The Boy Who Cried Tummy Ache

13 Feb

Stiggy’s got a bit of a cold. Today is also PE day. Every PE day he says the same thing: ‘I don’t wanna go to PE.’ We go anyway. And after every PE session he says the same thing: ‘That was fun! When do I get to go to PE again?!’ Every week it’s the same drill.

Today, however, he tried a new tack. He told me he had a tummy ache and when I asked him if he felt like he was going to vomit, he nodded his head, slowly…with a grin. I knew he was lying. I asked him several times if he really did have a tummy ache, and he insisted he did. As soon as I said, ‘ok, you don’t have to go to PE’, he was fine. Of course.

A little while later, I had a talk with him about lying. Then I asked him if he’d brushed his teeth, washed his face, combed his hair. Yes, he said. I went into the bathroom to get dressed, and there on the window ledge next to the sink, I found his face cloth…dry. Oh, my. Ok, maybe he just forgot.

I asked him again if he had indeed washed his face. Yes, he said. Are you sure, I asked. Yes, he said. I showed him the cloth and a look of guilt flashed across his face. Good, he should feel guilty for lying. I sent him into the bathroom to wash his face and explained very clearly why lying is bad, and that I won’t be able to believe him when he tells me things if he keeps lying, and that when we do things like lying, there are consequences. Not sure what those consequences will be, other than me not believing a word he says, but I’m sure I’ll think of something.

What to do? I know all children lie at some point, usually just because they can, but he’s obviously doing it to get something he wants, or avoid something. Again, natural, but still disturbing. And I know he likes PE, it’s just that he forgets he likes it in the days leading up to it. Once he’s there, he has a blast. And when PE was off due to the holidays, he was begging me to take him to PE. Well, PE will be off next week because of half-term school holidays, so maybe the short break will help.

I’m going to have to read him The Boy Who Cried Wolf.


Posted by on February 13, 2009 in Family Life


2 responses to “The Boy Who Cried Tummy Ache

  1. Lynn

    February 14, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    its a tough one, Michelle.
    You will get through it.

  2. jennybell

    February 15, 2009 at 12:03 am

    The first part I wouldn’t necessarily classify as lying as much as the second part. With my son, I sometimes think it’s the getting ready to go to “PE” or whatever it is that he obviously loves once he gets there. I don’t have nay advice for the other type of “lying” you are seeing, but here is my advice (whatever that’s worth!) for the PE, which has worked for us. If my son tells me he feels sick when it’s time to go to swim lesson (in our case) and there are no obvious symptoms, I tell him we’re going and if he still feels sick after the lesson has started, then tell the teacher and we will go home. We’ve never gone home. I also always use that night as our “eat out” night, so if we don’t go out, there is no reason to eat out and he definitely doesn’t want to miss the weekly curly fry fix!

    I hope you get some better advice, because I have a feeling I may need it down the road.


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