WWYD?! Pants on Fire

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Welcome to WWYD?! Wednesday, where we discuss real life parenting issues (big or small) our readers are facing and ask for comments from our readers with their advice, experience, information or any helpful tips you might have. It takes a village. And sometimes it can be just one voice in a big village that makes a difference. You could be that voice today.

Today’s topic: kids and lying. Read on… WWYD Lying

I (think) we have all been there. You know that moment in your head when you are looking at your child and thinking (liar, liar pants on fire) because you KNOW they are telling a lie?

Kids and Lying

One mom wrote in with this issue of kids and lying because she is struggling with it with her son. Here is an example of one of these tall tales,

My 10-year-old son says, “Hey mom listen to this joke I made up! I listened and it is a really funny joke. Too funny for him to likely make up. So I thought about it for a few days, and finally looked it up online. Just as I thought, my son didn’t make it up. What would you do?” 

What do you all think she should do in a situation like this? Is this sort of lie harmless or should it be addressed? Would you say something to him or let it go? How do you handle it when your kids tell lies?

WWYD?! Please comment below and help a mama out! 

Do you have a current parenting issue you would be interested to hear what others would do in your situation?

Email jennifer@tinyoranges.com or message me on Facebook or Twitter and it might be featured on an upcoming WWYD?! post (and don’t worry, it will be kept anonymous!!)


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  1. 1
    Cara says:

    I absolutely cannot stand lying. That said, I think there’s a difference between this example and lying to avoid getting in trouble/covering something up. In this situation I might not get as angry like I would if my kid was trying to skirt discipline or lying about rule breaking.

    I would probably try to take a more inquisitive approach (I once heard the phrase, “Be curious, not furious,” which I think applies here). I would ask if he knew that joke was online, too, because I thought it was funny and looked it up. I would ask if he wants me to help him learn more jokes because it’s always cool to have a few good jokes handy. And then at that point ask if he really did make the joke up…giving a safe chance for honesty. I feel like with this situation you might discover more about your kid’s true sentiments, maybe it’s a self esteem thing or they really want to be a funny person, which you might otherwise not learn if you took a zero tolerance approach.

  2. 2
    jen says:

    Oh….I LOVE “be curious, not furious” – going to remember that one. Great advice Cara! Really great advice.

    In our house, and I don’t know if this is the right thing to do or not, but I have always told my girls, being truthful and honest is the most important thing to us. If they were lying about something to keep from getting into trouble, I would be more upset about them lying than the thing they were lying ABOUT. I also tell them they will not get in trouble if they are truthful and tell me the truth. BUT, they are 5 and 8, so the situations I have come across with them and lying have not been super serious. At 13 and 16 it might be a different story. So far it has worked at these ages.

    For the situation above, I have a feeling it was to get your attention….to make you laugh and think he was really funny. I might say you happened to see it online, versus looking it up to prove him wrong, and ask him if he knew it was online? Might open up a good conversation about honesty…

    And you can use it as an opportunity to tell him you think he is a really funny person, and being able to deliver a good joke is as much of a talent as making it up!

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