How one parent dealt with son starting to lie

Great short story of how one parent possibly solved the problem of a son who was starting to lie to him:

When he was… 4, maybe?… my kid told me he’d brushed his teeth when he clearly hadn’t. I busted him by checking his toothbrush and such, and when I asked him why he’d lied to me (something he’d been starting to do regularly), he just shrugged nonchalantly, with a “what are you gonna do about it?” air.

I was pissed, but I took a breath, decided not to be my father, and just said “well, let’s go to lunch. You said you wanted McDonald’s, right? Do you know what you’re going to get?” And off we went.

Five minutes later we were pulling into the parking lot of the place *I* wanted to eat at. When he protested that I said we were going to McDonald’s, I just shrugged and said “yeah, I lied. Let’s go,” and got out. Thirty seconds later he had made no move to get out of the car, but was still sitting there thunderstruck, the idea that other people could also lie to him clearly dawning on him for the first time ever.
He hasn’t lied to me since.


Creative parenting takes more thought and patience, but it’s not just more effective, it’s more fun.


Some interesting follow up comments:

Good one.. I stopped my two boys from running away from me in a store by hiding from them. I hid and watched them get to the point of slight panic . They never did it again nor did I ever have to worry about losing them. They kept an eye on me.


I did this to teach my dogs to stick close when off-leash hiking. If they got too far ahead I’d hide behind a tree or large rock. Shortly they’d come running back looking for me. I made it their job to keep track of me, not the other way around. Works great.


Doing that for my youngest son, he likes to try and wander off different paths, so I hide and watch him get freaked out a little when he realizes he is “alone”. He stays much closer and listens when I tell him to stay with me.


Quick question about the dogs. How long did it take them to realize they had to find you the first time?


Depending on breed, a few minutes tops. Not husky or alaskan malamute though. You could get mauled by bears and they would be happily playing, miles away from the incident.


Could this technique backfire? If your kid sees you lie, he/she could come to believe its acceptable to do so. Similar with teaching kids not to pinch or hit- if your pinch or hit them back in an attempt to ‘show them it hurts,’ this can potentially teach them that behavior is acceptable. By lying to you kid(s), how are you not teaching them its acceptable? Monkey see, monkey do.


That’s why you follow it up with a discussion to make sure the right message gets through. I didn’t just leave it at “see how it feels?”, we talked about how it’s better for everyone if we can trust each other, and so on. Secondary and mostly unstated was the idea that it’s not a good idea to shit on people who are in a position to have an impact on your life.

Do what works for you (and your child).

You control how you view and react

“You can blame everybody for your problems in life – and you might be right – but you can’t change that. What you can change is what you think and how you react, and what power you give other people’s actions and thoughts over you.”

In yet other words, “Men are disturbed not by things, but by the views which they take of them.” – Epictetus

Things to avoid, or characteristics of those to avoid: blaming others, playing a victim, helplessly whining and carrying on about problems.

Consider instead, thinking about solutions and taking action – accepting personal responsibility – for positive change or resolution, either by how you decide to view something, or by what you will personally do (today or tomorrow) about it!

Your attitude, good and bad, is contagious

The words you choose and the way you present things, can and does impact your own attitude and the attitudes of others.

For example, it’s common to hear statements in the form of (with emphasis on the word “have”):

“I have to go to a meeting”, or “I have to create a presentation for a new client”, or “I have to go to the gym”, or “I have to interview job candidates”.

Oftentimes the implication – or simply the perceived or received message – is the lamentation that one has to DO something, or do something or a list of things that are less desirable than something else.

Now, regardless of whether you really would rather not do what you feel obligated to do (maybe you need a tooth filling!), or you are genuinely appreciative and enthusiastic to be able to make a difference and work on something important, consider that you might make yourself, as well as those you communicate with about the task, feel better and more positive about it, simply by choosing a different way to describe it.

For instance, instead of “I have to…”, one could begin “I get to…”, or “I have an opportunity to…”, etc. In other words, “I have an opportunity to present the neat stuff we can do to a new prospect (that I can’t pass up)”, or “I get to select a great person to join our company and team, which is really going to help…”, or “I’m getting a tooth filling to save my tooth!”, etc.

