We all do it. You know, the little white lie. We lie to protect someone’s feelings (Honey, do I look fat in this dress?) We lie to get out of a commitment (I would love to see your vacation photos, but I have a cold/flu/broken leg/stubbed my toe.) We lie to avoid certain situations (I would love to take you to the amusement park, but they are closed on the weekends!) That last one bit me straight in the butt with my oldest daughter. I was a single parent, working as a waitress and barely making ends meet. The last thing I had money for was a day at Six Flags, but I hated to tell Chelsea, who was 6 at the time, I couldn’t afford it. So I told her they were closed. It took the heat off of me and she wasn’t harmed in the process. That is, until she found out I was lying! Apparently a child at school was very excited to be visiting Six Flags that Saturday and told Chelsea all about their plans. Chelsea told the child Six Flags was closed on the weekends and the other child told Chelsea she was full of beans. So, Chelsea asked her Dad and he promptly busted me, right there in front of my child! And we wonder why kids lie!
So, I had to come clean with my child. I felt embarrassed and ashamed and wished I had told the truth to begin with. I mean, what kind of an example was I setting for my child. Was I teaching her to avoid telling the truth? Well, no. From an early age, kids will lie. The question is why kids lie and what you should do about it. From as early as 2 or 3, toddlers will lie to get out of a diaper change or avoid taking a nap. As kids get to be 3-5, the lies become more fanciful as children at that age tend to blue the lines of reality and tell some whoppers of a tall tale. I know my kids did. This is often the age imaginary friends come into the picture and become the scapegoat for ill behavior. As kids get older, 5-9, and even into the tween years, they will begin to tell lies to get out of chores, homework or to even take the fall for someone else. With my youngest child, I have the opposite problem! He has a form of autism called Asperger’s Syndrome and he cannot tell a lie…seriously! You can read more about Henry in my post, Does Your Baby Act Differently, Know The Signs Of Sensory Processing Disorder and My Journey Living With A Child With Sensory Processing Disorder.
So we know why kids lie, but what do you do when your child lies? The best way to teach them about the truth is to lead by example. And for me, this meant explaining to Chelsea why I lied about Six Flags. You don’t go into deep details at that age about your motives, but I simply told her Mommy didn’t have the money and I was sad that I couldn’t take her, so I lied. She said maybe when we have more money, you can take me next time! Of course, when a child lies, there should be consequences to fit the age. What you don’t want to do is give the lie too much power. That just makes it too attractive and the kids will pick up on that in a heartbeat!
So, speaking of tell lies, have you seen the latest Netflix original series, Bloodline? Oh my stars, do the Rayburns have some deep dark family secrets. And trust me when I tell you, they will do just about anything to keep them from coming to the surface. The show stars Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights) and set in the Florida keys. The series follows a family caught between the ugly truth and the terrible lie that covers it up. I was hooked from the very first episode and finished the first season within 2 days (so who needs clean laundry anyway, right?!). Also on Netflix this month are plenty of programming about telling lies (and the consequences) for every age group. For the little ones, they can see Care Bears: Untruths and Consequences or Veggie Tales in the House: Lie-monade. For the older kids, they can see A.N.T. Farm: Pants on Fire or Jessie: World Wide Web of Lies. For adults, in addition to Bloodline, you can see Revenge, The Bling Ring or Pretty Little Liars.
Netflix is super easy to stream and it is affordable for virtually every budget. You can stream Netflix through your TV, tablet, smartphone, gaming system or computer for less then $10 a month! You can watch your favorite shows while you are in the carpool lane, at the doctors office or while relaxing at home. Be sure to follow Netflix on Facebook and Twitter.