We all remember the childhood playground song… “Liar Liar Pants on Fire, hanging from a telephone wire!” I remember those times of being teased with that song at recess if you were caught in a lie. I never imagined in a million years that I’d ever want to sing that very song to my own child.
I’ve been reading a lot of blogs/articles lately on how to deal with lying in children. All I can say about those blogs is thanks for pointing out what I know in my heart of all hearts but now I just feel like a bad parent cause I’m flipping my lid trying to figure out how to get her to stop. None of these blogs really empathized with my frustration… I thought anyways!
I’m writing this because I need you mama’s going through this milestone to know.. I feel you! All the blogs/articles that I read will tell you the following;
- It’s natural;
- It’s par for the course;
- It’s a milestone that all children have to go through; and
- Don’t make a big deal about it, but make sure you address the issue!
Oh goodness I can’t explain to you how frustrating it is to have a child lying and to read a bunch of articles or blogs looking for a sympathetic shoulder to lean on and in turn, walk away feeling like a mess! Where is my wine at?
For example: “I believe that with kids, lying is a faulty problem–solving skill. It’s our job as parents to teach our children how to solve those problems in more constructive ways” …………… *sigh*
Thank you Captain Obvious for telling me what I already know! My problem is that no matter what approach I’ve taken she seems to think that her way, no matter what way, is the only way! Now I’m aware that not every article/blog will be perfectly suited for my child but most of these posts I had read just play down how frustrating the entire experience can be by stating over and over that “It’s natural!” Which makes every irrational response you’ve had towards the lying make you feel awful!
I want you to know, as I say this to myself daily; Parenting is HARD and knowing what to do, when do to it and what’s not always the best idea is hard. There is no manual and while all of these articles can assure you that every child goes through it so don’t think anything is wrong.. it’s natural! It truly is natural but so is your frustration!
Never in a million years, did I ever think that my 6 year old was going to be harder to take care of then my 4 month old but why wouldn’t it be? She’s growing not only physically but emotionally and mentally and I’ll be the first to admit that I sometimes we forget about all the changes that are going on within our babes. In the span of 4 months, she went from being the only child to having a sister, from no longer have 100% of mom’s attention to maybe 40% of moms attention. She’s gone into Kindergarten, which has opened up a lot of doors, raised a lot of questions and challenged her in ways, I don’t think I could ever have warned her about or prepared her for.
So mama’s lying is a tough, it’s not an easy habit to squash and it’s not easy to teach problem solving so just as “it’s natural” for them, cut yourself and your child some slack. Nothing will be solved over night but stick to your guns, maintain your position on lying and let it be known that lying is never ok and open up the lines of communication. By encouraging Ava to use her words and to always express her feelings, gave her a bit more power within herself and she finally has started talking to us more!
Her lying hasn’t completely stopped by it has slowed down. I created what I call the “Big Book of Lies”, which we wrote down what the lie was, what the situation was, and what day it happened. We told her that if she wanted to keep lying everyday and several times a day, that we’d mail the book to Santa once it was full.
Bit extreme? Perhaps but in my defence, she’s been lying several times a day for almost a year. Since starting the book, we got down to 2 lies a day and now we haven’t had a lie in 5 days! Ava was lying to absolutely everyone and usually right to your face so one thing that I really learned from reading all these articles is that only YOU know your child and only you can decide what the best way to handle the situation. Trust yourself, you will eventually figure out the best solution for you and your babes.
It’s tough and it’s not fun so grab a glass of wine, or chocolate bar, or box of cookies.. whatever your go to item is and just relax. They wake up each day and doesn’t get much better than that! You are doing a GREAT job!