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Instead of the Dishes » Education, Featured, Mommyhood » When the Truth is Written All Over Your Face

When the Truth is Written All Over Your Face

Kid with Marker on His FaceTeaching my children about telling the truth has both surprised and challenged me as a mother.  I think I had the (unfounded) belief that children just naturally tell the truth, and that they wouldn’t start to tell bold-faced lies until they were old enough to really think through the process of having devious motivation, an alibi, and details to back their claims up.  It seems, though, that kids (at least, MY kids) are actually naturally wired to lie when they get into hot water, or even just when the mood suits them.

Callen, just two months shy of his fourth birthday, has recently stepped into what I call the “crazy lying” phase.  I was aware of and had labeled this phase only because Carina did the same thing at right about the same age. Her first “crazy lie” was that she had gotten in trouble for not bringing a monkey to preschool for show and tell, when ALL the other kids had brought a monkey, and she had brought a mouse, and so she wasn’t allowed to participate in show and tell, and sheee wasss soooo SAAAADDDDD!!!! WWWHHHAAAA!  At first, I was shocked and bewildered that I hadn’t gotten the memo about the monkey themed show and tell and had reassured Carina that I would talk with her teachers.  But, later in the evening, she mentioned that Ben had brought MONEY for show and tell. “Wait, so Ben brought MONEY and not a MONKEY for show and tell?”  I asked her.  The look on her face told me the cat was out of the bag.

Callen has been fudging on a few facts for the past couple weeks, so when he came upstairs from his nap with marker all over his face and claimed that he had no idea how it got there, I grabbed my camera.  Here’s his account. This clip is about 4 minutes long.  You don’t need to watch the whole thing to get the idea of what I’m dealing with, but if you watch long enough, you’ll see the sort-of confession.

So, just as with Carina, I had to explain to Callen in pre-school terms what a lie is, what the truth is, and why it’s important to stick with the latter. I explained that he’d get in more trouble for lying than he would for coloring on his face, and reiterated the idea that “mommy knows” when you are lying. I don’t know why I thought that the difference between a lie and the truth should be ingrained in their being, but it is not. Lie and Truth are just two more words to be added to the vocabulary, and it takes a while to learn syntax and proper application of each. It’s interesting to see them start to grasp the ideas and retrain their brains to use their powers for good.  I just hope my mommy brain can stay out in front of them.

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15 Responses to "When the Truth is Written All Over Your Face"

  1. Lucy says:

    Ha! That is hilarious! I thought children were too innocent to lie as well, and found out through Andrew that they are not. I have to check to make sure his hands are damp when he promises that he has washed them. They are often dry. I love Carina’s story about the monkey! Callen looks so freaking cute when he’s trying to get out of the marker incident. You can see his little wheels churning, and then he blames Carina. Definitely what my sisters and I used to do. He then moves on to ‘It was an accident that I drawed on my face.” How did you keep from laughing?? Fun post!

  2. That’s so cute. I am not looking forward to that stage!

  3. Nicole says:

    I’m with Lucy–he’s too stinkin’ cute! You were very calm. I probably would have yelled my head off!

  4. Liz says:

    Great post and so true. I fully agree with Lucy that he is so stinkin cute,I don’t know how you didn’t crack up. I love when he says “yeah” in that funny voice. I showed it to Arnaud and my Dad and we all got such a kick out of it. I volunteer at Amelie’s school every week and I am amazed how often the kids lie about dumb stuff like having a dog when they really don’t have one and things like that.

  5. Jessica says:

    Whatever Fawn the marker was totally possessed and scribbled all over his face! I am sure he tried valiantly to fight it off hence the green all over his hands too… 😉

  6. Fawn says:

    Thanks Lucy. I think I kept a straight face 1) because Carina prepared me for this and 2) because I was still so shocked that he would continue to lie to me so bluntly when he didn’t have anything to back it up!

  7. Fawn says:

    It’s definitely a challenge! Wishing you best of luck!

  8. Fawn says:

    I think having the camera rolling probably helped in this case too. Once kid number two starts pulling stunts like this, you kind of get used to it.

  9. Fawn says:

    It’s definitely some interesting psychology. My favorite is when he says, “ok, ok, ok, here’s the truth…I …did not…do it.” I had to keep reminding myself that he doesn’t really think I’m that stupid.

  10. Fawn says:

    LOL Jessica. Remind me to never let Callen hang out with you! I’m sure it won’t be long til he’ll be telling stories like that to try and improve his lies. Sometimes raccoons are involved in Carina’s illegal activities.

  11. Ashlee says:

    Seriously glad to hear I’m not the only parent dealing with this stage. Perhaps my kid got there a little earlier than yours. Ugh. I’d have to say one of our biggest issues is the “Daddy said I could…” When in fact Daddy did not say that. We also have the hand washing and tooth brushing lies. Interestingly enough, my kid is pretty good at telling the truth when it comes to the serious things in life (i.e. why is your sister crying, did you hurt her, etc.) But the things that are minor (did you pick up your toys, Did you eat all of your peas, etc.) are the things we seems to have more issues with.

  12. Ashlee says:

    Ok, this is so ironic. My kid just came up to me with a piece of candy and said hey mom this is the last one. I said have you been eating chocolate candies. She said no. I said tell me the truth. She said yes. And their was chocolate on her face so it was literally written all over. Had to share.

  13. Bob Barnett says:

    OMG! The whole four minutes of the video are ABSOLUTELY worth it!

  14. Beth says:

    I love it. This is such a hilarious slash frustrating phase. And we are SO there – early. I have a feeling Miss Ainsley will ride out all the phases over an extended amount of time. Le sigh.

  15. Fawn says:

    If you like veggie tales, check out the story of THE FIB. My kids love it, and it helps drive the importance of telling the truth home.

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