We all know that people have a “tell” – the thing they do like twirling their hair or biting their lip that gives away the nervousness of lying. But kids are particularly bad at it because they don’t know what their own “tell” is yet. And any smart parent won’t give it away. Smart parents just let the kid go on believing that we know everything and so they can never get away with anything. My kids, like most, are terrible at lying. Fortunately they don’t lie about anything big, but I still enjoying spotting it a mile away.

But Hope takes the cake. This morning she brought me her broken plastic headband. She wanted to wear it anyway, but it had a sharp edge, which I pointed out to her, and told her it needed thrown away. She got up, went to the trash can, and I walked out of the kitchen.

15 minutes later Hope is upstairs, with a different headband and when I walk past her room she says “So, mommy, what would you do if I didn’t throw that headband away?” to which I responded “It doesn’t matter, you did throw it away.” Then about a minute later she says “But, what if… what if I didn’t… let’s just pretend… what would you do to me?”

And there it was. The demanding to know the punishment after 5 minutes of feeling nervous about being caught.  I’m so glad I know her tell… but as for me: I’ll never tell.

The Tell
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