Lying is a big problem in our household. A lot of lying. The, if they are talking they are lying, type of lying. Most of the time it is over things that aren't of any importance. Many times the consequence for lying is worse than what the consequence for the thing that they are lying about. Often the only consequence for the behavior would have simply being me telling them to knock it off.
Yesterday I had some items in the garage I was working on for our church Christmas float. The kids had been told to leave it alone. Someone took upon themselves to get a permanent marker and write on some of it. Luckily it happened to be scrap. So I asked who did it. I simply wanted to correct them and reiterate that this was not my property but belonged to the church and to leave it alone. So I held it up and asked the question. I got a lot of not me and they did it. I said think carefully and just tell me the truth. I can go compare writing styles. I held it up again and asked who did it. Amazingly Emma said she did. Finally, a truth! I told her that I appreciated her telling me the truth.
That the items in the garage belong to the church and not me so she needed to leave it alone and get me the permanent marker that she used.
That was it. That simple. Amazing how much easier it is to just tell the truth. Finally someone is learning that it doesn't hurt that much. Larissa will often admit to the things she does and the kids have watched her getting a simple correction versus a consequence. I wonder how long it will take them to realize that it is just so much simpler.