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October 22, 2014

Parenting Conundrum -- Help? AN UPDATE!!

I'm one of those people that doesn't ask a lot of advice from people. Especially about parenting. It's not because I know everything and don't think that others have anything to offer me. It's more that, when I read blogs or internet threads where advice is dispensed, there is so much that is variable. There's a lot of, "Well, this worked for me....not sure it's the right thing for everyone" and "Every kid is different" and an awful whole heckuva lot of "It depends."

Why would I write a blog post now to ask for advice? Well...a situation has occurred multiple times at my house the last few months and I obviously have not handled it well since it continues to happen. So, I'm coming out of hibernation (why haven't I blogged lately??) to ask for some ideas and/or advice on how to handle something.

You don't even have to be a parent to help me on this. Think about siblings doing similar things...or friends.  :)

Set the stage, here: I wear makeup. Some people might say I wear a lot of makeup and some people might say I don't wear enough. Just about everyone could give me some tips on how to do it better, I know that.

Girls like makeup! Go figure!! :) (Photo Credit)
I have three daughters in my house. They are ages 13, 11 and 8. None of them wear makeup on a daily basis and the oldest will wear it on weekends (the school rule is no makeup). The oldest also has some makeup she's received either as gifts or that I have purchased for her in the last year or so. The younger two haven't expressed much interest in makeup at this point and they do not have any in their possession.

Here's the recurring situation: Someone uses my makeup. No one owns up to it. An accusation that I don't really remember how I left my things typically ensues. And that is typically followed by suggestion that maybe NO ONE messed with my stuff. Today, the suggestion was that my husband must have used it.

I know someone used the eye shadow applicator because I see that the person applied blush (rouge-tinged bristles -- when my eye shadow is clear/very light neutral color) with it. I wipe this brush clean each time I use it as the bristles are a special material that helps apply the powderless kind of eye shadow. Once it was used for blush, the culprit did not clean it off AND inserted it back into its sleeve the opposite direction of how I keep it.

I know someone used my foundation brush because it was damp (perhaps it got dropped in the sink??)

I know someone used my eyebrow comb/brush because it was missing (in this instance, it mysteriously or miraculously showed up in its proper location within a day of my registering annoyance that it is gone and I know someone used it, and then lied to me about it).

I know someone used my makeup (in general) because things are out of place. I am meticulous with my stuff and I store it exactly the same way when I am finished every single time (thank you, OCD). The child using it clearly doesn't understand why anyone would do that -- which is why said child thinks she can get away with not owning up to it and trying to convince me that perhaps my husband (???) is the one who has been dabbling in my makeup (Yep -- that was actually uttered this morning).

Here's the thing: I think it's NATURAL for a girl to want to wear some makeup. I wear makeup because I like it! I am sure my girls want to wear it, too. And I am not opposed to them learning how to use makeup and wearing it (just not to school since that is against the rules). I am hurt because this situation where they use my makeup without asking makes me think that they believe I would not let them use makeup. I think I've been fairly reasonable about the whole makeup and clothes things with my girls. I've been flexible, but held firm on certain things -- but none of the things I've felt the need to "hold firm" on have been makeup related.

So, if one of my girls asked to use my makeup, I would most likely say "yes" (if no rules were being broken) and also see if it were time to get her some (more) of her own.

Here's another thing: I don't like lies. If I confront a child of mine with a question like, "Hey, did you use this makeup thing?" I expect an honest answer. When I believe I am being lied to, it hurts my feelings and also makes me angry. I think it hurts me more than angers me, though, because I don't know why my kids want to deceive me.

THIS situation occurred this morning: I came home from working out and was getting ready for work, used my foundation brush and found it damp, then found my eye shadow brush had been used and put away incorrectly (completely different from how I store my brush). My first thought was that it was the oldest. When confronted, she denied it. I can't imagine it had been either of the younger two, but I asked them and they said they hadn't. used it.

No one every owned up to it. I went about my routine getting ready. I thought about how I could get the truth from my girl(s).

My solution for this time is that no monthly allowances will be paid until the person who used the makeup (and did a pretty shoddy job of putting stuff back) makes herself known to me. I don't JUST MEAN November allowances -- I mean no more allowances EVER until the person owns up to it. Allowances are these girls' only way of obtaining money (well, the oldest gets babysitting jobs...) so I am hopeful this will work. I even said, "you can come to me individually, if you want. I promise you that the anger I feel toward being lied to will most likely be overcome with happiness to forgive and move on once the truth has been acknowledged." And, knowing how I felt in the past with situations like this, I believe it to be true. Once I know the truth, I can address the initial lie, discuss the harm that it caused the relationship, but then move on from it. Especially with one of my dear children.

I did tell the girls that the longer I am lied to, the more angry I am about the whole thing and that I wouldn't have been all that angry if the person had just owned up to it from the get-go.

Photo Credit

Let's be clear about something: My anger = disappointed look, a little bit of yelling. So, the fear of me being angry that they use my makeup without asking first is a little weird, in my opinion.

So --  my question(s) for you, readers:

1) Is there a better way (i.e., more efficient) to get the information from my girls, than just withholding their monthly allowance? (I do suspect the oldest, but man, she was figuratively digging in her heels even as we drove to school...)

