Toddlers: 24 Months+

When you KNOW it's a "lie", wdyd?

At this age most of their "lies" are them just not really understanding what is happening, or fantasy play, or a mixture of that. For example LO once told me her preschool teacher got mad at her and hit her. Well, I KNOW that didn't happen, but maybe soon after (or not soon, kids get time messed up) LO misbehaved, her teacher's hand accidentally swung back into LO. So it's "possible" on LO's mind the two events (teacher being "mad" and teacher "hitting" her) were connected.

Yesterday I heard LO moving around upstairs and went to get her up. She's theoretically supposed to stay in bed j til her clock changes colors or we come get her but it was 5 minutes early. I wasn't upset. It actually barely registered. Anyway, LO was wearing shoes. I said, "I see you are wearing your red. shoes." Just totally neutral. She said, "I didn't get out of bed." Hmmm... so I was thinking maybe they were next to her bed as happens sometimes. She continued, "I didn't get out of bed to go get them." "Oh? How did they get on your feet?" "Atticus got them for me and put them on me." (Atticus is her bff in another part of town). I just said, "Nooooooooooooo..." the way I say in a silly voice if she says a P is a J or something, and then said, "I think Charlotte got the shoes and put them on."But... what do you do? Or what are you supposed to do? I want "the truth" to be safe for her. I was raised with a lot of judgment and lied a lot to avoid that, and while I outgrew it and the truth is really important to me, my sister is still a lying liar who lies. She's not even three so there definitely won't be "consequences" for lying, but is there a way to introduce the concept or anything like that.

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Re: When you KNOW it's a "lie", wdyd?

  • I would probably keep it pretty basic and just tell her, that you're not going to be mad, but it's important to be truthful.  I know what you mean about you and your sister.  I have always had a fear of lying, and couldn't go to sleep without confessing my misdeeds, but man my sister - to this day - thinks nothing of telling a lie if she thinks she'll never get caught.  

    I'm not sure how you feel about Charlotte watching tv, but I know the show Thomas the Train is always addressing topics like this.  Like Thomas getting into trouble for not following the rules and then having to confess and making it right.   Ds loves that show, and I feel like it sends a good message. 

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  • Oh man,  he are hitting this HARD rright now.  We're strict about manners, safeety, hygiene and kindness.  But they never really "get in trouble."  I was a sneaky/manipulative kid and I'm seeing that in my daughter.  She knows how to make the twins mad and the untrained eye would NEVER even pick up that she threatened to take the balloon with just body language.  SO sneaky. 

    What I am doing about the flat out lies is basically 20 questions as to what her motive is.   Then I show her the better way to get that goal accomplished.  In charlotte's Shoe example:

    "Atticus is at his house, he did not put your shoes on."

    If she persists I will actually tell her, "That is a lie  That means you are saying the wrong thing on purpose."  But she usually will agree with me with a coy giggle.

    Then I'll say, did you say "atticus did it" as joke to make me laugh or did you want me to believe that atticus..."  "How do you think I know Atticus didn't..."  "Why do you want me to believe that Atticus did..."

    But she is almost 4.5 and in a class with 5 yr olds and can follow those questions.  Typically when all is said and done she says most of her untruths are to see if I know the truth (stinker).

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  • image LoveEeyore:

    Oh man,  he are hitting this HARD rright now.  We're strict about manners, safeety, hygiene and kindness.  But they never really "get in trouble."  I was a sneaky/manipulative kid and I'm seeing that in my daughter.  She knows how to make the twins mad and the untrained eye would NEVER even pick up that she threatened to take the balloon with just body language.  SO sneaky. 

    What I am doing about the flat out lies is basically 20 questions as to what her motive is.   Then I show her the better way to get that goal accomplished.  In charlotte's Shoe example:

    "Atticus is at his house, he did not put your shoes on."

    If she persists I will actually tell her, "That is a lie  That means you are saying the wrong thing on purpose."  But she usually will agree with me with a coy giggle.

    Then I'll say, did you say "atticus did it" as joke to make me laugh or did you want me to believe that atticus..."  "How do you think I know Atticus didn't..."  "Why do you want me to believe that Atticus did..."

    But she is almost 4.5 and in a class with 5 yr olds and can follow those questions.  Typically when all is said and done she says most of her untruths are to see if I know the truth (stinker).

    Yeah, I've always heard they purposefully lie at 4. But I'm positive she knows what really happened in this and many other cases. How would you handle it at 3? I did say, "Atticus is at his house. He didn't do it", but she insisted he did. She is very persistent and I think it would turn into a battle of the wills, which might encourage her later. Sometimes I say, "When we think of funny stories, we can write them down", but with this being a "lying to get out of being in trouble" moment (not that she actually would have been in trouble lol), I didn't know if I should even do that. I will be re-reading the section on lying in "NurtureShock", I know that!

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  • My DD pulls this kind of stuff also but she does lie on purpose IMO, mostly if she has hit/pushed/hurt her brother. When I have actually witnessed it & she denies doing it, I definitely call her out (she gets a time out for the hitting, not the lying) and usually say, now DD, that is not truth, that is a lie, you did hit him in the head and I saw you do it.  Lying is not nice, you should always tell mommy the truth, now did you hit DS?" and she generally fesses up.  With the made up silly stories lying I pretty much do the same as you, Hmmm that is an interesting/fun story but I don't think that is the way it really happened. You have a good imagination! or whatever.
  • Most little kids lie because they are afraid they will get in trouble. Imo, she knew she was supposed to stay in bed, and told you she stayed in bed. When dd1 was doing that sort of lying, I would get down to her level and calmly and lovingly tell her what why that couldn't be the case and ask her if what i believed happened was the case, then tell her what she told me was a lie, and why it is wrong. Then ask if she told my X because she was afraid I would be mad, and tell her I was more upset that she lied to me.  Dd1 has a really really strong desire to be a good girl, and usually was sobbing.

    When she was a bit older, we started adding in the discussion of trust, ie if you lie to me I can't trust you but with specifics. For example, if I asked if she washed her hands afterwards and know damn well the water wasn't on our conversation would go like "If I can't trust that you washed your hands after you go potty, I'm going to have to be in the bathroom with you and wash your hands for you. If you forgot, I won't be mad, you just say 'opps! I forgot' and go do it."

     Right now, dd2 is just lying about if she is poopy bc she doesn't want to stop playing.  :P

     

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