Saturday, November 08, 2008

Embellishing the truth

I caught my daughter in a lie yesterday. Someone said something mean to her, and when she told me about it she decided to change the story rather than tell me the truth. I guess my daughter felt what her classmate said lacked punch and I would not get sufficiently upset on her behalf, so she upped the ante in her recollection.

She accused her schoolmate of calling her a terrible name, the kind of foul insult that drives a parent to phone the school principal in outrage over the bully in the classroom. When I told Paula I planned to contact her school over the incident, she panicked and begged me not to. Eventually she confessed that she had exaggerated, and told me what the girl had truly said. It was mean and rude alright, just not at the same level as what Paula said at first. Why would she lie? It is not the first time I catch her in a lie, and it's always so pointless and unnecessary. Why?

To top it all off, we got her report card yesterday. That was not great either. I am disappointed and will be enacting consequences as of today. There will be no more TV in her bedroom; I am unplugging it and taking it out. And she will have no sleepovers with friends until further notice. We'll see if her performance improves.


  1. you asked Why would she lie? But you already answered that question when you said..."I guess my daughter felt what her classmate said lacked punch and I would not get sufficiently upset on her behalf, so she upped the ante in her recollection."

  2. That's what she told me herself, Meleah. But I am having a hard time comprehending why she feels the need to exaggerate.

  3. We went through the SAME thing w/ Carissa. Except it involved a teacher. I don't really understand why she did it either. Ugh, raising preteens is hard. But, I have to say, now that she's a bit older and one her meds things seem to be going much better.

  4. I am not sure either. I know kids go through a liar phase. I did, my son did, I think its part of growing up.

  5. I'd be more concerned with her social development than how well she conforms to school. Parents get extreme pressure to fit in and make sure their kids fit in. In general it's easy to believe that we need to keep our eyes on the future, which causes us to miss most of the present, and therefore not have much of a past.

    We go to school and do well to get into a good school. We go to a good school and work hard to get a good job. We get a good job and work hard. And the reason we do all this? So we can have a good life when we retire? That's the best excuse of a bunch of feeble ones.

    Life should come first. Before school, before work. We should plan for tomorrow but focus on today. What is odd is that the result of this future focus generally leads people to a feeling of loss, a feeling that they've missed something, and as a result the are stuck in a rut, in days that never end, and only then do they focus on the now.

    I've promised myself that I will never judge my kids by their grades. I'll be happy if they get A's or F's. My job is to make sure they enjoy the life they have every day as much as I can. I do prepare them for the next day and teach them to prepare themselves, but the focus must always be on appreciating today because the old cliché is that "tomorrow may never come."