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Buddha Did It

Poor Noah. He’s at the age when kids don’t just start wanting to tattle on their siblings. They need to tattle on their siblings. They need to shift the blame. They need to change the focus when mom or dad are getting frustrated over something that they have done.

But Noah is an only child. That means he’s got nobody to blame things on and nobody to throw under the bus when he doesn’t want to take the heat for something naughty he’s done.

Enter Buddha.

Our three-year-old lazy tank of a dog who doesn’t do a whole lot besides lay around all day or blow snot in your face when you’re trying to enjoy your latest show on TV.

As if instinct has kicked in full force, Noah has started tattling on Buddha. He’s started blaming Buddha for the naughty things he’s done.

Yesterday I walked into the kitchen and noticed that “somebody” had drawn all over the new kitchen chair with a dry-erase marker. “Noah, how come you drew on this chair?” I asked him.

“It wasn’t me Dad, it was Buddha.”

Not laughing proved much more difficult than it should have. “Buddha did it? He drew this pretty picture?”

“Yep.”

“What’s it a picture of?”

“This is a dinosaur eating a robot, and right here is where the fire shoots out,” he said proud of the picture that “Buddha drew.”

I asked him if he really thought Buddha could draw a picture that good being that he was a big old fat dog who, like I said, didn’t do much but lay around all day. Noah assured me it was Buddha.

It’s hard to be mad when he blames Buddha. It’s so ridiculously hilarious. I love the brains of four-year olds. Noah has every reason to believe that I’ll believe his fib. After all, it makes sense to him.

At some point, I supposed it’s okay to let him get away with smaller things here and there. After all, parents of multiple children often have no way to determine who is actually telling the truth. Every once in a while the culprit is bound to get himself off the hook. Why shouldn’t Noah have that right like any other kid?

Poor Buddha. He’s done a lot of naughty things and doesn’t even know it.

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing

PS. What do you think? Is tattling a big part of your kids’ lives? Do you ever struggle knowing which kid actually committed the crime? Has your only child faced the same dilemma Noah has?

This post was originally written for the Land O’Moms blog for whom I’m a blogging ambassador. 

 

SDL’s Quote of the Day

“The surest route to breeding jealousy is to compare. Since jealousy comes from feeling ‘less than’ another, comparisons only fan the fires.” – Dorothy Briggs
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63 comments
KrystalBass
KrystalBass

Well my sister used to say that it was her imaginary twin sister Jessica all the time. Mum put up with it for a while but when she started to really take advantage of the situation my mother would ask her again, who is responsible. She would expectantly reply that Jessica did it. "Is that so?" says mom. "Well you can tell 'Jessica' that from now on if she does something bad, You are going to be punished. By the way, you're grounded. Have a good time with Jessica." Well from that moment on we never heard about Jessica again lols

Amie Voges
Amie Voges

My oldest blames his little sister and the miniature schnauzer by saying, "welllllll....." and giving them a slight nod while winking at me. At seven, he's an expert when it comes to non-verbals. :)

Tina Warren
Tina Warren

@Jessie--I just commented on the blog what we did about fibbing...

Heathir Dhomhnaill
Heathir Dhomhnaill

My oldest used to blame the dog, too. But it was basically only when something was broken/damaged.

Scott Torres
Scott Torres

Reposting... I have friends who need to hear that

Jessie Hawthorn
Jessie Hawthorn

We adopted a 4 year old boy and a 6 year old girl almost six months ago. We are struggling with tattling and fibbing. I'm really unsure of what to do about the fibbing. Sometimes I think it's great that my son is using his imagination, but I also worry about where it could lead...he is only 4 though... ;)

Rachel
Rachel

There are advantages to being an only child: at least the dog can't argue back!

Rachel Tompkins
Rachel Tompkins

I Love it :) My son is 4 and the youngest and did pretty much the same thing, only the "drawing" was on the wall(exactly at his height, and our dog is a miniature dachshund! I also had to walk away to giggle. While I was unhappy that he drew on the whole, in his mind, it was perfectly believable that Madison flew up there and did it <3

Heather
Heather

Kids say the most awesome things! I remember sometimes when I would get into trouble my little brother would try to take the blame. I don't know why he would try to because my parents never believed him but it was so darned sweet that he'd try that I'll never forget it. <3

Desirée
Desirée

That's absolutely hilarious =p I have a hard time keeping a straight face now, I'll really be in trouble in a few years when my daughter gets to be Noah's age!

Genevieve
Genevieve

My kids get in arguments and try to say it was the other kid, but with 3 of them, I usually can find out exactly what happens eventually.
I used to know a kid, however, who blamed everything he did on his imaginary friend, which I would imagine is about the same thing as blaming it on the dog.

