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#1 of 27 Old 07-25-2010, 07:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I need to come up with a consequence for when my 9 year old ds lies about something he did.

Today he lied to me about bumping into 6yo dd with his bike. He was purposely trying to run into her bike tires and he ran into her and hurt her back. When she told me, he first told me that he didn't do anything and then told me that it was an accident and he didn't mean to bump her. Hurting her might have been an accident, but running into her wasn't.

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#2 of 27 Old 07-25-2010, 07:38 PM
 
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I got a really good piuece of advice on this board once that went something like this:

Don't let them lie.

The thing is in our society we tend to want to give people a chance to own up to their mistakes as if by admitting the deed they are half way towards making amends. But that is not not really the case. It doesn't really make it better that he says "I ran into her on purpose, I just didn't think it would hurt her." Now you are left with the fact that you have a kid who openly admits they engage in rather sopciopathic behavior. I mean even though we give murders a plea bargain when they admit it, it doesn't really make the family of the victims feel better about the murderer to know he admitted it, ya know?

So, I don't know how to punish lying but I have stopped giving DS room to lie and the lies have gone down SIGNIFICANTLY since starting.

Instead of "Did you run into your sister on your bike?" "Why did you run into your sister?" and then if he says "it was an accident." then thw logical consequence is clear, he needs to take a bike safety class and can't ride until he does. If he bold face lies and says "I didn't, I don't know what you are talking about." then I think it would be appropriate and logical to take away the bike as it seems to be clearly giving him temporary amnesia or perhaps road blindness and that is really dangerous and needs to be checked out by a doctor.

An example from last week for me:

DH told DS to stop throwing his cousins toys in the pool. DS looked at DH and threw the doll in the pool. DH almost flipped a LID, and I said "Why didn't you listen to Daddy and stop? Why did you ignore Daddy?" he said "I didn't hear him?" "I said if that's true, then you need to come out of the pool for the next two days to give your ears time to dry out and if that doesn't help we'll go to the doctors." "Noooo I was teasing. I'm sorry. I did hear daddy. I just really wanted to do it!"

Uh huh...now that is easier to punish, ya know? Apologize to Daddy, retrieve the toy, apologize to your cousin, and stop fooling around.

So I guess trick them into the truth by A) not pretending you don't know he did it if you KNOW he did it and then B) giving a logical consequence for their answer and see if their answer changes.

Anyway, that's what works here.

Rebekah - mom to Ben 03/05 and Emily 01/10, a peace educator, and a veg*n and wife to Jamie.
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#3 of 27 Old 07-25-2010, 07:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Now you are left with the fact that you have a kid who openly admits they engage in rather sopciopathic behavior.
I'm going to ask you to clarify this part before I decide if I'm annoyed about it.

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#4 of 27 Old 07-25-2010, 07:59 PM
 
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I totally meant it tongue in cheek (I was gonna put an appropriate smilie, but I was NAKing and could recall the code). Pls don't be annoyed. I was thinking of my kid more than anyone.

Rebekah - mom to Ben 03/05 and Emily 01/10, a peace educator, and a veg*n and wife to Jamie.
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#5 of 27 Old 07-25-2010, 08:16 PM
 
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Yep, don't give them the opportunity to lie. Say "Sweetie, your sister is hurt, and I need to comfort her. If you want to help you can get me (her blankie, an ice pack, whatever). You need to stay inside while I comfort her". The consequence is there, the opportunity to comfort his sister is there (without an unenforceable command, just a suggestion), and the opportunity to 'fess up is there - but you haven't directly asked what happened or why.

Later, you can talk about bike safety, and sibling behavior stuff. He'll know what precipitated the conversation, even if you don't bring it up. That's the time to lay out the consequence for inappropriate bike riding, for the next time (and chances are, there will be a next time!)

I'm not a fan of "Why did you do that?" questions. More often than not, the true answer will be "I don't know - I just did it!", but that's really not what you want to hear, is it? Or, like hakeber's ds, "I really wanted to do it!" Honest, but not very helpful. Just stick to the facts: "I see there are toys in the pool - what do you think is the best way to get them out? How can we keep toys out of the pool from now on?"

