I was home alone with Aaron when I noticed flecks of hair on his forehead. I asked him what happened, and he said "Mommy cut my hair." I was pretty sure that wasn't true but couldn't verify this until Amy got home. When she came home and said she did no such thing, I confronted Aaron and he fell apart. After much effort on both of our parts, Amy and I got Aaron to understand that our anger was about the lie and not about the hair-cutting. We also doled out a serious enough punishment to help him remember the lesson.
Kids don't need much instruction on how to lie, but once they do it is really important what message they get. Life sometimes seems to teach us that lying is better; the truth might get us in trouble, we might be able to get away by lying instead, and even if we get caught we might get off easy. But getting away with little lies emboldens us to try bigger lies, until we are in a world of trouble with our Maker and with the world around us. Amy and I pray that our kids don't learn that lying pays. And we pray for ourselves, that we will send our kids the right messages about telling the truth. The health of their souls and their future relationships depend on this.