Thursday, April 26, 2012

"Don't you dare lie to me."

So if you are like me you've made it this far into motherhood that you can just smell a lie wafting in the air when a child of yours puts it out into the universe. Its mother's intuition.
Being a mother is having a type of an intimate relationship. Its personal, intense, fulfilling and at times draining.  But through it all you learn intimate details of each other and really *know* them well.
As parents you teach your kids right from wrong, how to write their name, wipe their butts and a plethora of other things to raise them up to be a well adjusted human being.
We even teach them how to lie.
Now don't argue with me on this, you know I am right.
Say Friday night your mom calls and you are busy, you don't want to talk to her you say something like "Tell her I'm in the shower!" As small as that is it's a lie and you taught it to your kid.

As adults we understand the difference (well most of us and the rest we hope aren't breeding) of various types of lies. Kids don't however and lying is apart of normal development. If you think back to being a young kid, you probably broke or lost something of your parents' and lied about it so you wouldn't get into trouble. Its a gut reaction to CYA (cover your ass). We by nature are protective of ourselves and the ones we love.  As we grow we learn how to cope with the ramifications of our actions and accept responsibility for them. At least that is the ideal. Until then we test our boundaries by telling lies in times of "trouble" or "danger" to prevent scolding or a form a hurt.

One of my children has been on a lying streak lately. I won't disclose which child it is because my children and their friends know of this blog. Lucky for me I am truly a horrible liar so thus I have produced horrible liars.  So for me this little game of guess the lie has been somewhat easy.
One starts to cry immediately, another tilts their head downward, the other two get all shifty eyed.
They will never be lawyers.
Even though it is "easy" it does take effort on my part to discipline and talk about it. I mention this because I can't even tell you how many parents I have come in encounter with who allow their children to lie because they don't want to deal with it. Yes, I am totally judging them. Lies say something about the person who is telling it, even the small ones. Shielding pain, insecurities, lack of knowledge & embarrassment. You don't know what it is unless you are upfront and talk about it.  Wouldn't you want your kid to tell you that someone has been shoving them into a locker at school, or that their friends were pressuring them to use meth or that they think they are pregnant? You'd totally want to be in the know, so you can help if serious situations like that were happening.

Next time you find a box of cereal empty in the cupboard and are lied to about who or why it was left there, take a minute and tell the kid that they don't have to lie about dumb shit. Telling lies is a really bad habit to have. Ask any woman who has been hurt, she'll tell you all about it for an extreme example.

I would like to say that I've had yelling fits at my kids for lies told to me, I am human. I definitely don't know everything either but I do know that communicating and interacting with your kids for the good and the bad makes all the difference to them.


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