Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire


My little one is old enough for little white lies. She's not the one doing the lying. I am (hangs head in shame at this now public confession).

Lying_to_children

All of the sudden, my baby is a person who can understand others, have conversations and express her needs...which means I have begun to lie to her. It certainly wasn't part of my plan. My lying seems to have developed out of expediency…

When she wants to visit the neighbor's daughter and I don't feel like it..."Jane's at school right now" (on a weekend).

When she wants to watch Elmo on my smartphone for the thousandth time..."The phone's not working" (someday, it's going to ring at the same time I'm expressing this falsehood).

When she asks for a cookie..."they're all gone" (not really, just not interested in a sugar high right now and/or more for me later).

When she wants to go to the indoor pool at my gym..."The pool is closed" (way too much hassle to take her to the pool every time she asks)

I could go on. There are more. And I have an overarching rationalization for them all. It's just that I reprimand her and say "no" so much during the day…."stay out of the garbage", "the markers aren't for furniture", "you can't come up on me while I'm cooking"…on and on.

Why not make a few of the "no's" not about her or me? Why not blame some of the "no's" on an external source? She seems to like these other reasons better too, which means fewer power struggles and tantrums.

That's better for both of us, right? 

But I know there are insidious downsides to this philosophy too. When she's a bit older, she's going to catch on and I'm gonna get busted in a lie. Talk about undermining my own authority. I don't think I'm ready for that interaction. Eventually, I'm going to have to really tell her the truth, which is that "mama sometimes says no, and you have to listen whether you like it or not". I'm merely delaying the inevitability of this stoic life lesson. 

And, ethically, can you ever really get away with a lie? I'm not sure. 

I don't know if I'm strong enough to be take a more ethically pure stance on this issue right now, though. It seems so much easier to tell her what we both want to hear. 


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 Photo Source: Stallio, Flickr, this photo has been altered and does not suggest the licenser endorses it or this blog.
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90 comments:

  1. I am not ready for when Violet can ask things whennindont want to or can't do them. She is pretty easy to distract at 11 months! LOL

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for linking up to Raising Imperfection!

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    2. Enjoy the calm before the storm, Leslie!

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  2. It's so easy to tell these white lies, and they land you both in a soft space. I fear the terror of when kids figure out the lies. My brother still at age 30 talks resentfully about lies he was told in childhood to make things easier on him and my parents.

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  3. My kids are both past the stage where I can get by with that. They are both too smart for their own good. LOL How I miss those precious days you describe!

    Kathy
    http://gigglingtruckerswife.blogspot.com

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    1. ha, ha! I'll be there sooner than you think.

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  4. I'm with you. I fudged the truth with Allie until one day she said, I know you are kidding me. Of course, that was when she asked me for a cupcake. I told her there were none left...as I was licking the frosting off my finger

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  5. I am in fear of this all the time! Reagan is SO going to catch me and it is going to suck! She is already two going on thirty and I am scared for my life when that day comes!

    ¤´¨)
    ¸.•*´
    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo
    www.raising-reagan.com

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for linking to Raising Imperfection.
      Please come back Friday to see if you were featured. :)

      ¤´¨)
      ¸.•*´
      (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo
      www.raising-reagan.com

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    2. Congratulations Rachel ~ You were the most clicked post from Raising Imperfection and were featured at Feature Fridays today!
      Don't forget to grab the feature button and put it on your blog!!

      http://raising-reagan.com/2013/03/01/feature-friday-week-16/

      ¤´¨)
      ¸.•*´
      (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo
      www.raising-reagan.com

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    3. I'm going to get nailed, too! Thanks for the feature, Lanaya!

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  6. I have friends with a little boy who just turned three, and their standard way to get him to be quiet is to say "Jack is sleeping". Jack is the tennant who lives downstairs. It worked well, until they found themselves saying it one day ... at the supermarket ... while Jack was pushing the trolley. Funnily enough, it didn't work so well after that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ha, ha! I have a feeling everyone gets caught.

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  7. I do not think you are alone in this one.

    Plus, kids don't always get the real reasons why things are the way they are. My mother-in-law told my husband that his dogs went to live on a farm whenever they died. Probably better for him, you know?

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    Replies
    1. My mom did this to me when I was 12. I kinda didn't believe her, but I still haven't asked...to this day!

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  8. Actually, I admire that you must be doing it convincingly because when I try to tell my son that there are no more cookies, he gets a chair, pushes it over to the pantry, opens the door and points at them like I'm the dumbest mom in the world. Or else he cries and I end up giving in or distracting him with an equally appealing thing (to him, not me) like "oh, but I wanted to chase you now!" (which is also a total lie because I almost never want to chase him)
    I like the idea that not every no is just because of us.

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    Replies
    1. Well, I don't know how long it's gonna last!

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  9. At least you admit lying. There's so many that look at it and validate by lying that they don't do it. All parents have, and probably will in the future. It's a tool of sorts, to give us a little peace and quiet. Why, even on the eve of the most religious Christmas holiday, we tell our kids to get to bed early so Santa doesn't catch them awake and leave without giving them presents! lol Great job!

