This weekend I overheard my son telling a couple of big fat whoppers to some other kids at a party.
“I’m on level 9 of Skylanders,” he boasted. “And I have a Smart Watch, I totally talk to my wrist and can make phone calls from my watch”
Fact: He has never played Skylanders (whatever that is.) And he does not own a Smart Watch (whatever that is.)
You may call it creativity, showing off, a fib. I call it a lie: an untruth.
And it worries me.
It worries me because this is not the first big fat whopper I’ve heard out of the mouth of someone I thought was so innocent, honest, bright and un-sneaky. But it’s not. I’ve heard him telling his sister and friends small, insignificant lies. And I’ve caught him telling bold-faced lies, right to my very face. About small things, but ….
I can understand boasting and showing off; peer pressure and all that. I can forgive a little creative license. But I will not tolerate down-and-out mendacity. Where does it come from? What motivates it?
Every day, I try to teach my kids to be kind, to have good manners and to be happy. And very, very silly. These are the values that matter most to my husband and I and which we model. Now I realize that we have to add reinforcing and reassuring that telling the truth always trumps deception. I guess that security plays a big role in this. A child needs to understand that there is so more to be gained by spilling the beans than covertly hiding them. But don’t get me wrong, there will be also consequence when whoppers are discovered, especially if their motives are dubious.
I guess I would be lying if I told you this parenting business was a cake walk. Are your kids liars? How do you handle it?