Below is a medley of movie titles and how they remind me of techniques my kids use to get out of trouble.
The Jerry Maguire is when the kid on trial is not old enough to articulate themselves so an older kid represents them to the parents like an agent. #1 has filled this role many times. Remember kids…it’s not show friends. It’s show business. The Jerry Maguire is difficult to manage because it is just too cute.
We all know kids lie to get out of trouble. Nothing new there. The Liar Liar technique is when a kid tells a double lie. One time when we were living in Philly, I was sitting with some church people in my living room. #2 spilled juice on the carpet right in front of me. I call for the wife, who was in the kitchen, to bring some towels and when she arrives she asks #2 if she spilled the juice. #2 not only denies doing it even though she is standing three feet away from me, she tells her mom #3 did it. You think that’s common right? Well, here is the thing. #3 is UPSTAIRS!!! Unbelievable. The Liar Liar technique is common however it will leave you speechless.
The Dead Man Walking is interesting. It is when a kid starts apologizing like mad before a punishment or verdict has been handed over. Sometimes kids will do this even if they were not the guilty party. DMW is apologize and tell your parents that you met Jesus in prison. This one is funny because they are hoping that the sincerity of their apologies will provide relief from discipline.
One time #5 did something she wasn’t suppose to. I forget exactly what happened but I remember the response. As I call for her sternly I say, “Didn’t daddy say not to do that? Why did you do that? I said three times not to do that!”
She says weeping, “But, but daddy I am so scared. So scared daddy.”
(Notice how she uses chiastic structure for her survival technique. Chiastic structuring is a very powerful tool. It is when you say A B C…C B A. An example of this is Kennedy’s famous “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” #5 was only two years old when she used chiasm for survival.)
You see technically she is telling the truth. She is in fact scared because of the imminent discipline. However this truth has nothing to do with why she did what she did. Truth = she is scared. Lie = that is not why she did it.
The True Lies technique is most commonly applied when two kids are fighting or something breaks. You call for them and ask what happened. One always comes first and tells everything the other kid did in great detail. The only problem is that they leave out everything they did. Truth = the other kid did this. Lie = omitting what they did.
True Lies is not difficult to spot but it is difficult to get rid of. I said earlier it is a conundrum because it is not the easiest thing to explain to a little child the fallacy of this technique. Try it and you will see what I mean. Many times this method of survival has me babbling about truth, justice, and “ahhh just don’t break my stuff”. My kids end up giving me a look like I am not making any sense. I think this is the point. They are very sneaky indeed. Indeed, very sneaky they are.