Lies, how to deal with them??? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 05-08-2006, 01:37 PM - Thread Starter
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My sister has a 4 1/2 son and he started to lie to her. My dd is 4 and she is not there yet, and I know she will be there soon! It would be a new experience for me... I need to educate myself on how to deal with this fase. What is a good approach to deal with lies?

I heard that children transport their fantasies into reality, which for us is interpreted as lies. Is it true?

Thanks for your imput!

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#2 of 5 Old 05-08-2006, 01:53 PM
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Lies are a touchy subject for me and my dh because my brother and his wife are compulsive liars. After being caught in their whirlwind for over a year, we don't have contact with them anymore. But, they hurt a lot of people and continue to do so, just not us anymore.

So, any lying that my oldest has done in the past, gets a stern "we don't lie in our family".

I did learn to be careful how I asked questions and such so that I never set him up to lie. Like not asking if he brushed his teeth before bed, I just remind him to do so. If I ask, I set him up to say "yes" when he doesn't want to be bothered. But, if I remind him and give him his toothbrush, then he will brush, if he still needs to. He is kind of beyond this phase now anyway, but we dealt with this a year or so ago.

Frankly, we have not had too much of a problem with it, but I do know of some kids who lie a lot. And, I believe it is about saying the things they wish were true. Like my ds would wish he HAD brushed his teeth already - lol.
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#3 of 5 Old 05-08-2006, 03:53 PM
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I agree with being careful how you ask questions about what a child did or did not do.

If I know my dd did or didn't do something there is no need to ask. I'd use a statement instead of a question.
I've always tried to stress to dd that I want her to tell me if something happens. I've made an effort not to react too emotionally.
She sees things differently than adult so she answers from her point of view. I'm not sure I'd call it fantasy but a different understanding sometimes.

Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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#4 of 5 Old 05-08-2006, 04:03 PM
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I have a hard time dealing with lying. Like a pp, I have some experience with a compulisive liar, that being my dd's bio-father. I have always feared she would inherit that trait. It's a trait that's unknown in my own family. My father has always been adamant about honesty being the best thing. He has total contempt for people like my ex who are habitual liars.

So I tend to overreact when dd lies.

On the other hand, she has a cousin who has been taught that anything she says is okay if it's not a lie. So she can say things that are hurtful and her mother won't talk to her about it if it's the truth.

I have tried to talk to dd about keeping her mouth shut if there's a choice between hurting feelings and telling a lie, and how sometimes lying to be nice is okay.

It's probably really confusing for a kid, but I think she should know the difference between lying to get out of trouble or to make yourself look cool, and lying to avoid hurting feelings.

Anyway, I don't have any solid answers for you, but am interested to see what others have to say.
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#5 of 5 Old 05-08-2006, 05:09 PM
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Lying in children is really not that big a deal. Almost all children will lie sometimes and if you don't overreaxct, it's just not a big deal.

The best way to keep a child from being someone who lies compulsively is to:

1. Treat your child with honesty

2. Let your child see you treat others with honesty

3. Don't be harsh with your child. A child who fears punishment is more likely to lie than one who does not

4. Talk to your child at a neutral time (not when he has just lied) about why honesty is important.

5. Don't let a lie "get your child anywhere". For example, let's say you come into the room and see that your child has spilled the milk. Don't accuse him, but let's say he lies anyway:

You: "DC. Oh dear the milk has spilled, we need to clean it up."

DC: "I didn't do it. The wind knocked it over."

You: "Let's get it cleaned up. And next time when the container is full ask me to help you pour it so it." [Note no mention of the fact that child has lied...just move on.

If you give me a situation where your child is lying I can give you some ways to do this.
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