For whatever reason, my boys are fairly truthful kids. A especially does not lie. Sometimes his honesty gets him in a bit of a pickle when he points out other's flaws. White lies are totally beyond that kid. This honesty also makes him a bit gullible. Since he doesn't lie, he really doesn't think other people lie either. He also tends to see the good in people, which aids in other's abilities to sell him bridges in Brooklyn. Of all the boys, D is probably the most quick to lie. He's a bit sneakier than the other two, but at this point I know all his "tells" and can quickly get the truth out. Sometimes we call it his little bag of troubles and all is usually confessed by the time he goes to bed at night. I think L is still a little bit too young to really get into lying full force.
The girls are a completely different can of worms. M lies at will. The stories range from the fantastic to the mundane. For awhile the boys believed everything that came out of her mouth. Then they started calling her out on everything and pointing out the absurdity. Now, they simply ignore it or cut to the chase with "you're lying" and leave it be. The fake illnesses, injuries, and now weird stories about mean friends are exhausting. It's really hard to believe anything that she says. I try to give her the benefit of the doubt to start off, but even that is starting to wear thin.
E is a seasoned liar and manipulator. It's been harder for me to tell when it's happening. I think I've figured it out though. It's usually always when she either wants to get her way with something or when she's backed into a corner about being right about something and she "swears" she read somewhere that a certain fact is true. This morning when I pointed out to her that she had therapy at 4 tomorrow she suddenly stated, "oh...Lynne wants to just talk to just you again and I don't have to be there." I looked at her and said, "yeah, that's not happening any more. Lynne is your therapist and it's your time to work on your stuff." Mysteriously, 15 minutes later, the scheduling was all worked out and my mythical appointment with her therapist went away.
I've told E that I trust her. I tend to go along with M's silly lies. But if I'm totally honest, I don't trust them. I know they are lying. I'm at a loss to know how to deal with it. My dynamic with my own kids is just different. Do I call the girls out on their lies all the time? Do I just try to model positive behavior and hope it rubs off? From the beginning we have always been honest with the girls about the big stuff (their sisters, the house, the financial issues, their dog). I even outed Santa Claus with M because I felt like when she asked me directly I couldn't lie to her at this stage in the game.
I'm not sure where the source of the lying resides. Maybe their therapists or mine might give me some insight as to the why so I can figure out the best way to handle it. It's just another way in which my boys are different and I'm a bit unsure about how to parent the girls. Our new relationship as their parents is still so fresh and fragile, I worry that I'll do something to mess it up, but at the same time I worry about them growing into adults that don't know how to be honest with themselves and others.