Everyone who has a kindergartener has or will experience the wonder of fibbing. It’s common, it’s normal, and is a crucial step in your kid’s development. First and foremost, don’t over react. It’s normal for you to feel upset, we’re human. But don’t go all Homer Simpson on them, either. I can’t speak for every dad out there, but I’ve come to learn three main types of fibs to which I’ve found each need to be dealt with differently.
I Didn’t Do It
The veins tense in your neck, you JUST watched them…and you want to yell back, “Yes, you did!”. But take a deep breath, Dad, because when they break something or spill something, they genuinely wish it didn’t happen and they don’t want to get in trouble. Fibbing about it is a natural way for them to deal with the situation at hand.
Let me paint you a picture. Your kid knows not to touch your coffee mug but they still find a way to be near it, near enough to tip it over. They immediately look at you with those big, panicked eyes. You both know they did it but, still, the next words to come out of their mouth are, “I didn’t do that, Daddy.”
Instead of disciplining the little ones or lecturing them until you’re blue in the face, focus on the problem at hand. Get them involved in the clean up, and feeling a sense responsibility without drawing attention to it. Make some suggestions, help them along, but ultimately allow them to come to their own conclusion and self-resolve. The lesson will stick with them more effectively.
“I JUST SEEN A DRAGON, DADDY!”
With the exception of a few open-minded parents, we all know this is a load of bull poop. But instead of squashing their dreams and telling them they are wrong, encourage the little ones to describe what they see, maybe even play along a little. This helps their creative development.
My wife and I are both creatives. We paint, draw, make music, and we’re both fiction writers. So It’s only natural for our kids to be the same, like-minded, wander-lusting dreamers. And that’s okay, I couldn’t be happier.
But when my son spends half an hour trying to convince me that he really, truly, honestly saw a dragon in the front yard, to the point of near tears…it’s time to intervene. If you find that they honestly believe what they saw, help them solve the mystery and come to a more realistic conclusion on their own…or possibly be the first dad to discover a real dragon.
I Pity Da Fool!
Some kids will use the other parent as a scapegoat. My son knows all too well how to play this card and has gotten scarily good at it. My wife and I both work from home, so we take turns watching the kids while the other works. It’s an awesome system but often leads to, “But Mommy said I could stay up.” Or “Daddy never gave me any chocolate milk today.” Or the most common one, “Mommy didn’t let me play my video game yet.” (we limit game time here. Not because we’re strict, but because they would play until their eyes dried up if we let them)
Regardless of what it is, these fibs are the only ones that need to be addressed right away. The ones where manipulation comes into play. Remember, at this age, your child is constantly testing your authority and pushing their boundaries to see how far they can go. They need to understand that you will not break and that there are consequences for trying to deceive you.
Some great techniques I use are dependent on the fib, but the consequence is always the opposite of what they’ve fibbed about. Let me paint you another picture (because I’m crafty like that). My son tells me that Mommy never let him play video games that day. I then find out that’s not true. The consequence? Not only does he not get to play a game, but he loses his privilege for it the next day.
I also like to remind him that fibbing is wrong and hurtful and will break down Daddy’s trust. I’m pretty sure I’ve told him the story of the boy who cried wolf a million times. It’ll sink in someday.
So those are my personal parenting tips for dealing with fibbing and I’ll leave you with a super wise and thought provoking statement. Remember, the greatest thing a Dad can do is set the example. Honest parents make honest kids. Honest.
And there you have it, dads! If you tried any of these tips let us know if they worked out! Comment and share your own Dad Tips on how to deal with fibbing, we love to see how you’re creatively solving these normal problems!