Daughter lies. She says she can’t help it, because she was born into a family of liars. I point out that she’s been with me for over 18 years, and I tell the truth. She is getting better about telling the truth, but there are still times when she lies.
Last night when I got back to our room after the evening activities, she was already here in her pj’s.
“Did you take a shower?”
“Will I find evidence?”
“Yes, my towel is wet.... You shouldn’t have to check, you should just believe me!”
I was silent, and continued what I was doing. I was 99% sure she was lying, since the protest was a good sign she was being less than honest with me. It wasn’t long before she said, “Okay, I didn’t take a shower tonight. I’ll do it tomorrow.”
This morning I got up and showered, and when I finished, Daughter headed to the bathroom. She quickly came out fully clothed.
“What happened to the shower?”
“You said I could wait until tonight.”
“No, I said you could wait until this morning.”
“You’re a liar! I hate you!” She shouted this as she headed to the bathroom to take the shower.
I could hear her in the shower fussing and fuming. I’m not sure whether it was God or me who was the target of her anger. I hoped that the people in the room next door couldn’t hear her.
It wasn’t long before she emerged from the bathroom. “Sorry.”
As we headed out the door for breakfast, I said, “I’m sorry if you didn’t understand I meant you were to shower this morning. You were beginning to smell pretty ripe. It would really be embarrassing to be with your friends and smell bad.”
This whole exchange was major progress:
1. She confessed and acknowledged the lie before I verified it. There was a time when she would have continued denying the lie even when I proved it to be a lie.
2. Very little of the anger was targeted at me. After her initial outburst, she went into the bathroom to take her shower and express the rest of the anger.
3. The apology came quickly.
4. She didn’t blame me, but took responsibility.
5. I didn't react and take the bait, but let her work it out. She knows how I feel about lying. She knows the consequences of lying. I didn't have to tell her again.
I celebrate the progress, and believe that someday she will tell the truth at the beginning, and I won’t have to constantly check out her stories.