"ARE YOU LYING?" My poor little 3 1/2 yr old looks at her daddy and innocently says "No!"
"Once again I ask you, did you do it?". Once again, she looks him in the eye and says "NO!!"
We both knew this little girl had pooped on the bathroom floor instead of the toilet but she just didn't want to admit it. She even played the "Damus did it" card. Unfortunately for her, she hadn't calculated that little 17 month old Damus was still in his diapers and would rather poop in his pants than on a bathroom floor.
This is not the first time Karina had lied to us. There have been other occasions where she wouldn't admit her mistake. This was very unsettling to me. Hey! I thought children were suppose to be innocent and naive. Is she the exception to the rule? What are we going to do about this? What trick does this mama have to pull out from her bag?
The only difference between the above scenario and many other previous scenarios is that this time, I was the observer and not the one with dagger eyes holding an axe. With my eyes and ears opened wide, it suddenly dawned on me "WE MADE HER LIE".
Kids are innocent. That doesn't mean they are dumb. Why would they want to answer in the affirmative to a question asked in a threatening way? The words that come out of our mouth is "Did you do it?" but our tone and body language is really saying "I know you did it. Just admit it so I can yell more and give you a punishment you will never forget." Sooooo... who taught her how to lie? It's quite obvious WE DID.
Since my head was clearer this time, I decided to take a different approach. Instead of the usual interrogate till they break, I decided to just go straight to the "I already know you did it, let me guess why."
So, in this instance, I changed the line of questioning from "did you do it?" to "were you scared to go to the toilet by yourself?". There was less anger, less fear of punishment and we got the confession we wanted to hear. So hey, that's another trick this mama has in her bag.
You know, I have had my share of reading about parenting tips, do's and don'ts. And most of the time while reading, I hear myself saying, "Haiya, it's only common sense." But you know what, I've found that in reality, common sense is not so common after all. It's only common sense after we read it or discover it.