Me when I discover my child has been lying

Yesterday I discovered my son’s hamster had been stuck in it’s ball since I cleaned the cage last Sunday. Apparently my husband forgot to open the ball door when he and my son got done playing with the hamster and put him back. Ok, he oopsed. It happens. And it should have been caught by my son when he checked on his hamster right? Which I ask him to do every morning and he verifies he has done.

Nope. I found the poor hamster yesterday, 5 days no food or water. The poor thing was visibly distressed.

Picture long, calm conversation about this. Parenting at it’s kindest. But apparently not it’s most effective.

Today I go upstairs to vacuum, cat allergic friend coming over this afternoon and I like to have the allergens at a minimum for her.

My son’s cat has NO water. I ask him every day, did you check on your cat’s food and water? Yes, mom. She has plenty.


He lied to me. All week. To my face. My sweet little boy. Lied to me.

Please, please share your stories before I decide I am the worst parent on the planet. Tell me about the last time your kiddo lied to you? Or the worst time?


  1. Oh dear. Are both cat and hamster ok? This might sound rather harsh but as he has proved he cannot look after them, may it be better to remove the pets before there is a risk of more permanent harm being done?

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  2. Obviously the pertinent question is: what does, ‘check on your hamster’ mean? Did his eyes, set off on far horizons, actually make a landing into the hamster cage? I mean perhaps there was food and water in there, except for the small problem of the hamster himself…

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  3. I wish I could offer you hope that this part gets easier. The truth is you are dealing with a non adult who has limited experience or even developmental capacity to grasp the importance of what your question really means…is your hamster going to die today due to lack of food..or whatever. I found that there is no remote control of asking them that is reliable because all of us are motivated by our immediate desires…of any kind and simply don’t really assess when asked, we use the answer that gets the desired result! It’s normal, but not desirable so in my experience the only thing that really works and internalizes the importance is the physical process of direct supervision and verification of the task…trust me…teenagers are no better…all the stories of mistreated family cars come to mind. I’m not sure the internal give a damn actually kicks in until the mythical adulthood arrives. But patterning of action and verification builds a habit that keeps us all from being negligent. You are not alone…he’s in good company…you’really just stuck with the crazy part of parenting. Their responsibilities are yours.. until they finally rebel and pry your “intrusion in their life” from your grip in a bid to run their own life. Messy, no one comes out looking very good, but long term effective if you can hang in together. 🙂 From parents my age…we’re still trying to figure it out.

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  4. Hmm. I think for a while I’d have to verify his answer….and if he lied, he wins a bonus chore. Like cleaning the terlet or pulling weeds or something completely unfun. He will learn that lying makes it worse.

    I don’t think most kids at that age really have a grasp on empathy (I was surprised to learn that, because it seems kind of…innate, or something.) So you have to use currency he “gets.”

    Of course I have teens now and there are days I can’t say for sure if any of that was effective at all. LOL The hormones bring a special kind of deaf!

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      1. I don’t see his action so much being lying as not understanding and/or taking his responsibility – which is a big responsibility. Every day nurture is difficult for you, so it makes sense it’s difficult for him as well.

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  5. Oh dear…don’t know if this is better or worse, but it’s him not you. Responsibility comes slowly and in spurts, and it’s not for lack of teaching. He is too young to have a greater view of things yet, so it’s natural he will say things are fine about something sometimes when he doesn’t want to think about them right then. Had one or the other pet expired, perhaps he would’ve learned that some things can’t be ignored according to his mood. It’s possible he won’t really learn that until something is lost to him because of it. I hope he’s a little older before he has to feel that owie…that’s why mommies check up on young ones. *sigh* Sorry that happened to you…and the poor little hamster and kitty.

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