With some kids, humor works wonders. "Do you know your sister got hurt? [no] Maybe she fell out of a tree? Or maybe a triceratops ran into the yard and knocked her over? Maybe it was a giant eagle!" You might get a confession that way - but again, I don't think confession is necessary for a preschooler - especially when you both know what really happened.

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#6 of 27 Old 07-25-2010, 10:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not a fan of "Why did you do that?" questions.
Yeah, I try to stay away from them.

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#7 of 27 Old 07-25-2010, 10:23 PM
 
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Some of the reason kids lie in the first place is b/c they don't want to get into trouble. So rather than thinking of a consequence(which i'm thinking means punishment) take it out of the equation. Did you see the whole thing happen? Since you say your daughter told you about it, perhaps he did not have malicious intent KWIM? Unless I actually see what happened I would say-your sister got hurt when you ran into her, can you do anything to help her? How can we avoid this another time?

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#8 of 27 Old 07-26-2010, 11:46 AM
 
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Originally Posted by nd_deadhead View Post
I'm not a fan of "Why did you do that?" questions. More often than not, the true answer will be "I don't know - I just did it!", but that's really not what you want to hear, is it? Or, like hakeber's ds, "I really wanted to do it!" Honest, but not very helpful. Just stick to the facts: "I see there are toys in the pool - what do you think is the best way to get them out? How can we keep toys out of the pool from now on?"
I like the why questions because of three reasons:

1) I feel knowing why helps me to develop a more logical consequence. Sometimes it is "I don't know." Which tells me as his teacher-mom I need to focus on teaching him how to think before he acts. If it's "I just really wanted to." then we need to talk about impulse control. If it's "Because she was teasing me and called me stupid." then there is more at play that needs to be addressed. Understanding motive helps me be a better teacher and gauge where I am in my discipline with him.

2) I have seen a marked improvement in decision making because I insist on him figuring out the WHY. It is okay to admit that we don't know, but we need to figure out why, otherwise how can we prevent it from happening again? Is it because you are tired and cranky? Is it because you feel slighted? Is it because you were angry? Is it because you were experimenting? Do you need some attention? If we know why we can fix it and prevent it.

3) it appeals to my sense of fairness and justice. If your son ran her down to try and scare her, and truly didn't mean to hit or hurt her, just to scare her, would that be any different than if he ran after her in blind anger because she had called him a name that really provoked his insecurities? In makes a difference in our justice system, too. If you attack someone because they provoked you in decidedly cruel ways the punishment is far less severe than if it was random violence, or racial violence. We have standards of mercy in our society and I do in my home, too.

I do not necessarily think this is appropriate for very young pre-school aged children for whom it is better to just solve the problem (that's a parent's call), but I think understanding why we engage in unacceptable behavior behavior despite "knowing better" and asking ourselves to provide an answer and work through the "idunnos" to an acceptable answer teaches us to be accountable for our actions and accountable for the solution to our actions, leading us to restorative justice rather than just brushing the reason under the rug.

People lie about their behavior because they know what they did was wrong, and they want to forget they did it and are hoping you will, too.

Rebekah - mom to Ben 03/05 and Emily 01/10, a peace educator, and a veg*n and wife to Jamie.
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#9 of 27 Old 07-26-2010, 03:35 PM
 
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I was reading Nurture Shock and their section on lying was pretty thought provoking.

Parents get a better result when they add "I will be happy if you tell me the truth" or some other positive statement about telling the truth b/c the child wants to please his parents and this allows them to be honest without being afraid of upsetting their parents, kwim? Supposedly this helps.

However there is no advice on how to hear the truth and NOT get ticked off, especially for more serious situations

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#10 of 27 Old 07-26-2010, 04:04 PM
 
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If you KNOW that he meant to bump her... I would just reword it for him.

"You didn't mean to hurt her, but you did mean to bump into her."

I don't know that giving a consequence for lying is going to work, but helping him reword it and own up to what he's done is helpful. Owning what he's done gives him a sense of responsibility. It also shows him that he can do something wrong, then try to fix it. But, if he's more worried about the consequence for what he's done wrong than personal responsibility, he can't help but lie to get out of it.
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#11 of 27 Old 07-26-2010, 04:16 PM
 
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I try not to make a big deal about lying. We're so inventive in this house, it's tricky to make some things lies and some things imagination. Often dd's explanation is, "house fairies did it."

