4 year old lying? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 11-04-2007, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My 4 year old has recently begun lying a lot. Basically she tells us whatever we want to hear. 'Is your room clean?' 'Yes', etc. Even when its really obvious that we know she's lying. It seems to be a 'telling you what you want to hear' sort of thing. She really doesn't understand what 'lying' means, other than that we've tried to talk to her about it a few times, since before now it hasn't been a problem.

I just don't know how to handle it in terms of teaching her about lying, why we shouldn't do it, what it means, etc. I'm wondering if others could share how you handle this with your 4-5 year old? Any good resources? Thx.

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#2 of 6 Old 11-04-2007, 09:05 PM
 
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I don't think it's age appropriate to ask her. I would go check her room and respond accordingly. At that age, when you know there's a tendency to stretch the truth (heh heh) it's compassionate to avoid the power struggle in the first place. And I wouldn't even necessarily characterize it as lying, (ever, to her) as much as a misunderstanding/misperception/wishful thinking kind of thing. KWIM?
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#3 of 6 Old 11-04-2007, 10:20 PM
 
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This started about a month ago for us. Most times they are just bltant lies-like did you finish your breakfast? (the obvious answer when I look is no)
She knows what she is doing too and either laughs or gives a sly grin when she's caught.
Hopfully it won't last long.
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#4 of 6 Old 11-05-2007, 01:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maple Leaf Mama View Post
This started about a month ago for us. Most times they are just bltant lies-like did you finish your breakfast? (the obvious answer when I look is no)
She knows what she is doing too and either laughs or gives a sly grin when she's caught.
Hopfully it won't last long.
Don't ask her if shes finished breakfast when you can SEE she hasn't just don't set up the lie. Instead say something like I see your not eatting your breakfast anymore is your tummy full? or don't say is your room clean say. Hey lets go see if we need to straighten out your room. I think yes much of this she will outgrow but to avoid the "lies" try not to set her up.

Wife to DH since August 01 mom to a bubbly girl October 2002 and our newest gal March 2010
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#5 of 6 Old 11-05-2007, 12:35 PM
 
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This is a good explaination of "lying" at this age. As the author notes, it's really more like wishful thinking. My DS (4.5) does this too, and it is helpful for us to reframe the way we ask questions.
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#6 of 6 Old 11-05-2007, 05:55 PM
 
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Besides not "setting them up to lie" by asking a question, you can make it so "the lie doesn't really matter'

If she says 'yes my room is clean" you can say "Well i just looked at it and you still need to make the bed and pick up your clothes"

If "lying" doesn't get her anything. Not "out" of anything, not punishment, no reaction at all in fact, it will stop sooner rather than later.

If you want to teach your child the importance of honesty the best thing is to always be honest with her, and to let her see you be honest in your interactions with other people.
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