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What do you do when you can't believe either of them?

(25 Posts)
TheFool Tue 16-Jun-09 07:55:11

DD 6, DS 3.

They have both been caught out lying about one another on more than one occasion.

So now we have situations like this morning - she is screaming because he threw Woody at her and hurt her ear, he says she was pulling his hair and he was getting her to stop. She says he was lying.

Both him lying and her pulling his hair are equally believable tbh (very blush and ashamed of how they are treating each other lately).

So what do I do?

He obv had to apologise & time out for throwing the toy (too much screaming for that to be a lie, but it may well have been not as hard as she made out), but what about her? Believe him and she has to apologise & time out? What if he is lying, then he is wronged twice, but if she is lying, then she gets away with it.

This morning is an ongoing situation, not a one off. I know learning to lie is part of their development, but we have no trust now

cory Tue 16-Jun-09 08:00:38

We've had a lot of that over the years. Age difference the same with mine too. I find the only thing that helps is if I address my reproaches to a point between the two of them and don't put too much emphasis on who is lying. Chances are they each feel wronged and to try to establish some sort of ultimate truth- well, I'd need cctv cameras for that.

TripleTroubleMuffin Tue 16-Jun-09 08:02:18

I make them both apologise or just ignore depending on the situation.

It is relly difficult when you haven't seen and you just don't know.

serenity Tue 16-Jun-09 08:09:28

Did you see him throw the toy, or were both events unwitnessed?

If you didn't see either, then they both get the 'voice of god' (We do not pull hair or throw toys in this house, doing that makes me very sad, if you can't talk/play nicely then don't talk to each other at all blah blah blah) and they both apologise to each other. If I saw the throwing but not the hair pulling, then it gets mentioned that you don't know if hair pulling happened, but for the record, if it happens again there will be Trouble and It's Not On.

But...The Voice works on my DCs, I know it doesn't with all children. (Sorry very rushed doing lunches, before school and work and all that!)

seeker Tue 16-Jun-09 08:10:58

If you haven't seen what actually happpened, then either believe or disbelieve both and act accordingly.

I think this is the sort of squabble I try not to get involved with at all, to be honest. I just say something like "well, I didn't see what went on, so sort it out between yourselves." But I would also have a few stern words about tale-telling.

I don't call this sort of thing 'lying" by the way - it's more the "give and take of family life" as my mum used to say!

TheFool Tue 16-Jun-09 08:23:29

Love "the give and take of family life".

Witnessed neither - I like the voice of god idea. Most of the time I tell them to just sort it out, but she shrieks so loud <shudder>.

Why did I decide to keep breeding?

Quattrocento Tue 16-Jun-09 08:27:21

Don't get involved in the ins and outs - it will drive you demented

Punish them both - explain that you don't want to get involved but they've created an unholy row, you neither know nor care who started it but it isn't going to be allowed to carry on.

cory Tue 16-Jun-09 08:32:58

agree with seeker; the more you get fixated on the idea that this is lying and something that destroys trust, the worse it's going to get

quite likely neither of them is lying; after all, when we come home from an upsetting incident at work, we tell the story from our viewpoint, not from the other person's. We out in the bits that are going to make us look hard done by, and conveniently forget about the rest. Doesn't mean we are out and out liars and our spouses should never trust us again.

GooseyLoosey Tue 16-Jun-09 08:35:01

I have a ds 6 and dd 4. If it's fairly trivial, I go with the doctrine of collective responsibility and say if they are both blaming the other, I will treat them both at fault and they will both be in equal amounts of trouble (this usually fairly reflects the fact that they were both winding each other up).

For serious offences (where someone has been genuinely hurt), I offer hugs etc first (dealing with the injury) and then one sits on a chair in one room and the other in another (so there is no conferring and no coersion).They stay there until their stories become consistent. The longer it takes, the greater the sanctions when the truth finally emerges (after a few minutes - I take away a toy a minute from whoever eventually turns out to be at fault and wander around the house shouting "that's one"). It has never taken longer than about 5 minutes and I have always got to the truth (or at least an agree version of it).

supagirl Tue 16-Jun-09 09:19:31

My attitude is if I didn't see it, then I can't do anything about it BUT if I DO see whatever has been reported happening then there will be trouble.

