Questions about honesty - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-21-2001, 02:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a 6 year old son who in the past few days has begun to tell little white lies, [he took a toy from his friends house- we brought it back, and he apoligized, and tonight he said he was going upstairs to have some alone time, and while he was up there he ate a piece of candy that his Papa and I specifically asked him not to- he went upstairs with the intention of eating the candy.]
I feel that I am not a rigid mama, and DS and I have a very open and loving relationship. I'm feeling hurt and confused by this. Do you think this is absolutly normal behavior, am I totally over-reacting?
Complete honesty is very important to me, [and you too I am sure]. I'm wondering what you would have said to your children in this situation.
Also, in our family we joke around A LOt! Do you think this is too fine of a line between joking and lying for a 6 year old? What about the Tooth Fairy, and Santa, and all that?
I'm just very concerned--I do NOT want this to become a pattern for us. LOL!!
I would SO appreciate any advice, or anything really-- just feeling blue about this.

Thanks so much!
Zoe
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Old 12-21-2001, 04:23 AM
 
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I would define myself as a rigid Mommy, although we joke and play. I cannot abide lying in any way. My feeling is that all you really have in this world is your good word. If you lie, people lose faith in you. It is hard to earn it back.
I have struggled too with this issue with my husband, who lies about dumb things. With my son, who lies to prove that he's smarter than me, and still gets caught and then lies again as revenge. With my daughter, who feels that she can't disappoint me. I try to use gentleness and not be so rigid. I try not to care and pick my battles.
I have no answers for you. I just wanted to comiserate. I hope this thread generates some ideas for both of us.
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Old 12-23-2001, 08:11 PM
 
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My son has also begun telling little white lies. Usually when he thinks he is going to get in trouble for doing something.
I have no idea how to deal with this. I tell him that I am going to get more mad that he's lying to me then for whatever it is he did.

It is a tough situation, especially when he continues to deny it. I try so hard not to lose my cool. It is really difficult to keep calm when I know he is telling a lie. I hate lies more then anything.
I have a hard time with trust because of certain situations in my past and lying gets to me more then anything.

I hope this thread gets some good replies for all of us!
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Old 12-24-2001, 06:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello- thanks for the replies! I've really been giving this isue a lot of thought and I just think 6 is such a hard age!! It's sort of an end of an erra-- stepping out of that dream-like early childhood years into something brand new. Perhaps Jack (my son), is just realizing that he dosn't HAVE to tell me the truth- of corse I REALLY REALLY WANT him to, but maybe he's just testing out this new found self-ness-- is any of this making sence? The lying has happened a couple more times since I posted last, and I've really tried not to flip about it. I just remind him that truthfulness is the most important thing for him to remember. Hopefully when he is a man he will remember that-- to be honest to others and ALWAYS to himself. Thanks again for your thoughtful responces-- hope all is going well for you and your families!

Merry Christmas!
Zoe
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Old 12-27-2001, 04:04 PM
 
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Kids will try to get what they want, including that piece of candy. If it is so important to a kid to have the candy (or whatever it is that they want) that the child is willing to lie about it to get it, maybe it would be helpful for the parents to think about their reasons for not wanting to help the kid get whatever it is they want. I think there are better ways to get what a person wants, than lying, and maybe this is a more productive way to approach the lying issue. If the kid wants the candy, and the parents don't want hir to have it, can the kid come to the parents with hope of discussing the issue and finding a better solution than lying about it? Maybe the parents can come to respect the kid's right to eat what kid wants, and they can all research and learn together about different ways of eating and nutrition information and the many conflicting theories about food and so on.

Lying is a solution to a problem, like uh-oh, I'm about to get in trouble, how can I get out of this? Fear of the anger of a parent (authority) is a powerful motivator to lie. How can the parent and child have a relationship where the child does not need to fear the parent? Or is that what the parent wants, child to obey because of fear? I guess that is an individual preference, but it seems to me that if there is going to be obeying and fear, there will also be lying, by way of self-defense.

I remember something in an Eda LeShan book- something like, 'When Your Kids Drive You Crazy'- where I think she made some sense in talking about lying. I haven't read it for years, maybe I should go find it and see if I still agree with her!
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Old 12-27-2001, 06:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Larcy--
I liked what you said about helping your child find a way other than lying to get what they want. We do discuss things with our kids, and really try to come up with something that will meet everyones needs. W/ that particulat candy issue I posted about we came to the agreement that he would eat it the next day after breakfast-- but he ate it that night anyway, and lied about it. I do NOT want my children to blindly obey me! I love that they question authority-- I hope that is a quality they will always posess. What I want them to learn is the value of honesty. I realize at their young ages- 6, 4, and 2-- they don't always have the self control to not eat the piece of candy. But the self control will come, and so will the desire for honesty. In our family our goal is to truly meet everyones needs the best we can. We dont punish, there is no need to if everyone knows w/o a doute that their needs will be met. This obviously doesn't mean that everyone gets what they want exactly when they want it! It means that we try hard to be aware of eachothers needs, as well as our own, and work on comprimising to get them all met.

love and light,
Zoe
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Old 12-30-2001, 02:27 PM
 
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Lying is hard wired into our brains as a way to defend ourselves from harm. Not that we, as adults, don't have the skills to over-ride these impulses, we should...Kids need to be taught these skills. I don't tolerate lying on any level in my 6 yr old dd. I am lax about lots of stuff but not this...

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Old 12-30-2001, 08:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Bathrobegodess--
What do you do when your six year old lies? Jack hasn't been lying that much, but when he does I have been reminding him how important the truth is, and how I want to trust him, but feel I can't if he lies, and bla, bla, bla-- I guess I'm looking for a more effective way to handle this! Thanks so much for your insite!

Love and Light,
Zoe
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Old 01-06-2002, 12:47 PM
 
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I hope this doesn't sound too un-ap but I punish her! If she has lied about using something (like putting on body glitter, eating candy, painting nails, etc.) I through the item away. Even if I have just bought it for her or I want some (like candy). If she lies about NOT doing something (picking up the floor of her room, brushing teeth, brushing hair) She has to do it three more times. It works for us. She KNOWS she should not lie so talking about truth to her is really redundant and while I did that she didn't stop because there were no consequences (sp). Hope this helps!

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Old 01-16-2002, 10:53 PM
 
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If lying is a defense, to try and protect one's self from harm, and a parent finds their child lying to them, that is good information for the parent to consider why the child feels the need to lie to them, and why a child should have to sneak and lie to get what they want.

I don't think that adults over-ride the impulse to lie. If they lie as adults, I would think that they have not learned yet how to get what they want in life without hurting other people, without having to sneak and lie to get what they want.
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