Help me help my son tell the TRUTH!!! - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 8 Old 05-26-2011, 07:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
mmhinton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 303
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

DS1 is 4 y 8 m right now. He is a PERFECT student (at Preschool) with the teachers often telling me how very smart and well behaved he is and how respectful, etc. I KNOW he is a VERY smart little boy (not in a "I'm his mom, of course I think he's smart"; but in a "I'm a speech therapist who's worked with kids and realize my eldest son is smart" kind of way). Now, all of the positives he is/does at school; he is opposite at home.

Yes, i do realize and understand that home is where kids are most comfortable and where they "test boundries" etc. BUT, as I listen and watch him at home (especially re: ds2 and their interactions), I realize that ds1 lies to me rather often. For example, at lunch today, he put something in ds2's lunch. When ds2 said ds1 had done that (I had turned to get them more water), I looked at ds1 who said "no, I didn't put anything in his bowl". when I found the item (a craisin, fwiw), I told ds1 that it was unacceptable to not tell the truth - that he must always tell the truth and that lying is never ok. Later in the day, he lied again about having hit his brother. I told him that time that it is not ok to hit; but that he MUST tell the truth, etc, etc.

 

I am seriously at my wits end with this. I know it seems "trivial" (I only gave the two most recent examples, there are SO many more!)... but he tells the lie SO easily and looking me straight in the eyes and with NO guilt/shame/feeling of having done wrong (as though it is perfectly ok and right to lie).

 

Please, please help!

 

How can I get my son to understand that it is NOT ok to lie and that we MUST always tell the TRUTH????


: currently not vaxing. love.gif Wife to awesome DH 10 yrs; Mama to DS1 8/06 and DS2 4/08; ribbonteal.gif for my mom who's 5 yr post, my grama who died of ovarian cancer 31 yrs ago
mmhinton is offline  
#2 of 8 Old 05-27-2011, 04:32 AM
 
fritz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 407
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Read The Boy Who Cried Wolf with him; talk about trust.  Explain why it's not okay to lie (if he lies a lot, you won't believe him when he's telling the truth).

 

Also keep in mind that your DS1 is probably saying what he wishes were true, so his motivation probably doesn't have anything to do with deliberately trying to fool you; he's likely trying to avoid getting in trouble for doing what he shouldn't.  Four year olds don't usually have the greatest amount of self-control.

fritz is offline  
#3 of 8 Old 05-27-2011, 04:56 AM
 
MittensKittens's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 3,058
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

My son does this a lot. It might help to stop asking him to tell you the truth, and make your own conclusions and then stating them out loud. In the lunch case, examine the bowl and say, "I have found X item in there. It is not OK to put stuff in other peoples' lunch." With the hitting, did you see it happen? In that case say "I see you hit your brother. [insert whatever you were going to say next here]."

 

My daughter recently told her babysitter that we'd already been down the huuuuge inflatable slide lots of times, while she knows that I think it is unsafe and won't let her down there. That was a difficult one to deal with because I was not present. But my approach is generally to state I have noticed the lie, rather than to keep asking about what is truth and what is not. It is usually possible to find out the truth without honest participation on the side of the child.

 

Why do I do this? Not because I want to say lying is fine, just because I don't want to give yet more opportunities to make it happen. When you are not given the chance to lie, you are less likely to do it.


I'm Olivia. I blog about physiological childbirth, homebirth, and unassisted homebirth!
MittensKittens is offline  
#4 of 8 Old 05-27-2011, 05:04 AM
 
elisheva's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: BC
Posts: 1,448
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

My ds1 (4 yrs 5 months) does this, too, and I think it's pretty normal developmentally. His are generally little white lies like changing the details in a story or telling me something that happened that never really did. I often wonder if he completely understands the difference between truth and lie... Someone suggested the book "The Berenstain Bears Tell the Truth" to me - I haven't been able to find it yet, but in it they talk about what a lie is and call it "a whopper". I like this language because it seems like I could keep the situation light-hearted when confronting ds1 about whatever lie he's telling me ("Wow! That's a whopper! You know Laura didn't say that!")...


"So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." - Jack Layton
 
 
 
   

elisheva is offline  
#5 of 8 Old 05-27-2011, 05:22 AM
 
Youngfrankenstein's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 2,273
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by elisheva View Post

My ds1 (4 yrs 5 months) does this, too, and I think it's pretty normal developmentally. His are generally little white lies like changing the details in a story or telling me something that happened that never really did. I often wonder if he completely understands the difference between truth and lie... Someone suggested the book "The Berenstain Bears Tell the Truth" to me - I haven't been able to find it yet, but in it they talk about what a lie is and call it "a whopper". I like this language because it seems like I could keep the situation light-hearted when confronting ds1 about whatever lie he's telling me ("Wow! That's a whopper! You know Laura didn't say that!")...


