It’s Tuesday and it’s 7:30 am and I’m in a coffee shop in downtown Seattle when I obviously ought to be home in bed. Why have we, as a culture, decided to begin our days so freaking early?
I’m here at this hour because my eighth grader has to be at school at 7:00 am for -1 period jazz band. So I drove her to school, drove home, left my car in the driveway, and walked to the bus stop. (Oh, while there I noted that the Hot Guy on the Bus wears a wedding ring, so that’s the end of that life plan.)
Truth is, I would get up and drive my child to school at 3:00 am if that’s when jazz band was happening, because music classes are the only thing she doesn’t detest about middle school. And while I think she fusses overmuch about trivial annoyances, they do run the place like a prison camp, so I can see why she finds it objectionable. I have encouraged her to focus on positive things—there is occasionally an opportunity to learn something, after all—but that only produced a litany of complaints about the slllllooooow classes that seem to teach no more than one thing per week. Sigh.
Anyway, back to the subject of lying. Wildflowersp responded to my post about BF Skinner, behavioral analysis, and prevarication: http://wildflowersp.wordpress.com/2014/09/09/722/.
Lying in general is a difficult behavior to deal with, especially from one’s children. The motivation often seems to be the hope of avoiding punishment, and therefore lying itself must be punished. But nothing is ever really that simple, and by their pre-teen years or even sooner, children, like adults, have a complex interwoven mesh of emotional reactions laid on top of whatever is actually going on at the moment that greatly complicates the business of modifying their behavior.
As for modifying the behavior of adults—forgetaboutit. You’re better off sitting in a coffee shop with your computer and not talking to anyone. They’re only going to lie to you anyway.