I agree with Stacey. I think that forcing her to return the book would be punitive and not actually related to the offense (lying). Had I told my child NO they may not use their money to buy the book , and they disobeyed me, yes, I would make them return the book, but that didn't happen here.
Because you never actually said no, she didn't actually disobey you (IMO). And since it was actually her money, she (IMO) had the right to use it as she saw fit (IMO). Yes, lying is wrong. But so is blowing off a childs fair and repeated request (something I do OFTEN!!! So not throwing you under the bus, we have hectic mornings where we are all getting out the door by 8 am these days so I do this all the time) and I've had it happen myself. In not taking the time to give my child a valid answer one way or the other, I might feel as though I played a part in them taking it upon themselves to secret away their money and make the decision for themselves.
6 year olds are trying to navigate the world and part of that is the little bit of independence that they get at school. I personally am very strict with rules, but I also try to be fair. I believe that my kids deserve respect ~ and part of respect is hearing and responding to their requests (which, as stated I do very imperfectly, again, 100% not throwing you under the busy Kyla). In never saying yes or no I may feel that I tacitly gave permission.
I would see this more as an opportunity to tell my child that I was sorry that I didn't take the time to hear about this book and why it was important to them. Further, I would take the time to explain how I can always tell why they are lying because they are good kids and lies are uncomfortable to them, because lying is wrong, and when they do wrong things they are uncomfortable. I personally would use it as a teachable situation and read the book together. I see no real value in returning a book that was purchased with the childs own money when I had not expressly prohibited it, other than to teach my child to work on that lying so that next time they either hide the book from me or have their lie better thought out. I agree that when people give children money to use it is an important thing to give the kids some autonomy in how they use it ~ its an important life skill and helps them learn important lessons.
Taking the book back may be punitive. But keeping it sends the message that the lie worked, and she got what she wanted. That is just not a message I want to send my children.
I also think kids are experimenting at this age. . .what happens if I lie? What happens if I try this? I think she actually experienced the reality of lying, which is that you feel like absolute crap about it.
If you feel like she really GOT the lesson, then you're good. If you think she would try again, then that's worth coming up with more disciplinary action for.
Thanks everyone. We will not be taking the book back. One, because she bought it with her own money. Two, because when we talked about how that was the money to buy a toy from her Grandparents she had forgotten and was upset she didnt get a toy too, so I think it is a good lesson on discussing what she wants to spend her money on with a parent first to make sure she sees all the angles. And three, the book is not what she thinks it is (it is one of those gimmicky ones with a toy that looks cooler than it is) and I think she will be disappointed with it. Yes I feel like a bad mom for even writing that, but again, I think it speaks to how lying isnt worth it.
For now we have taken her money away. It is still hers to use, but she needs to discuss with Mom or Dad first before she can spend it, so she doesnt get to keep it where she can get at it right away. There were a ton of tears and I think she feels aweful. We have the book at the moment and DH and I are in disagreement as to how she can get it back. She is in trouble for going behind my back when she thought I would say no, lying and then she freaked out and blamed the whole thing on me. I think 3 things, she should get it back in 3 weeks, DH thinks that she should have to give away some of her toys to charity to get it in exchange. He wants it to be over and done so we can all put it behind us.
I agree with Lisa in that I think I would take the book back. Going behind my back to buy the book would not be ok to me even if she used her own money. Lying to cover it up would doubly not be ok.
I dont' think i would take the book away. I wouldn't want any confusion on the fact that purchasing the book with her own money was not a bad thing. Being sneaky about it was. At this point, i think a discussion about lying, needing to be able to trust each other, and the merits of being honest are better. I also like the point about saying how you can tell when they are lying because lying is wrong and makes you feel uncomfortable.
I can think of a couple of issues i've had with lying. The worst was this elaborate plan 2 years ago when Emma did not want to go to her swim meet so she HID her bathing suit. My sister-in-law and I searched high and low for it everywhere...for like...2 hours while she knew the whole time where it was (and acted like she was helping to find it).
I was unbelievably shocked when i eventually discovered that she had purposely hid it. She was too embarrassed to verbally admit to doing it, but we had several long discussions about it, and we had her call up my sister-in-law to apologize for waisting our time.
There was another time not that long ago where Lillian had hidden a pair of these stupid dress shoes with a little heel on it in her backpack to bring to school. I went to go put something in her backpack and she practically flipped when she saw i was going to open it and discover the shoes inside. She became extremely upset when i insisted on looking in her backpack. I told her that morning that I was upset that she was not honest with me....it was picture day or something like that, so a special occasion and i would have let her bring them this once (they are totally not appropriate for little kids to be running around school and playing in). I let her bring them to school that day, but told her there would be consequences for being dishonest when she came home. I took them away from her later explaining why. I will probably return them to her soon, but with a reminder as to why we had a haitius from the 'fancy white dress shoes'.
I'm afraid that the 'trauma' of me discovering them though was memorable enough in her mind that it might push her to be more diligent about hiding things the next time....or simply refine her technique. Guess I'll find out.
I also like the emphasis on noting that you can tell when someone is lying and why.
Sounds like you have come to some good solutions....i too posted before i saw your response.
While on this subject can we just b*tch and complain about those stupid book fairs and how much JUNK they sell at them? I'd love for my kids to want to come home with some good books, but half the time they are drawn to the stupid flip books with 3-d glasses or the trinket table with gel pens and erasers and who knows what else...oh and posters.
I pretty much have to bargain with them to get them to buy anything of substance. Just frustrating to me because I think kids can be drawn to quality books naturally...if they aren't shown up by the silly gimmicks or pretty colored pencils. I tell them they have to buy a book if its my money, if they want the trinkety stuff, they need to use their own. It still doesn't entirely help though since, like you said, some of the books are lame and gimmicky.
Ugh, and Barbie books. I loathe the barbie books with a passion. But Nathalie LOVES them and I'm torn between my gut reaction to refuse to buy such junk, or giving into it to foster her love for reading. So far, i've bought them when thats what she says she wants, with the belief that I'll have more influence over her entire childhood than this handful of dumb books will.
ETA: I might tell her at the next book fair that if she picks a book it needs to be somethign else. With the idea of broadening her horizons LOL. "You have 3 barbie books, lets see if you can find something else you enjoy reading.....(and I loathe reading with you less)