Blended Families

S/O lies and truth

Kind of a spin off from my last post but what do you do about lies and truth

BM, for example, tells SS she finished college and is the boss at her job. Lol. She went to one year of beauty school and failed out and she works 10 hrs a week and has only had this job for a month. She has had 6 jobs in the past six months.

SS actually told us yesterday that Bm owns Red Lobster. You will all be interested to know I'm sure.

She also says more vitriolic things like we are mean to his grandparents and she never got child support and was the only one paying for anything when she was actually getting 600 a month.

When your stepchild repeats dumb crp BM says do you correct them or just let it go?
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Re: S/O lies and truth

  • If it's something harmless like "I finished college" I let it go.  Someday SKids will be old enough to realize she doesn't have a degree, has never worked a day in her life and that information is false. But today, I don't need to make their mom look bad.

    Something bigger like that we are mean to the grandparents or didn't pay child support: Those ones we correct, gently.  We fought that "never got child support" lie already. And we told the kids "I'm sorry your mom told you that I wasn't helping support you. In fact I was doing everything in my power to help out. Would you like to see my receipts for the child support I paid?" (not as an accusatory thing, but a gentle, "would it help you, if I showed them to you?") both kids wanted to see them, I think they were just curious, and we showed them all our records. It squashed that lie right away.
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  • I will repeat the best advice I received.... "Is it in the best interest of the child/ren?" I agree w PP and also think is varies depending on the age of the kids.
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  • I agree with PPers and that is pretty much how we handled it.

    The wonderful thing is how smart kids are. Now that the SKs are 17 to 12 they have figured out 90% of the lies on their own. Some of them they called the BMs out on. Trust that BM is not doing herself any favors and the kids will find the truth.

  • Given that my exH is a pathological liar who lies about graduating college (among many, many other things) every day in his career and will likely lose a job or two over it at some point, no. It's not ok and IMO should be corrected. Kids learn from our behavior and lying should be a non negotiable. Sure, in life there are gray areas, but lying about going to college and your emplyoment level is 1. an insult to hard working people who value their degrees and work hard at their jobs (whether they've gone to college or not),  2. risky-people lose jobs over lies like that, and 3. showing your kids that it's ok to lie about who you are. Those are pretty serious if you ask me.

    Instead of letting it go or ignoring it, I would just matter of factly say to the child "X, that's not true. Your mommy didn't graduate college. But that's ok, she works hard to help take care of your and loves you lots. I bet she was just kidding when she said that" Deny the lie, supply an age-appropriate version of the truth and move on. Eventually the kid will start to understand that mom/dad doesn't always tell the truth and they'll know there's likely another version of the story that reflects reality.

     

     

    ETA: for clarification, by deny the lie I mean correct it.

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  • imageNineoceans:
    Kind of a spin off from my last post but what do you do about lies and truth BM, for example, tells SS she finished college and is the boss at her job. Lol. She went to one year of beauty school and failed out and she works 10 hrs a week and has only had this job for a month. She has had 6 jobs in the past six months. SS actually told us yesterday that Bm owns Red Lobster. You will all be interested to know I'm sure. She also says more vitriolic things like we are mean to his grandparents and she never got child support and was the only one paying for anything when she was actually getting 600 a month. When your stepchild repeats dumb crp BM says do you correct them or just let it go?

    While I would never ever start the conversation, I would (and have) corrected the lies each and every time. 

    First and foremost, anything that is negative towards DH or other family members needs to be nipped in the bud.  That is Parental Alienation and wrong.  And BFs who do NOT, because they dont want to rock the boat or believe that the kids will figure it out, are wrong. 

    Even IF the kids figure out that their mom is BSC, they also learn that thier father doesnt care enough about himself to stand up for himself.

    Second, it teaches your kids that lying is ok.  Would YOU found out that the kid was telling "fibs" at school?  NO.  SO why is it ok for BM to do it infront of them?

    Not to mention, even a small lie has a trickle down effect outside of just the lie. 

    You think to yourself, so what if BM is lying about being a doctor when she is just an EMT. Well, being a doctor IS NOT like being an EMT. And being an EMT IS something positive and shoudl be heralded. 

    BM has ALWAYS lied about her finances.  She continually poor when it comes to putting money forth for her kids.  Guess who gets to pick up the cranky pieces? 

    Her lies arent neceissarly about US, but we sure have to pick up the pieces

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  • imageHudson_Hawk:

    Given that my exH is a pathological liar who lies about graduating college (among many, many other things) every day in his career and will likely lose a job or two over it at some point, no. It's not ok and IMO should be corrected. Kids learn from our behavior and lying should be a non negotiable. Sure, in life there are gray areas, but lying about going to college and your emplyoment level is 1. an insult to hard working people who value their degrees and work hard at their jobs (whether they've gone to college or not),  2. risky-people lose jobs over lies like that, and 3. showing your kids that it's ok to lie about who you are. Those are pretty serious if you ask me.

