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.
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.