As kids get older, they do learn to lie - I remember as a child even biting myself so there were teeth marks and my Mum would believe my sister had done it! shock blush

With that in mind I find the above approach is the only way, however if I hear lots of yelling I tend to approach quietly and will soon see who the perpetrator is! Usually it's 6 of one and half a dozen of the other though tbh.


cory Tue 16-Jun-09 09:26:46

ah that reminds me, supagirl

we used to have a lot of the fake biting when dcs were little

then one day a couple of years ago, it started again: dd came whineing in that ds had bitten her, ds was shouting he hadn't etc. I went absolutely ballistic: for goodness sake, you are 10 and 7 years old, I shouldn't have to do this any more, rant, rant, rant

then I made ds open his mouth and pointed out to dd how impossible it would be for this gaptoothed set to produce the perfect row of bite marks on her arm

at which point they both dissolved in giggles

turned out they knew I was reading a book about archaeological detective work and wanted to know if I was really as clever as I fancied myself [grr]

the acting was very good though hmm

oopsagain Tue 16-Jun-09 09:39:55

why not get them to sit down and work it out?

They are about the same age as my kids,
i state what i see and ask them to try to work it out between them.

Sometimes it works, they apologise and then they both fel better...

sometimes it doesn't..

but ulitmately they are going to have to work out a way of getting on together that doesn't involve adults intervening all the time.

Mine sometmies magae to work it out politely, somtimes not, but it's a process, slow and laborious.. but we are getting there.
They will take turns and they will negotiate stuff between them on their own sometimes now.
it's amazing when you hear it...

And ultimately it means that you have to intervene less and less.

maybe today jsut say that you can't work it out and so ignore this incident... if stuff hapepens that i didn't see i will ask them what happened and if it doesn't add up, I explain that i can't help them sort it out as i don't know what happened.
So i explain why hurting each other is wrong and explain that they could have worked somethig out by talking.

< wonders if it is all in vain but is happily deluded that it works!>

Nahui Tue 16-Jun-09 09:49:38

Message withdrawn

lljkk Tue 16-Jun-09 12:16:23

I tend to ignore both or punish both, depends how much they're annoying me/who seems most hurt.

Mine can only sit down and work it out if I sit between them to stop them hitting each other.

Also, nearly always ONE of them cares a lot more about the dispute than the other child. The child who truly doesn't give a fig will therefore refuse to compromise on anything. What's worse, DS1 will deliberately wind DD up just to get her attention and upset her.

So if I try to get them to sit and talk the problem thru, eventually DD capitulates to whatever DS is demanding because he absolutely won't budge (unless I threaten something terrible as the punishment), and usually she does care a lot, and she knows that eventually I will lose my patience and put the disputed item out of the way or withdraw the activity, whatever it was.

Sorry, I'm rambling, but aren't they sneaky little horrors my lot?!

seeker Tue 16-Jun-09 13:15:31

Don't forget the 'seeker double whammy" "X, don't hit your sister. Y, don't tell tales"

EachPeachPearMum Tue 16-Jun-09 15:51:53

I pity the fool....

seeker Tue 16-Jun-09 17:31:39


TheProfiteroleThief Tue 16-Jun-09 17:33:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

chimchar Tue 16-Jun-09 17:38:57

my friend used to tell the kids that the house alarm sensors in the corner of each room were special video cameras.

she would ask what happenned, tell the kids that she was going to check the tape, and if someone was lying there would be trouble...did they want a second chance to tell the truth...

without fail, the kids would pull together, tell the truth and each take their part of the blame...apologies all round, all done!!!

genius! grin

TheFool Tue 16-Jun-09 18:53:59


EachPeachPearMum Tue 16-Jun-09 21:07:23

You are who I think you are, right? smile

Pitchounette Tue 16-Jun-09 21:32:07

Message withdrawn

TheFool Wed 17-Jun-09 07:50:18

Nope. Don't know me in the slightest. (really will come and post on the thread later today... Frizbe told me on Monday that she had left me a message, and I still haven't replied blush)

This morning I have resigned myself to them killing each other. It seems the easiest solution all round.

EachPeachPearMum Wed 17-Jun-09 10:59:07

Awww, but when he's the youngest person ever to scale everest, you'll be so proud wink

Isn't dd in school this week? or is this before school?

TheFool Wed 17-Jun-09 12:07:33

<ponders sending him up there now>

<realises he would freeze when he strips off>

Before school. They are both at that not properly awake so easily narked stage then hmm

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