2) How can I stop this lying? I'm of the opinion that when kids start lying, they start with small things (like saying they didn't use mom's makeup without asking, when they really did) and when they get away with it, the lying moves on to bigger things until the kid is just an all-out liar. I don't want to push my girls away, but I'm really hurt by the lying. And it's my job as their mom to call them on it, put a stop to it and make sure they understand what they do to our relationship when they lie to me.

3) Once this is settled, I fear that I've got a trip to a makeup counter in my future to get a full set of something for at least the oldest. But I don't want to "reward" this bad behavior (if, in fact, she is the one who used the makeup and then lied profusely -- AND wanted me to consider that CRAIG used my makeup!!!)

Please respond in the comments or even tweet me or IM me or e-mail me. I am not lie-awake-at-night stressed out about this, but I'm quite interested to read your thoughts.

I called to talk with the kids after school and asked my oldest if anyone could tell me the truth yet. She said that the youngest confessed to it while they were at before-school care this morning. So I got the youngest girl on the phone and she also told me that it was she who had gotten into the makeup. We talked about how I was not angry that she wanted to play with the makeup, but that I do wish she had asked first. I likened it to the times recently when she has gotten upset at her brothers coming into her room and playing with her dollhouse without her permission. I also told her that it really hurt my feelings that she lied about it.

So, we talked about respecting people's property and being honest.

I guess the girls will get their allowances now, and I probably don't have to go to a makeup counter yet. The 8-year-old has a few years of "playing" before using makeup becomes a real thing, haha.

Thanks for the comments so far! Stuff like this always gets to me!!


  1. Okay, this is seriously off the way, but are you sure it couldn't have been one of the boys? I mean, I don't put anything past preschoolers and young kids. And this seems like something that looks fun (like markers - eye mascara and playing with different materials - the blush, etc.). Of course, they would be sloppy about putting things back and I think if your girls were trying to cover up that they did use your makeup, they would do a much better job of concealing their usage (no pun intended). Just a thought.

    One other thing, I don't know your girls, but if you withheld something from all 3 of them (something that they all very much liked and they thought the consequences of getting in trouble from confessing would be much less than not getting their allowance), would any of the 3 just confess anyway to reinstate the allowance?

    Obviously, take what I have to say with a grain of salt, my girls are just 2 1/2 and 10 weeks old…but this is what came to mind. Good luck!

    1. Hmm, good thoughts. The thing is...I used it yesterday and then this morning. The dampness of the brush made me think it was fresh (like someone used it THIS MORNING) and the boys had only been up for about 10 minutes when I got home from working out.

      I suppose a confession might come just to reinstate...but the thing is...I know my oldest would never confess to it if she didn't do it. I doubt any of my girls would. Which is why I thought about revoking allowance until we hashed out the truth.

      I'm sure the hubs and I will discuss, too. He may have a very good idea of how to get this resolved that I am unable to think of.

  2. I actually agree with what you did, I was going to suggest taking something away from all of them to show that the actions of one does hurt others. I'm not sure how to stop the lying, to some extent I think it is just a small part of growing up, I think all kids will say little lies here and there out of fear, but you are right, it's important to show them that indeed lying does hurt people and can really harm relationships. I think you did a pretty good job, to show that you are ultimately hurt that someone is lying, not that you are really angry about the usage of your makeup, but that they did not respect your property and ask first. Maybe point out the importance of asking to use something first that is not theirs. If they had something and someone used it without asking first they would likely be upset as well.

    1. Agreed! They often get upset with each other over using things without asking, and this is similar. I think I do worry that I've caused them to fear asking first for some reason. But I can't remember ever flying off the handle at a request....

  3. This is so interesting. I'm glad the truth has come to light. I'm curious as to why she felt the need to lie about it in the first place?

    1. I asked her that, but she doesn't really have an answer. Lately, she's been going into my room when no one knows and weighing herself, too. I'm just keeping an eye on it for now. She's perfectly welcome to weigh herself, but I'm concerned that my 8-year-old has started doing this (and only after we had her wellness check and her doctor addressed her BMI stating that she's not in danger, but he'd still prefer to see her about 6 pounds lighter than she was at the time).

      I've been keeping tabs on that, too. That's another blogpost I want to write, but I get scared of making issues worse should she see it.

  4. Isn't this your daughter who is a real mama's girl? Maybe she wants to be like you, so playing with your make up is one way to do it. And lying about it because she knows she really shouldn't be messing with your stuff with out permission. She had trouble taking homework help from you, so something like your makeup would be a much bigger deal.
    I also thought the boys might be the culprit - I have a 4 year old that was inevitably attracted to his teenager sister's make up, with disastrous results. (The worst was the nail polish soaked through a Vera Bradley bag...) .
    Also, about the weighing thing - do you think she has put together what the doctor said (BMI too high) with your recent weight loss? So she thinks she needs to monitor her weight? To be just like you? She might not understand that you, as an adult, lost weight to be healthier and happier, where things are different for kids. BMI is a tool that is widely applied not always well - if she's healthy, active, and eats well, she's good. Growth spurts will take care of the rest. (Sorry if I've come off preachy. I have a lot of girls and we've navigated these waters before.)


Thank you for reading. I enjoy reading other perspectives, please feel free to share yours. :)