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My five year old dd is generally sweet and good natured. The last few weeks though she has been lying like crazy, and it is driving me nuts. There have been several instances already...and then three in the last two days.
Yesterday she had a toy with her that I had asked her to put away before we left the house. I asked her if she had it, she said no several times, then I saw it in her hand. So I spanked her for lying right to my face. Over something dumb really....
On to today. I'm scrubbing out the bathroom and I see someone has emptied my clorox wipe container and filled it with water. I ask all the kids about it (but I know it was her....the older kids wouldn't do that and my youngest doesn't go in the bathroom alone.) She denies, I lean on her really hard, she finally admits it. I put her in time out.
After time out I thought we had a very nice talk about lying, why it is wrong, what I expect from her and so forth. Not even five minutes later I return to the same bathroom and see someone has also dumped out a brand new bottle of shampoo and filled that with water. I mean so obvious! I ask her...she lies several times...finally admits it. I spank her and tell her to go and sit in her bed.
I just feel like I have made zero impression on her. I do think she is old enough and smart enough to know the difference in between right and wrong, and is lying strictly to try to avoid getting in trouble for things she knows are wrong. Generally she is very easy to parent, so this has thrown me for a loop. Any advice on breaking this habit early on?
I might be a little different then most, but lying has 2 categories in my house. The first is when they lie to gain something, or it benefits themselves. Say they say they are staying at Mary-Janes house, but really went to their boyfriends or a party. It's a selfish lie, and the lie is all about them and what they want.
The second is a lie that preserves themselves. It's almost always fear based, in the case of your DD she is trying to not get into trouble, so she lies. As adults we realize that it's usually stupid cause in the end it really wasn't that big of a deal, and telling the truth is really easier, but we're talking about kids, and their brains just don't see it that way.
I'm probably different then most people in how I handle it. The lie that preserves them is not punished nearly as hard as a lie that is selfish. So I'll take the wipes instance. When they come clean, I always thank them for being honest, even if it's an hour later, it helps enhance the guilt factor. Then we talk about the fact that had they just been honest in the beginning we would have had a good talking and moved on, but because they didn't just admit it to begin with they will have to do extra chores to work it off, handed her a rag and sent her on her way.
They need to not be afraid of telling the truth. As long as fear overrides their brains common sense they will keep at it.
My older kids never lied to me, doesn't mean they were upfront about everything they did. It just means if I asked them a point blank question they were truthful, and trust me it wasn't always what I wanted to hear. Sometimes it required me counting to a 100 before dealing with what they said.
It's worked for me, and I still do it the same way with the younger ones.
As s side not, what is it with kids and wipes? Mine do it and love filling the containers with water also...strange kids!
I have the same philosophy as mom2many, and it has so far been successful.
While I am 100% supportive of spanking, I think that perhaps this is reinforcing the preservation/fear based lying. I'm not saying she's afraid of you, just that even when she comes clean she's getting a severe punishment. One that she will try to avoid at all costs, even if in the end it results in that regardless.
Lying is unacceptable, I agree. So you need to come up with a consequence that will truly reinforce that to her.
For my son, who did the same thing, it took removing all his toys, books, everything including tv and electronic device access. Each day he went without lying he gained one thing back. Each time he lied, he lost one of those things again. It took a month but it was 100% worth it.
I know a lady who told her grandaughter after her grandaughter hit her sister and then lied about it, that she would get one spank for hitting her sister, but 3 for lying. She came clean right away.
idk if I agree with her, but it's another idea.
I do know, as we all do, that whatever you decide to do about it, you have to be consistent and do it every time.
Just in the examples you gave you spanked, you put her in time out, you spanked....
Obviously idk what the right answer is, but supposedly if you are consistent for 2-3 weeks, the behavior will change. If it doesn't then whatever you are doing doesn't work for that particular dc...might for the next one??? So pick something else.
I do like the other ladies of thanking for and positively reinforcing telling the truth.
My mom always used to tell us "just tell me the truth, whatever it is, we can deal with it, just don't lie to me"
Good luck! Hope you are able to get through quickly.
I've always told my kids they will be in more trouble for lying than for what they did (unless they hurt someone). I would spank but if you've done that and it doesn't work, I would go with extra chores and taking toys or whatever she likes best away.