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How do you deal with lying...

(23 Posts)
Ohwhatatangledweb Wed 26-Sep-12 15:38:42

My DS has just started school. He is five. He told me last night that a boy smacked him in the face. (He had a little mark which looked like a graze on his eyebrow) It is not the first time, and it was the same boy that time so I had a word at the school this morning.

They asked the boys about it and it was all denied.

When I picked DS up just now, he said the boy didn't hit him yesterday at all. I'm furious with DS, mainly because he has got the wee chap into trouble but also because this is not the first time he has lied about something. (But this is the one that has had consequences for someone else.)

I explained to him, after these lies were discovered, how important it is not to lie so that his mummy and dad can always believe him. I am so annoyed, and also worried that I am going to make everything worse. (i.e make him scared to tell me the truth) Has anyone else had similar or have any tips on how to deal with lying.

He is currently on a timeout while I try and think of something. My sister told me she could always tell when her kids were lying. I have literally no idea when he is lying. I have been caught out several times and now I think he knows it and will just say whatever makes his life easier.

Ohwhatatangledweb Wed 26-Sep-12 15:56:26


Ohwhatatangledweb Wed 26-Sep-12 16:10:35


Machadaynu Wed 26-Sep-12 16:16:06

Not quite the same, but it'll give you another bump - the kid (3.2) tells stories; she's good at it. Not about serious things, just embellishments.

When she's spent the day with nana or at pre-school we sometimes have to ask her "did this really happen or is it a story?" (although often if you let her go on long enough Mr Tickle will turn up if it's a story, but not always) and she will then tell us.

blooblies Wed 26-Sep-12 16:26:16

My eldest (5 nearly 6) has started habitually lying and being deceitful about things around the house e.g. hiding 'lost' things, blaming her sister,flatly denying doing things we know she has done. We have caught out a few lies which she has told us about school too. We don't really know what to do about it either, but I was told today it's a sign on intelligence, so there's the silver lining!

EssexGurl Wed 26-Sep-12 16:29:30

Oh, you have my sympathy. DS is like this and he is 7! He had problems in reception with lying and he was the one who ended up getting into trouble, but it didn't seem to solve anything. There was a problem today and I've had 3 versions of events so am no clearer. Yesterday he missed a club and again I've had about 3 versions of why that was. Doesn't seem to get any better/easier. I think he just doesn't want to get into trouble if he has done something bad so tries to lie his way out of it. But we ask him again about incidents until he confesses to a lie, but still we don't always know the truth. It is so frustrating and I'm at the end of my tether. So no advice I'm afraid, just sympathy. Will watch the thread with interest incase anyone has some good advice!

Ohwhatatangledweb Wed 26-Sep-12 16:32:15

Thank you, Machadaynu! smile

Yes, I love their stories. They come out with some very random tales. I think he is still at a point where he thinks "what does it matter, its just a story"

But this could have had serious consequences for the other boy. I think the other boy is quite physical. But as far as I can see, he's not mean. It's so easy to get a reputation that dogs you throughout the school years. I don't want my DS to be responsible for that and I don't want him to get a reputation for lying. (Oh, you can't believe a word he says).

Unfortunately I can't believe a word he says. At the present time! sad

itsatiggerday Wed 26-Sep-12 16:35:28

Not sure I have the answer but we're at a similar stage and I have tried to emphasise that I am far more bothered by lies than I am about misbehaviour. So we had an instance where DC1 claimed I'd said something was OK and DH therefore agreed. When I came upstairs, I asked why it was happening and the lie was immediately clear. It was a stupid thing that I wouldn't tbh have cared much about (new pj's when the previous ones had only been on a couple of days) but because of the lie, we removed the new pair of pjs completely. We were really clear that the reason for the severe sanction was because of the explicit lie, not the desire to wear them in the first place. That's just one example but trying quite hard to make the sanction for lying far more serious than for simple naughty. That's harder when the naughty is actually more significant - like battering DC2 and pretending not.

We have as a result had a couple of conversations when I was suspicious, have looked in the eye and said "You know that I will be far more upset if you lie to me than if you tell me you did something wrong, so please tell me now what happened..." and the true story has come out. As christians, I can also refer to things we read and say that we know God always tells the truth and we can trust him in everything, so he wants us to be trustworthy too, but that may not feel right for others.

N0tinmylife Wed 26-Sep-12 16:38:23

My DS recently went through a phase of lying a lot. I sat him down and explained it wasn't on, and why. I then started removing a favourite toy for 24 hours every time he got caught out telling a lie. I only had to do it about 3 times before he stopped doing it. Luckily he is rubbish at lying though so it is usually obvious when he is doing it!

Machadaynu Wed 26-Sep-12 16:41:31

Off-topic ---

itsatiggerday God does lie though - Ezekiel 14:9 "And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet"

Ohwhatatangledweb Wed 26-Sep-12 16:41:39

blooblies, yes it is a silver lining!

I just wish he wasn't clearly more intelligent than me. (In being able to tell a good lie).

All of what you say is very familiar. Flatly denying things I know he has done, blaming his brother. I know what a good liar he is because it makes me question myself even when I KNOW he broke the vase, lost his water bottle at school, ate the last biscuit!!!

Essexgurl - that's exactly it. He thinks he can avoid trouble by lying. Last night and on previous occasions I've said to him "just tell me the truth - I won't be angry" But he's just come up with this massive whopper from nowhere. And I've believed him. He didn't have to make a story up at all. (It's actually more convoluted than I've written and I have yet to get to the bottom of it. Something to do with Santa not being real... )

Ohwhatatangledweb Wed 26-Sep-12 16:49:00

I am glad it is not just me. But it looks like we have our work cut out.

itsatiggerday I think I could definitely emphasise by using your attitude that it is the lying that is the worst thing.

