Just Kidding

My sweet and angelic baby girl is now a big fat liar.  She lies about almost everything.  Here’s an example.

ME:   Did you have show-and-tell at preschool today?

KIKI:  Yes!

ME:  Oh, what did you show?

KIKI:  [looking down at the princess on the floor] I showed my princesses.

ME:  [pointing at the princesses that have been on the floor since she left for school this morning] Um, these princesses?

KIKI:  Yep.

ME:  No you didn’t.  These princesses were at home with me.  You didn’t have them at preschool.

KIKI:  Yes I did.  I showed them for show-and-tell.

I can’t believe anything that comes out of her mouth.  She tells me she ate all her chicken nuggets when she still has 5 of them on her plate.  She tells me she went to the playground at school when I know she didn’t because it was raining out.  She tells me she has her shoes on when her feet are bare.  It’s become an epidemic.

It began innocently enough when she discovered “kidding”.   Kiki liked it when we’d react with shocked looks of disbelief when she’d say that that there was a purple elephant behind us.  Then we’d turn to look behind us and she’d say “just kidding!”  The harmless fibs gradually turned into little white lies which I chose to just ignore.  Do I really need to argue with her about the fact that her shoes are clearly not on her feet?  No.   But now she lies straight to my face when I ask her a direct question and remind her to tell the truth.  The white lies have turned into big fat lies and now I have to deal with the issue.  Ugh.

It’s hard to teach a three year-old the difference between harmless kidding and flat-out lying.  There are plenty of grown adults who don’t know the difference.  And it doesn’t really seem fair to get mad about the “lying” when we laugh about the “kidding” when I can’t clearly explain the difference.

So I’ve been talking to her about trust and the importance of telling the truth.  I’m trying to figure it out as I go (as it goes with parenting).  My hubby says she’ll figure it out.  She’d better or I’m just going to have to try shaking her until she starts telling the truth again.

Just kidding!


2 thoughts on “Just Kidding

  1. This must be a 3 year old thing! Or maybe it is a rookie parenting mistake? We have the exact same issue happening in our house, except it started as “Just Joking” and devolved from there. Please tell me when you’ve figured this out – I’m tired of banging my head against a wall here. 🙂

    • I am choosing to focus only on the times when she bold-face lies, I ask her directly to tell the truth, she still lies, and I can prove it. I tell her that if I discover she’s lying then there will be a consequence. Ex: She said she put her teddy bear away, stuck to her lie even when I threatened to take the toy away if she was lying, I went upstairs to point out that he was not put away, and then took the teddy away for a day. I’m hoping that the lessons learned in the instances will carry over.

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