Apparently once a child starts to lie to you it is a sign of intelligence. They now comprehend that there are consequences to their actions, and if they want to avoid those consequences then it’s best not to admit to what they have just done.
Hurricane has now reached this junction. And he’s very bad at it.
It is one thing to be smart enough to lie, but it’s another thing to be smart enough to know when you can get away with it. In that regard, Hurricane is at least smart enough to be President of the United States. Not a high bar unfortunately.
The first time he lied to me I was making dinner. He was sitting with Chaos in the living room in my direct line of sight. She had her bunny, he tried to take it off her. When she refused to let go he leaned back and kicked her in the head. The force left her face down on the ground as the tears started.
Up to this point, whenever I asked Hurricane why Chaos was crying he would explain very honestly what he had done and why. But this time his response was: “She fell on her face”.
Partially true of course. She did fall over after been clocked in the head with his heel. So I followed up with a leading question. Did she trip?
Yes she tripped.
Did she trip before or after you kicked her in the head?
I saw you kick her in the head Hurricane.
I could see the wheels spinning in his head. He knew he was in trouble, so he stood up and walked himself to time out to mitigate the fall out. Well played little man.
I thought that catching him dead cold first up might have made him rethink the wisdom of trying to lie to me. I was wrong. He’s adopted a strategy akin to a computer virus and has started testing my defences searching for weaknesses.
He now only lies to me when he knows I couldn’t have seen what happened, or he guesses I was otherwise distracted enough to not notice. There are several problems with his strategy of course.
- I’m smarter than he is
- Chaos still tells me the truth
- He doesn’t know how to sell a lie (his tone and body language give him up)
None of this stops him from trying. His best efforts to date have been when he has convinced Chaos to do something with him – for example dump our takeaway containers in the toilet. He will promptly blame her, and she will happily admit to it. But of course she will also just as happily sell him out when I ask her if he was the ringleader.
This raises a counter question. While lying at an early age might be a sign of intelligence, is continually getting caught in a lie a sign of persistence, or stupidity?