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dd (3) had learned to lie about things. How do you tackle this?

(11 Posts)
alittleteapot Fri 03-Dec-10 14:56:33

I'm not talking big things. Just like whether she's washed her hands or brushed her teeth. She's just found this great new trick where she can say she has even if she hasn't/ I guess it's a milestone, understanding that you have the power to say something different to what is actually the case! So how do you begin to educate a three year old that not telling the truth is not a good thing?

coatgate Fri 03-Dec-10 14:58:56

If you find out, please tell me. My DD 11 has started telling lies - like yours, nothing big, just stuff to get me off her back. What worries me more is that she does not seem to care when I find out. I rage on about disappointment and feeling let down, and she just looks at me as if I am stupid. Sorry to be no help but this has been really worrying me after an incident this morning. Hope the wise and the wonderful of MN will be along with sage advice.

alittleteapot Fri 03-Dec-10 20:29:46

anyone advise us?

defineme Fri 03-Dec-10 20:36:11

Ds2 has been doing this since he was 4. Tbh I've gone with if I make a big deal about how bad it is he'll just get worse so I make a joke about his pants being on fire and then move on.
I feel all their hands after they've been to the loo-my mum did this with me too!
Ds2 knows that I can always tell he's not telling the truth and aged 5 he's not doing so much of it. I make a joke with a serious point'don't you know mummies always know the truth..'
Age 11 I'd appeal to her humanity 'It makes me feel crap when you lie to me'
I did a lot of small lies as a teen and I am very honest now-don't worry too much!

stickersarecurrency Fri 03-Dec-10 20:36:42

My 3 year old has started this. I've tried to have a basic tall about truth and lies and how it's important to be truthful but if he thinks he might get into trouble he'll swear blind black's white. No idea how to handle it really.

MerryMarigold Fri 03-Dec-10 20:49:50

Ds1 (5) has just started this (dd,aged 2, does it a lot already!). For dd I just say, for example,'that's not true, you have done a poo' or 'your brother didn't hit you, he's not in the same room as you' hmm.

For ds1, who is a bit older, we had a chat about it. I constantly tell him that lying is worse than hitting or kicking etc. (I think it is) and it is going to get a worse punishment than those things. I explained that I have to be able to believe what he says, otherwise if his little brother says, "He hit me!" and ds1 says "No, I didn't", I don't know who to believe. Or if he says someone at school did something to him etc., I need to know what's true and what isn't. I'm not sure it's sunk in properly all in one go. But hopefully in time if I keep explaining it, the penny will drop. He's a lot older than your dd so I'm not sure how I would handle it at her age...I think I would start giving a her a similar punishment as if she had kicked or hit someone (whatever it is that you do in your house) so she equates that it is not acceptable behaviour. I think she is old enough to understand what is and isn't acceptable.

Lastly, not saying this is you AT ALL...(but maybe some people reading this thread). The amount of parents that lie to their kids, "You won't get this if you do that" and then they go back on that. Or say they are just leaving for a minute but are actually going for most of a day etc. etc. They may seem 'harmless' lies but kids soon pick up that it's ok not to tell the truth.

Adair Fri 03-Dec-10 21:00:40

I think they are just trying to work it all out tbh. Personally, I try to enjoy their lies/stories/experimenting and say 'oh really?! repeating back what they say and maybe making it more and more elaborate and 'go along' with the story and use an exaggerated tone of voice and facial expression to show that you don't really believe it. Coupled with talks at other times about truth and stories... Have talked to dd about how important it is not to get other people in trouble with lies too (she is 4).

Not sure if that makes sense?

Agree about not lying to kids too.

MerryMarigold Fri 03-Dec-10 21:03:52

(apart from Father Christmas!) - lying, that is!

Adair Fri 03-Dec-10 21:05:24

Hang on, didn't see the second 'OP'.

Your 11 year old (IMVHO) is trying to defuse the situation in the way she has learnt how. I think you could try teh playing along with approach, and then an explanation of what will happen IF xyz was true. So she knows what will happen. Then, and only then, do you say 'dd, I really need to know the truth. I will be pleased with you for telling the truth. And very disappointed if you lie to me'

It's hard, cos sometimes you will never find our if they are telling the truth or not - but the above approach is what I would use as a teacher.

Lilka Sat 04-Dec-10 19:32:02

To be honest, lying is a normal developmental stage that all kids go through, and how you deal with it depends on why they are lying in the first place.

Withmy DD2 at 11, what i have done is simply to state that i know she lied and therefore this will happen (consequence of yuor choosing). Don't bother getting into any kind of debate about it or argueing over whether tehy lied or not etc. If raging about being disappointed isn't working then stop doing it.

With a small child, tbh at that age she probably doesn't fully understand lying. She just wants to get out of something she doesn't want to do. With younger toddlers also they don't understand that they are lying they just want to make mum happy again not cross so they do what they think will work (ie. lie). And there isn't that much to be worried about at age 3 - only start to worry if they get a lot older and keep lying out of habit e.g. an 8 y old lying at least times 4 times a day when it is obvious what they are doing is time to start tackling it seriously.

the only type of lie i get very angry about is a lie aimed to get another innocent person into trouble. otherwise, I don'y get too bothered. Then again, everyones different and lying can really anger and upset some parents, it just isn't a big bother of mine in particular.

With DD2 what worked was saying, 'are you sure that is what happened. Truth tellers get marbles in their jars' (I filled a jar with marbles and they got various treats for a full jar). The incentive to tell the truth offen worked on its own. With DD1 I just didn't ask questions, until a certain stage it was a given that she would lie if caught out because she was utterly terrified of being punished. However i should point out that DD1 and DD2 weren't/aren't ordinary kids and they deal with things differently than others so what worked with htem might not work with other kids at all.

The biggest thing that will work though is not giving the opportunity to lie in the first place. if you know they have done something wrong then don't ask about it, because it gives them the opportunity to lie to you. Just state you did this, so therefore ...

alittleteapot Sun 05-Dec-10 22:33:13

yes, feels a normal developmental thing so not worth coming hard on, but interesting to see different approaches to encouraging against it. Thanks everyone!

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