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My son lied about eating his lunch


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Old 29th October 2009, 11:06 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by IfWishesWereHorses View Post
I would use this time to make the point that he can trust you with his feelings.
nice.

I agree. This is not a bold face lie. He is just six years old for crying out loud. I get it. That's why i posted here. They say it takes a village to raise a child. That was then, now it takes a website like LS to raise one. lol.
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Old 29th October 2009, 11:32 AM   #17
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interesting.... My guess is he does not like the food we pack. But you do bring up a good point. Get to the bottom of the issue first...



Another good thought. Have him help us pack his lunch.

However, it does not change the fact that he lied. No message from us about what he did was wrong/not acceptable ?
To be honest, My 3rd grader can rarely remember what he had for lunch much less what he ate and what he threw away.

A lie is for a 6 year old something very different than for an adult. I would say throwing away his sandwich at lunch is not a punishable offense.

My small children also have breakfast at home, then breakfast at school [I did not know this for a long time, turns out their friends breakfast at school and they follow along often having 2 breakfast portions at school], they are snacked twice during the school day, and don't have a huge appetite at lunchtime.
I go have lunch with my children at school often and find that there is a monitor that pushes for "lunch rush" so that the next group of kids can have seats opened up for them, even I feel hurried through lunchtime there.
Many schools have also combined recess with lunchtime so once lunch is done that is the time you get for play with friends and outdoors. To be honest, I would probably rather play with my friends too.

Just get to the bottom of why he's not eating his lunch and see if it even should be rectified.
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Old 29th October 2009, 11:49 AM   #18
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65,
What you quoted as how you talk to your 6-year old is terrific...when he gets to about 16, or even 26. I think if you could maybe try to come down to his level, intellectually and emotionally, in addition to kneeling down in front of him so you can be on his physical level.

How much of the concept of "lying" does he even understand? And the more important question is why he isn't eating what you pack for him. Does he trash everything or specific foods? Maybe he just doesn't enjoy some of what you're sending to school with him? Or maybe he's heard of kids going into 'peanut allergy' reaction at school, and it freaked him out cos he doesn't understand how that all works? You punished him without asking him any of the most important questions.

The other thing you may want to consider is that you are making a 6-year old responsible for your feelings (of hurt, in this case.) That wouldn't be appropriate/self-responsible of you even if he was 36. You might want to express concern that he may not be taking in enough "energy" to grow and play; and ask him to help you plan and prepare nutritious lunches that he will enjoy.

TV shows like 'Super Nanny' and 'Nanny 911' are full of excellent tips for age-appropriate parenting; as well, maybe books on the subject?

Best of luck. I know it's not easy.
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Old 29th October 2009, 12:22 PM   #19
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One thing is sure...he probably lied because he did not want to disappoint you.
I think this is true, and and an important key to lying in children.

And the interesting thing, if you think about it: they learn it by watching us.

As adults, we naturally develop an ability to smooth and preserve relationships by distinguishing between the "important" lies and the unimportant ones - the so called "white lies" or even just twisting, distorting, or withholding the truth, that makes the world move along just a bit smoother for everyone. We do it because it preserves our relationships with each other, and we develop a sense of right and wrong that guides us in this subtle discrimination, but young kids don't have that ability to discriminate yet. So if it comes down to telling you a "little white lie" to preserve your feelings, to preserve their relationship with you, then they're just following the examples they internalize from all around them.

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For folks who don't know me...I know this may not be relevant here but I am recovering from my wife's affair (happened over an year ago). I am still very sensitive to the issue of lying/deceit a bit.
Be sure that you interpret, and analyze, and understand the issue of his lying in the developmental context of a growing 6-year-old. It is appropriate to deal with it at that level, but don't project your pain from your marriage onto this situation, and subconsciously saddle him with the responsibililty and anxiety that goes with that very real, but very adult betrayal.

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interesting.... My guess is he does not like the food we pack. But you do bring up a good point. Get to the bottom of the issue first...

