Dont tell your mom, ok? How Many times have we said that to our children? I know I have said it a few times. Have you? Think about it. Hear it in your head while you are reading this, Dont tell your mom? Seriously just writing it here, makes me think, how absolutely absurd it sounds!
Heres where I am going with this. My 11-year-old has been having a hard time the last few days. Normal stuff, picking fights with his sister, acting like chores are the end of the world. Trying to make special occasions about himself instead the intended recipient. But where he really crossed the line is, he’s been caught lying. Nothing big mind you, little lies. (not that it justifies the lying).
Example; (Mom) did you take a piece of cake without asking? Answer; NO- Did you leave the toilet seat up? Answer; NO- Did you forget to feed the dogs? Answer; NO. Did you bribe your brother to take the fall for you on the cake theft thing? Answer: NO mom, you know I would never lie to you! God! Sheesh! Man!
Now he did all of these things, and yes he also failed miserably in the “did you bribe your brother to take the fall for you” category? Which by the way I am kind of envious of his vision in the matter. Think about it, get the little one (who by the way is so damn cute) to go belly up in front of mom for something you did! GENIUS!! You know the little ones punishment is going to be less and really the monkey is off your back so all you have to do is sit back, watch the fireworks while rubbing your hands together muuuuhhhhaaaaaahahahaha! Yet lie he did! He let his brother bite the bullet then lied about it! Steller! Then when he finally came clean he expects a simple “I’m sorry” will make it all go away. WRONG!!!
So I am beating my head against the wall, wondering what awful influence has led my “pure as the driven snow”, child to take the lowly path of lying? What horrible event in his life has rewired his brain, so it overrides his ability to know the difference between right and wrong? My little angel would never, ever knowingly lie would he? I mean he said it himself; I never lie mom! Wait that was a lie? Shoot, is he lying about lying? I mean the kid is good, but is he that good? Did he lie about the lie, which in turn created another lie which he eventually believed was the truth? Or was he telling the truth that was interpreted as a lie, which perpetrated another lie in search of the truth? Shit! How do secret double agents do this stuff??
What I realized through all my mental anxiety over the issue was this, IT WAS MY FAULT! Yup, I said it, it was my fault. sure he committed the crime, sure he’s doing the time, but why would he think it was ok to tell a small lie? What would make him believe that it was no big deal? Answer: Listening to his dad.
You see every time I go into Seven Eleven with the kids still in the car to grab a quick snack and I buy one of those Hostess cakes I crave so badly. I do something that no dad should ever do under any circumstances. I do something so shameful that I should be dragged in shackles before the court of elders to have my dad card revoked for a weeks time as I am thrown into solitary. You see somewhere between handing out the goodies and hearing my name chanted to the heavens as they gorge on the surgery goodness that mom probably wouldn’t let them have I say these three little words.
Dont tell mom…….
Yep that’s right, I have said it so many times its shameful. Dont tell mom.. I have just put the biggest burden I could ever put on a little kid. Not only have I bribed them with sugar crack, but now they feel the pressure to uphold the lie! And why? Am I supposed to be scared of being punished by mom for not obeying her orders in regards to my health. Are they thinking holy crap if dads that scared his punishment must be BBAADDDD!!! Are they wondering if commandant Mommy will ship me off to the Western Front to die a horrible death? Of course not, I am already dying a horrible death by ingesting the lard pie with cherry filling. A slow unhealthy death!!! Just ask my wife. So why then? We all do it! If anyone reading this says they have never told their kids, Dont tell mom… or lets just keep this between us, ok (wink wink)! Then I will call you a liar!! And believe me it takes one to know one!!
But seriously, we as fathers perpetrate this tiny example of teaching our kids its ok to lie over small stuff on a regular basis. It doesn’t seem like much but really it is, an avalanche starts with nothing more than a misplaced snowflake. And that’s how lies start, small then as the child masters them eventually they become bigger! Before you know it you have a kid that can’t be trusted, they are demoralized and so are you! Mostly though, we have engrained them that Mom is the enemy somehow, so much so that we (as husbands and fathers) are scared of her too! What the Hell? I know it feels like a “this is between you and me buddy” friend type moment. But really we are teaching our kids to lie and that in itself is criminal. So the next time you catch your kid lying to you about tiny little things, just take them out to ice cream, and when they ask sheepishly if they can have cookies with their cone, lean over and proudly say YES! But only if you tell mom the minute you get home.
By the way, I am on my third cookie while writing this, you guys got my back right?