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    1. I like to think of Santa as imagination. Not lying! Maybe, I'm lying to myself!

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  10. White lies are common amongst parents. I guess this is where our children first learn to tell lies and get pretty good at it. Everyone of us can relate to the brief moments of peace after such fabrication and if we are all honest we love it. This is why we keep doing it time and time again.

    However, I go think there should be limits set for stretching white lies. For instance, we shouldn't go over board when a child truly cannot sing by telling him/her..."That's great!" Okay, it's alright when they are small, but after they hit their teens then it's gotta stop. You find these same kids later as young adults auditioning for Idol and then all of America is laughing at how bad he/she is. That's not good.

    Good post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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    Replies
    1. I still don't know how I feel about it, even after writing this post!

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  11. That's cute and funny :)
    No worries, all moms know we haven't got much of a choice with our little ones so sometimes we do have to slip a lie or two for their own benefit (ok, it's more for our own). But I'm sure God forgives us, we are moms, everyone forgives us :)

    Hugs

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  12. I think most of us are guilty of that one! When a toy is missing and I can't find it before bed time, or if he asks for a certain TV show, I say "The Hulk is sleeping right now", or "Mickey is too tired to play". Joy of having little ones that don't know any better yet!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. New follower from the Let's Be Friends Bloghop!
      www.mandiestwocents.blogspot.com

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    2. It's so much easier than saying "No"!

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  13. Gosh i'm thankful I am not to that stage yet. I can see how easy it would be to slip a few in there! No advice from me...you're doing great I'm sure,

    Tiffany

    New follower from the Let's be Friends blog hop!

    www.littlegems3.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Enjoy it while you can. We all get there!

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  14. I love it. The picture is hysterical!!

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    1. Yes, it is. I can't take credit for it, though!

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  15. Totally with you on this one Rachel and figure I will just cross that proverbial bridge when I get to it!!

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  16. Betcha' more folks have done it than not. ;)

    Visiting today from Raising Imperfection. :)

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  17. Followed you over from "Let's Get Social Sunday". I have a 15 month old daughter who does not ask questions yet, but knowing my personality I will be the lying type as well. This gave me a good laugh. Thanks for sharing. Will be following :)

    Jackie
    www.thenonmarthamomma.com
    www.facebook.com/TheNonMarthaMomma

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  18. My favorite lie to tell my son is "the ipad needs a new battery." It usually is low so I plug it in but it gets him off and us out playing without the huge meltdown that usually ensues. New follower from the Sunday Parenting Party.

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    1. I just say it's not working. I like the needs battery excuse. You've got my thinking!

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  19. Love it - but now that my oldest is nearly 5 there are very few white lies I can get away with. But to her younger 3 year old brother they flow freely from my hypocritical lips!! Great post as usual! Em x

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    1. Three, huh! That's pretty good. I hope I can make it to 3.

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  20. Mum lied to me growing up all the time. White lies never do children harm, it's for their own good.

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  21. While I am getting away with it I will continue to keep telling white lies. Izzy is three now and she is quickly catching on!

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  22. Super blog! Your newest follower here from the Nice to Meet You hop! Want to follow me back?
    Here's my link: http://monicasrrr.blogspot.com
    Thanks
    Monica

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  23. Hi! I followed you through GFC. I hope you could return the favor. :)

    Thank you.
    http://www.facebook.com/thedracoprincess
    http://thedracoprincess.blogspot.com/

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  24. The lies just get worse...then u start lying to other mothers... And then to yourself....it's a downward spiral...

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  25. I can't get much past my kids anymore. Sigh.

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  26. It's a tough balance. But maybe as she gets older, she'll be able to understand the "Tao of No" a little better, too, so that you won't be just laying the groundwork for a tantrum when you say it!

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  27. My Grandboy is a pretty smart 5 year old and I can't fool him very often.
    Sropping by and following from the Tea on Tuesday Social Hop.
    Have a lovely week!
    With Smile,
    Angie at http://snackcupsandsmiles.blogspot.com/

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    Replies
    1. It's a good thing. Like you said, it means he's smart.

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  28. Hi I am a new follower to your lovely blog and found you through Nice to Meet You {Blog Hop}. I would love it if you follow me back

    my blog: www.wilsontom.blogspot.com

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  29. Its a right of passage for us parents. We have to go through that faze in life where our children are gullible enough to believe everything we say therefore we stretch the truth a bit to save our sanity! Enjoy it while you can. One day she will walk up to you and say "Yeah, right mom, I know that's not true!" and you will wish she was young again. Thanx for linking up on Messy Moms Messy Monday!
    Danielle from Messy Moms Radio

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    1. Gullible! Great word! Yes, you are right. There will come a day when she doesn't believe ANYTHING I say!

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  30. The white lie phase only lasts so long. My daughter is now 5 and I think she became a lie busting ninja around 3. I blame preschool!

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  31. I have told my kids so many lies that I don't even remember 1/100th of them. The best one is the dragon eggs. My MIL gave them these painted eggs for Easter and they would chew on them and the paint would peel off so I put them in the attic. A year later the kids found them and I told them they were dragon eggs (thanks King of Thrones) and they haven't touched them since.

