Hopefully I'm a little more sneaky than my mom. Nevertheless, I have a feeling as my kids get older they might wise up to me. Until that day, I plan to use and promote my paranormal powers with great candor.
What is this super power I speak of? I'm like a walking human lie detector. My kids absolutely and emphatically believe that I can tell whether or not they are being truthful simply by looking at them.
Now, for starters it is important to note that half my battle was won when I convinced my kids I possessed supernatural tendencies. I don't even have to have said powers as much as I need to make my kids believe that I do.
My method includes putting my hands on my hips, squinting my eyes ever so slightly and cocking my head just a smidge to the left. I say, "Never forget, I can tell when you're lying" and my kids practically cave every time. I'm telling you, the truth comes tumbling out like an avalanche of honesty.
Conversely, if my stern attention fails to foster a confession all I have to do is look at little chests for signs of heart palpitations, shallow breathing and/or shifty eyes. That's when I know I've got them. And that's how my super power works. I can detect the slightest nonverbal signals.
Too bad I don't play poker.
Now each of my kids has a different tell and because they might read this article there's no way I'm actually going to list them out. I will say that I bet most parents, if they commit to honing their observation skills, can also develop this super power.
Unless of course your kid is in the drama club. In which case you should probably develop different super human-ness.
But that's not all. I don't wish to sound like a braggart but I do have five kids with which I've had extensive hands-on experience. Not only can I detect a lie but I can walk by the computer and tell but the rapid succession of mouse clicks if someone is doing something they shouldn't. In addition, I check the browsing history after they go to bed.
At dinner I can tell if they've hidden food in the crevices of their cheeks, in a napkin or under the mashed potatoes. Or sometimes the dog's rambunctious lip smacking gives them away.
Also, we live in a 100 year old house. It's not quiet by any means. Not only can I hear the floor boards creak when someone sneaks out of bed but I can tell by the weight and rhythm of the footsteps which kid it is.
I could go on and on. My point? It's not hard to figure out what's going on under your own roof. One just has to pay close attention and look for patterns. Kids are incredibly predictable and the younger ones are ridiculously gullible.
I feel strongly there's nothing wrong with using these opportunities to your advantage. In fact, I suggest you begin bragging about whatever superpower it is that you possess. Because once your kids believe that you have one, half the battle is already won. Let's just hope my kids don't wise up and call my bluff anytime soon. Why? Because I'm the mom and I said so! That's why!
This article appears as a part of my weekly Practical Parenting series for the Monmouth Daily Review Atlas. For more information on parenting, scheduling Stephanie to speak at your next event or early education services in Warren County send an email to ssikorski(at)mr238.org