I say that honesty is always the best policy

Gavin is four-years-old now, and he’s starting to tell on his “bubbie,” aka Cameron, and “bubber,” aka Jordan, a lot more now.

Sometimes he tells us something that’s completely not true. Even though he’s only four, we are trying to break that habit.

I explained to him that being dishonest intentionally is lying, and isn’t acceptable in our home.

Of course, I don’t tell him just that way. I say, “Gavin, you are fibbing, and we don’t tell fibs” or “Gavin, don’t tell stories that aren’t true. That’s lying. We don’t lie.”

“We don’t lie.” This is a concept I was taught from a very young age. My mother drilled this idea into my head from a very young age. She made lying seem so bad that to this day neither Robert nor I can lie effectively so we just don’t do it.

I have also tried to pass the ability to not lie to my children. Sometimes it takes more courage to tell the truth than it does to simply lie.

Most people think that everyone lies from time to time but I don’t. I might consider it if I were any good at it. But, I am a horrible liar so I tend to stick to the truth.

Honestly, I’ve found honesty to be the best policy.

Like I said, I wasn’t born like this. My mother taught me that lying is wrong, and reinforced that idea with corporal punishment if I dared to try it.

The funny thing is our parents can either teach us to be honest or the art of lying.

I know this because my step-brother and step-sister are a masters at this art. I love them, but they lie. My mom tried really hard to break them from this habit, but as they got older, she and dad had less influence on them.

Lying was acceptable in their primary home, and even though mom and dad tried to put a stop to it, there’s only so much you can change with only a few weeks during the summer.  

I remember two times in my life when their lying got mine and Robert’s tails beat.

The first time was when we lived in Texas. One of us knocked over a dresser and left it there. Mom and dad just wanted to know who did it.

When no one came clean, all four of us got spankings for it. In the end, it was my step brother, Bo, who was the culprit. It was hard for Robert and me to not be mad at him. I’d never let any of my siblings take a spanking for something I knew I did.

Another time was when we lived in Banks. Teresa and Bo were visiting us for the summer.

Our parents kept a strict watch on our diet. We weren’t allowed to have a lot of sugar, and we only got soda on a special occasions. No snacks before supper because we wouldn’t eat. I know it seems harsh but I have to say I was healthier back then than I am now. Someone had a snack before supper yet no one admitted it.

My dad wanted to know who broke the rule and had a snack when they weren’t supposed allowed to have it. It was more about the rule breaking than the actual eating and quickly turned into a lesson about lying.

Yet again, we all four got spankings because no one came forward. My step sister was the culprit this time.

Robert and I were ticked at her. We were older then than when Bo knocked over the dresser. I think to this day Robert still holds a grudge against Teresa for that incident. He doesn’t have much do with her because of it.

My dad pointed out that it was more about the lying than the actual act.  

As you can see lying was a serious crime in my house growing up. I still consider it a serious offense.

The truth is always a better option. When you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember what you tell people. It’s easy to remember what happened because it’s the truth.

When you lie, you have to remember what you tell to whom, and you end up telling more lies to cover up the first one. Who’s got time for that? Definitely not me, and definitely not my children.

I think the biggest disappointment as a parent is being lied to by one of my kids. Oh, it’s happened, and they were severely punished. My older boys know better than to lie to me. If I catch them, they are in serious trouble.

We are just now starting to build the truth value in Gavin. I tell him God doesn’t want us to lie because it’s deceitful and dishonest. I know he will get it one day.

I love my boys and want them to become men with a strong and honest character. They are not perfect nor am I, but I am honest and loyal almost to a fault.

I was taught these things by my parents. I wish everyone would had been as lucky as me to have parents to teach them to have character.

<em>Melissa Cason is a staff writer for the Advance Monticellonian. She can be reached at 376-5325.</em>

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