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Talk to me about lying ...

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Ds is 6. He lies a lot. He lies with a completely straight face and will get very vehement defending himself.

I read here that lying is normal for this age still, that "the truth" and "a lie" are fuzzy for them. Often it seems this is the case with Ds -- his lies are so obvious, but he sticks to them so hard, that it seems like he's really trying to change facts to fit the way he wishes they were.

I have a hard time accepting lying as "normal". Intellectually I know it must be, at some age anyway, but lying was a huge hotbutton for my mother and so it gets a kneejerk response from me. I have issues with being perceived as an honest person, and I tend to overreact when I know Ds is lying because "an honest person" is something emotionally very important for me that he be. KWIM?

Also ... at 6 still? Really? My mom was a teacher and had child development knowledge up the wazzoo, and she never would have tolerated lying as something to be expected at that age. Now, I'm not propping her up as some sort of saint, or even saying I necessarily want to emulate her (after all, all her child development knowledge didn't keep her from abusing me), it's just another roadblock to understanding for me because it goes against my previous understanding of appropriate expectations.

So ... sources? Personal stories? Advice for coping?
post #2 of 7
I know about a six year old and lying. thankfully, I can usually talk him around to telling the truth eventually. The 4 year old though can lie with a perfectly straight face. Sometimes I even start questionaing what I just saw in front of my own face! A little scary, I must say. The only thing that we do when we catch one of the boys in a lie is to explain over and over again that lying is wrong, and can hurt. They usually get a time out to show that there are consequences to lying, and then another talk about it after timeout is over. I actually have seen a difference over the last year with my older boy. He still lies occasionally, but when asked to tell mommy the real truth, he usually does. It definately seems to be a stage, and I am not sure if all the talking has helped or he has just grown out it. I hope the 4 year old will eventually grow out of it also! Good luck!
post #3 of 7
My DD is only 4, so I don't have any real advice for you. But I feel exactly the same way you do about lying. It was a hotbutton for my Mom, too. Lying was one of the few things that we would get a spanking for. And yes, that really did drive home to me the importance of telling the truth. No, I don't and won't strike my DD. Ever. When she tells me a lie, I take the time to explain what the truth is, as opposed to a lie, and the importance of telling the truth. I realize that at this age, she may not be able to distinguish between the truth and what she wants to believe. So I am not too hard on her. But I do try to help her to understand the difference between telling the truth and lying.

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
I realized the other day that whenever we say something DS disagrees with (enough to make him upset) or doesn't like, he says "That's a lie!"


So apparently he really doesn't know what lying actually means
post #5 of 7
This is a really hard one, and I would just take it on a case by case basis. If they're saying "I have six toes," I would either go along without much comment or say matter-of-factly, "well, we just don't agree."

If the lie is a safety issue or a rule-breaking/sneaking issue, it's more complicated, but the only thing that I haven't done is punish or insist on truth-telling. It just makes them defensive and less inclined to be truthful next time, imo. But I do take it seriously, just keep my serious response short and sweet.
post #6 of 7
I think it's different depending on what the subject is. If they are telling an outrageous story that is obviously not true, I'll just go along with it...like yesterday, my oldest was telling her sibs that one time when she was swinging in the back yard, a deer came up to her, and she got to pet it. I just listened and said "wow."

So far I haven't had any lying by anyone about serious issues, but I caught my oldest recently being a little "sneaky". I just told her that she can always talk to me, and never has a reason to sneak things..I will be keeping my eyes and ears out though, she's getting to an age (9) where I don't want her to start hiding things.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Oh, of course I don't count stories as lying. (Yesterday Ds told me and DH the most involved yarn about how, while we were asleep in the night, he heard something in the wall and he broke open the wall with a hammer and killed a whole bunch of rats with Grampa's Knights of "Alumbus" sword and then he fixed the wall back up and put the sword away and came back to bed : and we egged him on with lots of "Oh really? Wow!"s and "You sure must have used that hammer and saw quietly!"s.)

I don't count 6-yo I-know-it-allness as lying either, although it really gets exasperating : When he insists he has 6 toes I say, "Mm."

I really get torqued when he lies about where he got something ... or where he hid something. And I used to waste a lot of energy going off when he'd lie about eating the brownies (with the torn-up remains in the pan in front of me) or something like that but now I'm getting better at not asking questions I know the answer to -- saying "You ate the brownies without asking! I don't like that one bit. We were supposed to share." Or "I want my ___ back now."
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