So, I was reading over at Kelly's blog about her frustration with a child's lying. I started writing a big, long comment and decided it morphed into a blog post.
Now, I am well aware that my world may be a different than most, but here's what our life is like with regards to lying. . .
I have a thing about truth. I do not lie. I am honest to a fault. I also have very little tact, but perhaps that is a post for another day! I detest lying. I would rather be irritated you did something stupid than not be able to trust you because you are a liar. I am a pretty good judge of truth-sayers and liars. I can usually ferret out a lie a mile away. Maybe it is 20 years in daycare, but kids can rarely get away with a lie from me . . . my husband is a horrid liar so he doesn't even try!
Dustin is a liar. It is compulsive. He will have pudding on his face and in his hair: he could have the spoon in his hand and the lid could be stuck on his forehead and he would swear he DID NOT have pudding. He will see me watch him hit the dog and look at my face and say, "What? I didn't touch the dog." His favorite thing to say is, "I did not do it, I was at school". He will say this even if it is Saturday. He is a blatant liar and a sneaky liar too. He refuses to tell the truth even when I say "I know what you did, I saw you" and even when I tell him the truth. He will lie till his toes curl up and die!
In my opinion the problem is two fold. One part is definitely brain damage. He has no object permanence, he cannot fathom how I would know he ate pudding if I did not see him do it. Here is an example from this weekend. Robert sent him downstairs for a cup of 7Up Saturday night. He took forever to come back upstairs. We knew he was getting into something. We did not know what. We were tired and did not care to fight about getting the truth. Sunday morning I cam downstairs to a HUGE sticky spot on the floor. A spot the size of 3/4 of a 2 liter of 7Up. When he came downstairs I asked him about it and he said, "I didn't do it." I said, "Dustin I know you spilled the 2 liter and you are not in trouble. It was an accident. I just want to tell you next time to let us know so we can clean it up before it gets sticky." He still refuses to 'fess up. I let it go. He knows. He knows I know. That is enough. Later, he said to me, "I thought it was disappear before you saw it."
It took me years to decide in my own mind that that is enough. I very rarely punish or give consequences for lying anymore. It wasn't working so why was I doing it?? It went against every grain in my body, but I had to give it up. It was doing nothing more than making me irritated and it was simply proving to his warped sense of fairness that I could not be trusted.
That is the second part in my opinion . . . TRUST. You cannot have honesty until you have trust. These kiddos are so broken and damaged to varying extents. If the child cannot trust how that adult will react, how can they bring themselves to be honest? Honesty tends to open them up for disappointment. Trust takes a LONG time.
Many of you will have varying degrees of success with squelching the lying. I am not sure that Dustin will ever trust us enough to tell the truth. I have decided that I need to accept where he is and it has to be enough for me.
What's your experience with lying? Any success?
Seventeen years, seventeen stories.
10 hours ago