I think sometimes parents don’t take lying as seriously as they should. Some parents just accept it as something that kids do. I expect it, but I don’t accept it. Lying is one of the worst things that you can do to me. Beat me, kick me, steal from me, but don’t lie to me.
The last few days were heartbreaking. The thing is, it was so small, the lie, the reason for it, yet it affected so many people. Berry was lied to, but it all stemmed from her own actions. There is a little boy in our neighborhood who consistently causes trouble. He lies to adults, he causes damage to property, he steals fruit from trees, he climbs over and under the perimeter fences, he bullies little children, and he’s constantly causing some sort of argument. He’s also top dog among the kids. They all follow him, he’s a charmer. He’s the oldest of six boys and I am sure that is a challenge in and of itself.
So,on Berry’s birthday this boy told her that he had peed all over a club that she had worked hard on for several weeks. She and several friends had cleared brush, carried heavy pallets up the hill, found tree stumps, and worked hard. She would come home at dusk covered in dirt and sweat. (Do we call that mud?) Her face was red and she was worn out. I have never seen her so upset as when she found that her hard work had been ruined. Matthew went straight down to the little boy’s house to let his parent’s know what happened. The next day while I was gone to an appointment, the little boy came and apologized to Berry and let her know that he had lied.
I wish that this were the end of the drama, and I am glad that I opened my big mouth. Berry was not innocent in this entire matter. For the first time in two years she is having a birthday party. I’m not big on them, I prefer quiet family affairs, but we decided that she could have her friends over for hotdogs, cupcakes, and root-beer floats. She had chosen to invite only her closest friends, I limited the number. This little boy was not among the short list. In a streak of meanness, she decided that he needed to be informed of this decision in front of a bunch of his friends. Of course his feelings were hurt and I am positive that this action is what precipitated him seeking revenge by making up a story to “ruin” her club.
This entire thing has really brought out lessons that needed be re-taught. We have been talking about these concepts as we have read through “Little Pilgrim’s Progress”, we have talked recently about the consequences of lies when we started our advent reading. We talked about taking her party away, but felt that it would be bordering on cruel. It was decided that she would be grounded from playing outside, assigned extra chores, grounded from computer games, and then the lesson in it all, she will go to apologize to this little boy and she will invite him to her party. This feud has gone on long enough and the branch of peace has to be extended. I don’t know that he will come, but the offer will be made and hopefully they can put all of this behind them.
Parenting is hard. Being on top of everything that is going on is an absolute nightmare. We can only do and correct what we see and hear about. My kids know that they have eyes watching them all over the place, they know that trust is the most vital part of our relationship. The lying was the thing that burned me most, but the heartbreaking part was that she would intentionally hurt someone’s feelings. Her feelings have been hurt by the kids in this neighborhood and to intentionally cause someone’s heart pain…it was just the straw that broke the camel’s back.
She understands that our trust will have to be built back up. She knows that we love her no matter what and now she understands that we would rather have the ugly truth than to be lied to. And now there is grace…