When Emilie has done something wrong, she gets punished. Breaking the rules are punishable offences. I’ve always been proud of the fact that she has a sense of discipline, she is obedient and there is respect between the two of us. Lately however, I’ve found that she isn’t as forth coming about her mistakes as I would like. Obviously in the moment it makes me angry, but isn’t this why she isn’t telling me things? Am I encouraging dishonesty with my reactions? How are you supposed to react when yourย child does the wrong thing? Where is the boundary? How do you instil boundaries without fear?

children lieThis parenting thing just gets more and more difficult. More and more reflective. The more I look at what she is doing – the more I need to ask myself why. What influences my actions have on her and who she is becoming. Isn’t that the most difficult part?

Realising you are raising a little person.

The answer is yes. Yes I am teaching her to lie to me. I am teaching her that being honest gets her into trouble. I am teaching her that making mistakes is not okay. That being human is not acceptable.

This makes meย sad.

Reading over what I am typing breaks my heart. I never wanted to be this mom. The cool mom – yes, the understanding mom – yes, the grinch mom? Never. But alas… that is who I have become. Fortunately for me and you and all parents, children are so resilent. And it is never too late to be better.

Having said this, I also did some reading up on how to do all this more appropriately. Here is what I found:

  1. Don’t set them up. Picture this, I walk into Emilie’s bedroom and there is a black koki pen mark on her new duck egg blue curtain. I was mad. So I said “Emilie!!!!” In my highest pitch voice, “Did you draw on this curtain?” Already here I am making a mistake. First of all – she probablyย didn’t draw on it. She is 10, she is not malicious or distructive. It must have been an accident. Secondly, who else could have done it? Do I actually want to know the answer to the question or am I just asking her so that I have an opportunity to shout at her for the accident that she didn’t tell me about because she was scared?
  2. Keep calm. Don’t freak out when they do tell you things. Or even if you see something that they have done. Instead replay the situation out for yourself like I have above. Try to think logically about what could have happened, and try to think of better ways and replies without pointing fingers. Imagine if you were nailed for every single mistake you made at work. As if they wanted you to be a robot. Would you be able to flourish in that environment? Nope. Neither can our kids.
  3. Figure out why they feel the need to lie. Is it fear? Are they ashamed? Once you know why they feel like they need to lie in the situation you can address this.
  4. Explain yourself. I find that my 10 year old responds well when I explain. Sometimes I find that I need to say – “Sorry that I reacted this way…mommy is so saddened when you lie to me. I am only trying to protect you.” No these kids don’t already know. They need you to tell them, why you don’t want them to lie. Why it hurts you. Why they should always tell you everything because you are the parent, and your first responsibility is to protect them. No matter what they do. Remind them often.
  5. Monkey see, monkey do. The other day I posted about how to be healthier so that your children can learn from a healthier mom. In the same way, if you make a promise and you break it – what is that telling your child about your word? Do you hold your own word in high regard? Do you keep your promises? Don’t expect from your child what they cannot expect from you. Bottom line? Keep your promises.

Sigh. Guilt. Do your children lie to you? Have they lied to you? What tips and tricks do you use to keep the relationship open?

In the meantime – don’t be a grinch mom. Be cool – you always wanted to be a cool mom, now you have the opportunity to be. If you enjoyed this post, please share with your friends using my links below. And follow me on my handles – Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, I know you are cool like that! xx

11 Comments on Am I teaching my child to lie to me?

  1. It’s very difficult to find a balance. You want them to be respectful and also to know you’re not their buddy, but you don’t want to alienate them. My daughter thankfully can’t lie and I don’t really recall catching her in one, but man, my 5yr old…I’m going to have problems. I am trying in the best way to navigate with him and making him realise lying isn’t good. I’ve tried the sadness, the begging, the being friends…. and then one day I got gatvol and I gave him a spanking. He never gets a hiding and it really wasn’t a ‘hiding’ as such, but I think he was shocked. So the next time I caught him trying to lie I just said: Um, was that a lie? I swear he very quickly changed his story. lol.

    I think that one has to act differently with the different personalities our kids have. Great thought provoking post.

    • You have hit the nail on the head there.. each child is different. I think Emilie just wants to please so much that she would rather NOT disappoint. Which makes me sad. On the other hand…I also can’t be too easy. The balance, the balance. Thanks for your points! xxx

      • She sounds precious! <3 Addison is the same way. She trusts me so much and tells me everything, so I am trying to do everything possible to make sure it stays that way. Maybe we overthink this parenting thing. lol. I don't think my mom gave a rats a$$ about how I was feeling. Lie…get a hiding. Cry, get a hiding. lol.

        • Wakakakakaka! My mom was the same. And seriously we do. I just feel like I wanted to be better, there is so much more knowledge available for us to be able to be better. And so many messed up people recovering from their childhood. I dont want her to be one of those kids that is burned by what they went through as a child.

  2. I was reading this, feeling all kinds of mom guilt… I have this awful habit of overreacting the moment something happens – like if she makes a mess, after me telling her to be careful… and after I have a second to breathe, I realize that stuff can always be cleaned/fixed, but I’ll never forget the hurt look on my little person’s face when I shout and turn into a MOMster. I think our reactions definitely have an effect on whether they’re open with us, or likely to hide when they do something wrong, because they’re so afraid they’re disappointing us.

  3. My child is 16 months old and she’s naughty- when I say “no” then she goes around and still do it. Laughs at me even. I don’t know how to be the disciplinarian. So I like your post.
    I learned early on about “don’t set them up” – this action also frustrates babies who are deep in thought.

    • Shame she’s probably just pushing the boundaries to see how far she can push you. These kids they just know… Thanks for popping by… xxx

3Pingbacks & Trackbacks on Am I teaching my child to lie to me?

  1. […] Emilie has always been the kind of child that was more “childish”, she played with dolls believed in fairies and Santa till I told her they didn’t exist just over a year ago. And I only did this to protect her from ridicule. I think it made me believe that I could delay this conversation for a few years. But the reality is the earlier and more open we are about sex, hormones and menstruation the less room for confusion and distrust. […]

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