About 12 years ago, when our oldest boy was eight, he had a moment of not-always-telling-the-truth. You know how kids often experiment with being dishonest? I knew why he was doing it — he wasn't feeling safe or heard in his class at the time, and so he was looking for coping strategies.
David used storytelling to help. He told stories about the discomfort of lying, and the relief that comes when the truth is told. He told stories about how so much can clear up when you express what's really going on for you. And it helped!
We’ve gathered those stories to share with you here!
And you know what? They can do more than help children let go of the need to lie. They can help adults too. For instance:
Are you good at speaking your truth? At saying what's going on for you at any given moment? Can you find words to express what's in your head and heart?
I think it's a rare adult that can do this fluidly. I believe it gets programmed out of us as kids, as there's often a version of ourselves that gets rewarded. We strengthen that version to the detriment of the whole of us, and we stop saying (or even knowing) what's fully true in our hearts. (If this resonates and you’d like to explore the idea more, I recommend the book The Way of Integrity by Martha Beck. I'm reading it now — which is why this is on my mind!)
I hope these stories offer more than lessons on "why not to lie." I hope they inspire all listeners — big and little — to speak their whole hearts!
Max is normally a quiet gentle boy who lately has been behaving rather strangely. His parents try to discover the source of the change and finally discover that he has accidentally broken a beloved porcelain doll that has been in the family for generations. Max's mother decides to bring the doll to a master doll maker in the city where they learn that the doll has actually been broken before.
When the mice mistake Spiro's quick eating for a magic trick, the mice all wish to be magicians, too. Starlight, a mouse who especially loves magic, wishes to be his apprentice. Spiro is now faced with a dilemma — he wants to tell the truth but he doesn't want to disappoint his friends. He eventually does the right thing — and that is when the real magic begins!
Sylvia accidentally breaks one of Martin's inventions, and blames the damage on their cat Pickles. "Pickles did it!" But oh how Sylvia feels miserable — all day! Momma knows just what to do: she whispers a little something in Sylvia's ear, and Sylvia knows what's needed next.
One autumn morning, Momma tells brother and sister that the oranges, reds and yellows of autumn leaves are actually their true colors — that the green actually masks those colors until the fall. This reminds Sylvia of something she has been masking — and gives her the courage to tell the truth.