Friday, February 25, 2011

Little Informant

Well I woke up in a spectacularly foul mood today.  How about you?

This just, happens, sometimes.  Even the sun peeping out for a bit this afternoon has not improved my mood.  Even the prospect of the book giveaway is not cheering me this afternoon.  In addition to feeling generally steamed, I am ready to strangle Harper right now.

Do you know what my six-year-old has been doing?  Hoarding raisins and fruit snacks in her bedroom.  I actually knew about this because she shared her secret with my mother and sister when they were here visiting last week.  (Yes children, we really do tell each other everything, sorry for the betrayal.)  I didn't bust her right away and actually found it sort of hilarious that she was keeping fruit snacks under wraps.  Apparently we are so stingy with the dessert around here that she felt the need to keep some backups at the ready.Although she told my mom and sister that she was saving them for a surprise for me - suspicious since she's surely never seen me actually eat a fruit snack.  Anyway I figured a time would come when I'd be able to call her on it, and I was right.

Today Michael told me that he had fruit snacks under his bed.  What?  So he showed me.  I asked where they came from and he told me he got them from Harper.  That's right eldest child of mine, your little brother can speak now, think twice about what you show/tell him.

So Michael took me into Harper's room and pulled a pencil case out from under her bed.  It was stuffed with fruit snacks.  There were also two empty fruit snacks boxes under her bed.  And you know what, while I don't want to encourage the children to hide food in their rooms, that isn't the part that bothered me.  The lying is what really gets to me.

Lie 1: I don't know where he got them.

Lie 2: He got them from the pantry.

Lie 3: I put the boxes in the recycling last week.

Lie 4: I don't have any more.

(Further coaxing reveals more fruit snacks and raisins in her purse.)

Lie 5: I didn't eat any of them.

Ugh. Even when she knows she's cornered she still lies!

From my experience teaching little kids I know that this is perfectly normal 6-year-old behavior.  They panic when they are cornered with their own wrong-doing and tell bold-faced-lies rather than give in to the evidence laid out before them.  I know this, but wow, I really hate being lied to.

I think I have said before that I believe it is actually good for kids to think they are getting away with something from time to time.  It strengthens their sense of self. So there are a handful of infractions that I will knowingly overlook, but lying is not one of them.

Now comes the tricky part - Matt and I will have to decide on a consequence for the food-stashing-and-lying-about-it.  What would you do?

Seriously, don't forget to enter the book giveaway and to tell your friends to come enter.  Comments open until Monday!


Emily said...

Urgh! Lying!! I'm in a foul mood today, too, brought on by serious potty training set backs. I've cleaned up so much poop today (from all 3 of them) that I haven't had time for much else.

I don't know exactly what I'd do, since she's older than mine, but another mom recently told me that she had to find each child's "currency" for discipline. Taking away what really matters to them - for one kid it might be TV time, for another it might be dessert, etc. But I'm still in time-out land, so I'd be interested to know what you decide for future reference. (because I think Katy and Harper have similar personalities and I will certainly be in this situation myself!)

Erin said...

I am not laughing at the situation. But I am laughing just a little bit. We deal with this stuff from cal aal the time (or so it feels). He has sticky fingers at school. We always make him explain to the teacher how legoes/ action figures/ markers come home "accidentally" in his pockets.

Heather said...

I know what you mean about the lying. That's what get us too. We haven't had this issue with food, but Wesley used to hide his toys all around the house for later access and it used to drive us nuts!

Sarah said...

I guess just don't let her have fruit snacks for awhile?

Swistle said...

Oh! I don't know either! Some of my kids have been experimenting with lying recently, and even though I've heard it's a stage, and even though I REMEMBER lying to my parents (and it REALLY NOT being a big deal: I remember my mother nearly weeping with frustration wondering why we would lie to her, and me thinking, " that I can do things the way I want to...?"), I STILL feel out of control and frantic when my kids do it, and I don't have nay idea what to do about it.

Swistle said...

NO idea what to do about it. ("Nay"?)

Chris said...

This one is so tough! We went through this before, and nipped it in the bud with the "I am angrier when you lie, so just tell the truth in the first place" routine. We still have to pull out that line, but the kids know to tell the truth now, as the outcome is better for everyone. At this point, too, delayed punishment might not have the effect you'd like. How about a good heart to heart talk (without Michael around to interrupt)? Good luck!

MamaK said...

Hmmm, what about no ____ (currency idea from earlier commenter) - but how many times depends on how many lies? and combine it WITH the heart to heart, so it's something like: well, Harper, we're really upset that you lied to us. And because you lied FIVE times, we're going to have 5 days with no dessert (or 5 toys taken away, etc)

just a thought, not anything i've had to try!

bluedaisy said...

I had no ideas originally but after reading the comments already made, I really like the heart to heart. I'm thinking keep it simple, she'll tune you out if it goes on too long. And a 5-7 day ban on fruit snacks for the lying? Just a guess though...good luck!

Kate said...

Colin lies so much that sometimes I really don't know when he's telling the truth. I understand your concerns. Kids will and do lie when they fear being severely punished... which can make punishment hard to decide on. For Colin the actual punishment comes when we don't believe him when he's telling the truth and then we're like..."well you lie so much how are we supposed to know the difference?"

I like the punishment that fits the crime--no fruit snacks for a certain amount of time would be on my list, too. But some of our best results come from letting Colin stew about what we're going to do to him and/or letting him choose a consequence for himself.

Good luck! (And I'll be asking your teacherly advice on many a thing soon!)

CARRIE said...

I hate the lying too. The first thing I thought of was bugs (from the food in the bedroom). For me the bug thing would be a close 2nd to the lying. My OCD in overdrive.