Pants on Fire

"Parenting is a journey option of teaching our kids to obey, or, teaching them to think. The first option can lead to deceit." -Tim Butler lying-1

We caught Robby in his first lie (and 3 in 2 hours that day) this week. Sigh. I could always count on him when needing details or asking about a situation to be the truth teller. He just hasn't been deceitful or conniving. He made up a huge big long story about school (which was not just imagination or make believe) and then told me Olive did something that he actually did so as not get into trouble (quite hilarious....she was not in the room and it would have been physically impossible for her to accomplish). And then another lie that I believed and emailed his teacher about - which she said absolutely did not happen. EEEK.

I was really sad; it felt like a piece of childhood and innocence was over. 5 and half years old and counting.....

So, what do you do?

Here was our process:

-Apologize for lying to me, being specific. "I'm sorry I lied about ____. I am a truth teller."

-I forgave him, hugged him, told him I love him when he lies, I love him when he tells the truth, I love him when he is grumpy and happy and silly and sad and mad.....I will love him always.

-Remove Squeak (favorite stuffed animal he sleeps with - something he adores) for 24 hours (SO SAD)

-Done with consequences after removing Squeak. I actually wanted to keep punishing (No snack for you when it was time, no legos if he he asks...but forgiveness ceases punishment)

There is a site called Kids of Integrity that give a TON of lessons and verses on character traits to work on for children. So, this week, we are talking about truth telling. They define it:

Behaviours that indicate there is a need to work on honesty include lying, embellishing stories and stealing.

From that site we are memorizing Proverbs 12:22 "The Lord hates lying lips but He delights in those who tell the truth." Since our grid for living is God's Way - we want to talk about why we want to do the right thing from the Bible.

Over a delicious brownie snack we talked about how yummy it was. But what if I offered a dirt brownie instead? Would he want it? He said it would be yucky, gross, smelly.....and we talked about how lies are like a dirt brownie to God - yucky, He does't want it, tastes and smells bad....but a delicious brownie is like truth to Him - sweet and delicious and a great gift.

He lied again the next day - and he had to write the verse out (took 25 slow....but he has it memorized now) and I had to take Squeak again.

As Tim said above, we are trying to build in the thinking part of telling the truth, the Why behind it as the Bible says in different places: Because those who lie live in fear that they will get caught, they don't sleep well, goodness does not follow them, they don't walk uprightly.....which are hard concepts to get. I want him to WANT to be a truth teller because it's God's Good Way - not Because I Said So. I know he's only 5, but we will keep explaining God's Way as best as we can in his terms.

Whose got more ideas?