When I first heard my momma say–“Don’t send me to battle without any armor”, she was recounting a story about my brother when he was 15 years old. She was going to have to defend his actions and the seriousness of the situation required her to know the truth and nothing but the truth! I laughed when she said it because it was such an interesting way to tell a kid that–“Now is not the time to play games.”
As my daughter entered into pre-teendom, she began to hone her “story-telling” skills (Nice way to say she was lyin’!) and she began to have issues at home and school. She would make up stories just to make them up and as I began to receive calls from school administrators about her alleged disregard for rules and emails from teachers regarding missing assignments, I began to have to respond to the allegations against her and I found myself putting a twist on my mother’s saying about being sent to fight with no armor but mine became–“Don’t have me in here defending you…and you did it! It’s time for you to tell the truth!”
This went on through almost the entire 7th grade year and after hours of talking (yelling) and not giving up (showing my ass) , I began to see a breakthrough in how she responded when asked a question that required truthfulness. I had to laugh because I could actually see the wheels turning in her head as she thought about her options and ultimately chose to go with the truth when faced with her alternative option which was having to deal with me.
As a parent to a now teenager, I have to discern whether or not she is telling me the truth everyday (I’m no idiot!) and everyday, she has to make the decision on whether or not she is going to tell the truth but what has been accomplished through the many hours of relentless discussions and reminders is that she knows when it is time to go to battle she’d better not have me suit up with faulty information!