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Lying at 3.5

(14 Posts)
hanbee Thu 27-Mar-14 11:15:41

DS2 is constantly lying. Even abput trivial things. Is this just a development phase?

I'm not sure how best to handle it and make him realise it is wrong.

RedandChecker Thu 27-Mar-14 11:23:17

Will be watching with interest. My Ds 4.6 has just learnt the art of lying.
Even about little things such as 'Daddy Ive watched the lego movie twice' It seems to be for a reaction and testing boundaries and to see what we will believe, I suppose it's only natural and very interesting to them to see how we take what they say and whether we will believe it

BreakingDad77 Thu 27-Mar-14 13:31:48

There was bit on the "Ducks quacks dont echo" on Sky that showed asking some 3 yr and 4 yrs olds wether they had eaten a sweet, looked in a box etc while they were away, all the three yr olds confessed all but one 4yr old lied lol!

BertieBotts Thu 27-Mar-14 13:38:55

It's really normal and definitely a developmental phase. I don't think that you do have to teach them that it's "wrong" as such but just when it's appropriate.

Part of the problem is that they don't actually understand at this age that the past is fixed and can't change. So they really believe that they can change the past by saying something different happened, like the case with the sweet in the box, he wanted to not have eaten it so he said that he hadn't.

I think when they lie about ridiculous things you could say something like "Wow what a lovely story!" - really it's a sign of imagination! - and then for issues like if they're lying to get out of trouble, just rephrase so that they don't feel they're being blamed/interrogated. If you say "Did you draw this on the wall?" then obviously they would say no to avoid getting into trouble. Whereas if you show them the drawing and say "There is pen on this wall, that's not good, now it has to be cleaned. Let's all remember to draw on paper from now on" then it has the same message but without the temptation to lie about it. If that makes sense?

You could gently correct them about trivial stuff, no DS you didn't do X yesterday, you did Y. Or you could just treat it as totally inconsequential.

JuniperHeartwand Thu 27-Mar-14 13:39:15

Is it always wrong for little children to lie, if they are simply using their imagination?

JuniperHeartwand Thu 27-Mar-14 13:40:00

X-post with Bertie, great post.

RedandChecker Thu 27-Mar-14 13:43:44

Thanks Bertie, that's great.

DS Keeps taking things from school such as cars, dinasours, before I even question him he says 'I didn't take these from school Mummy, I found them 'here ' It's tricky! I always make him take them back to school.

RedandChecker Thu 27-Mar-14 13:44:58

I also saw that, breakingdad - The next day I was shocked when my two year old DN asked me for chocolate and said 'mummy said yeh' when she clearly said no! He proved them wrong grin

BertieBotts Thu 27-Mar-14 13:48:11

Because actually we lie all the time. We talk about characters on TV as though they are real. We encourage and see it as normal when DC say "I'm a pirate and you're the baddie!", we cringe when they point to someone in town and say "Mummy that lady is really fat!" or "I've already got this present." We encourage them to believe in magic or fantasy creatures like the tooth fairy.

We have a problem with kids lying to get out of trouble - IME this is linked with a very punitive discipline system, if they are facing a punishment, then even if it's worse when they are found to be lying, the possibility that they might get away with it completely is still better than telling the truth and recieving a milder punishment. If you don't rely on punishments all the time, I think they're probably less likely to have reason to lie about this kind of thing.

The other kind of "bad" lying, I suppose, is lying for attention or to make themselves look better than they really are. You know the kid at school who used to say they had all these amazing things but none of it was true. This probably doesn't apply at 3 but perhaps gently reminding them of the truth or telling them that their story is nice (to differentiate it from the truth) would be helpful to help them make the distinction in their minds.

BertieBotts Thu 27-Mar-14 13:50:02

DS is 5 and terrible at lying so it's never been a big issue for us as we can always tell when he is. But we've been known to say "Oh, really?" and he tends to back down and say "No not REALLY." Sometimes he seems to be convinced though. I'm sure the "Mummy/daddy lets me!" is experimental though!

hanbee Fri 28-Mar-14 18:47:30

As an ex actor I've definitely encouraged his imagination and never chastise story telling of the fun sort. It's more the blaming his brother when it's obvious only he has done something (his brother has cerebral palsy) and telling me things happened at playgroup that probably didn't, that I'm concerned about.

I worry that I sometimes don't know when to believe his tale and if it was important I wouldn't be able to find out the truth iyswim?

BertieBotts Fri 28-Mar-14 18:51:33

Hmm, I think if you have a good idea he's lying then you could just gently point it out, like "That's a lovely story DS, but you know that elephants can't really come to school."

With blaming if you make less of an emphasis on somebody being to blame then he'd be less likely to blame his brother. After all if something has been broken or whatever then it doesn't really make a difference who has done it, the net result is it needs to be cleaned up/replaced and if appropriate steps taken to make sure it doesn't happen again.

hanbee Fri 28-Mar-14 20:29:48

Thanks I'll definitely try that.

figgieroll Fri 28-Mar-14 21:23:45

It's a developmental stage to do with the brain. If they do it early (2 or 3) , it's a sign of intelligence as it takes a high level of thought to lie. I was horrified when one of mine did and read up on it.

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