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6 yo lying about being teased at school(3 Posts)
Our 6 year old started telling us that she was being teased about her hair colour a few weeks ago. Her early reports seemed plausible and we took her very seriously and reported it to the school etc. However, when she's mentioned this more recently it's become apparent that she's not being entirely truthful, changing her story and people's names etc etc. The school have also been monitoring her and have said that there doesn't seem to be any issues.
Just want to check if this is normal behaviour for a 6 year old..? I imagine this must have started with some element of truth, but now she has got carried away with the drama of it, and is making stuff up. Just feel very baffled as to how to proceed as I don't think she is purposefully lying with malicious intent, but I really want her to understand that it's not acceptable for her to lie to us.
Would love to hear if anyone else has experienced this and how they dealt with it!
I just feel a bit uncomfortable about accusing her of lying in a very direct way as I feel unsure about exactly how much of it is a lie, and don't want her to feel that she's cried wolf and we won't believe her now..
Telling fibs is really normal at this age. Sounds like she’s trying out stories about herself - maybe based on something she’s seen on TV / in a book? I wouldn’t make a big deal of it this time, unless it becomes a regular thing or she lies in a malicious way.
Definitely normal. Dd is 5 and hasn’t done exactly this (yet- as far as I’m aware!) but many of her mostly older friends have. And I’ve heard some hilarious stories about the random things they made up and what happened when their parents naturally believed them...
At this age they are just experimenting socially and working things out. Dd is fascinated by lying currently. She will come home and tell me a story of something that ‘happened’ at school and then at the end add “That didn’t actually happen. Did you believe me?” She is puzzled by plausibility how if she tells me something like eg they did football instead of basketball I believe her but if it’s something like a dragon in the classroom I seem to ‘know’ it’s not true!
I wouldn’t confront unless malicious. And certainly don’t moralise about lying. Nothing worse than sitting down for dinner at the in laws house and saying “thank you, this looks delicious” to have a small shocked child pipe up indignantly, “Mummy, you’re lying! You hate fish!” .
So I’d find the opportunity for some separate conversations about trust/cryng wolf, bad consequences of lying eg might get someone in trouble, how sometimes people lie to be kind and that may be ok etc etc. It’s pretty complicated.
If she talks about the teasing again, I’d ask lots of questions and respond at face value. What did they say? How did she feel? Why does she think they said it? And you could think about what to do when someone says something mean - eg we tell our Dd that first you explain that they are making you sad as they might not realise they are upsetting you. Then if they don’t stop you ask them firmly to stop being mean. Then if they keep on doing it, tell the teacher then and there. It doesn’t really matter whether it’s real or imagined - still a good opportunity to explore strategies what to do in the face of teasing.
If she ever lets on that it’s not entirely true you could say, “thank goodness you told me! I believed you and we might have got [name] into trouble!” So that she gets it. She probably hasn’t even really understood yet that you would believe her or that there could be consequences.