View Full Version : My Little Liar
04-18-2008, 08:21 AM
I need some advice as to what to do with my 4 year old daughter. For the past 2 nights she has caled my husband at work (he works 2 blocks from home) and told him lies. The first night she told him there was a mouse in the house so of course he came rushing home. When I saw him he asked where the mouse was and I said "what mouse"? After we realized that she made it up I said to him "well she figured out a way to get her daddy to come home didn't she" I suggested to him that he should ask to talk to me instead on just rushing home. That way he would know if it were true or not. The 2nd night she called and told him that she was outside by herself (she was really calling from inside) and mommy was sleeping inside (yeah right, when does that EVER happen). So of course he came rushing home only to find us both sitting outside. My husband works long hours because he owns his own business. I suggested to him that he spend more of his free time with her as he has done, but now I think that she just wants more time with him and has figured out a way to get him to come home. I just don't know if I should discipline her when she "lies" or let it go and hope it's just a phase. I feel that I may have contributed to this behavior because sometimes I would ask her something like "did you make this mess"? and she would say it was her imaginary playmate and I wouldn't get upset at her for "lying" I would just clean it up and let it go. Things like that would happen from time to time and I wouldn't get mad and now maybe she feels like it's ok to be dishonest. I can hardly wait to see what tonights phone call is going to be about!
04-18-2008, 11:00 AM
I would have to say that a lie would be grounds for time out, or a fav toy taken away. As children hit phases we have to adjust, and we can't assume that they will grow out of them. When my daughter makes a mess and I ask her if she made it sometimes she make up something too, but I say ok now we clean it up together, and she helps, if she doesnt' she can't do anything eles until it is cleaned up. This way she know if she makes a mess we correct it by having her clean it up. However lying to daddy over the phone and making up stories I believe to be totally different. She is learing to lie to get what she wants. I like the idea of daddy spending more free time with her, once she realizes that she isn't suppose to lie and get caught in one (time out) and also daddy not rushing home, she is old enough know that is a BIG NO NO! hope this helps Good luck.
04-19-2008, 10:50 PM
I agree--lying is a big deal and should be punished. Explain the difference between lies and truth. Talk about how lying makes others feel (Daddy in particular). Give her a couple scenarios (what if I lied to you about getting to go to the park...how would you feel if I told you that but really didn't take you?). Help her identify WHY she's lying. Help her think of other ways to achieve the same goals. If it's time with Daddy she's wanting, she can "write" him a letter or call him or tell him when he comes home. And Daddy's going to have to be sensitive to that and respond to those attempts by carving a bit of meaningful time out for just her.
I wish you the best!
04-24-2008, 06:52 AM
I think she probably just misses her dad, but you really need to nip this right now or she might just start lying all the time because it works for her.
I think the others are right, there needs to be some kind of consequence. You don't want her to grow up thinking that this is the way to get what she wants.
Still, her motives right now, I believe, are good. She is trying to figure out a way to see her daddy, so with the time out, try to get her dad to give her a little more time.
06-12-2008, 08:40 PM
Help! My six year old step son is a PATHELOGICAL liar...he lies about EVERYTHING. From little things like the time he recorded an entire DAY of spongebob marathon and swore to his daddy I did it (I hate that sponge LOL) to the times he changed his behavior report from school everyday for over 8 weeks to make us think he was behaving when he wasn't! The teacher never caught it either! The ONLY reason we found out at all is that she got fed up with him and sent him to the principal one day, he tore the referall up and accidently left it in his cubby at daycare and THEY found it and called me!
We've tried time outs, privelage revoking, even rewarding when he actually tells the truth!
Nothing works. He says he'd rather do what he wants when he wants to do it, see if he can get out of it by lying, and if he can't oh well at least he got to do what he wanted to do in the first place. (He even told his counselor this, because YES we have him in counseling...long story)
She has no idea how to make him be honest so I don't know what we are paying her for.
He told me that since we don't believe him no matter what he says he's just going to do what he wants. (and who would believe him because he constantly lies?!?) Help us! How do I make him WANT to tell us the truth?
06-12-2008, 10:33 PM
Well, since nothing else has been successful, maybe take a chance and try believing him. Seems counterintuitive, but if he's saying that he lies because you never believe him, give him a chance. Next time he uses that as an excuse, sit him down and say, "Okay, is that the truth? Would you behave differently if we always believed you?" If he answers "yes", sign the contract. You and Dad agree to believe everything he says for one week, and he agrees to tell the truth for one week. (You may need to start with a shorter time frame!) Explain that if he breaks that contract, you are no longer obligated to believe him. If you all sign it, FOLLOW THROUGH. Really do believe him. He's got to feel your trust. If he betrays your trust, he needs to feel that, too...but right now he's claiming that he never feels trusted. I'm not saying you don't have valid reasons for distrusting him, but give it a shot since nothing else seems to be working.
Does his school have an ED teacher and/or a behaviorist? These professionals can be very helpful. And if there's a school counselor, those services can be tapped for FREE.
The books I like for discipline in general are:
"How to Get the Best From Your Kids", by Jo Frost (Supernanny)
"Don't Make Me Count to Three", by Ginger Plowman
I wish you the very best!
