The other day, my son had helped himself to a pack of gum. Because it was sugar free, he felt that was an open invitation to an endless amount. I unfortunately fell into an unexpected nap during this incident. I never realized that he helped himself until bedtime.
My son was getting ready to get undressed to put his pajamas on. When he turned around, I saw something crusted on the back of his pants. It even had a silver wrapper stuck on the leg. When I peeled it off, it was then that I realized what it was – gum. It was a big chunk of chewing gum. So, I decided to investigate the spot of where he was sitting.
I looked at the sofa which had confirmed my investigation. There was gum smeared all over the sofa with the empty pack next to it. “Geez, will you look at this?”, I said. So, what was his response?, “Well, It wasn’t me!”. Now this fib was so unnecessary. It wasn’t like I was even that mad, I was pretty much laughing the whole time. Plus, I haven’t even sat on that sofa for about two days, so everything points to him doing it. There is not a single part of this situation where he could blame it on anyone else. “Are you serious?”, I laughed. But still he tried to take the blame off of himself, “I didn’t do it!”.
I have no idea, why he would even try to pin this on anything or anyone else, everything points to him. Why do children feel like they have to fib even though they are caught red-handed?! Like literally I caught my son red-handed once, when he dove his hands into an Elmo cake and then tried to deny that he did it as he was licking the red off of his hands.
Another time that he told a funny fib, when he was four years old.
Son: “Mommy, can I have sweet tarts?”
Me: “Wait until after dinner”
Son: “Mommy, I want sweet tarts”
Me: “I said no, wait until you eat dinner first. Then you can have them”
I began going through my shoe basket, and afterwards, I looked up to see the packet of sweet tarts open
Me: “Ty? did you just eat the sweet tarts after I said no?”
Son: *with a devious smile* “no mommy”
Me: “Then why is the bag of sweet tarts open?”
Son: “I didn’t eat candy”
Me: “Oh you didn’t? What are you chewing then?”
Me: “Okay, open your mouth”
He opened his mouth for me to find his tongue green
Me: “Okay, I’ll give you one more chance to tell me the truth, did you eat the sweet tarts?
Son: “mmm, no mommy”
Me: “Okay, then why is your tongue green? You must of ate a green sweet tart”
Son: “no mommy, it was yellow”
Although, I need to teach him that it’s not okay to lie, I can’t help not to laugh sometimes. Some of these lies are just ridiculous. Sometimes they think it’s just a game and not really that serious. Of course, when he lies about something serious, then he knows my feelings about lying – it is not okay! I do punish him for lying according to the extent of the lie. Sometimes, children don’t understand the seriousness of a lie and its consequences. It’s better to sit them down that there is are differences between lying and joking. That is our jobs as parents to teach those differences before some lies might get out of hand.
However, some little fibs are just silly, innocent and obvious, those are kind of funny. I mean it’s kind of not funny, but that is how I deal with these things. As much I laughed about the silly mistake that he made with the gum on the sofa, I’m deeply saddened by the mess that I now have to clean up. Laughter covers up how badly I want to cry. That is how I’ve always handled things. Sometimes, I just wish my son wouldn’t fib about something so silly, but at the same time, it leaves us with funny memories…and a good story for me to tell his future girlfriend!