Lying at 9?(22 Posts)
I have been with DH for 4 years now. He has a 9 year old dd from a previous relationship. We have her EOW. Now I have no previous experience of nine year old girls so be gentle with me. This could be completely normal but it seems a bit off to me. She lies. Constantly. From simple 'it wasn't me' type of lies to completely made up ( but harmless) stories 'I rescued a bird and now it lives in a nest I made it outside my bedroom' to fairly malicious lies such as telling her mother we have left her alone in a hotel room while we have gone out for the evening ( never happened) And it's all the time. It's been going on for about the past two years and all I can see is it's getting worse. DH thinks it's just a phase and we should ignore it. But I'm getting worried, two years seems like a very long phase! She can look him square in the eye and flat out lie and he doesn't see it half the time. Am I being overly anxious?? Should we be doing more to address this? I just worry that if she's like this now what will happen when she's a teenager??
IMO the little tales are fairly normal. Makes me remember that at a similar age I would 'draw' pictures (I traced them) and then would show people my art work and how good at drawing I was. Even when questioned if I did it and wasn't traced I would lie.
The leaving in hotel room lie etc is a fairly dangerous lie, but could be due to attention seeking? Does your DH have a decent relationship with your SD mother?
When SD told her mum this lie what did she do about it? Did she accuse your DH? Or did she speak to her DD about how important it was not to tell such lies?
Yes, the tales I can understand and remember doing the same myself. Similiar to urs infact!!! I remember the tracing pictures one!! Or stealing my older brothers pictures and claiming they were mine. But what is worrying me is it's all the time. And at nine I thought it would be settling a bit. DH has a very poor relationship with his ex. I'm guessing she didn't believe dsd as she didn't call social services on us but we got a fairly vitriolic email and when I asked DH to address the story with Dad he just brushed it off with 'oh she probably got confused, and it's probably just ex trying to wind us up'
I would point out if such lies get back to her dm then things won't be as friendly between her dm +df and that would be a shame. She is old enough to understand lies have repercussions.
What are the consequences to her lying? If there aren’t really any consequences but she gets attention for it then I don’t see much motivation for her to stop. I agree that most children go through a phase of it but it sounds like it’s got a bit out of control.
My DSD is also 9 and apart from a few white lies like saying she’s brushed her teeth etc then she doesn’t really lie.
I think ignoring it might be unwise. It is very natural for children to lie sometimes but this behaviour sounds problematic for her, as well as people around her. I would hazard a guess that she is an unhappy little girl. So I wouldn't ignore it, but I would be gentle when challenging it, and try to make sure she has as many positives to focus on as possible. And that when she tells the truth, she gets listened to.
There are no consequences for the lying that I know of. I'm not allowed to do any of the 'parenting' bits. My DH thinks it better if he do that and I generally agree. However, he doesn't think the lying is an issue and ignores it. I don't know what happens when she's at home with her Mum. I have brought it up with DH that there does need to be consequences for some of her lying, particularly the more malicious ones but he is unwilling to address it and says it's normal. Thus I'm on here. I don't think it is normal but am willing to admit that I know nothing about nine year olds! However I would have to admit it is making me more and more uncomfortable
I’m no good at linking but there’s a current thread in preteens (lying 11 year old) with some good suggestions
I’m inclined to be relaxed about it it’s a phase they tend to grow out of. The less attention to the lies the better unless there are serious ramifications
Children know the difference between the truth and a lie around the age of 6.
This sounds like it’s starting to get out of hand. Small white lies fine, but the lie about leaving her alone in a hotel room (which could stir up trouble) is not fine. Did your OH ask her why she said that? Or was it brushed under the carpet.
Your OH needs to deal with this. It’s going to get worse unchecked. Sounds like it’s a call for attention.
This is worth a read:
I'd be inclined to talk to the school (her bio parents anyway) because they could be worried she's not being looked after properly if she's lying about being left alone
If I was a parent, I'd find out if this was happening at school. If she's the same there then it's going to have a massive effect on friendships.
If she's not then I'd be looking at my ex's and my own behaviour. Do her lies result in lots of attention? Eg would you take her aside without her siblings and talk to her? (Kids generally love 1 on 1 time without siblings) Is this her way of forcing her parents to talk about her? Does she live in a situation where another family member dominates adult time and attention? Eg a disabled sibling
I would let go of the wishful thinking type lies but would worry about the dangerous ones. Does she show embarrassment or remorse when she's caught out in a lie?
