Early Morning Truth Telling

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.


10 thoughts on “Early Morning Truth Telling

  1. Yes, lying children are so hard to deal with! Thus, I look forward to more thoughts about lying liars and the lies they lie with. And any helpful advice about such.

    Married men have a lot left to give to the right owner.

  2. I only have one child with a propensity to lies so far. My eldest is scrupulously honest (almost excessively so!!) and the other seems to have responded to consequences and reason in regard to truthfulness. The 3rd, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to register that she is lying, exactly. I am putting it down to an immature prefrontal cortex and confabulation (which is my favorite neurological symptom – making up answers that are lies instead of admitting you don’t know, not to deceive but just because your prefrontal cortex, which does “restraint, order, initiative”, isn’t working properly).

  3. lying, and how to stop my children from doing it, makes my head hurt. my head hurts anyway right now, but that makes my head hurt more. I have all kinds of feelings and thoughts about it, but ugh.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s