All about lying and owning up.

On Monday I took Aaron to meet my mom for a cup of coffee.

She bought each of the kids a small present.  Aaron’s was a foam air gun.  One of those contraptions where you put the rocket, dart or ball in the front of the gun then squeeze the handle and the air forces the projectile forward.

Both Paul and I had spoken to Aaron about not shooting the gun towards people, to make sure that everyone was behind him or to shoot towards the floor.  We told him that even though the balls, darts and rockets are soft foam that they can still hurt someone.

The next morning I was in the kitchen when I heard Faith scream.  I ran to the room and saw Faith clutching her face and Aaron holding the gun looking a bit pale.

I bent in front of Faith to see what was wrong and asked Aaron what had happened.

We have always told Aaron that we would not be cross with him if he had hurt himself or Faith and that we would rather know the truth about what happened in case we have to go to the doctor and we needed to tell him what happened.  Aaron knows this.  We have never shouted at him if there was an accident.

So when I asked him what happened he told me that Faith poked her finger in her eye.

I asked him a few times as did Paul and he insisted that Faith poked herself in the eye.  We didnt push it.  I told Aaron to go get dressed for school and he went.

Meanwhile Faith had calmed down and was able to open her eye and there didnt seem to be any damage.

About 15 minutes later Aaron came to me and told me that he lied, and that he had shot one of the foam balls into Faith’s eye.   He told me that he was very sorry.  Sorry that he hurt her and sorry that he lied.

I sat him down and we discussed that I would always rather he told me the truth no matter what and that if it really was an accident I would never be cross with him.  I also reiterated that he must shoot the gun at people and that he should rather shoot at the floor.

I decided not to punish him.  I think the guilt he felt was enough.  He came to me.  He apologised for both the accident and for lying.  He went and said sorry to Faith and kissed her better.

Im very proud of him in fact.  For an almost 5 year old, he was very brave in coming to tell me what happened and for taking ownership of his actions.

I think we are definitely doing something right in raising both him and his sister.

7 Replies to “All about lying and owning up.”

  1. When my son also lied about something and comes back to admit it, I too don’t punish him as well as I think it takes a lot of guts to admit it. That’s punishment enough.

  2. And you should be proud.
    This is one area where I (sadly) learned the hard way how NOT to react to lying. I’m grateful for the opportunity to get it right with my younger kids…

    Oh, just a heads up: the word “never” is missing from the following sentence in your post: “I also reiterated that he must shoot the gun at people and that he should rather shoot at the floor.”

  3. I think you handled it really well! His guilt was indeed punishment enough, and the fact that you didn’t explode makes him more likely to tell the truth in future.

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