Lying?

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-01-2005
Lying?
4
Wed, 11-19-2008 - 4:28pm

My 9 yo DD lies constantly. She will lie about the small things (washing her hair in the shower) and the very large things (saying that a friend gave her a shirt when she really took it from lost and found). I don't know what to do about it. We started just talking to her about why lying is wrong and how people won't trust her or believe her. That didn't work. It seemed like she didn't care if anyone trusted her. We currently have a point system and she loses points for lying. It doesn't seem to help much. DH said we should just back off and ignore the lies, but that doesn't seem like the answer to me. I know that kids will lie on occasion to try and stay out of trouble, but it seems excessive. She lies even when the truth is better, even when she wouldn't have gotten in trouble to begin with. She lies even though she knows without doubt she will get caught. (She'll tell me that she wrote in her planner, when she really didn't, knowing I'm about to open in and check.)

what do you do about lying? Do you just ignore the little lies? Do you ignore all lies? Lying is a huge pet peeve of mine, I can't stand people that lie...so it's hard to just act like it's not happening.

Thanks in advance!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-19-2008
In reply to: ycal25
Wed, 11-19-2008 - 10:21pm

OMG, you sound just like me only I have a 9 yr old son.

Avatar for bradleyteach
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-29-2001
In reply to: ycal25
Thu, 11-20-2008 - 8:01am

Hi Ycal25,


I would not ignore the lying, especially if it involved things like not being responsible for writing your homework or helping yourself to things that don't belong to you.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
In reply to: ycal25
Fri, 11-21-2008 - 10:37am

Lying has different and in some ways harsher consequences. What drove it home for my son was that he ended up getting in trouble and losing electronic time over one of those lies that make no sense. He wouldn't have gotten in trouble, he wouldn't have lost a privilege, he wouldn't have even gotten so much as a frown from us. But he lied and as soon as it came out of his mouth we knew it was a lie. We came down hard on the lie. During his loss of electronics time he thought long and hard about what happened.

I wouldn't let the small lies go. The ones like saying she washed her hair when its obvious that she didn't is one that I would be tempted to use to show her what happens if she lies to us. Its not a big lie in the overall scheme of things and in reality who is she hurting by saying she washed her hair when she didn't? Herself. Which is why I think it would be a place that she might see how a small lie can cause her major problems.

I do tend to not ask questions that I already know the answers to. For example if the kids are in the living room playing and when I went in later it was a mess I don't ask who made the mess. It was one of them and I am more concerned with it getting cleaned up. So I'll just tell them they need to go clean up the living room. So with your hair washing issue, I'd just keep telling her to go back in and wash her hair and if she kept doing that I'd tell her that she was going to start losing the privilege of being able to wash her own hair which means she'd be taking baths/showers when I was able to do it. I'd be annoyed enough that I'd probably pick a time during a tv show that she likes to watch, just to make it that much more inconvenient for her.

Last year my son's 3rd grade teacher did planner checks. If you hadn't written your homework down you got benched at recess. The parents only signed if the planner was filled out. Those kids who routinely failed to write down things ended up missing out on fun things the class and grade did each week. The ones who were still resistant to using the planner(or just plan forgetful) ended up having to stay after to have their planners checked before they left school grounds. Does your dd's teacher check the planner? Could you talk to the teacher about a way to handle it if there is nothing in the planner so it falls back on her at school if a)nothing is in there and b)you've haven't signed it?

How did you handle the shirt from lost and found?

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-01-2005
In reply to: ycal25
Tue, 11-25-2008 - 8:24am
Thank you all for your responses and suggestions.
I feel like we've tried everything. Currently we use the point system. I guess it is a little like a sticker chart, but it's more advanced. She earns points for doing good things (good grades, chores, etc.) and loses points for doing wrong. The points are her household currency. She can use the to "buy" things extra TV time and playtime before bed. They also convert to money she can use to buy things she wants at the store. If she doesn't have any points, she doesn't have any privileges and is grounded. She loses 10 points for lying. It doesn't seem to bother her.
Before the point system, when she was lying to cover up something she had done wrong, we doubled the original punishment. If the original punishment would have been to lose TV for 1 day, she would lose it for two. It also didn't bother her.
When she took the shirt, she lost points for lying and points for stealing. I also walked her into school the next day and made her return it to the principal, tell him what she had done and apologize. That did seem to have an effect on her and nothing that serious has happened since.
The school does have consequences for writing down her homework, but they don't bother her. She has to pay one ticket if she doesn't get her planner signed. For the first two months or so we asked to sign her planner (if she had written in it) but now we are trying to get her to take the initiative. She might get it signed once a week. They only have recess on Fridays, so it's hard for them to use it as a punishment for daily things.
For the day to day, little lies, I'm still stuck. My DH seems to think if we just ignore the little ones and not ask her about them, it'll stop. I think that if we ignore them now, it will only get worse when she's older.