on my toes when the kids were younger to nip it in the bud.

  13. Oh man, I still remember one time that I lied to my mom…never again! Parenting is full of so many joyful AND painful moments!

  14. My son has told a few white lies and have been caught red handed sneaking things he is not supposed to have. Parenting can be tough! I am thankful I have a while before the teen years!

  15. Oh I can relate to this. My twin nieces are the same. Both will answer I “I don’t know” if you will ask them who did it. Changing your question works well.

  16. Parenting can be a challenge at times but I think it is the little times when you see that they “do get it” that count, even though the next minute you wonder. Just need to stop and think that we probably did the same when we were their age 🙂

  17. I feel like I do. My daughter is half way ok, but my son is not at all. He is 6 and lies and steals. That sounds harsh, but It’s the truth – little things. Like he steals a candy and hides under the table to eat it

  18. Oh how I remember those days of lying when my kids were young.The older they get the more they master their lies,they will be so good at it in their teens.You just need to watch then for the lying signs,you ,has a Mom have the power lol

  19. Some people think children(and maybe even some adults) do not want to face one’s anger or consequences of telling the truth.
    All I’ve learned is that your children must feel that, no matter what they’ve done, you are approachable and will hear them out without having a hissy fit and, maybe after an apology on their part, they will be forgiven.
    Until they feel safe to do so, they may lie occasionally to avert adult’s anger.
    I do not know whether or how much my now adult chilfren lied to me. I know that they feel free, for the most part, to come to me for advice and problems. They may not follow it but they do ask for my input and I appreciate their confidence in me.

  20. My son use to lie all the time, he would write is name everywhere and said he didn’t do it. Then I would make him clean it. He doesn’t lie any more, I think it’s a faze they go through. I use to tell them to tell me the truth and the consequence would be way better then if they lied. All you could do as a parent is teach them good value, respect, to treat other the way they would like to be treated, what’s right and wrong ect.. and hope for the best.

  21. Today I feel like I’m drowning. But you’re right, like a garden, slowly pull the weeds.

  22. Every child lies, I don’t care if you are mother Theresa! All we can do is instill our own beliefs, even if we repeat ourselves til blue in the face! I have always told my fab 5, you can tell me anything just please do not lie! I don’t care what it is, tell me! Lying in the teen years only weaves a web that they can never get out of until the truth be told! It can also lead to a lot of misery. It took my sister until she turned 40 to finally admit to me and our Mom that she broke my red transistor radio by throwing it against the wall. I hope you find solace in that 🙂

  23. We’ve always had a no-lying policy in our house. It’s human nature to fib to avoid difficult situations, so sometimes it feels like a fight against the tide. But we can keep trying, right? What’s encouraging is that my teenagers tell each other the truth and they’re just lying to me to stay out of trouble. So at least there’s one person over 16 who knows the score. And then I usually get it out of them. Persistence, right?

  24. My little one is too young, but I know it’s a comin’ lol.

    My boy is 17, and I don’t recall a moment ever, where he lied to us when he was younger……EXCEPT he was busted one time during this past school year when he attempted to skip. I’ve got eyes and ears everywhere. He knows this now lol.

  25. I have our girls convinced that the truth always comes out so it is best they tell it right away !! lol

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