Thursday, February 26, 2009

Learning the Value of Your Word

Trenton has been struggling with honesty the last few months. To put it plainly, the little rat has been lying like a rug, and about the stupidest, minor things. Part of his consequences for these lies is that we don't trust his word until he can prove himself to be trustworthy again. He's been making good strides in that department but until I can see some consistency and a pattern of honesty his word is mud around here.

So this morning he and Avery got into a heated sitution and Avery was obviously in the wrong. When I called them to me to work it out, Avery ran the gamut between outright lies and the ever-popular, " I don't remember". All his tells were showing. Trenton was obviously the victim and Avery was very clearly in need of punishment. The circumstances were classic Avery misbehavior and the situation wasn't one that Trenton would be clever enough to come up with on his own.

So I had a guilty party and a wronged party. The trouble was I also had a the word of a confirmed liar (Trenton) against the word of an obviously lying Avery. What to do?

I punished them both. Before punishing them I explained to Trenton that I knew he did nothing wrong and I knew Avery was lying. But since he has a history of not telling th truth all I had to go on was the word of someone who is untrustworthy against the word of someone who is trustworthy. So even though he was the victim, he needed to be punished too. His word just wasn't enough to mean something to me.

Trenton understood completely and if ever I've seen a 'light bulb" moment it was then. He grinned at me and told me he really understands what a man's word is worth now. And then he happily went to his punishment. I pointed out to Avery that an innocent child was being disciplined because he wouldn't tell the truth.

About an hour later Avery came to me "remembering" what had really happened and absolved Trenton from any involvement.

I was so pleased that I was able to get through to both of them. Sure, this is just one battle. But we got a lightbulb moment and Avery's conscience led him to do the right thing.

I've always told the kids that without your word, you're nothing. Now I think they are starting to understand what that means.

P.S. Sorry I haven't been posting many crafty things, I've been doing tons but it's all stuff I can't share just yet.


MaryC said...

You are an excellent mother. I wish I had been that clever at child rearing. You have a knack for thinking outside the box. I envy that.

chksngr said...

This is FABULOUS, my friend!!! FANTASTIC!

Jenna Bayley-Burke said...

What a tough place!

Hayden is having trouble with the truth...he creates these outlandish stories, so I told him he can make up tall tales as long as he makes up the's working for the most part.