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to feel despair at the blatant and constant dishonesty of ds1?

(80 Posts)
WinkyWinkola Wed 15-May-13 19:36:39

He's 8.

He will lie about everything from whether he's cleaned his teeth to his homework to his hitting his siblings.

It's unbelievable. I see him hitting them and he denies it outright and will never admit it.

He will never come clean even if he's caught red handed. Deny deny deny.

What to do? I find it repellant when he does his wide eyed innocent denials and then the blubbering starts when he gets punished for his misdemeanour and for lying. Still denying it all.

I actually find it creepy.

TheseFoolishThings Wed 15-May-13 19:40:52

What sanctions are in place when he's caught behaving this way?

WinkyWinkola Wed 15-May-13 19:42:42


If it's at bedtime, he will lose his story.

Other times, he will lose one of his beloved Skylanders.

Most extreme is cancelling of play dates / sleepovers.

He will still deny it all.

Perhaps he has zero moral compass.

maddening Wed 15-May-13 19:44:20

I would ask the gp - it sounds as if it possibly goes beyond normal naughtiness - only as I had a good friend who was a pathological liar - she did it from v early at primary school and she continued in to adulthood. But hers were fantastical lies. It may just be naughtiness but I would get it checked out anyway.

Bobyan Wed 15-May-13 19:45:01

What happens if you ask him to explain what has happened?

I don't think losing a bedtime story is severe enough tbh.

SilvercloudRainbow Wed 15-May-13 19:47:37

I think some of the replies are totally OTT. My DS is now 12 and at age 7 was a spectacular teller of the porky pies, for no apparent reason he would tell the most atrocious whoppers. Guess what. He GREW OUT OF IT.

WinkyWinkola Wed 15-May-13 19:48:52

He just tells me his version of events which either do not concur with what I saw or what the other dcs say.

He is devastated when he loses his bedtime story. Gets pretty hysterical about all punishments really.

He's an angel at school.

He's just finished a year of counselling for his anger and defiance issues which are so much better now.

It's just the lying. It's really unnerving when someone just won't admit the truth when they've been caught red handed.

It makes me think I can never trust him when he's older.

WinkyWinkola Wed 15-May-13 19:50:17

Silvercloud, how did you treat the lying? With punishment?

Did your ds grow out of it or did you teach him it was wrong?

Bobyan Wed 15-May-13 19:50:55

Sounds more like he wants your attention...

How about if you made him earn his stuff back for not lying?

SofaKing Wed 15-May-13 19:51:50

My ds1 is the same, he is five.

I am trying to emphasize that his punishments are for lying, not for the original thing he did wrong, to reinforce that it is the lying I have a problem with.

I've only been doing this a few weeks, and the lying is reducing, but not completely stopped.

I know what you mean about the face, ds1 is a brilliant liar and feeling as though I can't trust my five year old is horrible.

AnyoneforTurps Wed 15-May-13 19:53:09

Woah, ease up there.

Lying is totally normally and a vital part of social behaviour. Everybody with normal social skills lies, every day. Your DS sees adults lie all the time. Expecting him not to lie is unrealistic and, if he actually did as he was told, he would find it next-to impossible to socialise with peers or adults. How would you like it if he told the truth the next time someone gives him a present he doesn't like?

As he is only 8, he is still trying to work out which lies are acceptable and how to lie effectively. Your attitude will not be helping. By over-reacting when you catch him out in a lie, you are actually pushing him into lying because, once he's started out on a lie, he has got nothing to lose by continuing it. He knows he'll get a bollocking if he admits he has lied so he tries to brazen it out. And all the time he's confused by your hypocrisy: "I see Mum lie, so why can't I?".

Stop turning lying into some ridiculous moral touchstone and instead give him gentle guidance on which lies are OK and which are not.

squeakytoy Wed 15-May-13 19:53:19

"He's just finished a year of counselling for his anger and defiance issues which are so much better now"

it doesnt sound like it is any better if he is hitting his siblings and lying.. (lying is defiance..)

shewhowines Wed 15-May-13 19:54:38

I would give two punishments each time. A smaller one (or nothing at all) for the misdemenor, and a big one for the lying. Make sure he knows its for the lying as it is so important to be able to trust him.

Also read Peter and the wolf regularly for those bedtime stories.

AnyoneforTurps Wed 15-May-13 19:55:22

<i> I would ask the gp </i>

OMG is there anything that Mumsnet doesn't think needs a visit to the GP? WTF do you want the GP to do about it? Lying is a totally normal part of social development (I'm a GP). It is the OP's immature attitude that is the problem here, not her DS.

SilvercloudRainbow Wed 15-May-13 19:56:46

Hi Winky...when the lie involved other people I would say, "Well, I'm just going to phone X and ask them what happened" and you could see the fear on his face as he didn't like other people being implicated in his nonsense. The usual sanctions were taking away things he cherished until he "earned" them back by being honest. I also had several chats with him about how devastating lying can be, how people can go to prison for it when they're older and how others can be affected...lose their jobs/liberty because of someone else's lies. I'm not 100% sure how effective any of it was or if he'd have naturally grown out if it anyway. All I know is he's honest to a fault now. He can't tell a lie to save his life these days.

WinkyWinkola Wed 15-May-13 19:57:27

Believe me, his behaviour is vastly improved to how it was. He would be raging constantly and refuse to cooperate at all. It was so stressful.

So right, I will try not punishing him for lying (although I think honesty is important and I can't think when he's heard me lie although of course I have) and do more explaining.

And he does earn his confiscated toys back by behaving for a set time. Usually a day.

Thank you for your input. Much appreciated

WinkyWinkola Wed 15-May-13 19:58:46

I'm really glad you're not my GP Turps!

I think lots of parents would be concerned about lying and to be called "immature" is hardly constructive, is it now? Dearie me.

AnyoneforTurps Wed 15-May-13 19:59:48

I'm not 100% sure how effective any of it was or if he'd have naturally grown out if it anyway. All I know is he's honest to a fault now. He can't tell a lie to save his life these days.

Translation: he has learned to lie better.

I suggest some of the posters on this thread try counting how many lies they tell per day. And that includes white lies to friends and DC.

WinkyWinkola Wed 15-May-13 20:01:38

But if you had been caught out lying, would you continue to lie?

AnyoneforTurps Wed 15-May-13 20:01:48

I'm really glad you're not my GP Turps!

Yes, lots of parents find it difficult to accept that their DC's behavioural issues are actually a family behavioural issue. It's much easier to scapegoat a child.

SilvercloudRainbow Wed 15-May-13 20:02:00

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

claraschu Wed 15-May-13 20:03:16

Why Peter and the Wolff????? (question for shewhowines)

Have you talked to him about it when he and you are in a good mood?
Is he able to admit he does it then?
Have you sympathised with him and talked about why people lie? Why you lie?

Lying is normal, and apparently a sign of intelligence.

AnyoneforTurps Wed 15-May-13 20:05:08

But if you had been caught out lying, would you continue to lie?

Depends on the circumstances but I would certainly continue if I knew that I would be punished if I admitted lying and possibly not if I tried to brazen it out. Can't you see how you are reinforcing the lying? He is too scared to admit he has lied and he is not old enough to understand when to give up the lie.

Stop punishing lying and start rewarding truth-telling. And stop confusing him by pretending that all lying is wrong or abnormal. That's total hypocrisy.

SilvercloudRainbow Wed 15-May-13 20:05:18

They probably meant "The boy who cried Wolf".

usualsuspect Wed 15-May-13 20:06:23

Kids lie.

It's perfectly normal.

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