Sunday, August 5, 2007

A Problem With The Truth

We bought groceries today and one of things that I always get the kids on grocery day is drinkable yogurts. So when we get home Super Z says, "Mom, Can I have a yogurt, please?"
And I said yes, because I like him. I also warned him that he could only have one today. He loves them and would drink all ten, one right after the other, if I allowed it. So he saunters off, nodding in agreement. 2.5 seconds later he is back, " Mom, I need another yogurt."
"No, Z. I said only one today." He whines a bit then wanders off. A few minutes later I notice that the door to his room is closed. I check the fridge, because I know the signs of sneakiness, and sure enough a second yogurt has gone missing. I go back to his room to tell him that this one is okay, but if he doesn't listen to me he will run out of snacks before next weekend. Honestly, that was my plan. There was no evil punishment in store for him, after all he is 4.
Well, he must have thought otherwise, because before I could get half way down the hall, he comes running out of the door yelling, " I didn't have another yogurt, I didn't!"
I simply raised an eyebrow ( my secret move) and told him to bring me all of the empty yogurts out of his room and then I went back to check the fish. 15 seconds later, out of the corner of my eye, I see him sneaking a yogurt carton into the trash. So here he is, caught red handed.
"Z, how many yogurts did you have?"
"One, Mom! Only one!"
The deceit went on for 15 minutes. The whole time I am trying to explain to him that it is worse to lie than to sneak the yogurt. He was having none of it. Deny was his middle name. Finally, finally, after much coercion he admitted the truth. I tried to talk to him about what he'd done wrong. I tried to explain that it is wrong to not tell the truth. I said things like, "Z, when Mom asks you something, you have to tell her the truth. Okay?"
Pretty much the only response that I was able to get was, " I am sorry I took it, Mom. I wanted it really bad."
How do I get him to understand that the main problem was the lie? Any advice, sage readers?


Amanda said...

I don't have any advice. My son is only 1 and already he is giving me a defiant look and then doing exactly what I told him not to do. I'll be reading here to see what the more experienced moms have to say LOL!

Heather said...

I try to let natural consequences do the teaching if it's a situation where it can. (not for dangerous situations, obviously)

I think after the lie, I would have gotten rid of the rest of the yogurt as a consequence.

Also, natural consequence might work for teaching him not to drink it all at once. If he drinks it all in one day, then he can't have more until the next grocery trip. Though the value of that depends on the patience of the kid, yk. It may work for some, may not for others.

k8 said...

just keep reiterating that point and eventually it'll sink in.

Serina Hope said...

Since this incident, he has been being a bit more honest. Maybe he got the point? Maybe he is just tired of hearing me. Thanks guys!