In my discussion about my daughter Beth’s sneaking candy and lying, I want to make it abundantly clear that the issues here are the sneaking and lying… not an occasional pilfered chocolate Easter egg. This is a pattern that disturbs me and sends some very negative messages. And I need to reiterate this has been occurring, and has been discussed, numerous times in the past… with no change.
Just a few days ago we had a couple of the neighbor kids over after school until their moms could get them. They all picked a snack with my blessing, and I went to my office. I returned to find that Beth had pretty much opened the grocery store and an incredible amount of candy and chips had been consumed. I’m sure the neighbor kids were more than happy to comply… but I believe Beth is old enough to have handled that much better.
When I wrote about Beth’s problem with lying last fall, Dr. G, one of our other bloggers at that time, told me how she had handled it with her child. She had used the paradoxical technique of asking her daughter a question and insisting the child lie… until after a day of that, the child would rather do anything BUT lie.
I must confess I hadn’t remembered that suggestion when I responded to Beth last night… but interestingly enough, I did a similar thing. As I mentioned in the previous post, I refused to start the car and drive Beth to swim practice until she “came clean” with me. She did… and then I told her what her lies were doing to our relationship and what messages they were sending.
I said that in spite of the fact that nearly every time she asked for something, she received it, she was clearly sending the message that she was not sure her needs would be met so she would have to sneak around to get what she needed. Additionally, her reticence to tell me the truth clearly implied I was mean and unreasonable and unpredictable and she needed to shield herself from me. In other words, she didn’t trust me. Lastly, I said it was not a good thing for there to be something she so desperately needed between us—something that was so critical to her it caused her to lie and sneak—so from that point forward she could have all the chocolate and snacks she wanted.
Still more coming about this…