N0tinmylife serious crimes and serious measures. DS only has one really favourite toy. (Bedtime toy) I am not sure that I have the heart to remove it but I know that that would work. Because it is such a serious message. He is never without this toy at bedtime.

Ohwhatatangledweb Wed 26-Sep-12 16:50:41

N0tinmylife how can you tell that he is lying?

I can always tell when my dad is lying because something odd happens at the corner of his mouth.

What are the giveaways?

N0tinmylife Wed 26-Sep-12 21:00:43

He does things like says he has finished his food, when I only have to look at the plate to see he hasn't, or he has washed his hands, when they are clearly still dirty, so not really hard to work it out! In my case I don't think DS had realised that lying is wrong, and it took a short sharp shock to make him realise.

I am sure as he gets older it will get harder. I have told him now he will get in far more trouble if he is caught out lying, than if he tells me when he has done something wrong. Maybe for you the threat of losing the toy would be enough and you wouldn't need to do it? I bet he wouldn't risk it more than once! smile

Ohwhatatangledweb Thu 27-Sep-12 13:08:41

I wish that were so.

He told us last night that after lunch, someone pushed him down the stairs. And then the same boy and his friends demanded his change from lunch. Which he said he gave them. I found the change in his shoe this morning. When challenged he said he gave them the "other" money. hmm

I am quite upset as I'm pretty sure there is something going on at school. He certainly had a clatter on his leg, from where he said he'd been pushed down the stairs. I think the problem is he is telling me things that actually happened but then embellishing to make them more dramatic.
i.e. Boy lets call him Sebastian, tells DS that Santa Claus doesn't exist but doesn't smack him in the face.

The three kids lets call them Michelle, John and Sebastian, demanded his money or "they wouldn't be his friend" but he didn't give them the money. (also they are all in his class, they are all only five years old.)

I am clutching at straws. It's impossible to take this up with the school when I can't tell what is the real story.

wibblywobbler Thu 27-Sep-12 13:21:27

My eldest drives me up the wall with their lying. They are now a preteen and it shows no sign of going away even though they know it's wrong. They will look me in the eye and lie even if I have the evidence in my hand that they are lying, they will just keep on lying and throw a tantrum when they can't lie their way out of it. It has driven me bat shit crazy for years

Chocoholiday Thu 27-Sep-12 13:31:20

Mine lie sometimes but are easy to rumble grin Sometimes it's just experimental to check the reaction they get. Other times I think there's more serious stuff going on that they don't know how to talk about. I think the key is to try to work out why they're lying before passing judgement - as the OP suspects there might be something else going on at school. Some good tips here:

peeriebear Thu 27-Sep-12 13:37:02

Same here wibblywobbler. DD1 is 11 now and will tell a lie to me as easily as breathing. And I catch her out nine times out of ten so why does she still do it?!
I treat small lies the same as big lies- NO lying is acceptable, whether it's "yes I did wash my hands" or "No I didn't steal your £10 note". If only she would respond to sanctions (whole other thread's worth) hmm

Ohwhatatangledweb Thu 27-Sep-12 13:51:58

Thanks for all your responses. I cant say it's good to know that this will continue for years. But it's good to know that it's not unusual.

Thank you chocoholiday I will check that out.

wibblywobbler Thu 27-Sep-12 22:16:02

Mine doesn't respond to sanctions either peeriebear, it's infuriating!

MerryCosIWonaGold Thu 27-Sep-12 22:20:41

We do have worse consequences for lies found out (than other things) and also reward telling the truth. So, for eg., there was a big mess in the kitchen and ds said he did it, I said, "Thankyou for telling me the truth. Because you told me the truth, I will help tidy up." Also really important to tell the truth to them. None of this, "You'll get left behind at home if you don't hurry up." you won't. Or, "Mummy's just going for a little while, I'll be back really soon" when dropped at grandparents, but actually you're going out for a whole afternoon. Any of that stuff has to stop.

MerryCosIWonaGold Thu 27-Sep-12 22:24:32

In terms of what is going on at school. I would speak to the teacher and say that something is happening but it may not be as bad as he is saying. Certainly if he was pushed downstairs that's quite a big thing. Just ask her to keep an eye on the relationship between him and the other kids... my ds had some bullying from other kids in his class (and Y1) when he was in Reception. He never talked about it, just acted really weirdly and was stressed etc. It came out in Term 3 sad.

Ohwhatatangledweb Fri 28-Sep-12 10:38:56

merry completely agree. I do think it's just a lie to tell the kids that I'm going to be back in ten minutes when actually it's going to be three hours. Even if they've enjoyed themselves, they do notice.

Also think you could be onto something with rewarding the truth. I tend to take it for granted that they've told me the truth. I like that you are managing to reward them but still get them do some tidying.

I was bullied at school for many years. Primary School. My mum didn't do anything about it. I think that was the norm then. Eventually I just stopped telling her because she didn't want to know. I always promised myself I would do things differently. But I feel that I have leapt into the fray and got it all wrong. Made things worse for DS. And DS himself, has undermined one of the only ways I have to protect him (which is that he is believed). This episode made me question whether I was doing the right thing.

However... I sent in a little note with DS about the money. And ended up having a very productive chat with the lady who deals with these things. She was fantastic.

DS was there as well and admitted in front of us, that all of it was made up. ALL of it. All the detail, everything.

The advice given to me was not to blow the lying up out of proportion in relation to DS. Also if something happens he must tell the teacher or the assistants first. They will note it down and it will be sent home in the homework diary. If it's not in the diary, I am then to quite calmly, and without saying I don't believe him suggest, that he might want another chance to say what actually happened because I will be checking it with, lets call her Mrs Alsopp, the next day. (He is in awe of Mrs Alsopp, long may it continue.)

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