Thursday, August 27, 2009

Eye-(Y)eye-(Y)eye!!!!!!

Took two of my girls to the eye doctor this morning. One right after the other.

Julia was first, and turns out she needs reading glasses. She picked out a really cute pair--- her very first glasses! Then off to school.

Right after, I went and picked up my other daughter to take her to have her eyes checked. On the drive, I reminded her to answer the doctor's questions as truthfully as she can so that he can accurately determine how good or bad her eyesight is. In kid language, I expressed the importance of this and the importance of taking care of her eyes, and how I wish I did not need glasses because of how inconvenient they were at times. I also asked her why she can't wear my glasses, so that she can put two and two together. See, I do not let my children try on my glasses because they have a (strong) prescription which I refer to as medicine and it would mess up their eyes since they do not need the same medicine. She knows this.

The point of this conversation was to parent her out of conflict and encourage her to do what is right---- at the same time gently reminding her to be honest so that she can make good choices.

I waited in the waiting room with Alex and Dennis while she had the exam and soon after the doctor came out and wanted to speak with me privately. In a nutshell, he told me my daughter was failing her eye exam just to get glasses. To prove this to himself, he finally told her to try on a pair of glasses to see if they would help her to see better. After failing miserably one minute prior, my daughter now miraculously could see 20/20----- with no prescription in the glasses.

In the car, I gave her the chance to make things right. I asked her how the appointment went.

Fine.

I asked her if there was anything interesting that happened.

No. Are you angry Mommy?

No, I am not, but I might become angry if you are not honest with me. So please answer me with the truth, just like I am truthful with you.

Of course Mommy.

During the exam, did you answer the doctor with the truth about your eyes?

Yes--- elaborating on her lie, of course.

On so many levels this was a huge disappointment. Sure I know kids will be kids, and she probably just wants glasses real bad--- probably to be like me. But. That does not excuse the fact that she was dishonest to me, dishonest to the doctor, she didn't listen to me, she was willing to screw up her eyesight, and she didn't come clean when given the chance.

Yes, kids will be kids...... but in our home, this is a serious offense. Dishonesty and disobedience is not the norm. She knows this and my other kids know this.

Her consequences will depend on her attitude when she gets home from school. My kids know that they could dig themselves deeper or get themselves out of a hole--- all depending on how their attitude is. Yes, she will still have some form of grounding regardless, but even that can be handled with a good attitude-- and will probably make the duration much shorter.

25 comments:

  1. i know a family from my church that had this problem, and their solution was one that parents either tend to HATE or LOVE. (aside from the punishment for lying, of course.) the girl confessed that she wanted glasses like her parents... so... they talked with the doctor and got her glasses with lenses that were just like looking through glass. if it were my kid, i'd probably let them do that if they saved up the money, but that's just me. i went through a phase where i wanted glasses, so i'd pretend to run into things, but then my eyes got REALLY REALLY BAD and i got irreversible eye damage when my pseudo tumor was discovered (which i had brain surgery for).

    good luck with your daughter!

    - michelle

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  2. When I was 13, I loved how I looked in my cousins glasses...& yep, you guessed it, I tried the same trick. It wasn't that I was trying to be dishonest, just that, well...I knew the only way to "look good" with glasses was to need them. I didn't. I ended up convincing my cousin to say she lost her glasses so I could have hers. My dad never knew and I looked good and smart in her glasses for about 2 years (how dumb, huh?..I was a teenager, what can I say) Long story short..I needed glasses for real at 15, and still do today. To crub the lie from my now 12 year old who loves how she looks in my glasses I took her to one of those stores in the mall & got a nice $8.00 pair of fakies. I think your little lady just likes how she looks & like me, knows she'll only get them if she needs them. Be gentle on her...maybe if she can come clean with out being afriad to do so & being the cause of your upset you can reward her with her own fakies :) Best of luck with this one!

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  3. Cute title... but not cute offense.. especially when you reminded her on the way to be honest. I have a daughter(Sasha) who really wants glasses... and I like you would LOVE to not wear them... I took her to the Dr. to check her eyes because she would act like she couldn't see.... perfect vision at this point... so for her birthday I bought her some "fake" glasses at Claire's... she loves them and wears them when she needs to "see".

    p.s. I am the same about lying.. and always give them a chance to redeem themselves.. some just catch on quicker than others :)

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  4. I totally get what you're saying. I am having this same issue with my son. For some odd reason, he chooses to lie or as I call it be sneaky and deceitful rather than just choosing to communicate. I mean it seems like your daughter could have just said, "I really really really want glasses, mom". I highly doubt that she felt like she'd get into trouble for stating her wishes. The scary part for me is that if this becomes a lifelong habit, these "stupid" lies will affect their lives in an adverse manner. I don't think lying is ever okay, and if nothing else, our kids deserve to be used to suffering consequences for their lies when caught. It should come as no surprise that lying leads to calamity.

