How do you handle lying?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-20-2012
How do you handle lying?
Thu, 04-26-2012 - 12:06pm

My DD has recently started lying- about brushing her teeth, if she has homework, etc. I never know how to handle this! I I don't want to say something like "if you wouldn't have lied, you wouldn't be in trouble" b/c that's not really true- I mean, there has to be some punishment for not brushing her teeth. Should I just make the punishment less if she tells me the truth instead of lying?


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2004
Fri, 04-27-2012 - 1:26pm

We've been through this from time to time with each of our kids. We try (emphasis on "try") to use natural consequences, but it's not always possible. For example, if they don't brush their teeth, then can't have dessert or any sweets because I'm afraid that they'll get cavities.

There have been times when I've made them go back and brush because I could still see food or their breath didn't smell so great. (Not knowing whether they were lying or just didn't do a good job the first time.) My son especially would say "You always think I'm lying and I'm really telling the truth this time." To which I would respond, "I'm sorry honey. When you lie, it makes it hard for me to trust you. I don't know whether you're lying or telling the truth." They seem to understand that it's hard to trust someone after they've lied to you.

Maybe you could have your DD do these things in your presence for awhile as a natural consequence. It's probably more work for you, but it will make a point about trust.