What do you do when your kids lie? How do you handle the situation?
We all know that kids lie, but knowing the fact that kids lie still does not prepare you for the horror and sadness you feel when your own kids lie.
It comes with a sense of disappointment and failure...as though you are failing in your duties of bringing them up in the way that they should go. There was a time that Dindu and Munachi´s lies were soooo frequent that it began to scare me shitless.
ME : "WHO PUT THE TISSUE ROLL INSIDE THE TOILET?!!!"
DINDU : "Not me....it´s Munachi".
MUNACHI : "Noooooo Mummy! Dindu did it!"
At such times, they used to have such innocent and convincing looks on their faces, and i couldn´t for the life of me figure out who was fibbing. It really scared me that they were becoming professional little liars.
Well, i´m glad to say that the lies have stopped.....how did i handle it? i´ll tell ya!
A lot of weeks ago, on one fateful Saturday morning, the kids were eating their breakfast of fried plantain, eggs and sausages while i was trying to finish up with the Saturday morning chores. A few minutes later, my cousin came to report to me that she found some plantain in the dustbin. Someone had gone and emptied his or her plate in the trashcan!
I was appalled. I had specifically lectured them on several occasions about why it was very bad to waste food. I had also told them what to do if they couldn´t finish their portions, yet someone went and tossed plantain! A whole PLANTAIN!
I called them and asked who did it and of course they both denied it. I reported to their dad so that he could assist me, but i was determined that the lies would end that very day.
ME : (As calm as i could be) "Who threw plantain in the dustbin?"
DINDU : "I finished my own before Munachi, She was still in the parlour when i finished".
MUNACHI : (Promptly burst into tears) "It wasn´t me Dinduuuuu! I finished mine tooooo!"
I turned to my hubby and told him that it couldn´t be Munachi. The cry was too sorrowful and heart-felt, so we concluded that it must have been Dindu.
HUBBY : "Dindu come here!! Why did you toss your plantain? Why are you lying against Munachi?"
DINDU : "Daddy, i didn´t do it. I finished my food fast and came to stay with Mummy. Munachi was the one that said the plantain was not sweet *how can fried plantain not be sweet bikonu?*, that she cannot finish it."
Then, i remembered that Dindu was with me while i worked, and that i saw Munachi strolling round the house with her plate of plantain. That was when i knew who was fibbing.....but i wanted a confession......i NEEDED a confession.
I said to them;
"You know what? Both of you should go and pack your things...you are leaving this house. You both know how much i hate lies, and i have warned you about lying. I have also told you how much God hates lies and that children who tell lies go to hell-fire. Since both of you have refused to stop telling lies in this house, go and pack your things.....you are leaving. I´ll take you to the church and you will live there forever"
DINDU : (Starts bawling) "MUMMY NOOOOOO!"
ME : (Not even looking at them) "AMAKA, PACK THEIR THINGS!!"
Omo! Dindu cried ehn! Munachi on the other hand was calm and quiet. She still wasn´t ready to confess and it broke my heart that she hardened her heart so. I knew i had to force that confession out of her somehow.
ME : "I´m going to dress up now, whoever threw the plantains away should go and report himself or herself to Daddy"
I entered my room. From the mirror, i watched Munachi sneak into her Dad´s room. I thought she would immediately blurt out her confession to him, but noooooo, she stood there tongue-tied.
Now, one thing about Munachi is that she gets scared very easily, and when she does, the cat gets her tongue.....she won´t be able to speak. So that was why a confession wasn´t forthcoming *not because she was a hardened little criminal...LMAO!*.
HUBBY : "Munachi, tell me who threw the plantains away ok?"
MUNACHI : "It wasn´t me."
Dindu was still sobbing shamelessly somewhere in the background *rolls eyes*.
ME: "You know what? Munachi go and get ready.....you are leaving. Only you. Dindu isn´t going with you".
HUBBY : (Playing along) "And you will never come back to this house anymore."
MUNACHI : (Bursts into tears) "NOOOOO MUMMY! Daddy it was me, i´m sorry! I won´t tell lies again!"
OMG! I heaved a big sigh of relief. A confession at last! Dindu´s sobbing had stopped as i made my last proclamation.
We proceeded to lecture them once more about lying and it´s implications. I´m so glad to say that the lies have stopped till this date. They have tried to lie of course, but once i say ; "You know exactly what would happen if a lie comes out of that mouth of yours!" They tell the truth with immediate alacrity.
I´m not a parenting expert, and i´m not sure if what i resorted to was the best way to handle the ´lying situation´, but i´m soooo glad that it worked!
Our parents also resorted to some extreme measures to mould us into shape.
Do you think that my method was too extreme? What would you have done instead?
Have a good night...