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4 Moms Answer Questions About Lying, Prioritizing, and Crockpot Cooking

Have you bought the 4 Moms' ebook yet?

The 4 Moms of 35+ Kids are answering reader questions from our Facebook page again this week.

How do you deal with lying when there is no hard proof, though you strongly suspect who did it?

This is an area where I made a painful mistake that I hope I can save you from.

A few years ago, after my son had been playing alone in the backyard, I noticed that the concrete bird bath had been toppled over and broken into pieces. I immediately suspected that he had something to do with it, so I called him into my room and questioned him about it.

He immediately and confidently, too confidently, I thought, said that he didn't do it.

I felt certain that he had done it and was lying to keep out of trouble. After all he had just been out there, and everyone else was playing elsewhere. Who else could have done it? It had to be him. Circumstantial evidence was supporting my suspicions.

I went over all the above details and told him I knew he was lying and he had better confess. He stuck to his story and I stuck to my guns.

After a very lengthy session of "You are lying" and "No, I'm not," he finally confessed, although very grudgingly.

Years later, through many bitter tears he told me I had actually coerced him into lying. He had not really done it, but in order to stop my torturous accusations, he lied and told me he had. (We together concluded our large-ish dog must have done it.)

Can you imagine my horror and shame? My own son could not trust me to protect him. From ME.

It took time and many tearful apologies to heal the wounds and mistrust that I caused him through my accusations.

Because of that incident and the damage done, my policy now is that unless I can prove a misdeed with conclusive evidence beyond a shadow of a doubt, I do not accuse.

I will ask for a confession, and I pray aloud for the guilty party to be racked with so much guilt that they will confess and repent.

Recently, we had an issue of unauthorized cutting of the baby's hair. I knew she couldn't have done it herself, because a big gap was neatly cut in the back. No one would admit doing it, but the baby repeatedly placed the blame on a certain sister. I was pretty sure the baby was right, but since I never got a confession, I did not accuse.

But every night during bedtime prayers, I asked God to lead the guilty party to confess and repent. She never did, and I have had to let it go. It is so important to me to never repeat the situation I put my son through, that I am willing to let a crime go unpunished, rather than falsely accuse a child ever again.

When time is short and you know you can't get it all done, what things are at the top of your list? What are the most important things in your day/week?

I'm assuming you are talking about every day of my life, because I never get everything done that needs doing! Such is the nature of a busy mom.

I try very hard to start each day with reading the Bible aloud and morning chores for everyone. If those two things get done and nothing else does, at least we have a clean floor and God's word in our minds.

After that, meals and school work are the next priority, in that order. Our bodies and minds must be fed.

Each night, I try to be sure I run the dishwasher so we will have clean dishes to start all over again the next day.

Of course, on a perfect day, we hope to get a lot more than that done, but the above are on my "must get done" list.

Any tips for cooking with littles? I have a 4 and 3 year old that help in the kitchen doing small tasks but getting meals done with my 6 month old can be a challenge. She makes it known with crying that she has other plans for me and getting dinner ready is not on her list . Do you plan all meals around nap time? Any crockpot recipes you could share would be most helpful.

When my babies were still "babes in arms" I got a lot of mileage out of wearing them in a wrap. In this type of baby carrier, you can have both hands free, and the baby still feels secure being snuggled next to you. (That particular wrap is no longer available, but the Moby wrap is very similar and has great reviews.)

And you can keep your meal prep simple by using a Crockpot. Check out my list of over 100 Crockpot recipes.

Now, be sure to check out The Common Room and Life in a Shoe to see what reader questions they are answering today.

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  1. I’ve been wearing my new baby a LOT lately. He’s too heavy for my stretchy wrap already (around 16 lbs and not quite 3 months) but with a woven wrap I can wear him on my back and I can do things without having to reach around the baby. I also feel much safer cooking while wearing him if he’s not between me and the hot stove. I’ve been wearing him on my back since he was 2 weeks old and he almost always falls asleep. :) A Mei Tai is also good for back wearing. Stretchy wraps should never be used on the back though.

    Thanks for the tips about handling lying. My 3 yr old has been lying lately. I hate to accuse her of something she doesn’t fess up to so this post was in good timing for me. Thanks!

    • Yes- a woven wrap has made my life in the kitchen sooo much easier!
      I have three also, 5 3 and 1, and it has all been so much easier this time around. I remember with my three-year-old, I used to make breakfast with him clinging to my legs and crying. It was pretty awful. I could have made it easier on us all by instructing him better or just putting him in a sling (had I known how), but oh well. I’m glad I know better this time :)

      And bless you Connie, for being honest enough to share that painful story. That happened to me as a child. I never actually lied and said I did it, but I was punished and had a reputation as a liar afterwards that stung. Based on that I’ve never pushed a child who is denying either.

  2. Sarah :) says:

    http://crockpot365.blogspot.com is also AMAZING for crockpot recipes. it’s my go-to site.

  3. Out of 10 kids, we have had 3 professional liars so far. Seriously, these 3, all boys, make Bill Clinton look like an honest guy.
    The third of this trio was “caught” burning matches in the bathroom a few yrs ago. We spent the better part of two hours trying to get him to confess. He had a burn mark on his hand, and his older brother had walked in on him doing it, so there was no question about his guilt, just the fact that he refused to say the words, “Yes, I did it.”
    After he finally did confess, my husband said to me, “Honey, you missed your calling in lfe. You could have been a professional interrogator.”
    I said, “Honey, I already AM.”

  4. I’ll never forget the incident with my oldest daughter who was about 6 at the time. She had cut her bangs, and for the life of me I could not get her to confess, I tried every tactic. I told my husband about it and he went to her said, “You cut your bangs didn’t you?” to which she immediately said yes. Man, what is it with Dads? My kids listen and obey so much faster!

  5. For baby at dinner prep time….I’ve never been comfortable wearing a baby in the kitchen. A couple of things I’ve found to work are a playpen near the kitchen where baby feels part of the action or bringing a highchair into the kitchen and letting baby play with measuring cups etc. when those things fail I use it as a self-control training opportunity, fussing is not going to hurt baby.

  6. I am with you that I do not accuse children of lying. I don’t want to make life miserable for my innocent children. I mention it once or twice, talk about how their conscience must be bothering them and that the incident (sometimes) and the lying are both sins. Then I let it go.

  7. Serenity says:

    This was EXACTLY what I needed to hear today! I have a child who I am a little dubious about her truthfulness. Recently, I had been wondering about how to handle this…the Bible does say that two or three witnesses are needed for punishment. Thank you for sharing how you deal with lying!

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