Smarties, Pixie Stix and dried mangos.
These are some of the items that my daughter sneaked over the past couple of weeks while my husband and I weren’t looking. What’s worse is that she got caught and then lied about it.
I’m obviously not OK with her sneaking Smarties before breakfast on a Monday morning, but I’m even more not OK with lying about it. She’s just like me . . . she’s a terrible liar. We are just about even in our ability to lie. We both freeze up, can’t think of any answer to give and begin to sweat uncontrollably.
Unlike my 7-year-old daughter, though, I have learned my lesson. I don’t lie. I don’t even put myself in a situation where I am going to have to lie. I may be the most honest person alive.
We tell our daughter to keep life simple. This is advice that everyone should jot down in their life notebooks. Don’t be dramatic, don’t jump off a bridge and don’t lie.
One night after taking my girls out to dinner, we came home, played a board game and then started to get ready for bed. I asked my daughter to bring something to the kitchen while I gave her sister a bath. When she came back, I noticed her tongue moving around in her mouth – as if she was cleaning something out of her teeth.
She was caught. There was nowhere to go. It took a couple of minutes before she finally gave me the answer to my question, “What are you eating?” All I got out of her was “food.”
Food? We just got back from dinner! What could you possibly have found in the kitchen that was better than what you had at dinner?
She stuck with this answer for a couple of minutes until she asked if she was going to be in trouble if she told me the truth.
“You are not going to be in any more trouble than you already are for lying to me, sweetie,” I responded.
She finally admitted that she ingested a piece of dried mango while she was down in the kitchen. I said thank you and told her to stop sneaking food and candy when we aren’t around.
We don’t give our kids candy, cookies, cake and other sweets on a regular basis. Maybe this is where we are going wrong. They have resorted to sneaking the items they get from parties, or the random sweets we sometimes have in our house, when we aren’t looking.
If our kids eat some veggies with dinner (not fruit, mind you . . . veggies), they might get a Popsicle or a cookie for dessert. A cookie. One single cookie. We don’t load up a bowl of ice cream with M&Ms, chocolate syrup and nuts.
We are trying to instill in them good eating habits, but by doing that, I am raising a liar. I am not OK with that.
I’ve been told by my reader fan base that they love reading my column because I write about a lot of things that they experienced as parents years ago. I would be happy if that fan base would write to me and advise me what to do on this topic. How do you stop the habit of lying?
Angela Borchert is a freelance writer who lives in Vacaville. Reach her at email@example.com.