My kids are now 7 and 9 - apparently the ages where manipulation begins to take on a whole new degree of calculated and sneaky. The little white lies are running around like wild fire, or truth not being told at all in half stories. I am finding things like nail polish remover out of place that I've specifically asked her about in a drawer in my daughter's room. I even had the pleasure of peeling a 5 inch rubberized sticky pink scorpion looking thing that was purchased in a gumball machine for 50 cents off the kitchen ceiling after telling them repeatedly not to throw it at the walls or ceiling. I promptly told my son to throw it in the garbage, and watched him do it, only to have the thing re-surface days later while dusting the piano. (He probably figured it would be safe there because I don't dust often.)
In any case, this is a sneaky situation that is finding it's way in a little too often for my taste and I'm about sure talking until I'm blue in the face is not going to affect the progression because it's obvious all they hear is Charlie Brown's teacher yapping at them from across the table. This proven just yesterday after having a nice discussion about it with both of them using the aforementioned examples, letting them know that being deceiving was not going to be tolerated, thinking I was nipping it in the bud when my son decided to take over an hour to do a math page because I wasn't sitting on him at the table to get it done. Instead he played, sang songs and took nibbles off the piece of cake I put on the counter (as incentive for him to get it done faster which backfired for obvious reasons, I remember being 9) for when he finished his page that he bragged would be easy because he only had to do the even problems. After coming back into the kitchen to see that he wasn't even near done, I decided that my actions would make a better point. I threw the cake in the garbage, closed the math book and told him to go to his room - this affected him immediately. He started crying probably more about the cake than having to go to his room because this still got him out of the homework page he was stalling to finish in the first place. I followed this with telling him he would have to explain to his dad why he was up there before he could work on his homework again. Is hoping that holding himself accountable for his actions will possibly make him think about it next time too much to ask?
I have a feeling that this will be a frequent thing around here and remembering my own childhood I know it's only just begun. They seem to both be enjoying pulling one over. Maybe there is nothing I can do about it but respond to it when it happens but this bothers me being so much more of a pro-active parent. I would rather not be reacting to things but put something in place to prevent it from happening in the first place. I realize that it's a natural reaction for a child to try to cover up a mistake or not to tell the whole truth when nobody is asking the specific question that will get them in trouble. I just feel like they are at an age now where I should be able to trust that they know certain things and yet in the same respect it's because they know certain things that they are able to get away with being sneaky so it really is a double edged sword. They are getting too smart thinking they are getting away with something by out smarting mom and dad!
So my question to you is: How do you deal with this unavoidable sneaky situation in your house?