Today my six and half year old cut her own bangs! Not that big of a deal right? I’m sure I’m not the only parent who ever experienced something like this. I probably did something stupid like this too when I was her age. But it was about the way she reacted when I asked her about it. She looked me straight in the eyes and blatantly lied to my face. Not only did she lie about the fact that she wasn’t the one to do it, but she even tried to play it off like I was imagining things and there was nothing different about her hair at all!
It was at that moment that I found myself emotionally torn between being a strict and responsible parent, teaching her a lesson about lying and trust AND seeing myself in her as a scared six year old, afraid to tell my parents that I did something wrong out of the fear of consequences.
I finally got her to admit to it and she did lose some of her privileges for the day and went to bed earlier than her usual bedtime. But this expereince was a bit of a harsh reminder about how difficult it is to be a parent. How difficult it is to find that balance between tough love and empathy.
My hope is that she will learn from this expereince and understand that once you break someone’s trust by lying – it is not something that can be gained back right away. Straight up lying is the one thing I will not tolerate as a parent. As a child, I grew up in a household where everyone was often dishonest with each other – it was a great cause of much of my childhood anxiety, it led me to be afraid of telling the truth because I didn’t know when it was ok to be honest.
There are a lot of things I vowed that I would do differently with my own family and my own children – honesty is definitely on top of that list.
Also – totally hiding all the scissors!