how to handle lies in a 4yo?

(11 Posts)

DD1 has started lying. Sometimes its to cover up something she has done. But other times its not provoked at all. She just comes out with lies.

I know its a normal stage and they all go through it to some degree, but what am I supposed to do about it? Make a big deal or ignore?

An example is that she took cheese from the fridge but we didnt notice until I went to use it for dinner. When we asked her she denied it for ten minutes.

She also told me her great gran said fuck off, which I know she wouldnt have and my mum confirmed this. DD1 didnt actually say fuck until I asked,just that she had said "a bad word."

Any advice is appreciated!

JandT Mon 18-Feb-13 00:24:39

When my eldest DS started lying we tried taking his favourite toy away (was a 7 years but did have an effect for a while). We also started not believing whatever he said so constantly checked what he said, especially with other people, to embarrass and annoy him that he wasn't being trusted (this comes back every so often for a week til it kicks in again). Another thing we did once (when lying about what Nanny said) was tell him it had caused a big argument, Nanny was really upset, etc. Kept it going long enough for him to get very quiet and a bit tearful (aged 10). Oh and made him apologise to Nanny (who thinks the sun shines out of him) to make him realise it isn't just within 'the four walls' that it has an effect. He's now 11 and very rarely lies (and now his pocket money is halved). Hope that's helped, I know she is younger but I'm a firm believer that stamping out these 'moments' quickly makes life easier! Good luck!

See I think the lying about things people say happens because she wants drama. Shes very good at "telling tales" between my house and her dads.

I agree that it needs to be stamped out. Tonight she didnt get cheese on her pizza as the consequence. But maybe it needs to be harsher.

JandT Mon 18-Feb-13 00:41:07

Do you think she understands real drama as in could you 'over dramatise' the situation to make her think 'oh shit'? If you and her Dad have a good enough relationship I'd make sure she knows you talk a lot (drop it into conversation) so that she knows lying won't work.

We found taking the same thing away (in our case his cd player so he didn't have music when getting ready in the morning) helped. There were days when we decided that didn't work and took other things too, there were days when we said 'you don't deserve nice things if you don't behave nicely' but; he is absolutely lovely now and I think being nasty Mummy worked (even though it made me feel baaaaaaaaaaaad at the time)!

Skyebluesapphire Mon 18-Feb-13 00:43:08

If my 4yo says that somebody did something, but then says that I mustnt ask them about it, then I know that she is lying...

I really don't know how to tackle the problem myself, although I do keep telling her that its not nice to tell fibs

I think that her dad and his partner have risen to her too many times. I have spoken to them about it and they reluctantly agred to stop. They like to undermine and criticise me at any opportunity.

I think I do need to be more firm. I always feel quite guilty because I have moved her around a lot and obviously I am not with her dad anymore. So I try to be nice to makeup for it all.

Nothing we take away seems to bother her. Sending her for timeout does nothing.

I just dont want to end up not trusting her at all.

Think I will have to explain the consequences of each lie.

JandT Mon 18-Feb-13 00:56:56

Try to explain that what happens at their house isn't what happens at Mummy's. I know it feels desperate but that does end. Although not quite the same situation, my DS is actually my DSS and before DH and I got married they had been living with my IL's. MIL very much tried to undermine ('but we have a real fire here', 'isn't Mummy being mean telling you off for breaking that with your ball', etc, etc) but it has worn off-4 years on he tells me Nanny is nuts and regularly tells me he's glad I rescued him. I also understand guilt as DS's Mum died so I feel when it goes wrong I'm ruining someone elses child but actually he really does respect me (and love me) for being firm with him.

Consequences do work, even when it is 'you do this, I take it away'. Sticking at it is a killer but it does pay off in the end. Wouldn't have told you this a couple of years ago though and hope it will work with DS2 and DS3!

Good luck!

Machadaynu Mon 18-Feb-13 22:12:31

JandT you lied about the effect his lie had had in order to stop in lying? Sounds a bit of a mixed message to me?

MERLYPUSS Mon 18-Feb-13 22:31:09

My 5y/o twins are convinced that daddy has a magic pen that will write the name of the person telling the lies. I think next door neighbour said she had one. We just ran with the idea and it works so far.
I normally say 'I need to know who has doen this as its unsafe/your teacher would be sad if you stiched up your brother blah blah'
It is different for me as my twins blame each other.

Would it be wrong to lie about a magic pen? No more than Santa probably. I might steal that from you grin

I even tried bribery. She just laughed. Gah!

Machadaynu Tue 19-Feb-13 09:23:01

That depends on whether or not you think lying to get what you want is acceptable. The premise of the thread is that you don't find it acceptable in other people ...

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