I recently read about a little something called “The Mommy Dot”. Apparently, what you do is tell your child that when they lie a little red dot appears on their forehead, that only you can see. Then when you notice them covering their forehead as they tell you something you know they are lying. So let me get this straight. I would lie to my child to get her not to lie? Hmmmm. That is like biting to get them not to bite and hitting to get them not to hit. Now, there are people who say these methods are effective but that doesn’t make them right…or logical.
We want our kids not to lie. Especially not to us. Yet, I have recently discovered that parents may be lying to their kids more than the other way around.
Have you heard of Elf on a Shelf? If not, allow me to enlighten you. You take this (rather creepy) elf doll and place him in your home. Then every night you move him to a new location and the next day the kids look for him. Other than the elf looking creepy it sounds like a fun game. But here’s the kicker, the reason the elf moves is he hops down at night to go report on your child’s behavior to Santa. Therefore, they behave better because the (creepy) elf is watching. Let’s just look past the lie that the elf is moving around itself, because that could be equal to telling kids Santa is real and we’ll just let that one go (even though if it were me, I would have nightmares thinking that creepy little guy was walking around my house at night). Anyway…how about the lie that he is telling Santa if they are bad. Instead of making our kids behave properly, doing our job as parents, we should lie to them and get them to behave because the elf will tattle. And IF this gets them to behave, what happens after Christmas? What about the rest of the year? And what are the behaving for, because it is the rule, the right thing, the moral thing to obey mom and dad? No…for PRESENTS! What does that teach them??
The final parental lie I want to bring up can cover a lot of things. It is sort of the “I don’t want to deal with the way my kid acts when I tell them ___”. So you tell them the video playing shopping cart at the store is broken. Or the bakery just ran out of cookies. Or you have no more hot chocolate left in the house.
So parents lie and lie and lie to their kids but get very angry when their kids lie and want to make them stop (so they lie to them??). And these kids get older, you know. They become teens who quickly find out about all those “little” lies. What do you think a teenager, who finds out their parent(s) habitually lied to them, is going to do, and often? That’s right, LIE. Why not, it is what they were taught.
We live in a no lie zone. We do not tolerate lying in our house. Not from the kids OR the parents. We do not and will not lie to our kids and we make sure they know that. It isn’t always easy but it is worth it.
So how about everybody just man up (or woman up) already and be the parent. Quit lying to your kids and face the sometimes difficult parenting situations with honestly. Remember, kids learn what they live.