The extent of her lies isn't normal.
The bird story is her trying to get attention and be praised for being a rescue ranger.
Lying about the hotel room is quite concerning.
Have you ever challenged her..or played along. I.e. what type of bird was it? When did it happen? Have you got a picture of it? I'll come over and visit the little birdie...
Thank you all. I hadn't thought about asking the school. That might take a bit of persuasion as DH doesn't think there is a problem at all. And I'm not too worried about the 'white lies' and usually just humour those but questioning a bit more might stop them in future. I like a bit of imagination but this is now constant. It has reached the point where I do not want to be left alone with her as I don't trust what she will say. She's very good at bursting into tears when daddy arrives when two minutes previously she has been absolutely fine with me ( most recently she had lost a tooth and I was teasing her about having it kissed out, she was giggling away till daddy walked through the door, she instantly crumpled, saying that I wasn't being nice to her. Daddy fortunately had been listening so just laughed and said don't be silly but there was no other come back. )
Oh and thank you for the links. V helpful.
And she's and only child so no rivalry for attention
DH thinks it's just a phase and we should ignore it. But I'm getting worried, two years seems like a very long phase!
You are right to be worried. Kids test boundaries and look to see where those boundaries are - from parents. If your DP has been ignoring it she’s no idea how or when to stop! How does he think she’ll learn?
Be direct. Say that’s not true is it. Nice story though. Expect to have to gently, but clearly nudge her for many weeks before she gets it. Nine is way too old to be doing this constantly. Buy her a book to help her understand why we don’t lie. Listen to her questions about lying.
If she gets upset, be kind. Help her through it. Don’t wait for DP to be on board.
As you sure she said that about the hotel though? Just cos ex says she did doesn't mean she did. My (now ex) dss dm was forever saying dss had told her things we had done, but generally it seemed he may have said something but she exaggerated it.
Or, sometimes he said them so as not to get in trouble with her. So, she might ask what he'd had for breakfast, he would say nothing, she would be cross he didn't have breakfast and ask why not and he would say I hadn't allowed him to, which wasn't true. Ex then got onto (ex) dp about me stopping her child from eating which had not happened. In that particular example I think she was more annoyed that dp had gone out and left dss with me.
I offered him breakfast about three times, but he didn't want anything I offered.
Other times she said he had told her things by text but when he showed us his texts they were different to what she was saying, or she had taken the worst possible interpretation.
He once texted to tell her we had missed a flight and her interpretation of that was that dp and I had gone on the flight without him and left him at the airport. I was standing next to him when he sent the text.
She's an only child so no rivalry for attention
She sees her dad every other weekend. 12 days out of 14 they aren't together. She may well feel like she doesn't get a lot of attention from him. I'm not saying it's his fault, but it may still be how she feels. What are things like at her mum's? Does her mum have a new relationship?
Seniorrita we did initially blame the ex for all 'stories' reported back. We also got a lot of 'dsd hated every minute with you and sobbed herself to sleep when she got home' when we had had a perfectly happy seeming child with us all weekend. The more I watched DSD behaviour the more I started to think that the ex wasn't making it all up. I have since pushed DH to speak to DSD about these events. So the hotel one she says was confused. The crying she denies but refuses to be drawn on and starts to cry if he asks her anymore. Other stories also have been confirmed by dsd but as DH is a soft old soul he never does anything about it
And yes she is very attention seeking with DH but I'm not sure what else he can do. The ex does not have a new partner that we know of but limits DH contact to his contact times and does not support phone calls etc
DH is a soft old soul
>> this is alternative speak for DH is a Disney Dad who avoids proper parenting. She has no incentive to stop the lies if her Dad doesn't step up.
Jaime yes he is completely. All our arguments revolve around discipline. This one about lying for example. It disturbs me she can look him straight in the eye and lie like a flat fish and he doesn't or won't see it. When I bring it up I am either too harsh or just wrong ( as in it's completely normal for nine year olds to lie)
It's not unusual for children her age to exaggerate stories, and their parts in them. However, lies like they left me alone in an hotel room can lead to serious complications/misunderstandings, and if your DH is not addressing it, then he's not parenting properly.
I'd suggest that the next time she tells an obvious lie, you calmly say...^well that's not really true is it^ then move the conversation on to something else. Keep this up until a) the situation improves, or b) it brings home to your DH just how much she is lying!
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