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I asked my four year-old daughter to put her blocks away.

I wasn’t playing with the blocks,” she said. “Charlie was playing with the blocks.”

The intricacy of the design of the block tower told me otherwise. “Are you sure that Charlie built that beautiful tower?” I asked. I was surprised. I couldn’t recall a time when Clara had lied to me.

“Mommy helped,” she said.

“Okay,” I said. “I’m going to ask Mommy if she and Charlie built it.”

“No! Don’t!”

“Why not?” I asked.

“Because I don’t want you to hear her say no.”

I tried to hide my smile. “You need to tell the truth, Clara. The truth is important.”

“Okay, ” she said. “I just want to tell the truth later. Not now.”

I may try out this strategy at some point in the future.