Excuse Me, But Your Pants Are On Fire

At four years and eight months, Eddie told a lie.

His first as far as we know.

He lied about finishing his chicken at dinner so he could be done and play Super Mario Bros.  He got up from the table, brought his plate to the counter next to the sink, and went to sit on the couch as we finished up.

Cortney saw it first because I was still sitting at the table so that Charlie wouldn’t be left alone.

“Ed, why is there still chicken on your plate?”

Eddie’s eyes got huge. His face dropped in extreme disappointment. He was caught. And he felt terrible.

He began to cry huge apologetic tears.

“I’m so sorry I lied to you!” he bellowed as he walked into the kitchen, took his plate from the counter, carried it back to his seat, sat down, and sadly ate every last piece of chicken. “I will never ever lie again! I am so sorry!”

We hadn’t said a word.

Later that night at bedtime, of course, he apologized again.  I never doubted his remorse.

And then today (Sunday) it happened again.

We were having lunch at Cortney’s sister and brother-in-law’s house to celebrate their youngest’s baptism. Eddie wanted another slice of cheese, but Cortney had told him he first needed to finish his piece of ham.

Eddie made big announcements that he had finished it and he could now have more cheese and would we please bring him more cheese.

Cortney brought him more cheese, just to find out Eddie had hid  his ham in his hands.

Tonight we had a discussion about truthfulness and honesty at dinner.  He told us that “bad guys tell lies,” so we asked him if he thought of himself as a bad guy.

“NO!” he said.

“We don’t think you’re a bad guy either, Eddie. You are our kind, helpful, Eddie.  And you’re a Sluiter.  Sluiters are honest.  Do you know why?”


“Because we love each other and we love others. Lying hurts people. We don’t want to hurt people.”

“Ok, mom.”

And we left it at that.

I know it’s a phase. I know it’s his way of feeling around for being independent–trying out being his own person.

We need him to do that. It’s important he learns the difference between honesty and lying. And it’s important that we get to be the ones to talk to him about it.

But oh my heart. I don’t feel like I am ready for this.

I’m just not ready for my Best Eddie to tell me untruths. I’m just not prepared for him to begin hurting my heart one hidden piece of ham at a time.

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Do you have experience with this? How do you talk about the importance of honesty with your kids?

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