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Lying at 4 years old. HELP!!!

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I'M NEW TO THIS. I KNOW THAT THIS IS A LOT TO READ, BUT I NEED HELP. I find my step daughter lying constantly. And as absurd as it sounds, some of the family members ( grandma) believes everything she says and thinks I'm always being mean to her. I have taken care of her since she was a year old. I've been a mother to her. I live with her father and his parents. At my house she has no discipline. And at her moms she has a lot of discipline. I've noticed that when she is around her mom she is a very well behaved child. With little tantrums here and there. But that's normal. When she comes to my house she listens to absolutely know one. Does whatever she wants and no one says anything. I try to discipline her by telling her no when she is doing something where she can hurt herself or when she's is hitting her cousins, so she sees me as the "mean" one at this house because I'm the only one who pays any attention to her. All of a
Sudden she has started lying about everything and is very serious about these lies. I know it sounds crazy, but it's true. She will say her cousins are hitting her when I know they aren't and will go crying to her grandma and her grandma will yell at the cousins. But when my four year old hit the cousins and they tell the grandma still tells at the cousin for making my step daughter mad. It's ridiculous. Recently she sheen lying about me saying that I'm taking things from her or that I poked her in the eye and her grandma has started yelling at me as well. Is it normal for a four year old to lie this much, constantly? I don't remember ever lying like that and my mother said I hardly ever told lies. Idk what I'm suppose
To do. No one cares how she acts here except me. It's like none of this family cares if she grows up disrespectful and bad. As long as she is happy. She already starting to get on trouble at school, etc. PLEASE HELP!
post #2 of 7
Oh, hugs to you. This situation sounds hard. In my experience, children lie because they do not have the language or ability to express their real concerns, or because they are afraid, or because they feel safer saying someone else did a hurt or injustice to them when it may have been someone else at another time.

Perhaps encouraging your DSD to feel safe enough to tell you (or others) what is really happening. What kind of "discipline" does she receive from her mother?

Perhaps a talk with Grandma is in order to express your concern that Grandma may not have all the information.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have had multiple talks with her grandma. She thinks she is always right and I'm just mean. At her mothers she gets put in timeout if she starts acting badly. And I've seen this happen. After about 5 minutes of time out she will come and apologize to her mom about whatever she was doing wrong. The thing is that my step daughter knows that her grandma will yell at me and let her do whatever she pleases. She is a very smart four year old. And any time I try to put her in timeout I get in trouble for making her cry. A four year old gets me, a 20 year old, in trouble. It's ridiculous.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
I just want to know what I can do without disciplining her and getting myself in trouble.
post #5 of 7

Ok, I think she needs discipline.  But there is an additional trouble at your place, your in-laws.  Can you move out? If not, the only way to really deal with this is for your partner to create a boundary with them, where they can't overrule you all. You are the parents. You are in charge, not grandma, not in-laws.  The child, like all children, needs limits, boundaries, and consequences.  And consistency. I would try to copy what her mom is doing at your place.  

It needs to also come from her dad, not just you.  As a step-mom, I know that stepkiddos are touchy about their step-parents when they're the only ones with actual rules and expectations. Especially when other people (in-laws) are spoiling them.  This situation is similar to what I married into, actually. And I resolved it with discipline, and having my husband lay down the law with his family.  Now they still moan about it. They think a 4 year old who eats a stick of butter at the table should not be given a time out.  Because a 4 year old is "just exploring." Yeah. He is exploring...exploring my patience.


So that's the first part. The 2nd part is, yeah, 4 year olds do lie. It IS natural.  And it's natural because they are just realizing that adults can't actually read their minds. I learned that from a child psychologist, actually. She told me it happens in ages 4-5.  My daughter was lying at the time, about absurd things, and I couldn't figure it out. They are "exploring" the limits of your control over them.  I think it's best to handle it with discipline, but try not to be driven mad by it, because it is a phase. (hopefully)

post #6 of 7

Read "123 Magic" --it's great.

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
It's so nice to here other mothers opinions on this. I've been stuck in this rut for awhile. What's "123 Magic" about? And we've tried talking to his parents. Her father sometimes tries to have a lil control in his daughters discipline. But then he gets mad at himself for getting upset with her and ends up taking his anger out on me for making her cry. It's annoying. He never cleans up anything or any mess she makes. So he doesn't understand why I get upset when she's throwing flour all over the kitchen floor, leaving chocolate pudding on our white carpet, etc. We plan on moving out by the end of the year. She acts so different when she isn't around her grandmother.

I'm glad to hear that the lying is just a phase.
I've never had a child before, so all of this is new to me. I've been taking care of her since I was 17. It's a lot to take on when getting involvesld with someone who has a child and someone who expects you to basically tend to the child's every need while he sits on the couch.
Anyways, sorry ladies. I believe I am making this sound too much like some sort if diary entry. Lol
Thanks for all the advice.
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