When a child tells a lie

"We took a new approach, wanting the children to feel so loved that they would not be afraid to tell us the truth."

What do you do if a child looks you in the eye and tells you something you are quite certain is not true, but you have no evidence to prove it?

Coming home from work one day, I noticed our two-year-old son had a chunk of hair clipped off the back of his head. "What happened?" I asked. He said he had cut his hair with a pair of scissors. "Oh good!" I said facetiously, trying to keep myself from looking too amused. I joked with my wife about our son's new hairstyle, but she didn't laugh too much. She was trying to decide whether he or his sister was responsible for the cut.

You see, bigger sister had just received a hairstyling doll for Christmas. This doll's head was equipped with reams of hair that rolled out of the crown and was intended to be fashioned and cut off. Along with this haircutter's "dream come true," came combs, brushes, barrettes, and scissors. Sister was having a lot of fun with this doll. And brother and sister had been playing together in the bedroom, behind closed doors no less, when this large chunk of hair suddenly vanished from our son's head.

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January 26, 1998

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