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to think this isn't 'just what kids do?'

(193 Posts)
justsomestepmum Tue 16-Jan-18 21:16:23

My five year old DSD has developed a habit of telling lies. Lies told in the past week include:

- I get angry at her if she eats meat (I'm a vegetarian)
- Her dad told her that her mums cat had fleas and he is going to get rid of her cat
- That her teacher forced her to eat something she didn't want to

When she lies she is punished by removal of one of her dolls (her most cherished possessions) from her collection for 1 week, if she lies during that week another is taken and both held for another week. She also loses a star on her star chart which means she earns no pocket money for that day.

These punishments are always accompanied by age appropriate conversations of why it's wrong to lie, how it means we can't trust her, how it can get other people in trouble and cause serious issues. She never has an answer for why she lies. The cat/fleas one being particularly pointless, not sure what she's getting out of it.

Tonight I found out she has been telling her mum that her dad smacks/hits her. I know this is not 100% not true.

We don't know how to deal with it. It's been going on for about two months and nothing we do seems to have any input. DD's mum doesn't appear to think it's an issue and when I brought it up with her said it's 'just what kids do.'

The lies always seem to be about something DH or I are meant to have done or said and are told to mum. On two occasions they have been about teachers. As far as I recall there have been no lies she has told to us about things mum has done/said.

AIBU to think this isn't the norm? I'm at a loss as to how to get her to stop lying and more importantly work out why shes doing it.

Herewegoagain01 Tue 16-Jan-18 21:19:35

Punishment seems a bit extreme for a 5 year old. Maybe she is doing it for attention? Have you tried ignoring the lies, or dismissing them without a fuss? I’m wondering if you didn’t make it into a big deal whether she would get bored with lies. Plus all kids do come up with strange stories, exaggerated etc.

EatTheChocolateTeapot Tue 16-Jan-18 21:19:42

Trying to get attention?
I would roll my eyes and ignore, she is 5, yes that's what kids do.

Lules Tue 16-Jan-18 21:20:59

I remember lying like that as a child and I’m a truthful enough adult! I didn’t really see it as lying - more working out stories as a way of imagining things/understanding the world. That isn’t a very good explanation but I can’t think of a better way to put it. I grew out of it. I think it is common.

WorraLiberty Tue 16-Jan-18 21:21:48

It kind of is what some kids do, but that doesn't make it any easier to deal with.

I remember telling a lie about a teacher when I was little and my parents made me repeat the lie to the teacher's face.

I was absolutely mortified and never did it again. Perhaps that might work better than the loss of dolls etc?

Sirzy Tue 16-Jan-18 21:22:07

Kids lie. Your punishment seems way OTT.

ILoveDolly Tue 16-Jan-18 21:22:53

First of all, congratulations on having a totally normal, probably quite bright child, who has realised that lies get you attention.
Now please stop all this bullshit punishment. She will tell lies, everyone lies, it is normal childhood behaviour and if you gently ignore her fantabulous porkies then she will gradually stop. What you are currently doing will make her more insecure and probably encourage attention seeking behaviour such as lying.

ruleshelpcontrolthefun Tue 16-Jan-18 21:22:55

Taking a doll from a 5yo sounds quite mean.

Yes, small children lie. They don't really fully understand imagination/lying/real life. My 4yo "lies". Fairly whimsical lies at the moment though. I can see why your DSD's particular lies upset though.

fleshmarketclose Tue 16-Jan-18 21:23:14

She is five, truth and lies have very blurred edges at that age. Their imaginations run rife and they get confused as to what is real or not. Her dm is right it's typical of a five year old.
Your punishments are incredibly harsh for even the most terrible behaviour but for telling fibs it's ridiculous.
Read her the story of Peter and the Wolf and open up a discussion on telling fibs but stop punishing you should be aiming for open communication and closeness not monitoring and harsh punishments.

BarbarianMum Tue 16-Jan-18 21:24:00

Do you punish her for believing in Father Christmas or the tooth fairy too? What about for having a make believe friend or telling you her teddy talks?

She's 5. 5! The boundary between reality and fantasy is really thin at this age.

justsomestepmum Tue 16-Jan-18 21:25:13

So we should just ignore it and let her go around telling people her dad hits her?

Meeep Tue 16-Jan-18 21:25:13

I wouldn't make such a big thing of it at five.
Telling stories / lies is a pretty natural stage children work through. I would just say "Ok dear" and change the subject.

Taking dolls away for weeks seems much too harsh too tbh and it's giving the whole thing too much attention I think.

Vibe2018 Tue 16-Jan-18 21:26:12

She sounds normal for a 5 year old but your punishments sound over the top.

I think if you had ignored it it would have blown over.

timshortfforthalia Tue 16-Jan-18 21:26:39

Perfectly normal. Stop the crazy doll punishment.

AnaWinter Tue 16-Jan-18 21:26:43

Your punishment is way OTT. A talk is all it needs.

Raver84 Tue 16-Jan-18 21:27:18

Taking away her most cherished doll for a week is downright horrible. So what she told a few fibs? most kids do at time to time lighten up and ignor it she's 5

toopeoply Tue 16-Jan-18 21:27:20

The lies are upsetting I understand that, but instead of punishment I'd probably dismiss it, in a don't be so silly type way. Make it a totally uninteresting non issue, rather than giving her extra attention?

RandomMess Tue 16-Jan-18 21:28:05

I'd recommend reading "How to talk so kids will listen, and listen so kids will talk"

She is trying to work things out between reality and fantasy.

BarbarianMum Tue 16-Jan-18 21:28:45

Yeah cause that's obviously the choice confronting you: punish her or do nothing. hmm Have you noticed that the punishment isn't working?

justsomestepmum Tue 16-Jan-18 21:29:05

I don't understand how we should just ignore her telling us her dad hits her?? That's an incredibly serious thing to lie about. And advice on here is 'just ignore it, shes probably doing it for attention' Wow.

Reallytired17 Tue 16-Jan-18 21:30:14

I don’t think you should ignore it but I do think removing her dolls isn’t going to help.

BarbarianMum Tue 16-Jan-18 21:30:43

Does her mum believe that her dad hits her?

Ohyesiam Tue 16-Jan-18 21:32:09

I'm going to go against the grain here and say it's not just what kids do.
One of my kids doesn't typically lie, and the other will lie to get out of what he sees as tricky situations. But I think making up stuff to get adults into trouble isn't " usual " kid behaviour.
I agree with pps , your punishments seem very strict, and formal , more school/ institution like than home.
I would be trying to build up communication and warmth to see why in the last few weeks she has started need more attention.
Try toning your reaction right down, she might get bored with it when it gets no response.

Fairenuff Tue 16-Jan-18 21:32:50

I don't understand how we should just ignore her telling us her dad hits her?

If you know for sure it's not true then just tell her, 'That's not true, that does not happen' and then distract and move on.

It's not hard really.

Cherrycokewinning Tue 16-Jan-18 21:33:00

Sorry to be harsh but isn’t this something her mum and dad need to deal with?

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