Monday, May 26, 2008

a breakthrough?

I wrote before about Misaki's lying and it seems that we've had a breakthrough. Definitely not an ending but at least a breakthrough. I'm not sure if I handled it right but anyways...

Last weekend the girls were playing outside and Misaki came in with something in her hands that she was all excited about. When she showed me what she had it was a dangomushi (pillbug?). Now I'm not scared of those little bugs but I definitely don't want them in the house so I told Misaki to take it straight outside and that I didn't want her to bring anymore bugs into the house. As she walked out the door she said, "Oh, it's tickling my hands. You cute little dangomushi". Yes, she loves living things.

Today was a day off from school and Emi and Misaki played outside for most of the afternoon while Chikara and I did stuff around the house. By early evening most of their friends had gone home so the girls came inside. We decided to go out for dinner instead of making something. All the girls went downstairs with Chikara to get their shoes on and I gathered my bag and stuff (there's always stuff) and followed them. When I got downstairs, right away I saw some little black somethings on the ground. I went closer and realized that they were dangomushi. Five of them! Emi and Sakura were still getting their shoes on but Misaki was already in the car. I called her back and asked her straight out, "Misaki did you bring these dangomushi into the house?". I really expected her to lie since this has been the typical pattern for her. Her face screwed up into a cry and I asked her one more time and...

*deep breath*

...she said "Yes". Yes! They were magical words. Then she showed me where she had hidden the rest. Gross. At this point I wasn't sure what to do exactly. She disobeyed by bringing dangomushi into the house even though I had just told her a few days before that she was not allowed to. And she had hidden the bugs and I had just managed to find a few escapees. I knew that I should discipline her for that disobedience but I also felt like she had chosen to tell the truth which is a bigger problem that we had been working on. Gosh, parenting is hard!

In the end I didn't discipline her for the disobedience (I feel that coming back to bite me in the butt). I did tell her sternly that she had disobeyed and I wasn't happy about that and I made her take all the dangomushi back outside. But I did praise her for telling the truth and not lying. She wasn't sure if she should cry or smile. I wasn't sure if I should cry or smile, either!

While we were at dinner, she asked me why I had said that I was proud of her for not lying and I told her again that telling the truth was the right thing for her to do. I did reiterate that she had still disobeyed by bringing the bugs in but didn't she feel good when she told the truth? She said yes.

I hope this means we're turning a corner with the lying. I can't imagine that it's over and she'll never lie again but I do see the light at the end of the tunnel. Woo-hoo!

1 comment:

Christelle said...

I think you made the right choice. As they say, you gotta choose your battles. And at age six I think contradictory reactions (punishment for a deed done but praise for not lying about it) can be really confusing. Only time will tell I guess though eh?