A sudden rash of lying in young children is usually caused by some sort of emotional upset. It's how young minds cope; a control thing. Generally they'll either find a better way to deal with stress OR develop a lying habit that can last to adulthood. If it really upsets you, get to the bottom of what's upsetting her and try and resolve the issue or give her other, more healthy ways to cope.
Or so says my friend majoring is child psychology. lol
She also says, interestingly enough, that in several studies telling "boy who cried wolf" stories, had little to no effect on how often children lie, but "george washington and the cherry tree" stories decreased lying dramatically. She says "focus on the rewards of honesty, not the punishments of lying."
I agree with MAZUR.. I have 4.5 year old son and he does the same thing... It is a stage in development , very challenging , but pretty normal!
Stay strong , don't let her get to you!
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30 5/10/11 11:03 A
I have 6 full time daycare children and have for the past 20+ years. Rest assured....it is a phase they ALL go through. From the 'little white lies' all the way on up. Stay strong, remind them of the truth and remember.....it is up to us to teach them whatv a lie is. ;o) Most of what I see is age 3- 5 is when I have been tested the most. Good luck!!
All four of my kids went through this phase to one degree or another. We explained that we knew they weren't really telling the truth and what could happen if they continued to tell lies (think the boy who cried wolf story). We would let them know when they lied that we were disappointed in their choice to tell us a lie instead of the truth, once in a while, when they would tell us something we knew was the truth, we would ask them how we could believe them given that they had been lying. It didn't take long till they stopped doing it because having us believe them was so very important to them. Does that mean they never lied again?? Of course not, but they hardly ever do.
Definitely a phase. My now 5 year old went thru it a bit early (thanks to daycare and older kids) but it was a great learning / teaching experience for us. We reinforced how important it is to ALWAYS tell the truth no matter what. We didn't promise that she wouldn't get into trouble if she had done something she knows is wrong, but that if she lies to hide it or lies to us period she would get into much MORE trouble.
Sometimes I have to reminder her that telling the truth is what is most important and she will. I think all kids when they learn to tell stories be it what happened today or how that lamp got broken, will experiment with alternate versions of that story.
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763 5/9/11 10:08 A
When mine used to do that I would say "Tell me the Truth, I won't be mad BUT I will be disapointed if you lie to me" and if they lied I would put them in time out and when time out was over I would say "Why did I put you in time out" and wait for their response eventualy they got tired of missing out so they stopped lying
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8 5/9/11 9:14 A
It should just be a phase. My daughter is 5 and my son is 18 months. And my daughter started it around the same time yours is. She would lie about everything. I was told it's not that she is lying...she is experimenting with cause and effects and "story telling". I was told to not react and just point out the facts and then if she was telling a "story" to help her understand the difference between what is real and what isn't. She has gotten much better. She still lies if she thinks she will get in trouble, but we have never punished her just talked things through with her. So even that part is getting better. Her initial reaction now is always, I didn't mean to. But I would rather hear that than I didn't do it or some other lie. She will out grow it if you keep showing her what is right and proving that lies are never the right thing to do.
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111 5/7/11 10:26 P
I am hoping that it is just a phase for her. I worry (and get frustrated) because my mother in law and a sister in law both lie ALL the time, too. My hubby and I don't lie, so I hope she takes after us and we get this under control now. Thanks for the thoughts! I'm sure it is just a phase for her, and I needed to hear that.
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314 5/7/11 7:30 P
I agree, it's a phase. It's a newfound thing in her life, and she's figuring out how and when to use it. The best thing to do, instead of arguing and getting down to her level is to impress upon her that everyone knows the facts, and that lying isn't going to change the situation. My son went through it a bit later, around 6, but we kept calm and diffused every lie, proving to him that we'll figure out the truth no matter what, anyway, so it's pointless. She's trying to exert some control over her little world, and if you show her that lying isn't going to get her anywhere, then she'll learn not to do it. In some way, arguing is just going to reinforce the behavior, because it's some reaction, that she knows she provoked. If she gets no reaction, or a mild discussion, showing her that it's not acceptable at all, and that maybe it hurts people's feelings, then the behavior might dry up on its own.
With my son, it did escalate a little, he would lie to cover up things. That's when we had to up the consequences. I told him, I *promised* him, that if he was honest with me, 100% than anything he does, we can discuss, and I won't get angry. If he lies..then he's going to face VERY serious consequences. That wasn't an easy promise to make, and he's done some things that would normally make me furious, but he was man enough to own up to it immediately, so I had to respect that enough to talk it over with him. He's 12 now, and he does some things that make me want to tear my hair out, but he'll own right up to it. He's seen the respect he's gained from being honest and trustworthy, and he's also seen the damage to trust, and how hurtful it is to lie.
It's a phase. My 10 year old was like that. And now she's better, but still does it. If she thinks she might get in trouble for something, she lies. Maybe that means I get mad easily, I don't know, but she's so worried about getting trouble, she lies to cove rup something that might be bad, and then THAT gets her in trouble! She used to, like your daughter, lie about everything. As I said, she still does sometimes, but, really thinking about it, I can honestly say it's been awhile since anything beyond saying her room's "probably" clean when it's not even close! Just remember, this too, shall pass!
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111 5/6/11 10:14 P
Help! My 4 1/2 year old daughter has started lying about EVERYTHING! For example, tonight my husband asked her if I gave her a drink of water (I was sitting right there), and she told him flat out, NO! I did and I kept telling her that! This was just the last in a whole line of flat out lies she told today. I don't know how to deal with this! Help me please!
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