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by Janai Mestrovich, M.S. Aka Grandma Boom

His 4 year old reaction was priceless when I asked him if he knew where he felt the tension of lying after I handed him a 3D version of what a lie looks and feels like. It is created from aluminum foil, wadded up, and has half toothpicks stuck inside the ball with the sharp end of the toothpick. It is prickly and feels uncomfortable to hold.

He held the lie art visual aid in his hand for a few seconds. Then he looked up and said, “I feel the lie here” as he pointed to his stomach. Then he volunteered a recent account of lying to his mom.

“My mom made some quiche. She gave me a bite and asked if I liked it. I put it in my mouth and told her I did like it. Then I went to the bathroom and spit it in the toilet and flushed it.”

He proceeded to share a couple of other instances when he lied. I asked him how he felt about himself when he lies and to show me with his body language. He drooped his head and shoulders, looking down at the floor, displaying a dismayed expression.

Lying hurts....

We talked about how lying hurts the person who is lying and may cause harm to others. But the bottom line is that a lie lives inside a person. I pointed out the 3D lie indicating it does not feel good inside us. He picked up the 3D lie and looked at it again. When he broke his gazing at the lie, he said he didn't like how it felt in his hand or his body.

We played a game where players can choose to lie or tell the truth. And then we focused on the FEELING emotionally and in the body space where truth and/or lies reside. He knew for himself which felt better and realized what he creates inside himself when he chooses to be truthful as well as to lie.

A focus on feeling strong with SUPERKID POWER, telling the truth, is a golden thread, emphasizing how to build those powers and feel confident.

Next we worked with body outlines coloring what a lie looks like living inside a

​​person and what the truth looks and

feels like. I joined in the artistry to demonstrate that we all know about lying, regardless of age.

Interacting in this way creates a bridge of humanness and understanding with children.

In classes when I teach children about lying with 3D art and experiences, they all readily want to hold that lie in their hands to see and feel for themselves. What is normally an abstract concept followed by a rule, “Do not lie” becomes visible, tangible and 'real.'

Today's Parent publication advises not to punish because children who are afraid of punishment won't tell you what's happening. They wish to avoid unpleasant consequences. Opening up the lines of communication allows them to come to you for help.

Safety is priority....Encouraging children to tell the truth includes sharing that you want to keep them safe if something has been used, misplaced, or lost that could make a difference in their safety. Using a tone of voice that is not harsh makes a difference in this style of communicating about lying.

In my Superkid Power Guidebook, pg. 175, there are techniques and exercises to further introduce children to lying awareness, experience and motivation to tell the truth. For example, the Lying Song captivates children: WHEN I'M LYING, LYING, I FEEL SO BAD. WHEN I'M LYING, LYING, NOBODY'S GLAD.

Simple awareness techniques can help children become more cognizant of how lies impact those being lied to as well as how others look and feel who are lying. Ask how peers act when they are lying and how it feels to be lied to. This assists children to not only become aware that lies cause harm but also to pay attention to the world around them through others' actions.

Best of all for children is using a lie to grow from, create awareness and encourage children to feel GOOD with the truth, even if it means something was done that was out of bounds. Reducing fear of the truth will help children to learn from their mistakes.

Superkid Power Guidebook by Janai Mestrovich,,

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