The first time my kid lied to me was when she was three. I mean, intentionally-knew-what-she-was-doing lied. I was a bit shocked. So shocked, that my jaw dropped and I had to do that nervous WTF?! laugh that I do when I am in utter shock.
It was so disappointing to me that she lied to try to get her way on something. She was using her manipulating skills in full force that morning and the cherry on top was the lie. I’m not sure why I was so shocked since I was a chronic liar when I was a small child. She is 50% me, after all.
I still distinctly remember my dad saying to some relatives that I lied so much, he wasn’t sure what to believe and could not tell what was made up anymore. In my defense, most of the time they weren’t lies in my head – they were usually embellished versions of the truth. I mean, I enjoyed making up stories and making the truth a little more colorful so that it could be a bit more entertaining, shocking, or fun! Nothing wrong with that kind of creativity, right?
My first memory of lying was when I somehow finagled $5 from one of my classmates in second grade. I don’t really remember how I convinced them or why I even got the money, but when I came home with money in my pocket and my parents wondered where it came from, I lied. My parents had a hard time believe that a second grader would’ve just handed me $5 for no reason at all. They were right.
Fortunately (for my parents), I grew out of this lying phase in elementary school. After that, I was a terrible liar. I somehow lost all my ability to lie – my parents could see immediately if I was not telling the truth. It also wasn’t just my parents, but anyone – teachers, friends, people on the street. Oh well, so much for my career in lying.
I think it was a disappointment to me because I actually value truth telling a lot and because I am afraid that my daughter will someday lie to me about something big and scary. I want her to feel that she can tell us anything – no matter what.
After her lie, we had a discussion about why it was important to tell the truth – especially to us. It was also a great reminder to me of why it’s important to be a united front when you co-parent. Oh, and she got her 3 minute time-out.
Do you remember when your kid first lied to you? Do you remember the first lie you ever told?