I say, "Okay, well let's fix it, and I need your help to make sure they don't do it anymore."

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#12 of 27 Old 07-26-2010, 11:26 PM
 
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There are some really great suggestions here, thank you all for sharing! We've been dealing with lying lately, too, and it's been so frustrating! Partially because it's giving me reason to wonder why our eldest (now 8) feels like she can't tell us the truth. It seems like it doesn't bode well for the teenage years...

Partially though she's just experimenting and trying to get out of things. So what do you do in the following scenarios, either responding to the situation or ways to do it differently to prevent it:
  • she really needs to pee before bed otherwise she wets it. As she settles into her storytime with me I say "oh, did you use the bathroom?" With no eyecontact I get an "uhhuh." "J, look at me, did you try to use the bathroom?" "no..."
  • After several time warnings and reminders, it's now time to wash hands before dinner. I help the smaller two in the downstairs bathroom while our eldest decides to go upstairs to wash her hands. When I check later on, the sink is completely dry and unused.
  • she begs me to let her go to the boys and girls club unsupervised drop-in program so she can attend open swim time after spending most of the day at camp (something she requested as well). Having let her stay a few times in the past, with good results, I agree that she can stay from 3-5. When I pick her up I ask her how swimming was. "good." Something sets off my suspicion bells and I realize her hair is dry. (in the end, it turned out that she'd changed her mind about swimming and went to the game's room with some other kids, and she was afraid I'd be mad about it. But how do I even know that that story is the truth?)

I'm left so frustrated, disappointed, and distrustful after each of these incidents. And like I said, I really want to figure this stuff out so we can tighten our relationship now before the lies become about big stuff. Thanks for any suggestions!

Married to DH since 2006.  Adoptive mom to DD1 (June 2002), DS (Jan 2006), and bio mom to DD2 (May 2009).

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#13 of 27 Old 07-27-2010, 12:01 AM
 
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I tend not to ask if ds has peed before bed, I just make him go with me and try again so I can hear it. I suppose I would handle this differently if he were older, but at five, and with his wetting record, I want proof in the potty.

I just send him to wash his hands. I don't ask IF, I just make him do it "again". My SIL does one better in IMO, and just has everyone use alcohol gel at the table in front of her.

These are tedious taks for kids on the go and so I understand why they do not see the importance of doing them. I figure they are lying because they do not want to do it, nothing more or less.

I don't think I would react to the swimming thing personally. Maybe she is just worried you will be mad. Is the games room a weird thing to do. Next time ask her if she wants you to stick around in case she changes her mind, or if she wants a few quarters for the game room in case she changes her mind or has time afterwards.

I guess I don't see lying as that big a deal. I did the first few times, but then I realized it's more a self protection mechanism, so what is he afraid of? and I just did my best to prasie him HUGELY everytime he told a difficult truth.

Rebekah - mom to Ben 03/05 and Emily 01/10, a peace educator, and a veg*n and wife to Jamie.
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#14 of 27 Old 07-27-2010, 10:51 PM
 
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There are some really great suggestions here, thank you all for sharing! We've been dealing with lying lately, too, and it's been so frustrating! Partially because it's giving me reason to wonder why our eldest (now 8) feels like she can't tell us the truth. It seems like it doesn't bode well for the teenage years... >>>>

Since she's 8 I would explain how you are feeling and ask for her and you to brainstorm about how to avoid these situations in the future. I find when I bring the kids in on things like this they're more likely to follow through

Cathy mom to 13 y/o DD, 10 y/o DD, 7 y/o DS

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#15 of 27 Old 07-31-2010, 03:01 AM
 
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Mine is pretty short and sweet. If you tell Mommy a lie you are going to get into a lot of trouble. If you tell me the truth you are going to get into a little trouble. So, do you want a lot of trouble (big consequence) or a little (small consequence). Then I usually ask what the consequence should be for the behavior. I actually laugh to myself when they come up with their own consequence because it's usually more of a doosey than I would have dished out.

I always back it up with, "You know you can tell me the truth and you can always talk to me about things. I will always listen to you and not get mad at the truth." For us, that really, really works well.

