Mir, being the awesome writer she is, got me thinking about the subject of lying. We've been dealing with it in the House O'Speak recently. Gasp, I know, my preshus babahs lied??? and I'm curious to hear what your suggestions/opinions are on how to handle this situation. I don't think I'm handling it as well as I need to, in order to avoid it becoming the norm in the future.
BigSpeak, has always been “the sweet one” and LittleSpeak is my "spirited child.” This affects how I approach them on this subject. Maybe it shouldn't, and maybe some of it has to do with age, but either way, the subject is not equal in this house. It doesn't pan out the way you might think. In fact, the way Little is dealt with, is more how you might think I would deal with the seven year old, not the four year old. It's been personality based, which is right in some ways, but I still think I'm lacking in a huge way on this one.
Little lies almost constantly. Seriously, it happens so often, it’s like it’s imprinted into her DNA. It’s almost like she doesn’t know how NOT to do it. She’s 4, so I know (at least I believe I know), whenever she does lie to me. But, think about this, by the time it starts to really matter, she’ll have had a TON of practice & probably be pretty good at it. Yeah, I'm pretty much screwed w/her.
Big has been caught in 2 lies recently. Both were things that I thought her sister had done, but turns out she had done. Initially they were “errors of omission” while her sister was getting interrogated & accused. I'm sure she mostly stood by out of fear and self-preservation, considering how much trouble her sister seemed to be about to get in. When I was satisfied her sister hadn’t done it & turned to her, she lied to my face, for like 2 seconds & then told the truth.
I find it hard how to handle the whole she finally told the truth part. I don’t want to over punish her and therefore end up with more lying in the future. But she did make the infraction AND then was going to allow someone else to take the punishment. How do I punish, but somehow show that it was "less of a punishment" than she would've gotten otherwise?
Here's where my question comes from; My mom always told us, "You'll get in more trouble for lying, then you will for the actual act." That might be true, but how do I know that? If I don't lie about it, you're just pissed about whatever it was that I did/didn't do. General punishment prevails. If I lie & then, when put on the spot, tell the truth, haven't I just been taught to "play the odds" and if they don't pan out, go for the plea bargain? Doesn't that imply the "plea bargain" will net a lesser punishment? I have no doubt my kids are smart enough to think it through to this point. I did after all. Obviously, my mom didn't give me a good example of how to do this well. Are you getting that I was a bit like Little? Quit laughing, I know payback is a bitch.
Any suggestions? Please?? It's for the safety of the world, really.