Kat
Kat

When my daughter was small she had trouble seeing the difference between her imagine and the real world. We came with a way to help her determine which was which by asking "is that a 'I think' or 'I wish' or a 'I know' statement. So she could say Buddha did it and I would ask the 3 questions above and she could respond, "I wish Buddha did it" and show me that she was in her fantasy world. It helped a lot to get her to see the difference between truth and non-truth. She was a very imaginative child and could tell some wild stories - not always about getting her sibs in trouble.

Chris
Chris

While it's easy to allow him the "smaller things" to blame Buddha for because as you said, "Why shouldn't he have that right like other kids?" It's important to also remember that he also does not have siblings blaming things on him like those other kids do.

While you might not want to punish for the minor lie, it's important to let him know that you know it's made up and have him be part of the cleanup so he makes the connection of, "You clean up the messes you make". Unless you are okay with him drawing on the walls, it would be okay to remind him that, "Crayons/markers are for paper, not walls".

Mercy
Mercy

My 2 and 3 year olds do blame each other for things they do, though I can often figure out who did it cause they each have specific naughty things they do that the other doesn't.

I do remember reading that at this age kids often don't know they are lying. They see it differently, and we have to accept that, while at the same time teaching them what lying is and why it's wrong.

Val
Val

Oh gosh, that made me laugh, Buddah drawing pictures now, of all things.

We thought he only raided trash baskets.

Yeah, it's okay to say, "That's a made up story," and then walk away.

No discipline is necessary. He'll grow up, and you'll keep calling him out on the obvious nonsense. love, Val

Alora
Alora

I can't remember where I read it but a parenting book said that if your kids try to get away with things once in a while it's not a bad thing...it means they are still independent thinkers.

If you have a kid who never, ever tries to buck what people are expecting or wanting of him then you end up with a teenager someday who completely succumbs to peer pressure and who won't say no to anyone.

This concept really changed my idea of it all.

Some people might thing I'm saying "sure, it's OK to lie!" But that's not what I'm saying.

I'm advocating that with this perspective you can look at your child's choices with some admiration. From that vantage point you can speak to them about it with respect and integrity and even appreciation for who they are, all while still helping them grow into the amazing adults they already are inside of them.

Amie via SDL's Facebook Page
Amie via SDL's Facebook Page

My oldest blames his little sister and the miniature schnauzer by saying, "welllllll....." and giving them a slight nod while winking at me. At seven, he's an expert when it comes to non-verbals. :)

Jen
Jen

at least it's someone real...my only child blamed his imaginary brother John...who lived in our attic. Glad he never told his teachers about that one or I would have had a visit from child services

jackie
jackie

yep, it's totally ok for your child to learn that he can get away with lying instead of learning to be responsible for his actions.
Real dads teach their kids lying is WRONG.

Tomi Ann
Tomi Ann

I had this little brother who I could blame stuff on... and he loved to blame everything on our little sister... and on and on. The joys of having ten kids!

Kandis
Kandis

My 10 year old (and only child) goes with the all time favorite "I don't know." I will calmly ask him what happened and while looking at the mess/accident he will claim to have no knowledge of any of the events leading up to it. It reminds me of the Family Circus cartoons where they show the ghosts (or only visible to children) with the name tag "I don't know" and "Not me" on them. I believe we might have the same problem at my house.

William
William

I also have a four year old boy. We have no pets so he can't really blame anyone else. When he does something wrong he just covers his eyes because he knows he did something wrong. And that's without me saying anything!

Dawn
Dawn

My middle son used to blame everything on the squirrels!

Court
Court

It doesn't necessarily have to do with being an only child. Some children are more prone to "never being wrong" My younger sister would blame things on me and or the dog. To this day she is "never wrong". She can find blame pretty much anywhere! Hahahah

Georgette
Georgette

I was an only child and when I was 4 I blamed everything on our cat. My mother says the funniest part was when my dad started blaming things on the cat too.

Christi
Christi

My oldest is 11. Her sister just turned one a couple days ago, so she was an only child for the first decade of her life. We never had pets so she couldn't blame things on them. She never had an imaginary friend to blame things on. Sometimes she would blame her cousin, even if he wasn't visiting, but mostly she just claimed ignorance. :-)

brandilyn
brandilyn

HAHAHA! this is so cute...mostly because i had an immediate mental image of buddha with a marker, thoughtfully drawing a masterpiece on your chair. if this helps, wd-40 is said to be pretty good at removing crayon from things. good luck!

Pat Wilken Maloney
Pat Wilken Maloney

I had five children, and they always blamed a sibling....lol. My one son, one time blamed the dog (Peanuts) on tearing up his homework, when he didn't take his homework into school. His teacher said, "Michael says Peanuts tore up his homework"....lol. As I think back...I think he was right !! I remember the dog actually tearing up someone's homework now.

