We’ve all done it.
The savagely unamused raised eyebrow. The “gimme a break” tilted head. When our kids get to a certain number of years in their careers as fibbers and exaggerators, we’ve called them out on their alternate facts enough times that it gets reduced to a simple stare we can beam at them. A truth stare.
A signature look that silently screams, “you wanna rethink that one and try again, sweetie?”
They wilt under the hot ray of this stare, knowing that we’ve proven in the past that possess the power to take their lie apart, and they know the harder we have to work to get to the bottom of their bulldookey, the greater the consequences probably will be.
They know we’re fully willing to rip the curtain aside on their charade and embarrass the unholy hell out of them in front of other people. And that afterwards, we’ll just explain that they did to themselves by lying in the first place.
It’s these nice little understandings parents develop with their kids that can help families run along like a well-tuned machine.