Oh, it's been far too long since I've last checked in here. Shame on me! I feel like I'm treating these pretty pages too much like the many journals and diaries I've started and neglected since my childhood. 

But I'm  here now with a conversation I recently had with my daughter running through my melon. It was one of those car conversations - you know, the ones where you look in the rearview mirror at your child's face and your heart breaks a little as you see how quickly time is marching on and you realize in the blink of an eye that sweet little face will be that of a teenager. 

For whatever reason Abby tells me that being 4 is her favorite number and she isn't much looking forward to turning 5. I'm not entirely sure what it is about 5 that she's not at all looking forward to, but with that we got to talking about all the awesomeness that comes with being 5. You get to go to kindergarten (where there is recess!), you'll learn how to tie your shoes, and 5...Well when you're 5 it's as if you've arrived. Sure, you're no baby at 4, but 5, well 5 is like you've officially made it into the land of the big kids. 

I'm not gonna lie, I'm not all that eager for her to turn 5 either. Because she's going to be off to kindergarten (for a whole day! what is that?!), she's going to be well onto the road of being a big kid, and we won't just be an extension of each other anymore...I'm misting just thinking about it! But I'm the mom, so it's my job to put on a happy face and help her to feel brave about what's to come, even if inside I couldn't be feeling any less brave if I tried. She's my only - my baby...I'm already having anxiety over preschool. But I will cheerlead her through every fear and piece of anxiety she has because that's what we do, right? 

So after all the woo!hoo! for 5 party subsided, she asked me what my favorite number was (age) and I even had an answer for her. I did like being 5 because I made my first school best friend in kindergarten and she was the bestest friend ever. But after that I really liked being 8. I got a scooter for my eighth birthday, I invented my imaginary friend Betsy that year, it was good times to be had by all. 

So what number did you like being best? 
“Just tell me the truth,” is a phrase any parent anywhere will at more than one point utter to their children. Yet when the child you’re saying this to is a mere 3 or 4 years old, you realize you’re not quite sure how to define “being honest” to him. On top of that, you have a dawning realization that this is a crucial moment in your parenting journey. It’s no longer just about fulfilling basic needs and oohing and ahhing over this sweet baby, but helping to shape the person your child is going to become. (Gulp).

So that begs the question, how do you explain the concept of truth and honesty to a toddler/preschooler?  

If you'd like the answer to that question, I direct you to my latest article. The truth about teaching honesty to kids
I vividly recall the first time I had a conversation with my daughter, urging her to tell me the truth. For the most part she's an extremely cautious girl and this translates into almost every area of her life, including things that have the potential to get her in trouble. However, in this instance the 'kid' beat out the 'caution.' 

She had colored on her closet doors. Wanting to give her the chance to tell me the truth, I asked her if she had done this. I could see the wheels turning as she weighed the consequences of admitting she had done this versus pretending she had no idea how those crazy scribbles had wound up on her closet door. She tried to talk her away around it at first claiming ignorance...You know, in the way a 4-year-old might. At that point I was throwing around this unknown word, "truth" at her. "I just want you to tell me the truth honey. I won't be mad if you tell me the truth. I just want to know what happened and then we can talk about what to do." 

She still wasn't quite sure what road she wanted to take, but eventually told me what happened. We had ourselves a nice conversation and she got the task of attempting to clean it up, but it left me thinking...How do you explain truth and honesty to kids in a way that makes sense. Obviously it's something that needs to be taught, but how...

Only after I saw an episode of Special Agent Oso, which talked about breaking down honesty in three simple steps did I dust off this thought and decide to put it into an article. So there you have it, our first venture into truth telling and honesty and what led to a breakdown of keeping it real for your kids in having these conversations.