Thursday, 8 June 2017

Why I Lie

Being an authority figure is weird, which is one of the reasons why parenting is so strange.  Yesterday we found ourselves in new territory, laying down one of the biggest punishments to date.  I am confident that we did the right thing (this article in the Huffington Post has tips that are useful for age appropriate ways to cope with kids lying), but that doesn't make it any less bizarre.

Molly borrowed Jack's emoji earmuffs named Romeo (because they have giant hearts for eyes) to wear to school.  Yes everyone is aware it's June, but that's not the point.  Since Molly is the most prone to lose things of my kids, we reminded her that she needed to take really good care of them.

After school Molly regretfully told us that Jack's earmuffs had been snapped in half at school.  We were treated to a detailed story about two of her friends playing a game with her, while she was riding a bike around the school yard.  At that time the earmuffs fell off of her, were picked up by a boy from another class who she didn't really know.  This boy snapped the earmuffs in half and then placed them back on Molly's head.  We were told not to worry, Molly had already notified the teacher on yard duty.
emoji romeo

Something about her story seemed off.  Chris and I assumed that Molly was covering for a friend who had mistakenly broken the earmuffs.  I asked her to tell me right away if she was telling the truth and that this was her chance to come clean without additional consequences.  She insisted that she was.  I asked her to swear on all of her pretty dresses that she wasn't lying and she did.  I have no idea why I asked her to swear on all of her dresses, I just did.

We dropped it.  We told Jack we'd get him new earmuffs in the fall.  But something didn't feel right to me, so a little while later when Molly and I were hanging out I started to ask her a series of questions about the story to see if she'd falter.  That's right HIMYM fans, I lawyered her.  All of a sudden she knew the name of the boy who broke the earmuffs: Fred, from her class.  Spoiler alert, there is no one in her class named Fred. BUSTED!

How I Met Your Mother
Image via Giphy

It turns out I am still smarter than a five and a half year old.  She burst into tears and told me how she had broken them.  I made her tell her brother and her dad that she had lied, I pulled all of her pretty dresses out of her closet and told her she couldn't wear them for a week.  Jack was a really good sport about all of it...meanwhile Chris and I couldn't make eye contact with each other because we found this more amusing than parents are supposed to and our poker faces are terrible.

We told her she'd be skipping her allowance for two weeks to pay for new earmuffs.  We explained to her that had she told her the truth the only thing that would have likely happened was the payment and an apology, but because she'd lied things were worse.  She cried in her room for half an hour.  We reminded her that we loved her no matter what, and that she needed to tell us the truth in order for us to trust her. We also asked her to pick one more punishment - She's lost her "picks" for TV for a week, which means there's going to be a lot of Nexo Knights and super hero programming in our house courtesy of Jack.

Will she lie to us again?  Totally!  But hopefully this slows things down, or at the very least she'll become a better liar.  I can't get over how many bases she had covered in her web of lies.  As one of my BFF's said when I told her, "The teenage years are going to be fun".  Sigh.

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