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10 year old lying

(14 Posts)
movingonishard Sun 27-Mar-16 21:02:49

My ds who used to be so well behaved has now started lying. I first discovered it a few months ago and we had a long chat about why lying is bad, how the consequences if lying/punishment will be worse than if he tells the truth, stopping pocket money - all the usual things but it doesn't work. Another lie just happens again a few weeks/ days later. As far as I know all is well at school and he's generally happy - in fact others even comment about what a cheerful boy he is.
His father lied a lot and his lies contributed to us getting divorced.
I'm at a loss as to what to do about my ds's behaviour and how to stop him lying. Any thoughts would be very welcome. TIA

movingonishard Sun 27-Mar-16 21:27:43


lovetheweekends Sun 27-Mar-16 23:09:37

What is he lying about? You don't give any examples in your post.

Things like - no homework, saying he's cleaned his teeth (when he hasn't) - stuff like that? My DD aged 9 will sometimes lie about these types of things.

movingonishard Sun 27-Mar-16 23:41:45

Sorry - I should have given examples. It varies - looking at things on the internet he's not allowed to & setting up Instagram and things like saying he'd washed his hand when he hasn't. Obviously more more about the first, but worried that his first reaction is to lie and also to go off and do things he knows he's not allowed to.

MattDillonsPants Mon 28-Mar-16 02:38:17

What did you do when you realised he'd set up Instagram? It's important he has a consequence...I'd remove all devices in that situation.

stilllovingmysleep Mon 28-Mar-16 08:13:35

Kids at that age do start taking steps towards independence and perhaps he sees his lying as a small step away from you? Just a thought.

I also wonder whether he has some thoughts about why he lies / what he is aiming to achieve by doing that? That would be interesting to find out if you can catch him in a good, calm moment where he's open about talking to you. Sometimes really interesting things can come up in terms of a child's sudden change of behaviour. I wouldn't be too concerned about consequences--except for reiterating the problems you see with his lying--I would be more concerned, if it were my own DC, with finding out gradually why he feels he has to lie, what he's hiding from you. Is this his way to have a space of his own?

Also, has he heard about his father's lies (from you)? Is he aware this used to be an issue? Boys identify with their fathers and that's an important part of their growing up so I wonder if in an odd way the lying may be something that links him to his dad, in his own mind?

movingonishard Mon 28-Mar-16 10:15:30

Thanks for the replies.
When I found out about Instagram, I took away his iPad abd disabled the account.
He's given 2 reasons for lying - one not wanting to get told off ( he understands that if he lies, the punishment is worse)and the other he automatically tells a lie if knows he's done something wrong.
He does know about his fathers lies, partly from me as partly as he's lied to him. They get in well though and see eachother regularly.

movingonishard Mon 28-Mar-16 12:49:19

Argghhhh now he's just done it again. A really silly thing again s s his automatic response was to lie.
We even had another ( very calm) talk about it all this morning. I also tried to find out if anything else is bothering him and he was adamant there isn't anything

MattDillonsPants Tue 29-Mar-16 00:43:57

Are you perhaps too strict in other ways OP if he is trying to avoid getting told off? Do you have lots of rules? Maybe he needs a longer leash in general. My 11 year old DD recently needed a BIG change in the way I was "managing" her.

I was far too involved in things like what clothes she'd wear that day...or prepping her food for her and I've since taken huge steps back and her behaviour has improved a tonne.

movingonishard Tue 29-Mar-16 22:34:21

Thanks Matt, but no, I'm sure it's not that. He has plenty of say in things- I just don't know why the lying is happenng or how to stop itsad I know find myself doubting his answers a lot and it's horrible

MattDillonsPants Wed 30-Mar-16 03:46:03

Is he showing signs of puberty? Any hairs etc? Physical changes? It can hit at 9 or 10 and their hormones are up the wall.

What does he enjoy? Perhaps it's time to get him busy with a new hobby or club?

1istryingtohelp Wed 30-Mar-16 04:20:23

Everyone lies, give your kid a break, it sounds as though you are being too intrusive in your child life and they believe they have to be perfect. This is one study of many taken Gad Saad Ph.D. as an example:

Participants were asked how many lies they had told in the past twenty-four hours. Here are some of the key findings:

(1) The average number of lies told per day was 1.65. This strikes me as surprisingly low. I have the feeling that many participants were lying about the extent of their lying!

(2) Only 40.1% of the sample reported telling a lie in the past 24 hours.

(3) 22.7% of all lies were told by one percent of the sample, and half of all of the lies were told 5.3% of the sample.

(4) Subsequent to controlling for various demographic variables, no statistically significant sex differences were found in terms of the extent of lying (men = 1.93 lies; women = 1.39 lies). I should mention that evolutionary psychologists would have predicted this null effect, as one should expect that men and women are equally adept at lying albeit they are more or less likely to lie about sex-specific issues of evolutionary import (e.g., in personal ads/online dating, men lie about their social status while women lie about their appearance; cf. Hall et al., 2010(link is external)).

This leads me to one final thought. Men, if ever asked the following question by your significant other (female): "Do these jeans make me look fat?" If the veridical answer is "yes," you may wish to exercise your daily quota of lying in offering a response.

This shows some lying is beneficial to human development, just be thankful you can tell when your child is lying, this could be a life saver for them one day.

Atenco Wed 30-Mar-16 05:10:36

I was a terrible liar during my teenage years, because of things like when I told my mother that I had walked rather than take the bus, she wanted to bus fare back to pay for the shoe leather. I can see her point nowadays, but it just seemed to so unfair at the time, so I took to lying about such a simple thing and then lying became ever so easy.

From the other side, I'd always tell my dd that if she told me lies I couldn't defend her if people accused her of things, because I wouldn't be able to say my dd never lies. But you have to be very broadminded and not go over the top when they tell you the truth. For example, re. the Instagram, you have to convince them of the problem with Instagram, rather than just tell them that it is forbidden.

whattodoforthebest2 Wed 30-Mar-16 05:33:02

I had a similar situation with DS several years ago. He was caught in a blatant lie. I asked him if he felt he could trust me. He said yes and so I asked how he would feel if he found out I'd lied about something important. I could see a realisation dawning. I explained that I wanted our relationship to be based on a level of trust, but if I felt I couldn't believe him, then that trust wouldn't be there. It made a big difference to his behaviour. I sure there have been lies along the way, but on the whole I trust him and he knows it.

I know find myself doubting his answers a lot and it's horrible - tell him this and ask him how he feels about it.

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