My oldest did this.  He told his Kindy teacher that he'd flown to Japan for the week end.

 

Please don't worry about this.  It will pass.  You can correct him, and stay on top of it but at that age I'm sure he'll outgrow it. 

 


Mama to 4. winner.jpghomebirth.jpg
Youngfrankenstein is offline  
#6 of 8 Old 05-27-2011, 08:41 AM
 
reezley's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,124
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by MittensKittens View Post

My son does this a lot. It might help to stop asking him to tell you the truth, and make your own conclusions and then stating them out loud. In the lunch case, examine the bowl and say, "I have found X item in there. It is not OK to put stuff in other peoples' lunch." With the hitting, did you see it happen? In that case say "I see you hit your brother. [insert whatever you were going to say next here]."

 

My daughter recently told her babysitter that we'd already been down the huuuuge inflatable slide lots of times, while she knows that I think it is unsafe and won't let her down there. That was a difficult one to deal with because I was not present. But my approach is generally to state I have noticed the lie, rather than to keep asking about what is truth and what is not. It is usually possible to find out the truth without honest participation on the side of the child.

 

Why do I do this? Not because I want to say lying is fine, just because I don't want to give yet more opportunities to make it happen. When you are not given the chance to lie, you are less likely to do it.


This is my approach as well. My two boys (4 and 6) do that kind of quick "I didn't hit him!" defense as soon as I come in and I'm pretty sure he just hit.  I know it's technically lying, but I don't see it as a big manipulative plot or anything.  I don't push the lesson of not lying.  I do say that a more helpful thing to say is "I didn't mean to hurt you" or "I'm sorry"  or even better, to find a way to solve things BEFORE hitting..  etc.  If I saw the hitting or know it for fact, that's different, I definitely act on that.  

 

If I didn't see something happen, I don't like to rely on the kid's confession - and I actually want to encourage telling the truth by NOT putting him on the spot to confess, you know?  Sometimes I quickly poll both kids to see what each of their story is, just take it in, and say that apparently the situation isn't working in here and go to separate rooms, or whatever. 
 

 

reezley is offline  
#7 of 8 Old 05-27-2011, 11:25 AM
 
LynnS6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pacific NW longing for the Midwest
Posts: 12,565
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Would it help you to reframe it as a developmental milestone that he's achieved? He's clearly established now that what he knows and what you know can be different things (remember theory of mind?) and he's trying out that new found understanding. Just how much does mom really know? How does she figure things out? 

 

I agree with the pps -- read the Boy Who Cried Wolf, talk about trust, but don't put too much weight on it. For the craisin thing, I would have taken it out, looked at him and said "It's not OK to put things in your brother's lunch." Give him as few possible chances to lie as possible. In the situation you describe, it was clearly an untruth. However, we often unwittingly set up our kids -- "Who spilled this juice?" Instead, look at him and say "I need your help cleaning up this juice." If he insists he didn't do it, simply look at him and say "I didn't ask who did it, I asked for help cleaning it up." If you describe more than question, it can be easier.

 

 

shaper and Youngfrankenstein like this.

Lynnteapot2.GIF, academicreading.gif,geek.gif wife, WOHM  to T jog.gif(4/01) and M whistling.gif (5/04)
LynnS6 is offline  
#8 of 8 Old 05-27-2011, 12:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
mmhinton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 303
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

thanks for all of the input mamas....AND for helping me to know that mine is not the only child doing this!!

 

I particularly like the advice to make a statement rather than question. Though, often, DS1 will, before I can say anything at all, blurt out "I didn't do x,y,z" or some variation of that. I suppose in such cases I will have to try the juice example from pp.... and say, "I didn't ask who spilled the juice, I asked for help cleaning it up".

 

Whenever I can make it there (preferably withOUT the boys!!!), I am going to go the the book store and get some new books (DS1 LOVES to read (well, be read to really) and he loves Berenstein Bears too!). I've been wanting to go to the book store for awhile, just have not found the opportunity yet!

 

I know it does not help that DS1 PUSHES MY BUTTONS.... I know this and I struggle every day to "be the adult", etc. The lying is just one more of those "buttons". BUT, I will very seriously keep in mind that this is just another milestone and that he's just "trying to figure things out!" (I like that one LynnS6). If I can remember that, perhaps I can help him become even smarter ;)

 


: currently not vaxing. love.gif Wife to awesome DH 10 yrs; Mama to DS1 8/06 and DS2 4/08; ribbonteal.gif for my mom who's 5 yr post, my grama who died of ovarian cancer 31 yrs ago
mmhinton is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off