A week ago, I decided not let her go on a trip to Orlando with one of our good friends for a jam-packed weekend of fun. The reason? She had looked me in the face and lied about brushing her teeth.
It may seem harsh, but it was not the first time. Lectures obviously had not done the trick. While I’m not a big fan of taking things away, there needed to be a consequence. Our friend, who now has three grown adult children of her own backed me up on my decision. She said, “Since you don’t spank and getting angry only gets you hot, you need to do something that teaches that it’s not okay.”
Fast forward to yesterday
Me – “You’re going to Delania’s next weekend for Labor Day weekend.”
Her – “Yay!”
She jumped up and down and cheered, then added
Her – “Shouldn’t have lied to you because that was bad, right?”
Me – “Well, not if you want to have trust between people.”
Her – “I do want to have trust.”
Me – “And, what you put out in life tends to come back to you.”
If I had taken more time to think through my responses I probably would have started with
Me – “It depends upon what kind of person you want to see when you look in the mirror. The first reason to be anything, including honest is because that’s what you’ve decided you want to be; that that’s what you stand for as a person. You want to stand for being a person people can trust and count on, starting with those closest to you.”
Then I would have added the other things.
But she’s getting the message. Taking that trip away clearly did impact her, as honesty was the first thing that came to mind after a quick celebration. It’s not about raising a child who is perfectly honest, as I wasn’t and don’t think most kids are. It’s just about coming to value honestly strongly. It’s a process, and it’s a value that is challenged, obviously, lifelong. Best to be clear on it early on.