Mothering Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,943 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, does anybody have any ideas on how to encourage DS, 6-1/2, to tell the truth?<br><br>
I know he's doing it out of self-preservation, and we've instituted the if you tell the truth, you're much less likely to get in trouble type philosophy... but it doesn't seem to be working. Any ideas?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
147 Posts
I recently read an article about lying in a local parenting magazine and what i took from it was that it is important to talk to your child about the "cost" of lying and then encourage them to find other ways to meet their goal.<br><br>
It also said that kids sometimes lie because they don't want to get in trouble and if the parent shifts that piece then sometimes the child is more willing to let go of the lying.<br><br>
Is your son able to write out words? Maybe when there is a question about his truthfulness you could say something like, we are going to take a break from this discussion,I don't want to get upset with you, but I do want you to be truthful because (insert your resoning) so I would like you to think about what we've talked about and if you need to change what you have said you can write a note on a piece of paper and bring it to you or put it in a special place in the house where you will check it later and then you can talk about it.<br><br>
My almost 6.5 year old loves to write up menus, lists, etc and even though I can't understand most of his spelling it's fun.<br><br>
And maybe having a plan B for when the one on one isn't working would be helpful?<br><br>
Good Luck <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,132 Posts
When you say he's doing it out of self-perservation, I assume you mean that he hopes he won't get in trouble if he doesn't confess to some transgreesion.<br><br>
But aren't you finding out about it already?<br><br>
i would start by not putting him in a position where he has to choose between lying and not lying. He's an only child, right? So if something is broken, for example, and you know that he is the only possible one who could have done it, you say "I see the plate is broken. Let's clean it up". Don't ask if he did it - giving him a chance to deny it. Just have him deal with the problem.<br><br>
I feel the same way as you do - lying about the crime is worse than doing it! But it's really, really hard for a 6-yr-old to actually believe that. If he does confess to something, make sure you give him a big hug and tell him you love him, and you're glad he trusts you enough to tell you the truth. Put your money where your mouth is!<br><br>
If you can help prevent lying opportunities, you can help lying from becoming a habit. And if the consequences for his actions are the same whether he tells you he did something or not, he might realize that lying doesn't gain him anything.<br><br>
Talk to him about trust. Has he heard the story of the boy who cried "wolf"? You both want to have the kind of relationship where you aren't afraid to tell each other the truth - much more so when he's a teenager! Remember that trust goes both ways - you want to be able to trust him and believe him - but you also have to make sure that you don't give him any reason to not trust you.<br><br>
It sounds like a daunting task, doesn't it? But it CAN be done. One of my twin boys went through a lying phase at about that age (or a little older), and we got past it. By the time he was 10 or 11, he would come and tell me about something, even if there wasn't much chance of me finding out! My boys are 15 now, and they can (and do) talk to me about anything.<br><br>
You're doing a good thing by helping him figure this out now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,943 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No, he's not an only child..and that's part of the problem. He's one of three, soon to be four... so he likes to blame his brother. We try and have a no tattling policy in our house... and I don't accept "he did it" type things... because I have no way of verifying usually. (Except when somebody was drawing all over the back of the seat in the car. It was clearly written words (which his brother can't write yet)... so blaming his brother did not work in that case. It was also in front of his booster seat.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,272 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>nd_deadhead</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15422967"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><br>
i would start by not putting him in a position where he has to choose between lying and not lying. He's an only child, right? So if something is broken, for example, and you know that he is the only possible one who could have done it, you say "I see the plate is broken. Let's clean it up". Don't ask if he did it - giving him a chance to deny it. Just have him deal with the problem.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
I think this is excellent advice. I haven't been through a lying phase yet with DS, he's only 5 so it could be yet to come, but he has a few friends who have been through it. In my experience its the parents who get worked up about things who have the hardest time with fibbing children. Remember in that movie where Jack Nicholoson yelled "You can't handle the truth!" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
Demonstrating that life's mistakes and setbacks can be taken in stride and the lesson learned is more important than placing blame in a situation may do a lot to deter lying. But again it could be just a developmental phase too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
I recommend checking out the book "Nurtureshock" from the library and reading the whole thing, but especially the chapter "Why Kids Lie." It is fascinating! I don't have any advice, sorry, I haven't parented that age yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
380 Posts
I know he's doing it out of self-preservation, and we've instituted the if you tell the truth, you're much less likely to get in trouble type philosophy... but it doesn't seem to be working. Any ideas? >>>>><br><br>
How about rather than "less likely to get in trouble" there is no trouble at all? Perhaps if the 2 of you focus on a solution to the problem rather than who is or isn't lying. Like the writing on the seat say "I see writing where it shouldn't be, how will this get cleaned up?"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,388 Posts
We have discussed the concept of a "conscience" with DD. "It's the thing that gives you a bad feeling when you tell a lie." When I'm pretty sure she's lying but have not "caught" her in it, I'll say something like, "Okay. Well, I don't know, because I didn't see what happened. But your conscience will tell you whether you are telling the truth."<br><br>
Maybe some people will think this is too much of a guilt trip, but it does seem to work. She will usually fess up.<br><br>
I do this even when I'm awfully darn sure she's lying, though--I don't say "I KNOW you did X," unless, of course, I actually see it. This gives her a little more control.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top