One thing I have learned about raising young children is they are brutally honest.
“Look! Mommy got her hair done, do you like it?”
“No. You look like a poodle.”
“Tommy wants to know if you want to have a playdate.”
“No. I don’t like him. He smells like farts.”
As our kids get older, however, the lies start to slide in. They start small.
“Did you clean up your toys?” yes.
“Did you wash your hands?” yes.
“Did you remember to wipe? yes.
The correct answer to all these is usually no.
As our children grow up, they perfect their fibbing skills. It is up to us as parents to see through their crap. Easier said than done, right? No one knows your kids better than you; the parents should be the first ones to know when our kids our lying. Well, you’d think at least. I feel like, especially in this day and age, parents are blindly believing their children more than they should be. We all want to believe that our children are perfect angels. Maybe because we want to believe that we are great parents, raising great kids. Reality check- NO ONE IS PERFECT. Parents get frustrated, they yell, they lose their temper, they mess up. Kids are the same way; you can do everything you can to raise your kids right and they still turn into little shits. Kids are…kids. They’re too goofy, they can be mean, they’re sneaky. Sometimes kids go through phases, they act out because of home situations, they try to act cool in front of their friends. This is exactly why we need to check our kids once in a while. Don’t always believe them; challenge them, question them. I am always challenging Eli; not because he’s a bad kid or I always suspect him of lying (although, I do a lot) but because I want to remind him that he is the kid and I am the adult. I want him to know that when I ask him to do something, he does it. If I don’t check him every once in a while and he gets away with things more and more it sets a precedent that as long as he gets away with it, he can do whatever he wants.
Recently I saw a situation involving a friend of mine that really bothered me. A child got in trouble at school and his mother went on a public rant online about the teacher (my friend). She was bashing this teacher from head to toe based solely off what her child had told her. She did not discuss the situation with the teacher or anyone at the school before posting this rant. I am in no way calling this child a liar; based off my own parental experience, I know that children have different viewpoints of situations. Young children are still learning cause-and-effect, social cues, and social interaction skills. The way a child sees or remembers a situation may be different than the way an adult sees the situation. There is never a sure-fire way to know when to believe your child. Again, this is why I believe parents should check their children. I want my children to know they can come to me with anything and that I will always listen and believe them- HOWEVER- I am still going to look into it. Innocent until proven guilty type thing.
If I was the parent in this situation I would listen to my child and believe them until I learn otherwise, but it should NOT have been put on social media before first discussing the situation with all parties directly involved. If that did happen the mother would have learned that before the altercation, her son was being disrespectful to classmates and staff. Now, before getting all the facts, the reputation of my friend has been trampled on. Thankfully she’s a confident bad-ass and won’t let this keep her from doing what she loves.
Knowing when to believe an adult and when to believe your child is completely situational. There is no set way to go about it. If we always believe our children we are setting the precedent that they are always right and they can do no wrong. If we always believe the adult we are letting our children know that we have no faith in them and that can be dangerous in some situations. Parents need to do their due diligence and find out all the information.
Parenting is a balancing act. You have to be the enforcer, the confidant, the protector, the supporter, and the caretaker all at the same time. It is an impossible job and there is no perfect way to parent. We all take different paths, we all make different choices. As long as our children are clothed, fed, and happy we are doing just fine as parents.