Isaac has picked up a bad habit and I am struggling to overcome it. He lies.
For the most part it is an age thing, I get that developmentally kids go through this. Although I have been spoiled by Rebecca, who is almost too honest and Margo is too young to lie, and loves to tell me the truth even when I am not asking for it. So it has shocked me that lying comes so easily to Isaac.
The other reason it bothers me is because I know how he feels. When I was that age I didn’t want to face the consequences of my actions, so I would stretch the truth in my favor. Trying to keep it as close to reality as possible, but a reality that doesn’t involve me being the bad guy.
So Isaac lies. And he is really good at it. The other day he cut his sister’s hair, while I was downstairs folding laundry. In the ten minutes I was not present they went from putting on shoes to Isaac practicing cosmetology without a license. When I came upstairs and discovered what happened, Isaac said Margo did it. Since she typically gets frustrated with scissors and ends up ripping the paper for ease of speed, I knew his story wasn’t true.
After about 20 minutes of talking with him about it h,e finally confessed. But only after I promised we would figure out the right consequence together and I wouldn’t get angry. And I am left to wonder, did I handle that right? I want to understand his fear in telling the truth. I consider Michael and I fairly reasonable parents and my standard line has always been the truth matters more than what actually happened. Lying will be punished every time but the truth can mitigate the consequences. Unfortunately Isaac’s fear of being yelled at or punished causes his distrust and that hurts a little bit.
The funny thing is, I didn’t yell once when I discovered what happened. It was one of those times as a parent that I try not to laugh at the hilarity of the moment. Kids are inquisitive and it is natural that they would explore a career in cosmetology with blunt tipped scissors. Until he lied they were both going to be let off with a warning.
But I cannot tolerate lying, it is not how I want my kids to get through life.
So I am putting it to you readers, parents of kids young and parents of kids grown. How do you gently teach your kids the harm in lying? How do you show them that the truth, will always set you free.