I think most of us want to associate with happy, positive, enthusiastic, and fulfilled people, and, again, the words we choose can indeed have an impact on the attitudes of everyone “in the room”, including ourselves. Further, it seems undeniable that our attitudes about even the small things throughout our days carry over to the “big picture”, and our *overall* outcomes, more than we might fully recognize.

Sadhguru on Fear

I found this to be a very valuable 1.5 minute video addressing fear and its potential irrationality.  Very insightful…


An unrealistic perception of life is the basis of fear.

Fear comes about from “living in your mind” rather than with life, with reality, with the here and now. Fear is always about what’s gonna happen next, meaning your fear is always about that which does not exist.

If your fear is about the non-existent, your fear is 100% imaginary. If you are suffering the non-existential, we call that insanity.

So, many people may just be at socially acceptable levels of insanity, but, if you are afraid, or you are suffering anything that which does not exist, it amounts to insanity. Isn’t that insanity?

People are always suffering, either what happened today or what may happen tomorrow, so your suffering is always about that which does not exist, simply because you are not rooted in reality. Instead, you are always rooted in your mind. Mind – one part is memory, one is imagination – both of them, in one way, are imagination, because both of them don’t exist right now. You are lost in your imagination – that’s the basis of your fear. If you were rooted in reality, there would be no fear.

No Fear in the Now

Acceptance of What Is

Inner peace comes from acceptance of what is. The person looking for and placing focus on “problems” is certain to find them. What sometimes makes it worse, is worrying about problems out of your control, or problems that don’t (or might not) even exist.

Example story:

Two monks are walking, and come across a destroyed wagon. The rider is beaten and bloody, and warns them of a pack of bandits in the area. After bandaging the man, they continue on.

The younger monk says “What if the bandits come upon us?” The elder monks replied “Surely our martial training will keep us safe” and kept walking.

The next day the younger monk asks “What if the bandits have guns and swords?” The elder monk says “Surely our sharp minds will prevail” and kept walking.

The third day the young monk asks “What if there are so many bandits they overwhelm us?” The elder responds “Then we shall meet our end with grace.”

They arrived at the monastery that evening, and met with the high monk there. He asked “Three days of travel, tell me what did you see?”

The younger monk says “We saw a beaten man who warned us of bandits. I spent the whole trip with my eyes and ears strained, listening for them.”

The older monk says “We walked through the Old Forest and I enjoyed the vibrant life there. We passed the Winding River, and I meditated on the fish that fight the current. We walked around the Blue Mountain and I beheld the splendours of creation.”

The high monk smiles and says to the younger monk “A bandit steals gold and food. Who then stole the forest, the river and the mountain from you?”

Beware of the Garbage Truck

Came across this last night… pretty good reminder…

Twenty years ago, while riding in a New York City taxi, international keynote speaker and positive psychology leader David J. Pollay narrowly escaped a life-threatening car crash. The driver who almost caused the accident started yelling at the cab driver, who remarkably just smiled, waved, and wished him well. Pollay asked how the cabbie could remain so calm, and his response sparked the defining principle of The Law of the Garbage Truck: “Many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment… And if you let them, they’ll dump it on you. So when someone wants to dump on you, don’t take it personally… move on.”

Also, from the following link:

“Targets become Garbage Trucks when they accept the needless criticism and inappropriate behavior of the bullies, internalize and fill up on it all, and then turn around and dump it on others…. When young people take in the vile slung at them and believe what they hear, they give even more life to the bullies barbs, taunts, exclusioning, and rumors.”

Quietly reject the garbage and move on!–-bullying-don’t-be-a-garbage-truck/

Respect and Regard is Earned

Comic… somewhat tangentially related to the idea of “fairness”… father talks to son regarding his F in the spelling bee and the fact that he still received an “award for participation”, and how that type of award is an unfortunate thing. Respect and admiration of peers must be earned, via achievement and work… not just because you “participated”.