    Instead of letting it go or ignoring it, I would just matter of factly say to the child "X, that's not true. Your mommy didn't graduate college. But that's ok, she works hard to help take care of your and loves you lots. I bet she was just kidding when she said that" Deny the lie, supply an age-appropriate version of the truth and move on. Eventually the kid will start to understand that mom/dad doesn't always tell the truth and they'll know there's likely another version of the story that reflects reality.

     

     

    ETA: for clarification, by deny the lie I mean correct it.

    BM's lying to her child, not to her employment. I wouldn't be the bearer of bad news, I would let reality happen and the kid find out on their own. Why make a child think their parent is a bad person?

    Bigger lies that truly impact the child or make the child think less of you I would correct in an age-appropriate way.

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  • imagetwister22:
    imageHudson_Hawk:

    Given that my exH is a pathological liar who lies about graduating college (among many, many other things) every day in his career and will likely lose a job or two over it at some point, no. It's not ok and IMO should be corrected. Kids learn from our behavior and lying should be a non negotiable. Sure, in life there are gray areas, but lying about going to college and your emplyoment level is 1. an insult to hard working people who value their degrees and work hard at their jobs (whether they've gone to college or not),  2. risky-people lose jobs over lies like that, and 3. showing your kids that it's ok to lie about who you are. Those are pretty serious if you ask me.

    Instead of letting it go or ignoring it, I would just matter of factly say to the child "X, that's not true. Your mommy didn't graduate college. But that's ok, she works hard to help take care of your and loves you lots. I bet she was just kidding when she said that" Deny the lie, supply an age-appropriate version of the truth and move on. Eventually the kid will start to understand that mom/dad doesn't always tell the truth and they'll know there's likely another version of the story that reflects reality.

    ETA: for clarification, by deny the lie I mean correct it.

    BM's lying to her child, not to her employment. I wouldn't be the bearer of bad news, I would let reality happen and the kid find out on their own. Why make a child think their parent is a bad person?

    Bigger lies that truly impact the child or make the child think less of you I would correct in an age-appropriate way.



    So...you are ok with your children lying, in general or to you specifically?   And dont you think that if the parent chooses to lie, then he/she has given up the right to be a "good" parent?

    Look, no one is saying that you take the iniative in these conversations. No one is saying that you SAY "hey your mom is a lying liar who lies and will go to hell for it".

    But there is a middle ground, where you can find age appropriate responses that help LEAD your child to the truth and use it as a learning lesson.

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  • It really depends on the lie. When SS said his dad kicked him and his mom out of the house and they were homeless I gently corrected that. Other lies like I don't take showers and I will beat him up if he visits his dad l, sort of work themself out because he can see both aren't true. The look of confusion on his face when he figured out his mom lied is sorting it out enough.

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  • I agree with chatty chiqa to a T. A very mature and level headed take on a delicate topic. Thumbs up!
  • BM lies a lot but never really to the kids. She does severely over exaggerate things sometimes. BM loves attention and makes her medical problems sound much worse than they are. A reasonable adult can see though it but a kid can't. I hate when she does this because sometimes the kids get really scared when there is no reason to. We always clarify things for them. Some examples :

    kidney stones = "kidney failure"

    side effects from magnesium sulfate during labor = "deathly magnesium allergy" and "almost died"

    hernia surgery, I don't remember how BM explained the surgery but she 'prepared' the kids for the possibility of her not making it.

    c-section = " The doctor has to cut mommy open with a very sharp knife while I'm awake and it will hurt very very bad". 

    There were several others but these are the ones that stick out right now. 

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  • As some others have said, I would never start conversation. But I would, and do, correct the lies when they come up. There are ways to do this, though, without coming out and saying, "Your mommy is a liar!"

    If SD says something like BM doesn't visit because she works a lot and is in school like us, I assure that we never let work or school put her on the backburner and that would never be a reason for us to not see her. It stops the belief that it is ok for BM to use school or work as an excuse for not visiting, although the real reason for little visitation will hopefully never come up. And I have also said that, no, BM does not have a job right now that I know of and hasn't for a very long time.

    Lies that BM tells, GM has told whether meaning to or not, or schoolmates have told... none of them are ever allowed to go uncorrected in my book. I don't care what it is. Santa, Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy are just about the only lies I accept as ok, and truthfully that is only because DH insists.

    You don't have to be cruel or snarky about it to correct the lies. You can at the very least say that there must have been some confusion or that BM must have been mistaken. Set them up to see the truth. Otherwise, you cannot be SURE they will with time.

  • imagetwister22:
    imageHudson_Hawk:

    Given that my exH is a pathological liar who lies about graduating college (among many, many other things) every day in his career and will likely lose a job or two over it at some point, no. It's not ok and IMO should be corrected. Kids learn from our behavior and lying should be a non negotiable. Sure, in life there are gray areas, but lying about going to college and your emplyoment level is 1. an insult to hard working people who value their degrees and work hard at their jobs (whether they've gone to college or not),  2. risky-people lose jobs over lies like that, and 3. showing your kids that it's ok to lie about who you are. Those are pretty serious if you ask me.

