April 15, 2015

my son's first lie

Yesterday morning was a battleground. At stake: an unearned potty treat (fig newton). Somehow the boy rationalized that, since he peed in his diaper, he gets a treat. Um, no son, that's not how it works.

We went back and forth several times, but I held my ground even as he wailed endlessly through breakfast and toothbrushing. I went on about my business, getting ready for work.

As I was about to head for the front door, he asked again for the treat. I asked him point-blank if he peed in the potty. He said he did and, knowing this was probably not true, I gave him the treat. A few minutes later my husband asked whether he'd used the potty and he said no. We took this opportunity to explain the difference between telling the truth and telling a lie, and emphasized that this is wrong. I did not take the treat away from him, believing that to do so would set him off and he'd just forget what we were trying to say.

We caught him in a lie.

So now, when he insists on a potty treat I really have my hands full helping him to answer wisely and truthfully. That, and I don't think this reward system is having its intended effect. Ah, parenthood.