    With my son, he is so so so good in most areas, but this is an area in which he struggles. The only thing that is working for us is to use "hot peppers". He gets one bite for a lie. The whole thing if he doesn't come clean right away. We refer to this as "training his tongue" so that it doesn't keep getting him into trouble. The "peppers" aren't truly very hot, but he hates them, and they are natural so maybe better than soap.

    I have found that with consistency, his lying is getting to be less and less, but when it does rear it's ugly head, it is so frustrating. I'd say it's a character issue, and I'd be hesitant to reward the fact that she lied as a means to an end. But, I do love Michelle's idea for a kid who wants glasses. I think some kids have these youthful types of lies that we can all relate to, but with my son, it is down right deceit and even if he never gets past it, I will do everything I can to help him conquer a destructive habit.

    My question to you is how do you keep yourself from losing it? As in giving a tongue lashing of all tongue lashings?

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  5. oh man. I know that's a bummer.
    I know you will help her through this...you have some very good and creative methods of dealing with problems!

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  6. The input is really great-- thanks! I did go and get glasses probably three or four pairs for the girls to wear. I blogged about it here. http://smilesandtrials.blogspot.com/2007/11/imitating-mama.html
    They still have them, I think.

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  7. The glasses aren't the issue, the deceit is, isn't it? We had this problem with our son and every lie hurts. He is grown up and great now - what a relief! I believe the turning point for him was when he finally saw how deeply it was hurting his parents. Blessings for this problem.

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  8. I don't agree with the hot peppers for lying. I think a just punishment for her lying to you (and even after your pre-doctor talk enroute to her appointment) would be some sort of grounding or to do extra chores at home. She does need to learn that lying is not acceptable.

    I like the idea of her saving her allowance to buy a cheap pair of glasses at Claire's if she wants to have them as an accessory.

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  9. Wow, what an eventful trip to the eye doctor. I've never heard of a child lying at an exam to get glasses, but I can understand wanting glasses so badly. I once asked my parents to just buy me cool frames with non-Rx lenses just to look smart! :) Now I would love to have 20/20 vision w/o contacts or glasses! I hope the attitude is great and things get better for both of you! Jen

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  10. My son would LOVE extra chores and doesn't mind grounding at all! :) If those things made him uncomfortable, they might be options. He enjoys both alone time and helping out around the house - even big yucky jobs.

    And, please notice the quotations around "hot peppers" - I remember the soap for lying post - :)

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  11. Christine: I know I can always come to your blog and get good parenting tips and advice just by reading your experiences with your children. Yes, the deceit is the problem here. We are having some lying/deceit issues with one of our sons. I hope he catches on soon because it sure is heartbreaking and disappointing to constantly have to discipline and ground him. However, I also know it's the training he needs in order to become a productive, Godly adult when he grows up.

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  12. I totally agree with a punishment. My 7 year old pulled this last year. She pretended she couldn't see in class, was sent to the nurse for checks and passed, but still complained and would get things wrong that were on the board. I took her to the eye doc and saw she was pretending she couldn't see (after she had eyed up all the girlie princess glasses in the lobby). So when the nurse left the room before the doc came in I told her "you know gymnasts don't wear glasses. You can't be a gymnast if you wear glasses". So how in less than 3 minutes her eyes were perfect for the doc when he retested her.
    I know it sounds horrible that I told her that, but I KNEW she was pretending. The doc said it is very normal at her age for the kids to try and "be like" others with glasses.
    I figure if she ever REALLY needs them, we'll have to get contacts....cause gymnasts don't wear glasses !! LOL

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  13. I understand. If she were to give false symptoms to a doctor she could end up with a wrong diagnosis and potentially dangerous medicine.

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  14. Alex did exactly the same thing three years ago. He "failed" two eye exams at school, one for the nurse and one for the visiting optometrist that rechecked all that had failed. Made an appointment with the pedi optometrist and a miracle happened...he passed! Somehow he had even failed both exams at school in exactly the same way. His answer, they make me look smarter. For a lot of our kids who didn't have the stimulation early on and struggle with learning issues, to "look smart" takes on a much bigger meaning than for most. No, he didn't get fake glasses because he tends to break things on purpose and I knew that's how they'd end up.

    I too wanted glasses and braces desperately in late elementary/early middle school. Did the old twisting of paper clips to look like a retainer and borrowed my sisters hippie glasses (think John Lennon) problem was like stuffing my bra, if you don't do it everyday......

    btw, just noticed the google identity is Alex's ...this is not Alex...it's his mom, slightly older.

