My 3rd grader has had to deal with a bunch of new things in the past three years of elementary school.  His innocence is slowly beginning to fade as a result.  One of the prime issues he’s having lately is that of lying.  He could lie to the Pope if needed.  This is a problem.

There are some interesting, albeit rude children that ride the bus/attend school with my little boy.  Nearly everyday I get the afternoon update that he was harassed, pushed, punched, cursed at, or flipped off.  It was just a matter of time before I got a notice about him doing the same thing.  Sure enough, it came yesterday from the bus driver.  My perfect little boy has been flipping the persuasive finger to other students as they exit the bus.  How did this begin to happen?  How influential have I been, or not been, in his current behavior?  Granted, I have been known to greet rude drivers in this manner before – but not since he was an infant – for this very reason.

Upon his bus driver telling me this unfortunate information, my son begins to cry hysterically.  “I didn’t do it!”  This information, coupled with the fact that my son has been known to lie lately, has really put me in a bad spot.  On one hand, I feel immediately defensive.  No way he could’ve done this, right?  On the other hand, it’s his word against the adult behind the wheel of the bus.  Through his tears he continues to defend his position and there I am – officially stuck in the middle.

The best way to deal with this, I decide, is to defend him without completely believing him.  This sucks because he’s my innocent little baby boy still…right?  I tell him that either way, he’s been known to lie in the past which puts us in a bad spot right from the get-go.  We let this finally rest with him upset and with me on the fence.

The question I pose is this: At what point to you stop blindly backing your child?  Especially if you have reason to believe that they might, indeed, be guilty of what they are being accused of.

Everyday that passes, my little boys become more and more grown up.  I can’t shelter them forever but there comes a time when every parent has to deal with crying wolf and the bird.