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My Child Has a Problem



Advice from Parents at the Parenting K-6 Children Forum[/font]

Perhaps you could ask her why she is lying? Is there some underlying reason? Is something bothering her? A bully at school, is she hiding something, etc.? How about something simple like reading the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf together? Then discuss it. If you have (or do try) these and they fail to stop it, give her a taste of her own medicine. Tell her you are going to do something and don't do it. Tell her you are going to take her to a movie, going to buy her something, prepare her favourite meal, etc. But don't follow through on it. Then ask her how she feels knowing that she can't trust you to tell the truth. Sometimes a dose of their own medicine is all they need.

It's really tough to teach values. As the adage goes, values aren't taught; they're caught. Is there enough reinforcement for the things you teach her? Does she see you swallow hard when you speak a hard truth, but say it anyway? You're kidding yourself if you think a child will follow you implicitly when you lecture her about the 10 Commandments and about the fear of hell. What she needs to hear is how those values relate to her life now and how, even if those values don't make life easier for her, they help make her a better person.

One of my misconceptions about children was that because they were older and not babies any more, they should be more responsible about things. WRONG! It's pretty normal for kids to lie. One of the best things I did was read books on child rearing. I found out what was normal for what age. It took a lot of worry and frustration out out raising my children.

It's also true that a child needs her parent most when she fails at something. Consider stopping what important thing it is that you do to pay attention to what might be a cry for help. Some victims of abuse manifest duplicity or regressive behavior. Their psyches shattered, a separate identity, that steals, lies, cheats, but gets on with the business of living seems to be the buffer for the fragile real self within. I'm not saying this might be the case with your child; just the same, you might try getting to know better her friends and the other persons she comes into contact with everyday.

Lying is also symptomatic of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Perhaps your child should be tested.

I can share with you my experience having a 10 year old son who started lying at about the age of 4 or 5. It started out as little things and grew into a way of trying to stay out of trouble, but mostly it was just for the sake of telling stories. I could/can tell when he is lying, and I've learned not to ask him to confess to something that I know for a fact he has done. It's much easier when I say something like, I see that you've wrote your name on your wall, come to the kitchen and I'll give you what you need to clean it off. Instead of who wrote your name on your wall? The latter gives him the chance to lie, the prior does not. He is now at the age though, where he knows he's accountable for his actions and the lying is not so bad. He does enjoy very much telling stories and will add details to actual events to make them seem even greater:) Given that I love to write, and that I often have senerios going in my head (you know giving different outcomes to current personal life events) I can accept this. He also says things like, okay, I'm gonna tell you something that happened to me today, and some of the details might not be exactly right, but the story is true. So he is aware of doing it.

I guess what I'm saying is try not to set her up for failure. It's like taking a hungry kid to the grocery store and expecting them to behave. If you know she did something, don't ask her if she did it, tell her what you know for a fact and what she's going to have to do to correct it. She'll start to realize that you can correct mistakes and that it's okay to say you've done something wrong. My son occasionally will come to me and tell me things that he's done and ask what he's supposed to do.

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