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Dealing with 5yo lies

(3 Posts)
LittleLionMansMummy Thu 03-Dec-15 13:59:20

Ds is going through a phase of telling lies and although I know it's probably very normal, I'd like some advice on how I should be dealing with it. They're not great big black lies on the whole, more silly little ones for seemingly no reason. For example telling his friends and cm that he owns 5 onesies (he has none) and telling us he's been sent out of the classroom for bad behaviour (he hasn't, his teachers report that he's an angel). Some of them are obvious lies but not all. He told his teacher that the mark on his face was caused by dh. He told his cm it was caused by another child at school. He told me it was caused by a cat. He told his grandparents he didn't have a toothbrush as it had broken and been thrown away. I've used the story of the boy who cried wolf, he understands it. I've explained that it's important to tell the truth in age appropriate terms. But our concern is that if someone genuinely does hurt him, we need to know he is telling the truth. And the last thing I'd want to do is assume he was lying and crush his trust in us if it were in fact true. Any advice on dealing with this please? Or should we just ignore and hope he grows out of it? I know he's exploring boundaries again and it's tied up with starting reception but we need to be able to believe him on the important things!

Jw35 Thu 03-Dec-15 14:17:15

Telling these kind of lies is totally normal at 5. Fantasy and reality are all jumbled up, he won't yet know the impact lying has or how it makes others feel. I would have a chat each time you discover he's lied about something and remind him the importance of telling the truth. I wouldn't be too heavy handed though

WombOfOnesOwn Thu 03-Dec-15 17:35:24

Make it okay for your child to just "tell a story" about what they think should have happened or could have happened--so often, these lies are really what happens when they get an idea of a thing that might have happened, and they want to talk to you about it in order to gauge your reaction and understand more how to deal with the situation.

So for instance when he tells you he was sent out of the classroom, he may have seen this happen to another child and be wondering in his five year old way what the consequences are with you--whether you'd still love him, be angry at him, or what.

Starting to ask, instead of "is this a lie" or saying "I know you're lying," something like "Is this a real story or a make-believe story? I'll listen either way!" may help him start to distinguish these sorts of "hypothetical" lies from actual truths.

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