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Advice for parent of a child who "lies all the time"

  • 1.  Advice for parent of a child who "lies all the time"

    Posted 11-22-2019 12:02 AM

    The mother of a 4 year old child (not in my class) approached me to ask how to handle her child who lies. I know that at this age it is normal to make up stories and blur the distinction between imagination and reality but this sounds different. 

    Here is the example she gave
    Mom knows A took chocolate without permission
    Mom: A what happened here? Did you take chocolate?
    A: No
    Mom: I think I just saw you take one
    A: No I didn't, I don't even know where they are
    Mom: Look, A, here's the wrapper and there's chocolate on your mouth
    A: No, I didn't.... I'm really tired I'm going to lie down

    Sometimes she will also say "so and so pushed  me at school" and the mom does not know whether it really happened.

    What would you advise this mom?
    Thank you 

    Bracha Kirsch
    Far Rockaway NY

  • 2.  RE: Advice for parent of a child who "lies all the time"

    Posted 11-23-2019 09:17 AM
    Hi Bracha,

         I think its important to figure out why the child is lying. Is the child afraid (they will get in trouble)? Do they want more attention (so they say they got hurt by someone)? Were the cookies way too easy to reach with the smell of dinner in the air and it was just too tempting and easy? It can be really hard to figure out the root cause, especially when a child has been lying for a long time, because the child has had the opportunity to see various results of lying, so they may begin to lie for more creative reasons, but you can try your best! Sometimes guessing can be helpful because you create a reason and then you provide a positive solution and it begins to make sense to the child and sets and example. For example:

    M: Did you take a cookie?
    C: No (said while eating cookie)
    M: I don't think you are being truthful because I see cookie in your mouth. Did you lie because you were afraid you would get in trouble?
    C: yes.
    M: Next time I think I would like it if you would ask permission by saying, "May I have a cookie." This way you don't have to worry about getting in trouble.
    Then follow up by removing the temptation. So here you would move the item to where the child could not reach or find it.

    You also have to pick your battles. In this scenario above M(mom) could have addressed a variety of things with this C(child). She could have talked about why the child cant have the cookie or the act of lying and the importance of honesty or the value of patience and waiting for dinner... It goes on and on, but the child cant handle all of these things at once. Its not fair to expect them to remember all of that. So pick one lesson to be learned from it and think of it as an opportunity, instead of a chore.
            We are using Conscious Discipline and it asks you to think about why the children are behaving the way they are. Dr. Bailey reminds us adults to stay calm and remember we are safe when trying to figure out why children are behaving a certain way. There are lots of free resources on her site. I hope this is helpful!

    Kayleigh Francis
    Ivy Tech Community College
    Indianapolis IN

  • 3.  RE: Advice for parent of a child who "lies all the time"

    Posted 11-29-2019 11:21 AM

    Hi there,

    I recently came across this resource on why children lie and how to respond. I thought it might be helpful for the mom you described:




    Sent from Mail for Windows 10