“Are you sure Daddy said you can have another treat” I asked my daughter, and she responded, “Yes!” I then raised my eyebrow looking at her intently. She nervously asked, “Why are you looking at me like that, Mommy?” With a frantic voice, I said, “Oh my goodness! Your nose! It’s growing!” I chuckled to myself as she recanted her statement claiming, “No, Daddy didn’t say I could have another treat. Then, she quickly touched her nose, her eyes welled up wth tears and her voice began to waver as she inquired, “Mommy, is my nose still growing? I don’t want to be like Pinocchio!”
My four year old looked so concerned and weary, and I actually felt bad when I saw her ready to cry because I was just playing around and did not anticipate that response from her. Also, I try my best to use positive reinforcement rather than focus on the negative. We actually did have a conversation about the importance of telling the truth, and she usually does. But on an occasion or two when I know she may be “fudging” the truth a little, I just scratch the tip of my nose as I ask her again, and she’ll tell the truth without me uttering a word. I definitely don’t want to stifle her creativity and do encourage her to share stories, but I’m hoping we can use those “tall tales” to promote her cognitive development and imaginative play.
Does your child like to tell “stories?” What techniques do you use to keep them from being little Pinocchios?
All the best,