Anne-Marie
Anne-Marie

I have 2 younger children whose siblings are 9 and 10 years older than they are. Blaming them gets tough, so they just blame inanimate objects.
"Mom, we were over here on the swings and the basketball flew through the air and smashed through the window way over there. It looked like he really wanted to play"
"The baseball set NEEDED to play in the livingroom Mom. That's how the glass door got broken. The bat was trying to get the ball to play"
Needless to say, I no longer have anything glass in the house and all windows are superthick, double pane :)

Allison
Allison

I think the tattling stage is a great time to introduce "having the courage to take responsibility" and "making mistakes right, first by apologizing" We all make mistakes. If we have the courage to apologize and fix it, we build self esteem and know there is little we cannot handle. I can think of a fair few adults who could do with a refresher in this area, but I won't say who. That would be tattling ;D

Carma
Carma

Tattling can be a funny thing! To help my kids understand what tattling is, I would ask this: Are you telling me this to get someone INTO trouble, or OUT of trouble? I have four kids and they are pretty good about not tattling just to be mean.

Dana B
Dana B

lol! My 4 year old is the only child. Sometimes he blames the cat and even his stuffed animals, but more often he blames class mates at school. Of course these are kids I've never met & certainly have never been in our house.. but they magically have the ability to throw a car in the sink so I got to hear the awesome sound of a metal object in the garbage disposal!

Beth
Beth

All 3 of mine do this from time to time... they blame each other and sometimes they blame the dog too! I think the funniest was when my middle child didn't quite make it to the potty in time. I happened to open the bathroom door, discovered 2 paper towels on a puddle and asked what happened... "the dog did it". Hmm, the dog OPENED the bathroom door, peed on the floor, covered it up with paper towels and then shut the door?? "Yes mommy. I saw her do it." she kept insisting. I literally turned on my heel, went upstairs and called my mom to laugh about it. Silly kids! Usually I sit down with a child who isn't telling the truth when I know that they've done it and have a talk reminding the child that we need to be truthful and giving them a "do-over" to tell me what really happened.

Tina
Tina

Mine is an only child with occasional siblings (the brother and sister from another mother). They were so much older that blaming them wasn't and option and he didn't even have a pet to blame things on. "Not me" and "I don't know" were his invisible twins. We got through the "lying" stage by constantly and calmly explaining that just because you would LIKE it to be what you're saying, it REALLY is what it really is....YOU drew the picture on (in our case, your sister's dresser) and we know you did.

When possible, HE had to work to undo whatever it was (magic erasers really are magical--though not on the dresser--that was permanent). And he might lose a privilege for a VERY short time (2 days is FOR.EVER!!! to a 5 year old) as a consequence for not being truthful. When he DID tell the truth, he only had to undo (if possible), no added consequence BECAUSE he told the truth.

Now, at 11, he is very truthful (and very responsible). I hope it sticks....

Lon
Lon

My husband will still blame our dog for things, especially farts.

Kat
Kat

I have 2 boys and the rule is if they blame each other then they're both in trouble. That way, it evens out. lol Usually one was egging the other one on anyway. Poor Buddha. :)

Tedi Trindle
Tedi Trindle

I don't remember a lot of blaming or tattling. We worked hard at instilling the notion that things go a lot easier on a person who tells the truth than one who lies. We also fostered the sense that tattling is also a punishable behavior, unless it was to prevent a dangerous situation. All of that seemed to cut down on the kids trying to "get away" with things by lying or blaming someone else. It didn't eliminate entirely, of course. There is a learning curve involved.

Diana
Diana

oh my gosh, you know at first when I read that headline, I didn't realize you had a dog named Buddha. I thought you meant the religious figure, lol!

Fouomsters
Fouomsters

As an only child, also(for my first 16 years anyway), I often blamed my cousin. Unfotunatly she lived 4 hours away and was only around occasionally in the summers. But I blamed everything on her just the same. My poor mother, for I was an insistent, stubborn child!
"Missy did it!"
"Missy hasn't been here in 7 months."
"Ya well, she did it when she was here and you just now noticed."
"How do you explain the fact that I noticed it wasn't broken yesterday?"
Shrugs shoulders..."I dunno. But what I do know is that Missy did it!"

Val
Val

Yes.

If you yell and they never yell back?

That's not such a good thing.

Even though yelling is not recommended, once in a while it happens.

Gosh, give them room to be human. I mean we all are. It's not the end of the world. We can talk about it. love, Val

And a yelling match is a far different thing from a situation where one person screams and the other cowers.

Rowena
Rowena

Well said Allison, I totally agree :)

Dan Pearce
Dan Pearce

LOL. That's pretty much what my mom always said to us growing up!