I believed them
“A lie has speed, but truth has endurance.”
(Edgar J. Mohn)
Each of my kids has lied to me, face to face. This is an entirely normal part of growing up. Sometimes I knew they were lying, sometimes not.
What I found to be the most effective response was to simply believe them, no matter what. That way, when the truth eventually came out, one of the consequences they had to experience was the guilt of facing someone who had faith in them. This was far better than doubting them, or trying to trap them in their lie, which actually just tempted them to get better at lying, and get better at hiding their true selves from me.
One more thing—this approach also enabled them to learn that telling the truth may mean enduring some awkward feelings in the moment, but enjoying much less stress in the future.
Peace begins with pause,