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  15. Unfortunately you are not alone in this situation. We have this issue with our 12yo at times. Sometimes it's over NOTHING! That REALLY frustrates me (well, all lying does, but you know what I mean). About a month ago I knew he was lying about something, so I gave him the opportunity to "come clean", he didn't. I then told him I knew he was lying (didn't give him specifics as to what exactly, but he knew what it was in reference to) he was grounded from everything electronic until he told the truth, which I told him I knew anyway, but I wanted him to admit it. He refused. So for a month he was grounded from everything! Finally, I asked him if he was going to go on like this forever, he FINALLY came clean, he found out we were still very upset about the situation, so he is grounded from the computer still, but got back all his other privileges, since he told the truth, FINALLY.

    It does break your heart though, I know, because that is ONE thing I cannot and willnot stand for, lying! ARGH

    Praying for you, and all of us who go through this with our children.

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  16. I wish she could meet my 15 year old cousin. He is legally blind without his glasses (almost completely corrected with them) and he hates wearing glasses. He actually asked his Mom about corrective laser surgery at 9. After meeting him she would no longer want glasses. At one point in his life he was breaking glasses at a rate of 5 pairs a year.

    BTW, I agree the deceit is the problem....

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  17. Yep....lying in our home can turn out a good - oops my bad I repent situation...or a dig real deep and go without any privileges and have to have a chat with mom & dad situation....not fun, but lies are not from Christ! Hard things to deal with.

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  18. I agree that most little kids at one time or another want to wear glasses. I use to want them, until I actually had to have them, then I hated them. LOL!!

    I think everyone has different ways of disciplining your child, and Christine did not say she was going to put soap in her childs mouth. I do remember the post and I did not agree with it but these are her kids and they seem to love her dearly.
    I feel doing the hot pepper is just as horrible as doing soap. Personally I find that spanking (not beating) is more appropriate than either of those, unless the child is an older one. Actually my older one freaks out with the talk of taking her cell phone taken away. LOL! She is 16 and a little to old to be spanked.

    Every parents have a different ways to discipline their child whether everyone agrees or not is not the point here. The point is the child should be punished for lying to the Doctor and mostly to her Mom.

    I actually like to read how Christines handles things that happen with her kids. My hat goes off to her with being able to handle 12kids and still be of sane mind. I know I would be a crazy person by now. LOL!

    Debbie

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  19. Our R wanted braces for the longest time! I'm so glad she didn't try to ruin her teeth to get them! Now she just laughs. If this is a chronic issue of lying then I do agree about punishment, but if it is not then let her know that you found out about her lie and ask if lying deserves punishment and what that should be. Ask her if instead of lying to the doctor if she thought she could get glasses any other way. I have found our kids have trouble seeing that there are many ways to get to the same goal,without cheating or lying. I would give her a chance to earn the glasses while taking away a privilege for lying...

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  20. One of my newly adopted daughters did this, too ... because 6 or our 10 bio. kids have them. After a little private chat with Mama, the doctor tried the plain glass lenses and she passed with flying colors.

    The lying is definitely the issue. We, too, do not put up with any type of lying (there is no such thing as a "little white lie").

    When our children's tongues are getting them in trouble, we use a few drops of Tobasco sauce on the tongue. With the younger, toddler crowd, just a couple drops of Vinegar works wonders. I've had friends that use soap ... but I prefer using food products instead.

    mama of 13

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  21. I love your parenting style. I hope she had a good attitude when she returned from school!

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  22. Is there any chance she psychosomatically failed her eye test? I've seen my middle son, both of whose brothers are hearing impaired, unconsciously failing the test.

    If not, then yes, disciplining is definitely in order.

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  23. I feel sorry for that girl, who feels so compelled to lie. I wonder if it's like obsessive-compulsive disorder, where you feel powerless to stop the behavior even though you know you shouldn't be doing it. There are so many things that are addictive or compulsive personality traits in people, that are not easy to stop via simple logic.

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  24. Geez, your house, your life, your marriage is chaos!
    when are you going to stop the addiction to kid collecting? or at least adopt an American child.
    See your kids are starting with the little lies - wait till they get older.
    just wait. if you husband stays with you - you will be bankrupt and nothing for retirement.
    You have such a need to get noticed that is why you adopt. Many of us are not on the band wagon calling you some outstanding mother until these kids get older-we will see.
    At least Octamom admits she has issues.

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  25. My dad is an eye doctor. He sometimes has girls about Rachel's age who fail eye tests when their eyes are fine. The same thing happens in hearing tests too. It's not normally deliberate deceit. They usually have a couple of other issues going on like Rachel has.I just thought I'd let you know that it isn't unique and it's been researched for scientific journals.

    Good Luck

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