Another good thought. Have him help us pack his lunch.

However, it does not change the fact that he lied. No message from us about what he did was wrong/not acceptable ?
I strongly encourage you to buy or borrow (check your library) a book called "Nurture Shock" by authors Po Bronson & Ashley Merryman, (ISBN: 978-0-446-50412-6) and read Chapter 4: Why Kids Lie. This isn't just some author's opinions on the subject, but a review of the latest research and thinking of people in the field. You may or may not agree, but it gives a very interesting perspective.
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Old 29th October 2009, 12:39 PM   #20
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So now you have two questions.

1. Why are you not eating your lunch?
2. Why did you feel that you could not tell me?

The answers should lead to some good opportunities for growth.
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Old 29th October 2009, 1:37 PM   #21
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A lie is for a 6 year old something very different than for an adult. I would say throwing away his sandwich at lunch is not a punishable offense.
Clarification. I thought I had mentioned this earlier but may be not. I asked him everyday if he ate his lunch. And he said "yes", everyday so far in the last two months and on days he purchased lunch, I would still ask him the same question...He would purchase lunch about once a week and on other days we would pack him.

I agree that a lie for a 6 year old is very different than for an adult.

I also agree that throwing away his lunch in itself is not a punishable offense.
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Old 29th October 2009, 1:44 PM   #22
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You punished him without asking him any of the most important questions..
I have not spoken to him yet. It will be later this evening. My wife will be next to me or around when i do this.

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The other thing you may want to consider is that you are making a 6-year old responsible for your feelings (of hurt, in this case.)
I totally understand what you are saying. No worries on that count. My personal bias/experience will not clout my "judgement"....
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Old 29th October 2009, 1:53 PM   #23
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Parent of four kids. And yes, they have brought there lunch home uneaten...or parts of it. And yes, I have gotten mad that they didn't eat it. (Actually, worried that they were starving all day, which is weird because if they were then any food would have tasted good ).

First, WHY does he feel he needs to lie and dump his food? Mine bring it home, and now I try to never get mad when they do. Usually it is part of the main course, or maybe the apple for one, or the cookies for the other. Most of the time it is because they didn't "have time." This means they wanted to get outdoors, or they were less hungry because of stress of a test...or who knows why.

Second, usually I would say punish a lie, but in this case, why? Getting to the bottom of why he dumps his food instead of bringing it home and saying why he did not get time to eat something or did not like something is more appropriate for long term behavior change. Punishing the lie will simply change how he dumps his food. Will it get him to eat his food? Doubt it.

Third, if it is too much food, then give him less.

If it were my kid (and it has been), then I would try to get an answer as to why the need to lie, and why he wants to dump his food. Then I would say that if he cannot eat everything, then bring it home. While I am not saying his lunch should be as he wants it, having him help pack the lunch does help. My kids actually prefer fruits and chips over cookies quite often. And the main course is usually leftovers from the previous nights meal.

IMO punishing the lie in this situation will not solve the problem. It may get him to quit lying about eating the food, but again, it may not. However, in this case, I think a resolution regarding not finishing his lunch is what is needed.

I do know that my kids will give away food once in awhile and probably trade for something else. My opinion is that as long as they eat and are healthy...and don't eat just junk food, then I am fine with it. Putting them in a position that makes lying preferable to bringing food home means another problem exists.

Just mu 2c.
I 100% agree with this.

Also, don't mention who told you about it. Let him believe you have "parental magic". It will help keep him honest.
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Old 29th October 2009, 1:57 PM   #24
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Clarification. I thought I had mentioned this earlier but may be not. I asked him everyday if he ate his lunch. And he said "yes", everyday so far in the last two months and on days he purchased lunch, I would still ask him the same question...He would purchase lunch about once a week and on other days we would pack him.

I agree that a lie for a 6 year old is very different than for an adult.

