My 5 year old daughter is always telling lies. Not small, innocent ones. Ones that are damaging. Her father and I are no longer together and we have not been for several years. He is stationed in another state in the army. She lives with my husband and I, and my husbands two boys. One time she came home from vacation with her father and told my husband and I that her father hits her. I questioned her father and he was very hurt and said he does not hurt her. She later admitted that he doesn't hit her, which we knew all along, but had to run by him. When my daughter went on a vacation with her father another time she told him that her step-father does bad things to her and a lot of other crazy things. The 3 of us have sat down and confronted her and she denies doing it, but we know she does. We have long talks with her about the consequences of lying and how the truth will always set you free, ect. The other day she was put in time out so many times that I lost count, for hitting her step-brothers and lying about it, even when she was caught doing it. They were not hitting her or even paying attention to her, she would hit them if they were disturbing her. One time she even hit her youngest brother and then started hysterically crying, claiming that he hit her, when he didn't. Everything that comes out of her mouth is a lie, and I can never believe her. Does anyone have a child that does this? The lying is so excessive and stressful!
That does sound stressful. Lying is always a tough behavior to handle because it pushes many emotional buttons for parents. The overall reason why kids lie is because they don’t have another way of dealing with a problem or conflict. It may feel as if your daughter’s behavior is a personal attack, especially because like you mentioned, they are of a serious nature; however, the truth is that at only 5 she most likely doesn’t know how to solve the problem more appropriately and doesn’t really understand the serious implications behind her statements. Try to focus on the behavior your daughter is lying about instead of the lying itself. Sometimes the more we focus on lying or whether or not you trust your child, the more that behavior grows.
It might be difficult to determine why your daughter is continuing to lie. It may be helpful to connect her with a counselor to help piece this out. Your pediatrician can give you some local resources in your area.