The three to four year old time in your kids life is awesome. They are starting to "get it". They can speak a little bit better then your drunk college buddy after a 24 pack of PBR. GOD BLESS AMERICA.
But during this time something happens to them. They grasp the idea that mommy and daddy don't always SEE EVERYTHING and you sure don't KNOW EVERYTHING either. Its not that they are trying to be a mastermind criminal here. They just realized that they don't HAVE to tell the truth. Catch them in the act immediately. DON'T wait til next time. Because next time will not happen the next time and you will have what one of my buddies has in lying ass brat siblings.
My buddy is always on the straight and narrow path. Always tells the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but. To a fault. But for some reason his two younger siblings lie about the DUMBEST SIMPLEST $h!%. The parents obviously know that Dumb and Dumber are lying but won't do or say anything about it. It will be about "who left the tv on?" or "Who didn't put the ice cream back" STUPID STUPID reasons to lie but they do. (I'm not saying there are smart reasons to lie but why break a the 9th commandment on that??? Use it to avoid Jail time or a speeding ticket. Not costing dad a few extra cents to the electric bill!)
They will test you. They will lie like Barry Bonds on trial for ROIDS. (WE ALL KNOW YOU DID IT BARRY! YOUR HEAD GREW 2 FULL HAT SIZES AT 35! THAT $h!% DON'T HAPPEN TO ANYONE!!!)
Well back to catching your kid being a little @$$hole liar and try to figure out why the bastard is lying.
1) Avoiding trouble - obvious right.
They are trying to dodge a bullet. Avoid a punishment. Not catch a chin check. (just kidding. Do NOT hit your children) When this happens focus on the fact that they lied and how hurt you are. Don't focus on the act that caused them to lie. Focus on the fact you KNOW they lied. Let them know that it hurts you knowing your sweet boy/girl/demon spawn LIED to you. Let them know that if they continue to lie to you, you won't be able to trust them. Make it a one man drama show (WIN THAT OSCAR!) "Oh Billy! I cant believe you lied to me. It hurts my feelings sooooooooo much to know you lied to me. I love you and can't believe you would not treat me with the same love". Make them understand the pain it caused that they lied to daddy and mommy. Once they get that. Go back to the crayola "cave man" style painting that low is on display. BUT FOCUS ON THE LIE!
It's our job to be the "moral police". We as dads are setting the ground work for our kids behavior in the future. Don't brush this off. This is a big deal. I know some parents who have never really put this as a priority in their child's lives.
2) Gain attention -
"Daddy, did you know that my friend has a dragon for a pet and we flew to Disney Land".
Now this is a harmless one. In my opinion. But when your child is spewing nonsense help them understand whats their imagination and whats real. Then ask them why and how did they come up with that very creative "story". When your child is bringing up bush league material to the convo they need some attention. Take a few minutes from what your doing and just chat with your kid.
3) Bragging -
"My daddy once help Batman fight Mr.Freeze and he got frozen but broke out and then they sent Mr.Freeze to jail but he broke out with his ICE CANNON. So MY DAD flew in the bat plane .....(you get it)
From what I've read this is connected to low self esteem or not feeling connected to peers. If you hear your child telling some tall tales. Start playing with them more. Build them up. This isn't going to happen over night. It will be a process. But the time you take to do this will be worth it.
Be the Moral Compass of your family. Your kids are watching you. Monkey see, Monkey do. Be a Dad with Swag.
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