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#16 of 27 Old 08-01-2010, 05:30 PM
 
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Good ideas above, and thank you for the ideas of just asking her about consequences and/or solutions. I think part of the problem, ok, a big part probably, is that I often DO get mad at stupid stuff she does. It's hard to admit, but she does have a point that sometimes it probably seems easier to just tell me what she thinks I want to hear rather than the truth. Something to work on, I think!

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#17 of 27 Old 08-01-2010, 10:08 PM
 
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Our children know that if they lie their consequences are more than if they were to tell the truth. At 4 or 5 my children have all experimented with lying but we have cleanly, clearly, firmly and lovingly disciplined them right away for lying. They have grown to be really honest kids.
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#18 of 27 Old 08-03-2010, 01:30 PM
 
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If you tell Mommy a lie you are going to get into a lot of trouble. If you tell me the truth you are going to get into a little trouble.

For some kids, though, like me as a kid, you're actually presenting three options:

lie and get caught= big trouble
'fess up = small trouble
lie and don't get caught= NO trouble

My mom was especially punitive, though, so I got in trouble for every little thing. I think in a household where consequences are doled out sparingly, this could work, unless you have a kid who is a natural gambler.

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#19 of 27 Old 08-05-2010, 03:09 AM
 
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Since birth, I have told my kids that if they tell the truth I will be very proud and happy. If they lie, I will be upset and sad and discipline accordingly.

I may not like the truth but I always appreciate it when they tell it to me.

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#20 of 27 Old 08-09-2010, 12:41 AM
 
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For some kids, though, like me as a kid, you're actually presenting three options:

lie and get caught= big trouble
'fess up = small trouble
lie and don't get caught= NO trouble

My mom was especially punitive, though, so I got in trouble for every little thing. I think in a household where consequences are doled out sparingly, this could work, unless you have a kid who is a natural gambler.
My kids are still young (5, 4, and 3) and I amazed at how brutally honest they are with me. When they tell me the truth, I thank them. Thank goodness lying is not a problem. Now, tattling? That's another thread.

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#21 of 27 Old 08-17-2010, 09:41 AM
 
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Since birth, I have told my kids that if they tell the truth I will be very proud and happy. If they lie, I will be upset and sad and discipline accordingly.

I may not like the truth but I always appreciate it when they tell it to me.
Hmmm, I'm following the thread and reading things I like less and like more but this logic is way off: You should tell the truth and not lie because that makes ME happy. Discipline is doled out when I become unhappy. Therefore, learn to keep me happy and your life will run smoothly.
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#22 of 27 Old 08-17-2010, 10:44 AM
 
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I was having a real problem with this with DD1 (she's 4). She was drawing on walls then hiding it and lying about it. I tried confiscating art supplies. I tried time outs (which were appallingly ineffective because i often found the drawings hours after she'd done them). I shouted (not because i thought it'd work, because i was very mad and sad, given we'd JUST bought the house, and i was 6+months pregnant and not really excited for extra housework).

What finally worked for us was this - we sat down together and i explained how sad and mad it made me when she drew on the walls. And she explained that sometimes she does something and knows i will be sad or mad so she doesn't want to tell me, because i'll be upset. So we made a deal - she will try hard to think about these things before doing them (they certainly seem to happen far less) and IF she does something like that without thinking or because she couldn't help herself she will tell me right away and i will try very hard NOT to be mad or sad, and i will help her figure out a way to fix the damage and make amends. For us this has been hard (for both of us) but making ourselves into a team has made a massive difference, i no longer feel at odds with her and hurt when she makes these mistakes and she no longer feels alone and like she needs to lie when she does it.
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#23 of 27 Old 08-26-2010, 03:07 PM
 
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Some of the reason kids lie in the first place is b/c they don't want to get into trouble.
We're struggling with lying a lot with my 13 year old and the thing is, SHE KNOWS that she will get off easier by NOT lying, yet continues to lie about the most ridiculous things. I'm almost at my wits end with her. She is a great kid, does well in school etc, but this lying this is really getting me PO'ed.