I also agree that throwing away his lunch in itself is not a punishable offense.
not to get into semantics but if he ate any of his lunch. He wouldn't be lieing to you by answering yes. Is he throwing away his whole lunch? or just part of it.,

Because if he is throwing away just part of it he is truthfully answering your question.
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Old 29th October 2009, 2:05 PM   #25
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called "Nurture Shock" by authors Po Bronson & Ashley Merryman, (ISBN: 978-0-446-50412-6) and read Chapter 4: Why Kids Lie. .
thanks Trimmer. I reserved the book at my local library.

When I grew up, I always wondered about lying. If it is ok to lie sometimes. It was almost like I was "confused" as to what is ok to lie about and what is not ok to lie about. I had a cousin of mine who I thought never lied and looked up to him as the role model.

I lied once when I was very young (about 8..i am not kidding about the age) and I got a friend of mine in big trouble. Few decades later, I still remember what I did. I had moved on since then but can never forget what i did.
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Old 29th October 2009, 2:06 PM   #26
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not to get into semantics but if he ate any of his lunch. He wouldn't be lieing to you by answering yes. Is he throwing away his whole lunch? or just part of it.,

Because if he is throwing away just part of it he is truthfully answering your question.
Bingo, this was the point I was trying to get to as well.
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Old 29th October 2009, 2:08 PM   #27
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Also, don't mention who told you about it. Let him believe you have "parental magic". It will help keep him honest.
....I was going to but now I may not. thanks. I start saying "I found out....." ? (and leave the name out ?)

you guys and gals are amazing. One day, I will share this thread with my dear son...
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Old 29th October 2009, 2:16 PM   #28
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....I was going to but now I may not. thanks. I start saying "I found out....." ? (and leave the name out ?)

you guys and gals are amazing. One day, I will share this thread with my dear son...
Maybe something like "Son, do you not like what we pack for your lunch? If not or if it's too much, we can change it, since what's in it, isn't cast in stone. This way, all or part of it doesn't get thrown out."

This gives him a safe harbour opening, to agree or disagree. If he upholds the lie, then you're going to have to address it a little more firmly. But backing anyone into a corner, rarely works.
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Old 29th October 2009, 2:24 PM   #29
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I was once a 6 year old...

I remember being 6 once. Every day at lunch, I threw out my apple. It didn't matter if it was rainy or sunny out, if it was a Monday or a Friday, come Hell or High water, my mother felt the need to pack me an apple. Maybe she thought if she didn't put an apple in my lunch that she wasn't a good mother. Who knows, who cares. The truth is, I never ate my apple. I threw it away. Was it a reflection on my mother? Was it a reflection upon me? No. I just didn't like apples. To this day I've never told my mother that I didn't eat the apples. I think it would make her sad. She would have to re-analyze my whole upbringing. Oh where, oh where did I go wrong she would think. What 6 year old wouldn't rather eat the ding dong his mother so lovingly included in his lunch than his crusty ol' crust on the bread sandwich? Your son isn't telling you that he isn't eating his sandwich because he loves you and doesn't want to hurt your feelings. OR maybe he's just afraid you won't pack the ding dongs anymore until he starts eating the sandwich. I would continue packing the sandwiches. One day, he'll realize how good they really are! He might be 27 years old by then, but I guarantee you, he's going to grow up strong and healthy regardless of whether or not he eats the sandwich you so lovingly packed for him today.
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Old 29th October 2009, 3:09 PM   #30
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I'm kind of curious as to why he has been throwing out his lunch. It could be as simple as he doesn't like what you've packed him, or other students have better lunches, or buy their own. Either way, lying about it is wrong and throwing away good food is also a waste of money. Also, could benefit him to know that not all kids are able to eat lunches, due to their home life, so he should feel blessed it's provided for him.

Tell him you love him and even though at times you may feel disappointed in him, that it's best for him always to tell you truth, that he can trust you, no matter what.

I wish I had that trust/faith in my parents growing up, but I never felt I could open up and talk to them without getting in sh*t about whatever.
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