The Art of Lying

the art of lying mickey mouse painting
After weeks of missing lessons, El finally finished his painting of Mickey Mouse. His teacher had explained the concept behind it, but I had forgotten who the artist was. It was supposed to be have vintage feel, with all the patterns and designs behind Mickey Mouse.

mickey mouse el vintage painting

When I saw it, I liked it very much. His current art school, HeART Studio, is more interesting than his previous school, where they did blending of colours all the time. He has a greater sense of achievement here because he gets to see his completed works on canvas or on paper, instead of sketches in a notebook.

When we went home, Gar saw the painting and immediately became insanely jealous. He started saying it was his. We brushed him aside and said it was done by his brother. Agitated, he threw a tantrum.

“I painted this,” he reiterated, when he saw the painting on the wall the next morning. He was lying through his teeth and became upset when we repeated that it was done by his brother.

I had remembered reading articles about lying. Lying is actually a good thing for the children, because they require cognitive skills to tell them. The earlier they lie, the brighter they are. However, we have to guide them and not let them get away with lying. If not, they will continue lying as they get older.

I went to search for the articles and read them. According to Victoria Talwar and Kang Lee’s developmental model of lying, they mention that at the primary stage of lying, which occurs around age 2 to 3, children lie blatantly. It is very easy to tell they are fibbing, because it is impossible for the event to happen. Gar’s lie was easily exposed. At the secondary stage of lying, which occurs around 4 to 5, children tell lies that are more plausible. At the tertiary stage of lying, when they are around 7 to 8, they will tell lies that depend on facts and they have follow ups.

The articles mentioned that we do have to address the issue right away, and not much later. We should not let them get away with the lies. Young children might not be able to tell between make belief and reality, hence the tall tales. He could have told the lie because he had liked it very much and had imagined himself drawing that. However, he did not express it the right way.

We should also avoid showdowns, and not accuse them of what they did. Very young children do not know that they are in the wrong. Instead, we could talk about the other party’s feelings, or mentioned that something had happened.

To resolve his issue, I asked him later in the evening who had painted that. Again, he said he did. I was a little glad he did, because that meant I could address this properly this time round.

“Do you like this painting very much?” I asked.

“Yes,” Gar answered.

“Do you want to have your own painting like this too?”


“Do you want Mummy to paint Mickey Mouse with you?”


“This painting is done by Kor kor (El). Is it very nice?”


I took a deep breath, and hope that he would be able to tell the truth this time round.

“Who painted this?” I asked again.

“Kor Kor.”

I heaved a sigh of relief.

El was in the living room when this exchange happened. I told Gar to tell El that his painting was very nice.

Gar shouted, “Kor Kor, your painting is very nice!”

El kept quiet and pretty much ignored him. I went to El and told him that someone had just paid him a compliment. He should acknowledge that and thank the person.

After some probing, El finally said, “Thank you for your compliment.”

I went back to Gar, and told him what to say.

“You are welcome!”

Children need to be taught how to respond in different social situations. I find that El can be quite nonchalant at times, and I need to get him to greet people, including his teachers and friends, or say goodbye to his friends.

Going back to the painting, I sat down with Gar to do the painting. I searched online for a picture of Mickey Mouse, and asked Gar which one he wanted. He said he wanted a blue Mickey Mouse, and selected a picture. I sketched it out, and got him to paint.

He had been doing some painting with my mother, who is very talented in drawing. My mother had reminded me to use the white colour to mix with the colours, so that the pictures would be more dimensional instead of flat.

He wanted various colours for different parts of Mickey Mouse, and after he had painted the mouse, I got him to paint the background. When he was done, I added the outline to make the picture a little better. I also added some touch ups to the side.

mickey mouse gar painting

Gar was extremely proud of his painting and demanded that we put up his artwork on the wall too. When he observed that his brother’s painting had a name, he asked to include his name on his artwork too. His father wrote his name and he was as pleased as a lark.

The Artists Who Painted

After buying art supplies, we had a few painting sessions. They love to paint!
gar and el painting

Gar loves to dip his paintbrushes into the water, so he ends up with very wet paper.
the artist who painted

El uses more vivid colours and he painted a few pieces.
el painting a rainbow

This mother let them use recycled paper. El complained that some of the papers were filled up on both sides, but I pointed out that there was still some space left. Gar does not care much, and he just paints.

While poster colours might have more vivid colours, I think watercolours suit toddlers and pre-schoolers as all they have to do is to dip their wet paintbrushes on the water colours and they get all the colours instantly. Parents do not have to squeeze the tube of pain for them, and then have to wash up. For water colours, I just dab the colours dry, rinse the containers and paint brushes.

All these abstract art pieces are done by Gar.
abstract art 2

abstract art 3

abstract art

sunrise abstract art

green field abstract art

These paintings with more vivid colours and pictures are done by El.
rainbow colours
Rainbow colours

octopus in the sea
Octopus in the Sea

wild kratts
These two guys are supposed to be Chris and Marten, wildlife explorers from Wild Kratts.

This is a great activity to keep them busy and interested. Just a few days ago, Gar asked for them and the children started painting again.

How A Four-Year-Old Names His Future Business

After dinner, El and I were in the car having a conversation. I cannot remember whether all the questions were asked by me, or my husband had asked too.

Me: We were eating at the thai restaurant and many children saw you playing and then they asked their parents who want to eat Japanese food to come in. That is a good idea to have a children’s corner.
If you were to set up a restaurant, would you have a kids corner?

El: Yes. But I don’t know how to set up a restaurant.

Me: Well, next time you can take on part time work during the school holidays as a waiter, and learn how a restaurant operates. You can be a chef and learn where to get the supplies from. You can also call your restaurant Mum and Dad Restaurant.
El: Yeah.

Me: You can also draw your own menu.

El: Yes, that would be great.

Me: If you could choose, would you open a restaurant or an art school?

El: Art school!

Me: You can get a franchise from global arts or set up your own.
How big will it be?

El: Very big, and many rooms.

Me: Will it be bigger than Jiu jiu’s school?

El: Yes.

Me: How many schools will you open?

El: 30.

Me: 13 or 30?

El: 30.

Me: What name will you call it. El Art school? World arts?

El: Artz school?

Me: Space Arts? International Arts School?

El: Art school.

Me: But there are many art schools. You need a name.
Well, Jiu jiu’s school is called Good School Learning Hub.

El: Ok, how about Picture School?

Me: But people may think picture school is a photography school, since picture is a photo too.

El: Ok, then Drawing and Colour School.

carrots and brinjals colouring

Me: Drawing Encourage School? Or Drawing and Courage school?

El: No, Drawing and Colouring school. The small kids will learn colouring. The big kids will learn drawing.

Me: But you are learning drawing and colouring now. Will you teach painting?

El: No.

And that’s all I can remember from that conversation.

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