Example: We ran into some issues getting her into school on-time this year because she hadn't had certain vaccinations and I didn't have my exemption form, so she was home alone on Monday from 8:15am til my hubby came home at 1. I had gone grocery shopping the day before and I had a 6 pack of chocolate pudding in the fridge. When I got home that afternoon, they were GONE. Hubby didn't eat them, DD2 didn't eat them, I didn't eat them, so it leaves one person....
She swore up and down it wasn't her but based upon her reaction, we KNOW it was her. She did the same thing with a bag of yummy earth gummy bears.

Another scenario is that she wrote her name repeatedly on her bedroom furniture (her name!!) and claims it wasn't her...Like i said, in our home, if you tell the truth and own up to something, rarely are there consequences aside from explaining why we shouldn't do said thing.

What gives???



I just don't know how to break her of this habit. I don't want a compulsive liar for a child. I'd love to hear some suggestions pertaining to a teenager.
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#24 of 27 Old 08-27-2010, 10:22 AM
 
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What gives???
I just don't know how to break her of this habit. I don't want a compulsive liar for a child. I'd love to hear some suggestions pertaining to a teenager. >>>>>>

Perhaps after she ate that 6 pk of pudding she felt guilty and is hiding that by just denying it happened. I would look for an underlying issue, the lies may be covering up some kind of hurt/anger/wanting some control/etc that she has. So rather than thinking of her as a compulsive liar think about what would cause her to react that way in the first place.
When I come into a situation that I know one of my kids did-my middle liked to write on furniture for awhile-I said, I see you wrote your name here(no tone just description). I told her if she wanted to have her name on her furniture she could use say a label that came off rather than pen or marker. For the pudding-perhaps see if she would like to help with the grocery list/shopping and if there are items that maybe she can have for herself and not share. That way when say her pack of pudding(or candy) is gone she's done.

Cathy mom to 13 y/o DD, 10 y/o DD, 7 y/o DS

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#25 of 27 Old 08-27-2010, 10:54 AM
 
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Another scenario is that she wrote her name repeatedly on her bedroom furniture (her name!!) and claims it wasn't her...Like i said, in our home, if you tell the truth and own up to something, rarely are there consequences aside from explaining why we shouldn't do said thing.
When I was late in pregnancy and when my baby was new, my older daughter went through a phase of marking things, like marking her territory. She was writing things, mainly her name, in odd places, like on walls (and she hadn't written on walls in AGES) and I caught her trying to carve in a brand new table! I think this odd urge to mark territory is probably related to the impending new baby, but she might not understand why she's doing it, and my be lying because she doesn't know how to talk about it or something.
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#26 of 27 Old 08-27-2010, 10:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
When I was late in pregnancy and when my baby was new, my older daughter went through a phase of marking things, like marking her territory. She was writing things, mainly her name, in odd places, like on walls (and she hadn't written on walls in AGES) and I caught her trying to carve in a brand new table! I think this odd urge to mark territory is probably related to the impending new baby, but she might not understand why she's doing it, and my be lying because she doesn't know how to talk about it or something.


We moved four times in less than two years. When we moved into this place, my son and I were agreed that this would be our last move. He had NEVER written on any walls in ANY place we had lived and he was 3.5 so definitely knew better. He used my brick-red lipstick to draw a dragon on the cream living room wall.

We talked about it after I finished washing the wall and it turned out that he wanted to mark this house as HIS; he wanted something definite to say that this was HIS house and he wasn't moving again. Sooo...we decided that he could use one wall in his bedroom for writing. He wrote on that wall for two days and hasn't done it since on any wall. He had a NEED to mark his place, ya know?
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#27 of 27 Old 08-27-2010, 11:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BohoMama View Post
Hmmm, I'm following the thread and reading things I like less and like more but this logic is way off: You should tell the truth and not lie because that makes ME happy. Discipline is doled out when I become unhappy. Therefore, learn to keep me happy and your life will run smoothly.
Yes, that is exactly how I run the house.

Lying to m makes me upset. If I were to lie to my kids, that would make them upset. I don't think it is emotionally manipulative to explain how something makes me feel. Discipline is doled out if they lie. And by discipline I mean consequences. But my kids rarely lie to me. They might try it once and all I ask if that is the truth. I remind them I don't like lies (and I don't!) and if they tried to lie, that is when they usually tell me what happened. Then I say thank you because I know it must have been hard. Then we fix the problem.

Mom to 4! Welcomed Aila Wren on Friday, February 25th!
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