Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Swimming in a Sea of Pre-Adolescent Lies

Here's an interesting question I've been asking myself lately: 

Are kids, generally speaking, little liars?

Okay maybe I was exaggerating about the interesting part. But I've caught Bethany's friends in lies almost regularly over the past year. Is it an age thing? Is it an indication that these are the girls who will be convincing Bethany, in a few years, to sneak out her bedroom window in the middle of the night to drink stolen booze under the bleachers on the football field? Should I be cutting her off from these friendships before it gets to that point, or am I perhaps over-thinking the situation a wee little bit?

I don't get it. The lies just roll off their tongues easy as pie. Am I out of touch? These are 5th grade girls, ages 10 and 11. And they think it's nothing to lie to their friends and even their friends' parents. For what purpose? Just to get away with it? I haven't figured that part out yet. The result so far is that I don't trust any of them. Let me clarify,though, that I like them all just fine. Bethany's friends are sweet little girls, it's just that some of them have a hang up with telling the truth.

I know I can't really control who Bethany is friends with. But I do worry about her being a follower and trying her own hand at the lying game. Every time I catch one of the little angels fibbing away, I use it as a discussion starting point with Bethany. We've talked a lot about it, actually. I'm trying to teach her the value of honesty and trust. I'm trying to make it crystal clear to her that it's not normal, natural, or okay just to tell lies all the time. I'm trying to teach her that she doesn't have to do something just because her friends do it. I'm pointing out to her how it makes her feel bad when her friends lie to her, and how it makes me feel suspicious. I'm letting her know that our expectation of her is to be truthful. And I'm hoping all this talking is sinking in. I remember being her age, and I know that going against the tide of what your friends are doing is not an easy endeavor. Bethany is a strong girl, and I know she can do it. I just hope she does.

1 comment:

c allen said...

my son is 11 and lies to me too. i
ask him "did you brush your teeth?" and he says yes because saying yes is easier than getting up to brush his teeth. same with deodorant... but i always find out the truth because i say open your mouth or let me smell your pits. the sad thing is, he lies so easily to me, i can't tell the truth from a lie from him anymore. i love my son dearly and hope that this passes. good luck to you too. i just wanted you to know that you are not alone in the sinking ship of lies.