Lately we’ve had some issues with Little Miss Sunshine being, shall we say, rather fluid with the truth.
There’s two facets to her dishonesty. One one hand, she’s doing this weird thing where she denies having said something she JUST said. For example:
Me: Would you like juice or milk?
Me: pours juice
Her: I said, I want milk!
Me: No, you said you want juice. Do you want milk?
Her: I said, I want both. makes “Duh” face
The second thing she’s doing these days is inventing fanciful stories about things that never actually happened. Like so:
Her, while riding in the back seat of the car: I just saw the museum!
Me: That does look like the museum, doesn’t it? But really it’s just a school.
Her: I have been to that school before.
Me: I don’t think we have, no.
Her: Yes, once my teacher took us there. It was a field trip and we rode the bus and I sat with Emily and Tamara. And my teacher said, hold on tight over the bumps! And we did and it was SO funny. Then we got to the school and the teacher had brought everyone apples and granola bars! And we had a picnic on the lawn, and then we went in and saw a concert. And Elmo was there!
And so on.
Lately we have begun trying to correct her when she denies having said what she said, Sir Monkeypants and I will gently remind her that it is okay to make a mistake or change her mind, but it is not okay to say you didn’t say something when you definitely said it. So far she is not taking to this kind of correction very well – she gives us her stank face and stands by her story. We are flirting with the idea of upping the ante with a trip to the naughty step. It’s not serious now but we both think it’s important to enforce the idea that she can trust us with the truth.
As for the storytelling, I used to find it amusing but now I am somewhat worried. I think this kind of fanciful dreaming happens sometimes in kids (although our other two were firmly-planted reality-addicted kids who would never, ever have come up with something so ridiculous). I’m trying not to crush her creative spirit. But I do wonder what, exactly, she is telling her teacher at school about me. SHUDDER. So again, I’m starting to think about having some more serious discussions about truthiness.
What do you think – phase she’ll grow out of, or dangerous warning sign of future grifter?