Lie Like a Rug

proserpinaJune 1, 2007

I think it's always hard for a parent when children lose their innocence, i.e. when they simply grow up. A parent's job (one of many) is to find a way to work through the difficult spots and be a constructive force in a child's life.

THAT SAID, how do you deal with a child (7yo boy) that has begun to lie and suddenly doesn't seem to be able to stop, even when it comes to the most basic things?

He has lied about having finished homework, about having finished a meal (I think we ALL know the napkin trick), having spoken to his teacher and relaying a message from her (when he hadn't been at school), having done his chores, having used soap in the bath... You name it, he's covered that ground.

We have joined custody and he has lied at the other household about things that happen here, but he's been called on it.

We've taken away privileges, we've tried constructive punishments, we've had heart to hearts, we've had talks about how lies are worse than "doing something bad"... But nothing seems to be working and it is beginning to sadden me to see him lie about even really silly stuff (he woke up before everyone else and said he had made himself breakfast when he hadn't). I get that he is just trying to get out of things he doesn't really feel like doing, I just don't get the lies.

I want to think that this is just a phase that he is going through, that he is testing his boundaries in a new way... We are also trying to give him extra attention because he was the youngest (he has 2 older brothers) up until his baby brother was born two months ago and maybe he's just looking for more attention... But I am going in circles here: have any of you found ways to stop the lying?

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Hi there

I suggest you google "why children lie", there is lots of info about that topic, you might want to read.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2007 at 3:25AM
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It sounds like he is getting negative reinforcement for his behavior.........that is, when he does not tell the truth, he is rewarded with your full attention. He has learned that it works and even though lying has a negative impact, it does give him extra attention and he becomes your sole concern. Try catching him telling the truth, and lavish THAT behavior with your attention. And as hard as it will be to ignore, try giving zero attention for lying. It will take a a while, so be patient, ok?.....this advice is from a parent of 4 that learned the hard way!!! Good Luck!!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2007 at 4:56PM
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Lying is a child's way of controlling their world.
They realize that they have power.
It is important to encourage them to reconsider their "story" and gently draw them to speak the truth.

Repeat this until this phase is past...and hopefully it will pass.

Older children that repeatedly lie might feel that no on listens to them anyway.
It's almost like exhibiting the most outrageous behavior to find out if anyone notices.

Perhaps honest listening will help.

Pathological liars are a different thing and need therapy.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 8:44AM
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YoYoBon--why are you replying to these old threads?

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 12:47PM
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    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 5:06AM
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caught me too!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 1:27PM
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My ex was a liar, the lies were so blatant everyone recognized it for what it was. Our youngest son started lying at the age of 3 or 4 and there was nothing I could do to stop it.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 6:39PM
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