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    1. I don't think that's lying. I think that's creative!!

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  32. Oh boy. My little one is only 2, so she's pretty honest yet. I'm not ready for the white lies!

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  33. I raise three step-children, co-parenting with a woman whose ideas on parenting I do not agree with. She has taught the older girls (8 and 5) to do these white lies to the younger one (just turned 2) and I don't like it, mainly because, as you said, soon they will be smarter than that. One day, she's going to realize that we've all been lying to her, and I don't want her to look at us and see people she doesn't recognize. I also think, teaching why I say no, is more important than how easy it is to not deal with a tantrum. Believe me, I do it every once in a while. It's so much easier, rather than sitting on the kitchen floor while she screams for a piece of chocolate that she can't have right now, waiting the 20 minutes until she's calm enough to have a conversation with me about a new concept so large and vague. But, since I have the older children, it's important to me that they learn that we (or me and their father, leastways) don't lie, that it's not ok to lie, so that they learn this lesson.

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    1. Yeah. I'm with you. I don't think I would want to lie in front of older kids. That is not a good message to send.

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  34. I always try to prevent myself from lying to my kids and spare the hassle in the long run. I simply say "NO!" and they would say "But why, Daddy!?" and I would just say "Because I said so, that's why! Now beat it before I smack your butts!"

    Works every time!

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  35. Hi there! I have ventured over from the GFC blog hop. I'm enjoying this little peak into your world! Just lovely! XOXO, Mandi @ All My Happy Endings

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  36. Oh those lies, those lies..... I can't tell them anymore, the boy sees right through even the most obscure ones. He also attempts to have rational discourse when he disagrees with my "take" on the situation. Even "because I said so" is greeted with the child following me around the house arguing non-stop....I miss the good ole days!

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  37. You'll just have to get more creative as she gets older. At least, that's what works for me. (shhhh, don't tell anyone!). I find it helps to make them so incredibly outrageous that they end up laughing and forgetting what they asked for in the first place. I'm hoping that'll keep me out of liar's hell when I die. :)

    "No, puppy didn't die! Aliens needed to take her to their planet to study her and make copies so every little boy and girl could have one too!" This doubles as an excuse for never having to 'go to the farm to visit' after I lied that said puppy went to live on a farm (especially since we live in a farming community). And even I couldn't believe a dog would wanna move to the city. :)

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    1. Yes, that's creative NOT lying. There is absolutely a difference!

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  38. Haha. It's definitely easier to tell those little white lies sometimes. My biggest, and probably last lie standing...Santa. I was sure that last year was going to be the last year, but alas, the he's already making a Christmas list this year. Just yesterday he asked me if I believe in Santa. I said, "Yes." And I said it with confidence. I'm pretty sure I'm going to hell. Stopped by from Shell's place!

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    1. Oh, that's sweet! I think Santa is imagination, not lying!

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  39. How on Earth have I never stumbled upon your blog so far?! I'm totally a new fan! Thank goodness for the YKITAYHT blog hop! I, too have flaming pants. I have no plans to extinguish them until absolutely necessary! Great post! P.S. If someone uttered the words "Geriatric Pregnancy" within a country mile of me, I may have done something that I couldn't take back! :)

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    1. Aw, thanks, Jen. What a sweet thing to say!

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  40. Oh I hear you. I tell these lies all the time too with my three year old... and then get on him for telling me fibs. Sometimes it is just easier than always being the bad guy. Although every time I do it I think that one of these days he is so going to bust me too!

    Thank you so much for linking this up at my Oh HAPPY Day party!

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  41. My kids are too old for this now too. I still do it and now they just laugh at me and say "really mom" so we have turned it into a joke. I'm not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing??? Listen momma whatever gets you and your little ones through the day - no judging here!

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  42. Theres a time and place for a little white lie now and then... for example our ipad is constantly needing to be charged because I can't face the 'cry till you puke' reaction of the toddler when I tell him his time is up!

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  43. I'm so guilty of this, too. It just seems easier to say something like the pool is closed than to say well, I have to clean the house and I'm too tired to take you to the pool, too. Closed, they understand, the truth, notsomuch.

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    1. Yes, I also don't want her to hear that mommy is tired all of the time. I don't think that would be great either!

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  44. I love your blog posts! Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop your participation is what makes it so much fun. Hugs!

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    1. Oh, thanks, Katherine. What a lovely thing to say!

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  45. I'm so glad my daughter's still easy to distract. I can definitely see the temptation looming round the corner for this to happen though. I'm jealous about the pool at your gym. You have no idea how badly I'd love to take my baby to a pool without paying crazy high membership fees and driving at least 30 minutes.

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  46. I feel you, I have done this a few times with Penny, I try not to, but they don't understand the bigger reasons and she can be so single minded that sometimes I just have to tell her the the babies on my ipad went night night and she can play with them later... I just keep telling myself when she is older and has better reasoning skills I will stop.. here's hoping I do. Thanks for linking up!

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