    Instead of letting it go or ignoring it, I would just matter of factly say to the child "X, that's not true. Your mommy didn't graduate college. But that's ok, she works hard to help take care of your and loves you lots. I bet she was just kidding when she said that" Deny the lie, supply an age-appropriate version of the truth and move on. Eventually the kid will start to understand that mom/dad doesn't always tell the truth and they'll know there's likely another version of the story that reflects reality.

     

     

    ETA: for clarification, by deny the lie I mean correct it.

    BM's lying to her child, not to her employment. I wouldn't be the bearer of bad news, I would let reality happen and the kid find out on their own. Why make a child think their parent is a bad person?

    Bigger lies that truly impact the child or make the child think less of you I would correct in an age-appropriate way.

     

    I understand she was lying to the child....in this instance. However, if she's lying to the child, who is to say she wouldn't lie about it in other situations. My concern is the child observing the negative behavior and modeling it in their life. It's not about being the bad person or casting the other parent in a negative light. It's about correcting a lie so the child understands make believe vs reality.

     

    ETA: There's also HIUGE difference between respectfully correcting the lie in an age appropriate manner and calling the other parent a liar.

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  • imageJessys_Girl:
    If it's something harmless like "I finished college" I let it go.  Someday SKids will be old enough to realize she doesn't have a degree, has never worked a day in her life and that information is false. But today, I don't need to make their mom look bad.

    Something bigger like that we are mean to the grandparents or didn't pay child support: Those ones we correct, gently.  We fought that "never got child support" lie already. And we told the kids "I'm sorry your mom told you that I wasn't helping support you. In fact I was doing everything in my power to help out. Would you like to see my receipts for the child support I paid?" (not as an accusatory thing, but a gentle, "would it help you, if I showed them to you?") both kids wanted to see them, I think they were just curious, and we showed them all our records. It squashed that lie right away.

    I agree with all of this.

    I can relate. BM lies a lot and now SKs lie all.the.time. We've learned to pick our battles though. If BM has stretched the truth about minor things, we let it go. But if the lies concern us or SKs directly, we definitely gently explain the truth to SKs. SS11 is old enough to now see through BM's lies. SD7 can't tell the difference (but she also doesn't seem to be as affected by the lies than SS has been).

    I think it's important for you to consider your SS's age and his ability to comprehend the truth as well. We know that the older SKs get, the easier it is to explain the truth to them. When they were younger, we didn't have as detailed explanations because they just didn't understand. 

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  • I see nothing wrong with correcting the lies, or exagerations that BM says and your SS repeats.

     

  • I usually gentley correct things. DS asks a lot of questions, and if XH lies and he then asks me I just tell him the truth.

    I had a sensitive one last night. XH family is very anti gay, very religious, and the kids just spent the weekend with them. DS said to me when he got home, "Boys can only grow up to like girls right? Girls aren't ever aloud to be with girls and boys aren't aloud to like boys?" I'm assuming he heard them talking, they say antigay ignorant things a lot. I just said simply, "Most of the time boys and girls like eachother and end up being together, but sometimes girls like girls or boys like boys, and there's nothing wrong with it either way, everyone is different."

    I end up correcting a lot of backwoods notions they put in my kids heads. Not necessarily 'lies' but just things they know I won't agree with.
  • imageHudson_Hawk:

    Given that my exH is a pathological liar who lies about graduating college (among many, many other things) every day in his career and will likely lose a job or two over it at some point, no. It's not ok and IMO should be corrected. Kids learn from our behavior and lying should be a non negotiable.

    Instead of letting it go or ignoring it, I would just matter of factly say to the child "X, that's not true. Your mommy didn't graduate college. But that's ok, she works hard to help take care of your and loves you lots.

    THIS. 

    Stay at home mom to a house of boys: two amazing stepsons, 12 and 9, and our 4 year old.
  • I agree that the lies do need to be corrected.  When SS had visitations with his mom she would lie to him and have him lie for her.  Such as, "Don't tell daddy I was drinking this weekend." or when she FINALLY got a job, "Don't tell daddy I got a job".  When the court order was changed that her mom had to supervise she would say, "Don't tell daddy that grandma wasn't home" or "Don't tell daddy that we were at X(name of guy)'s house this weekend".  

    She also would tell SS that she went to college (she never did).  And she would tell SS when DH and I started dating that they weren't together anymore because of me.(She was trying to get him to dislike me -- we met 3 years after they broke up!)

    So in a nutshell, she was teaching SS how to lie.  We simply would tell him that's not true, I'm not sure why mommy would say something like that.
    Whenever we found out she was telling SS to lie for us we had a conversation with him saying, "We need to know what happens when you're with your mom and where you are. We need to know for safety reasons so we know where you are and what's going on".

    My SS is currently in counseling right now and the counselor has said that he has learned to lie and she believes the behavior was learned from his mother and that it's such an instinct to lie that it is too hard to break now.  So we are focusing on him feeling his physical signs when he's lying, taking a deep breath, and admitting it was a lie and saying something positive.  Thank goodness it's being worked on now, because he's only 8.  The lies could get so much worse as he gets older.  

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  • I agree with PPs when it's something harmless, we would just say "Oh, that's nice".  If it was something hurtful, I would try to exonerate ourselves without bad mouthing BM, or asking SDs what they think about what was said.


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