I have given my kids several hard and fast rules. Tattling is not allowed, but if it is something that is dangerous or someone is hurt, by all means tell. “The Ninja” has taken it a step further with the kids and always promised them that she would not rat them out. She has kept that promise with the following exceptions which are understood in advance. If they are in danger she will come to me. If I ask her a question about them, she will not lie for them.
I am pretty sure that I do not want to know how much has been concealed from me over the years. I feel like for the most part, the kids have tremendous consciences and as I have mentioned before, often tell on themselves before anyone else gets a chance. “Pook” was very adept at kicking balls in the family room. This activity was banned early on, due to my stuff getting broken. I will never forget him coming upstairs with a broken collectible house in his hands. While he was confessing about the house, he also admitted to killing the glass preacher that went with it.
Some things were kept secret for a while, but eventually came out. My boys and the nephews were playing football downstairs and knocked over an antique floor lamp. I must have been in a bad mood (I know for some of you that is difficult to believe), but they did not tell me. Instead, they took athletic tape and pieced the glass globe back together, put the lampshade back on and turned off the light. I did not notice until I insisted that the light be turned on. It made an interesting pattern – the light shining through athletic tape, I mean. The confessed and also paid for the replacement globe with their allowance.
They also learned pretty early on, that I really do have eyes in the back of my head and somehow know everything. A word of caution, don’t tell your children that they won’t get in trouble if they tell the truth. That is a lie in and of itself and does not apply in the real world, which is what you are preparing them for. If they steal something and admit it, they will still get in trouble in the real world. Be honest and compassionate. Maybe, reduce the sentence or cut your lecture short when they admit getting in trouble. There should always be a consequence. That is so important to learn! Have a great day, and be sure to check things in your house. Bet you will hear some stories!
Wife, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Nurse, Grandmother, Friend...that's me in a nutshell!