Where did my 5-year-old go? From princess dress-up to being grounded in no time at all.
Yesterday we had a pretty laid-back day planned. Church in the morning, quick lunch and a nap, then head to Disneyland to celebrate our associate minster’s birthday (“Em” and I have become very close to “Opal” since she came to our church a little over a year ago).
I told Em to lay in her bed and stay quiet until I told her it was time to get up; I didn’t mind if she didn’t nap, but I knew I needed one before we headed to The Happiest (and most tiring) Place On Earth.
When I felt refreshed enough, I went into Em’s room to let her know it was time to go. Just as I pushed her door open, I saw her roll over onto her side facing away from me as fast as she could. Uh oh. When I said it was time to get up, she slowly rose from the pillow looking groggy and said, “I didn’t even hear my alarm go off.” Double uh oh. Two lies in 10 seconds.
I called her on it and asked what she’d been doing when I walked in. “Napping” she said. When I asked her not to lie to me and tell me the truth, or we weren’t going to go to Disneyland , she told another lie, that she was trying to see what time it was on her clock (which was behind her before she rolled over). She went through about 3 more lies before I gave up trying to get the truth out of her.
So, I had to pull the “mean mommy” card and not take her to Disneyland. Big bummer for me because I wanted to go play again (even though I’d been there twice in the last week already) and celebrate Opal’s birthday. “Everyone” was going, but it wouldn’t sit right with me if I gave Em the reward of Disneyland for her lies. So I “grounded” her. I told her why we weren’t going to Disneyland, that it hurt my feelings that’s she’d lied to me, and that she had to stay in her room until dinnertime. She could read her books or play with toys that were in her room, but not come downstairs to play, watch a movie, or play on the computer. She’s 5 after all, I can’t ban her to her room and make her do nothing all day. She’d fall asleep from the boredom and miss the point alltogether.
It took her about an hour to apologize and tell me the real truth (she was looking at her books on the bookshelf). We discussed that she wouldn’t have been in trouble if she’d told me that right away, but now she was grounded because of the lies she told. We also discussed that while telling the truth won’t always keep her out of trouble, if she lies, she’ll be in even bigger trouble.
By the time dinner was ready 5 hours later, Em told me that she didn’t like being grounded. I asked her if she remembered why she’d been grounded, and she replied “because I lied.”
Sweet! Lesson learned….I hope.
I was invited to guest post on the OCRegister’s OCMoms blog section. See the comments my post received here.