Our Five Ring Circus: The Lying Game

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Lying Game

As a mom of four kids, I quickly learned that dealing with lies is just part of the parenting game.

We don't want to deal with it and we fully believe that our beautiful, innocent babies will NEVER tell a lie, but guess what?  It happens. That's just the harsh reality of parenting.

Sometimes you don't even realize your precious child is lying, but other times, it is blatantly obvious.

Case in point: My oh-so-innocent 3 1/2 year old recently told her first lie, after I discovered she dumped out an entire bin of toys just before we left the house.  When I asked her why she did it, she told me she wasn't the one who did it.  She told an elaborate story about how her friends came to our house while I was in the bathroom for THIRTY SECONDS, dumped out the bin, and left.  Her face was so serious that I was almost convinced she fully believed that was what happened. Unfortunately, she found herself picking up toys, which made us late for her playdate.  Lesson learned.  At least, I hope.

I later found myself laughing about it as I shared the story with my friends, but the important thing was that there was a consequence for her actions.  It's still hard to believe my sweet little girl would ever lie!


At age 8, Lexie doesn't lie much.  When she does tell a lie, it's usually just a partial truth with a few omitted facts, usually in the form of tattling.  She always comes clean!  

We can tell when Lexie is lying.  The guilt shows on her face and is evident in her voice. All it takes is one repeat question of "Are you SURE that's what happened?" and she spills the beans.  We always thank her for telling the truth, but she knows she will get a small consequence. We're always very reasonable with her, and she admits that she understands wrongful actions result in a consequence.  She really is a good kid.  She better stay that way as she grows! 

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Dylan is 10 years old now.  We're walking on that rocky slope of parenting a tween.  He is still a very sweet, polite, well-behaved boy, but every so often a "harmless" lie will slip out to cover up his poor choices. 

He recently had a book report due that was half of his grade.  He had a month to read the book and write the report, and I thought he was doing a good job. He reads at a reading level much higher than his grade, and enjoys reading.  I wasn't worried at all, but I regularly checked his progress and made him write down a recap of every chapter after he read it.  

When it came time to type up the book report, I read through the final written draft, then skimmed through the chapters to check his work.  What I discovered was that he picked out ONE sentence from each chapter and expanded on it, even if it wasn't entirely accurate.  

I was FURIOUS!  I know it was his very first book report, but his work was lazy. We immediately canceled all Friday night plans and I made him redo the entire report. I sat by his side as we went over every single chapter and wrote a proper recap.  While I do believe that he didn't quite understand just how big of a deal this book report was, he needed to learn that he can't just do a poor job and hope that the teacher never read the book.

Dylan did end up getting a 100% on his revised book report, but I made him tell his teacher exactly what happened and how we fixed it.   She was very proud of him for stepping up and admitting his mistake, and he was overjoyed when he came home with his graded paper.  I'm calling that one a win!


I fully believe that open communication and talking things out with our kids really helped.  They do understand our reasons for setting consequences and they know that we love them very much.  In return, they trust us.  I know we're in for new experiences when the teen years arrive, but I really do hope we are able to keep our line of communication open! 

As for my littlest dude, he'll never lie.  EVER. 


How do you deal with lying?

My children are just telling little white lies (and it better stay that way!), but the Rayburns, on the new Netflix original series Bloodline, are covering up some huge family secrets by lying.  Although I haven't had the chance to watch the show yet, I've heard great things about it. I even heard a few juicy spoilers, but I still added it to our watch list!

As for now, I'm continuing my obsession with streaming Gilmore Girls on Netflix. There's definitely an abundance of little white lies on that show, which often results in hilarious antics or a harsh dose of real life. If you haven't watched it yet, GO NOW.  Seriously.  It might even be worth watching a second or, ahem, a third time through!  

Netflix always has titles that are relevant to EVERY aspect of life!

Here are a few more Netflix titles about lying and consequences: 

                                                       For your little kids:
70197201 11749233
70287604 4167324
80011539 12868113
70254353 4103108
For your big kids:
80026692 11880484
ANT Farm
70106286 2181907
70258405 13018238
And for teens and parents:
80010655 13044733
70197037 11165109
70235174 11899351
70180057 9727888

Here's what's new on Netflix for kids and families:

80020132 12071612
70298991 12117837
80025273 13024257
SUPER-4 USA 571x800 002  1

Happy Streaming, my friends!  


*I'm a member of the Netflix StreamTeam.  All opinions are my own. I was given a free year of Netflix Streaming and promotional items in exchange for my monthly review.


  1. Such a great post girl. Lying sucks the first time Marissa lied to me my heart broke into pieces. We really try to explain lying as something that builds wall and separates us. That has seemed to work really well, but my girls are still pretty young.

    1. Thank you!
      The lies my kids have told have been very small, but I always stay consistent. I don't want to let things slide, but they do know the punishment is minimal if they fess up right away!

  2. That was interesting :)

    I think always confronting it and NEVER letting it slide, even if it's "cute", or very minor, is essential. It doesn't always have to be a major punishment, but just brought to the attention that it was wrong it sometimes enough. Sometimes letting the punishment for the crime slip by because they told the truth, that kind of thing. (Also never letting them overhear you retelling it, especially in a comical way. It can be encouraging them to do it again. Found that out the hard way!!)

    I hope because of that incident Lily's lying career will end before it starts, because Trust me- When they are good at it, life gets complicated! My 2, one like Lexie, easy-peasy, and always repentant, but the other...wow! Hello grey hair! Whether it's believable or absurd, she just says it in the most convincing manner that you almost want to believe it, even though you KNOW it's not true. Haha. And even then she just insists she's telling the truth. Ugh. Good thing she's cute!

    Have a good day :)

    1. I really, really hope the lies stay small! I completely agree on being consistent. The kids know the consequence is minimal if they fess up right away, and they always do!

  3. We have just gotten into, I don't know if I'd call it lying, but more like telling tales. Sometimes it's hard to tell if he's telling the truth or not. Other times he tells me he climbed the light post at school with his teacher, and I know pretty quickly it's a lie. I am filing your examples on how you handle it away for later, great insight! I love how you empowered Dylan and turned the situation around.

    1. Thank you, Lauren! Lily is definitely in the telling tales stage. Not too often, but it recently started. I'm hoping we can rein her in!

  4. My parents had a no tolerance policy on lying - getting caught in a lie was always MUCH worse than telling the truth. Even if the truth was "awful". We are the same way with our kids and have tried to reinforce that by "rewarding" them for truth telling - especially in those hard "I ate the cookie" "I broke the lamp" "I pushed her down" moments. We also keep a lot of scripture handy to help guide their actions. :)

    1. Exactly!!! Our kids know that if they tell the truth right away, the consequence will be very small. It didn't take them long to learn, and they always fess up immediately.
      Hope you have a great weekend!

  5. Yes, every once in a while, Lewie will tell a fib, but it's usually some sort of exaggerated story of some type. It's not a fib to get out of trouble... Still, I know that lying is inevitable, and as he gets older, I will need to be sure there are consequences. Thank you for your story about Dylan. I can absolutely see the same thing happening with Lewie, and I'll remember how you handled the problem. Congrats on that 100% You deserve it just as much as Dylan. He's such a sweet kid!

    1. That's exactly what Lily does!
      I was so mad at Dylan at that moment, but it turned out to be a great learning experience!


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