19 months old
It was dinner time and she was sluggishly finishing what clearly wasn’t her favorite meal. But I knew she could finish it because it was her usual portion size and she didn’t get any snacks before dinner. After dodging the spoon for a bit, she looks at me and says “pee pee”. Now, we’ve been telling her to tell us when she needs to pee, that she’s a big girl and won’t need to wear diapers anymore if she can tell us regularly. So of course we want to honor her communication! As I’m unbuckling her from the highchair she’s got a sneaky grin on her face. I have a suspicion she might be playing me…but benefit of the doubt right? As soon as her bum lands on the toilet seat, she arches and says “all done!” I say, “No, you told Mommy you need to pee so you have to sit and pee.” But she screams and says “All done! all done!” I don’t want her to be traumatized by the toilet so I relent but WAS THAT NOT A LIE??
It was a fight to get her back into her highchair but I was determined…you don’t lie and then get what you want afterwards by not finishing your meal!! We employed the same tactic as when she’s defiant by turning her chair towards a blank wall. She finished her dinner.
This is problematic…if lying starts now, what is it going to be like in a few years? Or when she’s a teen? *shudder* Little lies now can grow into big ones like forgery or fraud. It’s severe and needs to be clamped down on in my mind. But what is an appropriate consequence of lying for this age?
Well the next time she lied about needing to pee or poo, I immediately stuck her in the bathtub, pants around the ankles and said, “You lied to Mommy about needing to pee and that is wrong. This is your punishment.” And then I turned my back on her. I let her cry for one minute, turned back to her and knelt at eye level. “When you say you need to pee, you have to tell the truth. Lying is wrong. Can you say ‘Sorry Mommy’?” She stops crying and dips her head towards mine; I touch my head to hers as I accept her apology. I tell her, “Next time only say you have to pee if you really have to pee. If you understand say ‘Yes Mommy’.” And she said “yes.” Okay then.
Well, next time she lied to Daddy. I prepped him ahead of time so he repeated the bathtub scenario and this time she tried to climb out. But she was quick to apologize and dry her tears and quickly go back to her chair to finish dinner. And we haven’t had to do that since…so hopefully lesson learned?
What have you done when your child lies to you?