The Girl Who Cried Wolf

My daughter is a beautiful, intelligent, creative and funny little girl, I know all mum’s think that but mine is and woe betide anyone who say’s differently, if you don’t believe me just see what she did for Valentines day.

Pretty lovely isn’t it, so she is all these these things, she is also it would appear prone to telling the odd white lie.

Don’t get me wrong she’s no Frank Abagnale (made famous in “Catch Me If You Can”), she doesn’t lie at tests or to make friends or to get things, I don’t even think she means to, she doesn’t lie constantly or maliciously but tells silly little white lies often enough to worry me. I remember a time when I knew if I asked my children a question I would get the absolute truth as they just didn’t have the maturity to do otherwise, I’m not sure when that changed but it scares me.

First of all I should say I have a bit of a “thing” about lying, a failed marriage which involved hidden money problems and hidden girlfriends will do that to you so maybe I am over reacting to what are after all childish little tall tails or denials, maybe you can decide.

Ok a couple of examples and I know even before I write this these sound incredibly petty but here we go.

So a couple of days ago we were talking about the forthcoming valentines day and my daughter had previously told me one of the boys at school had got a card and as little boys will do had thrown it in the bin, obviously embarrassed by this unwanted attention (I know just give it a few years). As we sat round the dinner table that night, Rachel claimed no-one in her class got a card, I questioned “what, no-one at all”, nope she was adamant no-one had a card, several varaitions of this question resulted in the same answer. “What about the boy who threw his card away?” I asked, “oh yes him but that didn’t count because I’d already told you.”

Ok silly I know and not a lie a such, she probably just forgot but what worries me that when questioned her instinct is deny, deny, deny or change her story until confronted with  the truth when she will promptly stomp off in a huff.

Ok example no 2 and I warn you now it contains bodily fluids! So yesterday before leaving the house I went to the little girls room only to find an unpleasant mess had been left by someone in the toilet, enough said. I shouted out to ask half jokingly who hadn’t bothered to flush the toilet? I was met with denials on all sides, so ok not a problem and quite a common occurrence and I’m really not that anal (pun intended) to actually get that upset about it, what upset me was no way was anyone owning up.

I admit I over reacted but this was the last in a long line of silly denials or stories so I said no-one was going anywhere (my son was due to attend his drama class) or playing with any gadgets tills someone owned up, my daughter even stated it couldn’t have been her as she had been in her room making the above video.

At this my son disappeared crying and it was pretty clear who the culprit was. I asked my daughter had she been to the toilet this morning, yes she had, had she flushed, yes she had, was it possible she didn’t actually flush, with a sullen pout she muttered yes it was possible, fine problem sorted off to drama, as if we hadn’t had enough already.

Now I know these are of no consequence in the bigger, I know in fact these are really insignificant childhood actions, my daughter is still a lovely, thoughtful, helpful little girl but what if as she gets older, the lies become about where she is going or who she is meeting and of course what she is doing with them? What if the lies become more complex and I can no longer confront her with the truth?

I know also all over the world white lies are told every day, do you like me new dress, not really but who would say that? Parents are probably the worlds worst, Easter Bunnies, Santa Clause and the Tooth Fairy to name but a few, is it ok if it’s for a nice reason?

Is this normal pre-teen behaviour, am I (and it has been known) over assessing things? How or can I stop it? Do I just accept this is part of growing up and hope she never feels the need to lie to me about bigger things? Am I making her defensive and unhappy by questioning her?

Can anyone tell me the answers, I think I missed this parenting class.

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