Ali told her first lie Tuesday.
Well, the first one I know of.
I had been asking her all morning if her ears hurt, and she had been consistently telling me that they were not. She then found her ear drops, and was very much wanting some medicine in her ears. I personally hate the ear drops – they are an oily, greasy mess.
Yes, oily AND greasy.
So I told her that we only used them if her ears hurt. After a minute of deep thought, she said, “my ears are hurting.” (YES, she’s actually starting to say “my” instead of “your” – sometimes!!!)
I looked at her and told her seriously, “Ali, it is wise to be honest. Tell Mommy the truth. Are your ears really hurting?”
With the shake of her head, she replied back very quietly and meekly, “uh uh.”
“I didn’t think so.”
Which launched us into a very good conversation about honesty, and how Jesus tells us to be honest, etc etc etc.
The interesting thing is, I had just been wondering that morning if she was old enough to understand the concept of honesty, and how to start teaching her. Then she gave me the perfect opportunity, and proof that she really did indeed understand the difference between the truth and a lie.
She talked throughout the day about being honest and telling the truth, so our conversation definitely made an impact.
I told Chris later in the day about her first lie, and he was ecstatic. Although I certainly hadn’t been upset by her lie, I hadn’t quite thought of with his level of excitement, but I quickly realized that I definitely agreed with him.
Here’s why lying is a good developmental milestone, in our very unprofessional opinions:
- All kids are selfish and want their way. We all have a sin nature – it’s going to come out. Ali figuring out that she can lie to attempt to get what she wants shows creative thinking and out of the box solutions. It shows that she has made a developmental leap, and somewhere in that head of hers, some brain synapses have connected for the first time.
- She had no way of knowing that it was wrong to lie when she did it – we have never talked about it because I didn’t think she would understand the concept.
- Now that she HAS lied, she definitely understands the concept of what she did, and we have the opportunity to talk through it, to use it as a learning example, and to learn a whole new virtue – integrity.
So, sure – no parent wants a liar for a kid.
But their first lie?
I believe that it’s a positive milestone, if responded to as a teaching moment.