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So, I know he is only nearly 4 and not a "liar" per se, but what would be your approach...?

(9 Posts)
TheGoddessBlossom Wed 23-Jul-08 18:19:15

DS1 (4 in Sept) has started denying all knowledge of how DS2 hurt himself, why he is crying, when it is almost certainly down to something he has done. Insists he has washed his hands after going to the toilet, when I know he hasn't. Nothing earth shattering, and I don't tell him off, but I would like advice on how best to explain why we have to tell the truth in a way he can understand. Any tips?



Anna8888 Wed 23-Jul-08 18:27:21

Tease him about his lies - it's much more effective smile

Ie when you know he hasn't washed his hands after going to the loo, ask to sniff them or inspect them and then recoil in dramatised horror telling him some great big bacteria were having a tea party in his palm.

Laugh it off, and go back to the loo and help him wash his hands.

Morloth Wed 23-Jul-08 18:31:10

We do the sniff test for the hands and have that kandoo frothy soap (which also has a very distinctive smell). If they don't smell like fresh apples, back we go.

Don't know about hurting baby brother. Maybe you just can't leave them alone together for a bit?

Anna8888 Wed 23-Jul-08 18:33:36

Not sure whether it is reasonable to expect a 4 year old to be consistently and reliably nice to a baby sibling smile - probably not.

fryalot Wed 23-Jul-08 18:33:39

Instead of saying "did you hurt your little brother" try saying "how did you hurt him, did you hit him or kick him?"

the smell test is good.

You can also tell them that their tongue goes black if they are lying and ask them to put their tongue out so you can see it.

pickie Wed 23-Jul-08 18:43:09

My DS (4.10) has a tendency as well to lie but I tell him it is ok to tell me what happened but telling lies is not. Usually works

TheGoddessBlossom Wed 23-Jul-08 18:56:08

yes thanks for all the tips. I like the germ one, and also the last post about assuring him that telling me what happened is ok. I was curious about how you define lying to a not quite 4 year old...and likewise "truth" etc....oh the minefields... grin

Re hurting his brother, it's just as likely to be the other way round, so I don't push that particularly...

MsPontipine Wed 23-Jul-08 20:39:54

It's hard isn't it - the only way I've dealt with this is for ds (5) to know that he will the consequences for him telling the truth are not worse than if he fibs. Tricky really to coax the truth out of him but then he gets more praise for being truthful than a telling off for the bad behaviour. He even said to me after doing a rather naughty thing ( can't remember what ) that he was a good boy for telling the truth wasn't he as if that makes up for it! Otherwise if they realise they get away with it by fibbing I think they just carry on. If I accuse him of fibbing he gets really cross even if I know damm well he's done it. The washing hands thing I do have covered though - I always insist he uses soap (for the important ones at least - before food, after toilet etc) I tell him if he won't let me smell his hands then I will have to think he hasn't washed them and send him back until he has. If he does let me smell them it's usually because he has done them. I'm only smelling for the soap btw! We have lots of nice smelling soap in the house so I make a big thing of how nice they smell.

It does get easier as they get older and you can reason with them more. The only thing they start arguing back even better logic than yours. Then you're stuffed but can pride yourself that you've raised an intelligent, confident and free thinking little chap!

itati Wed 23-Jul-08 20:41:38

Did you hit/push/poke your brother/sister because they were annoying you? Said in a sympathetic voice. Works every time. wink

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