This month on NaBloPoMo the theme is scandal. Most of the prompts involve lying, being lied to or lying to someone. I would be surprised if I ran across a completely honest person. Each and every one of us has told a lie. Even if it’s a little white lie. Lying is a fact of being imperfect humans in an imperfect world. We learn to do it without prompting or example when we are little in an effort of self preservation. When my daughters lie to me I can tell without even prodding for the truth. Their eyes, their stance, the overall look on their faces gives them away. I don’t condone it, but I understand that they don’t want to get into trouble.
This is where things get a little sticky. Sometimes they lie about things they “think” they’ll get in trouble for which in reality are no big deal. Then they end up IN trouble because they lied. It’s hard but I try to reinforce to them that postponing telling the truth by telling a lie only delays the inevitable and makes the outcome much, much worse.
Often I use the example of a person who accidentally hits another car or even a person. If that person runs and tries to hide, what will the police do? Will they let go of the fact they ran just because they knew they were scared? Awe heck NO! When they find them not only will they be in trouble for the accident BUT now they’ll be in more hot water because they did not immediately stop to help or take responsibility for their actions.
As a mom that last part is a biggie for me – take responsibility for your actions. When you do something stupid – own up and apologize! When you hurt someone physically or emotionally – accept you are in the wrong and say you are sorry! It annoys me to no end to find people lying to themselves that they do no wrong, their poop doesn’t stink and the world is out to get them. When everyone is coming at you with the same complaints about your actions and attitude then maybe you need to go look in the mirror to find the solution to your problem instead of blaming everyone else. That’s a subject for another post. . . In any event I try to teach my girls that they need to own their actions no matter how hurtful, dumb or embarrassing they might be and face the consequences because in the end it turns out as a learning experience. Hopefully, a lesson that leads to not repeating the offense again.
When it comes to lying how do you reinforce to your children that it isn’t a good idea?