Tonight I discovered a spot where my child had written on a table at church with a permanent marker. I had no doubt that it was hers because not only was it in her handwriting but she also signed her name. I was upset with her and went to speak with her. She said with complete confidence that it wasn’t her. She didn’t do it. Even when we were both looking at it, she held fast to her (false) statement. After an excruciatingly long staring contest that I refused to lose, she finally admitted to writing it a few weeks ago. She and I went to our youth pastor and our children’s pastor and told them about what she’d done and let them know that we’d be back to clean it up later. They were kind and gracious and after a few hugs, we left with a smile.
We told her that she would get two separate punishments – one for writing on the table and one for lying. The first one was easy to decide. We took away points. (Just like ‘real’ school, we have a behavior system that gives points for good behavior or helpfulness or acts of kindness or things like that. You can also lose points, if need be.) But the consequence for lying? I’m stuck. We considered taking away TV time, but they don’t watch that much TV. We considered losing her iPod, but the battery hasn’t been charged in a week anyway so that wouldn’t work. We considered making her do something like and extra chore or something, but she doesn’t seem to mind doing chores. Well, except for cleaning her room and (shockingly for once) their room is currently clean.
So we’re stuck. I want it to be something memorable, but not something too drastic. What are ways that you’ve dealt with this?