I have been thinking a lot about children and how they tend to bend the truth in certain situations. For example, it was the end of the day and all the children in the room were doing their part to help accomplish all of the daily chores. With 12 children each doing their part, our room looks great in a matter of minutes. I glanced around the room as everyone was buzzing around and I noticed one child was hiding in the cubbies. He was not hiding near the cubbies, his entire body was crammed into a square box about two feet off the floor. I didn’t say a word, at the time. The end of the day chores were done with time to spare, the children asked if they could go to the block room. As they ascended the spiral staircase to the block room I stopped the boy who had been hiding in a cubby. I reminded him that he still had to do his part to help clean the room. A few tears ran down his face as he asked, “Why can’t I go upstairs?” I told him that I watched him hiding in the cubbies instead of cleaning, so before he could go to the block room he would have to do his share of cleaning just as everyone else had done. He looked me straight in the eyes and said, “I was not hiding in the cubbies, that was your imagination.” Although he was real cute, I was insistent that he do his share before going to the block room.
This interaction really got me thinking about how children respond to consequences and the nature of fibbing. My first thought was that this is a hilarious thought for me because I am sure my dear Mom and Dad have countless stories of my fibbing as I am sure I will have a few about my son. But as far as the classroom is concerned I started to think that maybe I was focusing on the wrong detail. The only clear thought I could come up with is that children fib to teachers because they are trying to avoid the consequence. I decided that I would focus my conversations more on the decision making process so that children associate a consequence with a poor decision rather than the actual behavior. I will let you know how it goes.