Normally I would do a "growing up" post on Lallie's birthday (which was July 30th), but last night we hit a milestone. Well, "milestone" wouldn't exactly be the right word for this.
Last night, this sweet little innocent face.....
....lost the innocence and the first of I'm sure many, lies has begun.
She had been testing for a few weeks with little fibs here and there, sometimes I will admit, they were cute little fibs. Even then, she's been told that lying is not good or truthful and it hurts mommy and daddy, disappointing us. You know, all the typical things you would tell a young child when they start experimenting with lying.
Well, last night, during bath, Lallie repeatedly lied to me about something (I won't go into here, but about another minor issue we're having at home). When she tried to hide the evidence and I called her out, she looked me in the eyes with a big smile, shaking her behind at me and said (in the na-na-na-na-na song)....
"I didn't tell the truth."
And at that moment, Husband and I knew that our parenting just stepped up yet another notch (or multiple notches if you will).
First there were the loud voices and the crying. "We are very disappointed. Lying will not be tolerated in this house." And Lallie's privilege of three books before bed were taken away.
Lallie understood too. You could see it in her eyes and in her quivering, crying voice as she cried "I won't do it again, I promise, I'm sorry." Goodness knows, we wanted to give in and just say "OK, but NEXT time, there will be no books."
But in the interest of trying to be the best parents we could be and make a point, we stuck to our guns and she went to bed without books. To Lallie, this is worse than losing TV privileges, or not getting to swim in the pool. Not being read to is even worse then not getting ice cream for eating all her dinner. Reading before bed is her absolute favorite thing to do, so we knew we were in for a tough night.
But, she did calm down.
Lallie is really good at controlling herself when we get face-to-face and calmly tell her to stop crying (most of the time). Yes, she wimpers and she gets that unbearable (and sometimes cute) frown, where her chin pits up, but she does stop crying (especially when she knows she's in the wrong).
We took her in her room and had Lallie's first lesson in the Ten Commandments....specifically Though Shall Not Bear False Witness Against Thy Neighbor or easier explained to a toddler.....Though Shall Not Lie.
We explained that God's rules are even MORE important than mommy and daddy's rules and that lying not only hurts our hearts, but it heart's God and Jesus' heart even more.
She asked a few questions we hadn't had to explain in prior conversations.
"What does God look like? Does He have eyes?" (I explained in toddler terms that He is in our likeness).
"Where is heaven?" And when I explained that it's up in the sky and we can't see it, she asked "But, if I can't see it, how do I know it's there?"
We explained that you can't see God, but He lives in our hearts every single day and He knows us and everything we do, He is watching our every move. He is in our minds too, helping us to make the right choices such as telling the truth.
To make it even easier, we explained that no matter what, there is never any need to be embarrassed or sad about something where she feels the need to lie. Sometimes we might be a little disappointed, but never as disappointed as we might be if she lied.
And of course, we will always love her, no matter what and God and Jesus certainly love her too.
She still had questions but we calmly said "We know it's hard to understand, it is complex for a little girl, but just know that God loves you, that's all you need to know right now." (We'll get to Satan and the dying on the cross parts a little later).
Lallie understood and after a little cuddling and saying of prayers and a little fun conversation, she calmly went to sleep without any tears.
We consider the lack of tears after our conversation, a job well done in one of the first extremely serious conversation we've ever had to have with Lallie.
It certainly wasn't an easy conversation, but all-in-all, we think we handled it well (especially for me, as I tend to get quite emotional in situations like this.....I kept my cool and thought that this is about her, not about me). It may not have been the way other parents would have handled this situation, but it works for us and more importantly, for our ideals. While it's not a happy conversation, it is something she is going to have to face for the rest of her life. And therefore, we can only try to be the best parents we can be, to lead her in the right path and know that no matter what..... Jesus died on the cross to forgive her (and all of us) of the very sins in which she's been so innocent in her short years. And for that, we can give NOTHING but thanks and praise!
Have a blessed day Y'all!