06-17-2008, 11:06 AM
my husband and I gave the "just believe him" thing a shot. :-( He came home last night with a long spun tale about the kids at day camp picking on him. They were just so mean and making fists and calling him names. I was 100% skeptical the entire time, because he'd been home for about 5 hours and waited until bedtime to bring it up to me and his dad. But I listened. We asked for details, got the teachers name. Hubby had a long talk with him "man to man" about sticking up for himself and not letting other kids run all over him, being sure to tell teacher etc. He even gave us room location and teacher names so we figured...okay...even if it isn't AS bad as what he said, obviously SOMETHING happened, so we'll give him the benefit of the doubt and speak up at daycare right?
When dropping him off this morning I asked one of the head teachers to look into it for me please, because his Daddy and I take bullying very seriously. (Especially since my son's idea of "sticking up for himself" is to plant fists in peoples faces...we figured that nipping this in the butt BEFORE he got into a fight was the responsible proactive thing to do...)
Daycare just called. It was ALL lies. Not only was he not even IN that room yesterday, the teacher he named says he hasn't come in her room all summer, she didn't speak to him yesterday, and has no idea what incidents he's referring to as her room was actually CLOSED yesterday due to a field trip. I asked if he could have possibly gotten his details mixed up, maybe the room and teacher name were wrong. But not one of the 25 teachers recalls my son telling them anything yesterday. Given my sons reputation as a tattle tale (and a loved favorite at the daycare among the teachers because he has been there since he was 2) they all say that they are sure they would have heard if Brennan was being bullied.
I don't know how to break this to my husband. He was convinced that lil man was finally telling the truth...and clearly this wasn't just an exaggeration. It was a flat out lie to stall bedtime.
We have an appointment with the counselor tonight and I just don't even want to go...he's getting worse and she's costing a fortune...
06-17-2008, 09:38 PM
Sit down and talk with him. Tell him you called the daycare because you wanted to make sure the teachers weren't allowing bad things to happen. Tell him how confused you were when the teachers said none of it happened. Tell him how sad it made you feel when you found out he was lying. Ask him why (not IF) he lied. If he actually tells you, listen and be understanding. Empathize with his reasons but explain that lying is NEVER okay and help him think of what he should have said/done instead. If he doesn't tell you why he lied and instead launches into a denial, tell him that what he told you wasn't true, and that it's always important to tell the truth. Then ask him again why he didn't tell the truth. Be patient. Be persistent. Don't interrupt him. Help him feel heard, but make sure he knows it's never okay to lie. Help him brainstorm other things to say if he's wanting to interact and not knowing what to say. Remind him that if he wants to tell you about something that didn't really happen, he needs to start with something like "I just thought of a story I could tell you..." or "This is just a story..." in order to identify which tales are real/true and which are fake/made up. If the counselor is really doing nothing for you, quit. If you're attending a church somewhere, the church sometimes provides counseling services for free. As I mentioned before, school services can be tapped, but that's not really useful until fall. Be patient. Be persistent. After you have THE DISCUSSION, make sure he knows the consequences for lying. Be consistent in carrying out those consequences. Good luck :)
06-18-2008, 09:53 PM
My 5 year old son just entered this 'lying' phase. Recently I peeked around the corner & saw him dump a cup of chocolate milk over his 3 yr old brothers head. I walked into the room & called him out & he still denied it 2 or 3 times before he fessed up. I have always taught my children that telling the truth & facing the consequences is better than lying. That they will get in less trouble in the long run. I think this phase is more about seeing just how far they can push us. Explain it how you will, but I think kids need to learn that lies hurt people in the end.
06-19-2008, 08:14 AM
Maybe your son has a very active imagination like my daughter does... What helps with her is not punishment but rather me asking her after one of her long spun out tales "that sounds like a fun story, but I think an even better story would have the facts in it!" I think alot of the time kids just want our attention and if we show them that they can get attention AND tell the truth, and that grownups are actually interested in what they have to say, hopefully it will phase out with your son ... I has definately started to settle with my daughter. Now she will start a "lie" with "mommy listen to my fun story!" instead of trying to pretend it is true.
06-20-2008, 12:13 PM
Hmm, the story thing MIGHT work on certain lies...but it's little everyday stuff too! I'll say, (for instance) "son, you need to pick your wet towell up off the floor of your room and make sure it gets in the hamper, ok?"
"that's not my towell."
"son, just put your towell in the hamper, okay" ( i usually, following the counselors advice...ignore the lie and move on like he never said it.)
"it's not mine."
"pick it up and put it in the hamper please."
"It's yours, or Daddy's. I didn't put that there. I don't even know how that GOT there..."
and he will continue until I get angry with him for being a smart mouth and ignoring the direction to put the towell up. STUPID stuff. He will literally start an arguement (which I don't understand, because I refuse to argue with a child.)
I usually just a) buckle and tell him I don't care WHO'S towell it is, would he please pick it up and put it away or b) he ends up punished for being a smart alec AND lying at the same time.
We spank in our house but use it for MAJOR offenses (see the spanking thread...a lot of people think I'm satan over there...)
I'm tired of grounding him and taking away privelages. Per counselors advice we are no longer to "ask him questions that would allow him to lie." and we are to "ignore the little lies as though they were never said and continue on with the conversation as normal."
she said this will discourage him from lying to get attention or start altercations because we are not ENCOURAGING the argument or the story.
(does that make sense?) He's with his bio-mom this weekend so I haven't had much chance to try that out yet, but what do ya'll think??
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