Monday, August 25, 2008

The Culprit

All kids lie to get out of getting trouble. My 6 year old is no exception. It actually is human nature...avoid punishment at all cost. We work hard to establish trust early in life so that we have it during the horrible teenage years.

Both of our boys, however, are funny. About half the time, they actually admit to wrongdoing. Then I am faced with a quandary. Let me explain...

The cats are finally getting along for the most part. However, their play has gotten quite physical, to the point that I am getting kind of scared. Pumpkin's head is inside Minnie's mouth when they are "playing" and Pumpkin is taking big old bites at Minnie's stomach.
Exhibit A

So this afternoon, I noticed this:

See a bare spot?

and I mentioned it to Noah...

"Noah, I think Minnie has actually bitten a chunk out of Pumpkin's fur this time."

To which my honest little boy said,

"No Mommy, the scissors "slipped" and I cut some of his hair." And he actually brought the chunk of fur to me.

So here's the quandary...

Punish the boy for maiming the cat, or praise him for telling the truth at a moment when he could have actually gotten away scott free.

Here's what I did: First, I began with telling him how proud I was at him for telling the truth that he had hurt the cat and that if he had lied, he would have been grounded (which he has never been, but has heard about it and the idea scares him) for the rest of the week. Instead, he would be banned from using scissors (this is a big deal for him) until school starts and can't touch the cats until Friday.

I actually feel pretty good about the consequences. Last week he did something naughty (I don't remember what it was) and I couldn't think of a punishment to match it and he came right out and said, "Mommy, I thought you said that the punishment has to match the crime." It's weird what this kid actually hears and what things he doesn't.

Sometimes, however, it's hard to hide the truth...

Case in point, a few weeks ago, our little culprit must have gotten hold of a pen.

Can you see it on the lampshade?

How about the window blinds in the bathroom?

I would think a boy as intelligent as my little genius would think to write someone ELSE'S name to his artwork when writing on furniture.


Shannon @ Gabi's World said...

Our cats are doing the same thing! And I am so glad he told the truth! You did a good job with the punishment.

bethn said...

Good boy Noah for telling the truth. Our cats do the same thing. For the most part I let them go, but occasionally I break it up if I feel it's a little too rough. But usually it's more for me than for the cats. Kind of like when the boys fight.

Debbie Yost said...

I agree, you need to reward him for being honest, but there still have to be consequences to their actions. I think you handled it very well!

Deb - Mom of 3 Girls said...

I think Noah and Hannah have the same problem with signing their handiwork... :)

Oh, and guess who figured out how to get water out of the refrigerator this morning - so that I came upstairs to an extremely wet kitchen floor... Sigh. I don't know if she learned that from Aaron or just figured it out on her own - but I'm thankful for the 'lock' switch on the water dispenser! :)

Dad of Divas said...

I would agree with many about making sure Noah knows that you are proud of him that he told the truth, but also knowing that he needs to be more careful (and if that requires a bit of a consequence then so-be-it). You are doing a great job!

Courtney said...

Seriously glad you don't live close and I don't know you irl because Taylor and Noah would be dangerous together. Your stories of Noah remind me so much of Taylor, but this one I could have written myself. The telling on him(her)self, the punishment, crime comment and the writing of their own name on things they shouldn't be writing on. Never let these two meet and if they do definitely not hang out. It would be a scary, scary thing.

KC said...

LOL.. yeah you would think they would write a different name, but My Mr Man when he was about 5 did the same thing and wrote his name in the window frame of the bathroom.. goofballs.

Kellie said...

This post made me laugh!

Ah! Being a mom. Life would be so dull without bald spots on kitties and names of boys on lamp shades.

Your son has excellent penmanship by the way!

Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

This so made me laugh!

I too have a Noah and he has "monnogrammed" his name in several places too :)

Crack me up.

Elijah's Mommy said...

That's so funny that he signs his name!

You did a good job of dealing with the scissor episode.