I am having a problem with my 8 yr old. She makes up stuff and lies alot, the weird thing is she does it about lots of little stuff and big stuff as well. We have punished, we have talked about it till we are blue in the face, and yet she still does it.

My question is; Is this a "Normal" 8 yr old thing, and do you have any advice for me?

asked 24 Oct '09, 04:06

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Mary
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edited 24 Oct '09, 09:19

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Emi
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I don't have enough rep to edit this post myself, but maybe Mary will do it if I suggest. The question/title is not descriptive -- doesn't everybody need help with their 8 year old? Aim for a question that would be recognized by somebody else with the same problem, or by somebody who might have a good answer for you (another way to say it: would somebody googling a description of the same problem find your question?). Perhaps something like "how do deal with constant lying"?

(24 Oct '09, 06:56) lgritz

@ Mary I edited the title for you, I hope that it is ok for you!

(24 Oct '09, 09:21) Emi
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Has your daughter seen "Pinocchio" yet? It teaches a lesson about lying. I particularly enjoyed the live-action version with Roberto Benigni.

(24 Oct '09, 16:13) Chris W. Rea

In my experience, its a "normal" 8yr old thing. All children are different obviously and the age range will vary a little but in my personal experience that's about the right age for the behavior you're describing.

You didn't give any specific examples so its hard to give you specific (possible) answers...

In general, the key is to stay calm, stay firm, and stay consistent.

Little white lies are the same as medium lies are the same as big lies. I've never been a fan of (within reason) exceptions to the rule as it undermines authority.

Adults do this too... get pulled over for speeding... cry... get off with a warning. What happens next time you get pulled over? Cry again... worked last time, right?

Kids are VERY observant. I actually got pulled over once (daughter in car) and took the ticket square on the chin because the officer asked, "Do you know why I pulled you over?" and "Do you know how fast you were going?" I did, and I did. But you know... the lesson that day was worth 100 times what I paid for the ticket. I also saw a noted improvment in my daughter after that...

Be aware of the example YOU are setting.

Its typically a phase they soon grow out of as they learn that lying has consequences.

Likewise, reward her for telling the truth about something... especially if it was difficult for her to tell the truth... or took 3-5 times asking before she "confessed". :-)

One side note... you got to be POSITIVE she's lying. I can tell you from first hand experience that sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction... and sometimes it even goes beyond "reasonable doubt". LOL

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answered 24 Oct '09, 04:19

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edited 25 Oct '09, 03:04

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Scott ♦♦
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Regarding being positive that she's lying: we've had the experience with our seven year old where she's said something which seems odd, but we're not sure she's lying, and what gets her to confess is just to assume that it's true and keep asking for details about it - as though you're confused but believe her. Eventually she gets so tangled up trying to keep track of it and she admits it was a lie.

(24 Oct '09, 14:02) Meg Stephenson

I'd say this seems to be pretty common. I've seen it in kids, my sister went through it, I went through it, my sister-in-law when younger seemed to always be neck-deep in it, and there are a lot of articles about handling it online. I wasn't crazy about most of the articles online, but here's one I did think was pretty good: http://www.familyresource.com/parenting/behavior-issues/when-children-lie. I especially liked these points from it:

  • Re-frame the word lying. Use terminology that means the same, but softens the conflict
  • When children tell the truth, reinforce their positive behavior.
  • Never set-up your child by being aware of a lie and then asking him for the truth without discussing that you have information. Acknowledge up-front that you know what's going on.
  • Stay out of power-struggles with teens over deception. If you know they are being untruthful, merely acknowledge it and set reasonable, logical consequences. (Dinah's note: I believe the power-struggle warning certainly applies to any strong-willed children, not just teens.)
  • As a parent, role-model honest communications and behavior demonstrating integrity with your children. Children may pick up on inconsistencies in parenting and use those patterns as a reason to be untruthful and manipulative.
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answered 24 Oct '09, 15:41

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Asked: 24 Oct '09, 04:06

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Last updated: 25 Oct '09, 03:04