Thursday, October 27, 2011

I wanna be your hands, I wanna be your feet.

My kid has a friend. A sweet friend. But... a friend who lies.

In our house, lying is one of the biggest offenses you can make. It is not tolerated, and there will be extra consequences doled out if you are found to have lied.

I have never really known / been friends with, or even acquaintance with, someone who was a habitual liar. (I take that back. I do have a friend like that, but I choose to overlook it. The lies aren't earth shattering ones, and haven't seemed to affect our relationship.) Personally I am a horrible liar. So I just don't. No poker face. So it's almost a foreign concept to me. My husband has been more, uh, ?privileged? in his acquaintances. He can spot a lie a mile away. He loses all respect for people like that. At this point in his life, having worked hard to be a person of integrity, he doesn't put up with it either. In fact, he's been known to un-friend someone (and we're not talking F@cebook here) who has this "habit". The whole, if "birds of a feather flock together," then he doesn't want to be included in that flock. I find that noble. Plus, no one likes to be lied to. It's like they didn't trust you enough with the truth? Didn't think you were worthy of the truth? It's betrayal. And that's, well, hurtful.

Why do people lie? I really don't get it. Defense mechanism? Bored? Learned behavior? What?!?! While the truth may not always be pleasant, isn't it much easier than having to back peddle, or to be caught lying? Eventually, people stop believing you. Isn't the stress of knowing you could be found out much worse than the truth itself? Even if it's a lie to build yourself up. Don't you think, as your friend, that I really care that you don't actually live in a mansion but instead live in a trailer? If the truth is too "undesirable" for certain people, do you really want them in your life anyway? 

But enough of the psychoanalyzing. Back to this child.

This child is likely going to be a friend of my kid for some time. I can already see the drama that this individual will bring to the relationship (and thus our lives), but nonetheless, it's one that will be at least semi-lasting. The lying has already affected my dealings with the parents (caused misunderstandings and uncomfortable-ness), and even caused trouble this evening. Not so much for me as for the "babysitter" and self. This child is very un-trusting. I'm not sure if it's just with me or with everyone. Given that my child has made the proclamation that "We don't lie" to said child, and that kid has also been caught (sort of, at least by me) in a previous lie about me, I get the feeling that the child is even more guarded and a bit skiddish with me. I'm much less worried about my kid learning bad qualities (for the time being), and more irritated by the fact that I'm being lied to, or told to be lied to. But, I'd also like to earn the trust of this child so that they don't (feel the need to) lie to me.

Can I just say, for the record, that MY KID ROCKS. Upon being told, "Just lie to your mom," my child rushed in and immediately told me what that kid said. HA HA! Foiled! It makes me beam with pride at the high moral compass that this child possesses. Not to be mistaken for being snooty or "better than", just that my kid knows right from wrong. Maybe I am doing something right, now and then.

Honestly, it may sound cheesy, but I want to be the kind of mom that kids trust and respect, that is fun but most definitely a mom. I want my house to be one where other kids come to hang out, one where my kids want their friends to come to hang out. (Granted, all this is in theory. The practicality of all the food and cleaning and noise that comes with that is something I have yet to grapple. There is a lot of work to be done on patience and tolerance.) Right now, I don't feel like my house is this place, but anyway, it's a goal. (If you've ever read any Karen Kingsbury books, I'm talking about Mrs. Flanigan. Now you know why I said cheesy. But seriously.)

My question is, is there anything that I can do to positively affect this child? How do I affect kids not my own? Anyone have any experience with this, as either a kid or a parent?

1 comment:

  1. First: I would love an entire family of Flannigans!!
    Second: My second-born child struggles with lying. She's terrible at it (thank goodness) and I'm not entirely sure why she does it except for the fact that I am fairly certain she has ODD. We also do NOT tolerate lying in our house and will increase or lessen consequences based on this. As a parent, I would want to know if my child had been caught in a lie, but I also know that not all parents feel that way. That being said, I guess the best thing you can do is let your family be a good example. Let her see the life that comes out of being truthful and if you do catch her in a lie, try to explain to her why it's wrong without making her feel like she's a bad person. I'm guessing that's what you're already doing, but that's the best advice I have to give.