Last night I found a cute envelope sitting on the keyboard of my laptop. It really didn’t surprise me. K2 is famous for writing all kinds of love notes and giving them to me. I am over-flowing with love scrawl! (No complaints here.) This one looked a little… PUFFIER than usual. I had planned to leave it sit for a bit while I finished up some after dinner chores but K2 was adament that I open it. So I did. I was a bit shocked. On the flowery paper inside is a note written in second grade handwriting, “Here is five Dollars I think you Need more Money so here. Love K” Hmmmmm. First thought… cute. Second thought… why does she think I need more money? Third thought… where did she get this five dollars from?
Of course I told her Thank you for the thoughtfulness and lovely note. Then I asked her where the money came from. There was the classic pause. “Um. I think from Daddy.” So I recapped. “Your Dad gave you this money?”. I knew something wasn’t quite right.
I explained to K that I didn’t need her money and that it was very kind of her to offer it to me. I also texted her Dad to see if he had given her the money. He hadn’t. I then called K into my bedroom to sit on the bed with me and have a little chat. I explained the importance of being honest with Mommy… that being truthful is the most important thing. I really struggled with knowing that she had done something wrong, needing her to fess up and not punishing her beyond the point of getting honesty out of her… if she did come clean. It took about 15 (excruciating) minutes before the truth came out. At one point she told me that the money was found in her sisters room. I said, “If we leave this room with that being the truth you told me and I find out its not the truth, and K, I will find out if its not. Then you will be in BIG trouble. So you need to think REALLY hard before you decide that’s the truth.”
She found the five dollars in her brothers closet… in his piggy bank. Which is what I thought… but I feared maybe she found it at school on a Teachers desk or something. I hoped she had just found it laying around somewhere.
We talked a lot about respecting other peoples belongings. About responsibility. About how she would feel if someone took something that belonged to her. I also stressed that if she needed/wanted money for something she should come to me and I would help her. I then had her give me the money and it was quietly put away.
I pray this is the last time I will have to go through a lesson on honesty with this child. I have many others that will go through this stage as well. Let’s hope I handled it right.