What am I going to do at 13?

Cassidy and I have been butting heads lately. It seems like when she turned 7 somebody pulled her aside and told her that lying to me was far better than getting in trouble for doing something she knows she shouldn’t have. It came to a head yesterday when, for the first time, she told me a calculated lie. Like, she intentionally thought it through and planned it and carried it out expecting me to fall for it…

When it happened I was so caught off guard and frustrated I told her she needed to sit on her bed and wait for me to calm down before we talked about it. We’ve grounded her in the past for lying. We take away Animal Crossing for a week, or limit her computer time to only educational software, etc. But this approach is not working and both Ben and I felt it was time to stop this FOR GOOD. And in order to do that we need to do something harsh and that will leave a lasting impression.

So. Today after school she came home, did her homework and spent the rest of the day in the guest room (where there are no toys) and was only allowed to read. Just sit in the room and read. This will continue till Sunday evening…

And it’s killing me. To know she’s up there in the room all by herself and I can’t hear her giggle echoing throughout the house, or her feet stomping across the hardwood floors, or her rummaging through her snack drawer trying to squash her near constant hunger lately. And we can’t play with her hair, and no knock-knock jokes, and no sneaking in her room to watch her made up dance routine to some current pop song.

I have to keep telling myself that this is for her own good. It’s because she NEEDS to learn this lesson. She CAN’T continue to think it’s okay to tell me little white lies to keep from facing consequences. And I need to start being better about positive reinforcement. When she DOES tell the truth, even though she will still get in trouble, I need to remind her that it’s not as bad as it would have been if she had lied. And I need to compliment her for telling me the truth and being “grown up” enough to do it.

*sigh* I miss the days of her little “oh oh’s” that were so easy to fix and clean up. This growing up stage is hard. And trying. I love how independent she is. And how she has her own taste in music (as bad as it may be), and her own off the wall style sense, and a growing sense of humor… but I’m not ready for her to be this old. She’s moving past the age of innocence. And I’m just not ready for that yet.

7 thoughts on “What am I going to do at 13?

  1. My little brother is ten and such the little liar. I think he’s finally getting the idea that maybe he shouldn’t lie after he spent a whole week in his room with no toys, computer, or tv and then lied right after he got ungrounded and spent another week of no toys, computer, or tv.

  2. I was a little liar about this age.. a little thief too. 1st grade I remember (in private school) telling the class to please pray for the bunnies that live under my chimney. Then it was telling the class to please pray for the bear that when I woke up after hearing a gunshot, was lying in the back yard with a shotgun next to it. Poor teacher….

    The theft part was whenever we went to Safeway, I’d leave with a cute little toy, I remember the little fuzzy “Best Secretary” Bears. It was when we were leaving a salon my mom had gone to, and the stylist came stomping out yelling at me that I was a thief and taking back her Vanity Smurf I’d snatched… that was when I felt humiliated and changed my ways.

    I was BUSTED and never wanted to feel that way again.

    That’s the tough part about being a parent, but you’re doing the right thing by enforcing what’s right and wrong as much as it pains you.

  3. I, too, was a little liar at about that stage. It lasted until about Jr. High and I still haven’t heard the end of it. Even know I know my Mom questions everything I say, though that has subsisted considerably in the last week with the iPod thing and there being vidoe evidence that I didn’t, infact, leave it sitting on a desk somewhere.

    That is what worked on me. Being told and told and told and told that if I kept it up, she’d never be able to trust me. That killed me and it still breaks my heart to see that look on Mom’s face, though, honestly, I had really thought she’d have gotten over it by now.

  4. It is hard but doing the right thing is difficult sometimes….she may never thank you but she’ll def be a better person because of what you are teaching her today. Stay Strong!

  5. LOL, as I was reading this I got a call from the mother of the kids I nanny for, and she was telling me about the kids lying, the older one who is about cassidys age has been doing ALOT of lying lately and today she lied about her homework, saying she left it here at my house on monday when I made her put it in her back pack when she was done. while im on the phone with mom she is getting attitude with her saying she left it here and everything and moms telling her no you didnt, then mom looks in the trash can and finds her homework in the bottom of the trash can, Turns she threw it away cause she didnt want to do homework this week and was lying about where she left it! and was trying to get me in trouble ~ what a little sneak.

  6. Hi! I found your site through Becca’s –you’re daughter is adorable even if she is in trouble. My mom had the hardest time punishing me because instead of watching TV or playing like normal kids I’d rather read. 😡

    Just wanted to say hi 🙂

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