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Help. My kids lie about everything.

My husband and I are struggling lately. We have encountered much lying and cheating and stealing going on in the house. To us and to my oldest son the ones in question are my step kids. I don't know what to do. My husband and I are at wits end with the lying nothing is off limits at this point they are out of control. Any advice to make it stop, or to get them to admit their lies or admit they did it so the rest can stop being punished for one persons lies. Its heartbreaking.

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Angkay07

Asked by Angkay07 at 8:50 PM on Feb. 8, 2009 in Tweens (9-12)

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Answers (6)
  • I was a cronic liar when I was with my dad and step family. I did it to get more attention and did not care that it was wrong or what happened to me because of it. I was just upset and used it to get the extra attention from my dad that I thought I deserved over my step siblings. You can try one method that i have heard works rather well even though it is a little odd. Sit them down one last time and tell them that because of how much they are lying you are no longer able to believe them even though you want to. and then do the opposite of everyting they say. If they say it is hot outside refuse to let them leave the house without a warm coat. if they say they have no homework call the teacher and check, saying they left it at school and you would like to know what it is. if you stick to it, it does work, but it is off the wall and takes diligence on your part.
    vbongard

    Answer by vbongard at 8:57 PM on Feb. 8, 2009

  • vbongard has a point... accountability is a hugely effective tool for kids that lie. Especially the part about when you can't believe them then you have to resort to "Confirming" every single thing they tell you..... I'd try it.
    PaceMyself

    Answer by PaceMyself at 9:02 PM on Feb. 8, 2009

  • My 9yo does the same exact thing. I really think it's a age thing, and something they go threw. I have been working with my son a great deal on this. And I think he's starting to relize if he tells the truth he won't get into trouble. But I know when he's lieing cause he gets this look you know. My son has stolen money from us to were the school has called cause he brought a large amount of money to school. My son is getting better. Now were working on the being responable part. My son destorys everything we buy him. But were working in that. I have seen a lot of this age group of kids do this. So I really think its a faze. Hang in there! Keep working with them on the difference, and what happens if they don't tell the truth. Good luck!
    marfietek

    Answer by marfietek at 9:58 AM on Feb. 9, 2009

  • I would be trying to determine why they feel they must lie. What do they think is going to happen to them if they tell the truth? Are they lying just because they know it will get them some attention, even though it is negative attention? What needs to they have that are not being met on a physical or emotional level? To help adjust behavior, one must always look beyond the behavior to determine the reason for it, and there is always a reason for it.
    NannyB.

    Answer by NannyB. at 10:57 AM on Feb. 9, 2009

  • Those are some good ideas, and rational. My husband is a Behavior Technician, so we are constantly using similar methods from his job. We have asked his son why? He doesn't have any reasons. Never seems to have a reason. I do believe its attention seeking. I just don't know who's attention he's looking for? He's 13 - will be 14 in June. His younger brother has severe ADHD so he gets attention, his younger sister is very loud and she gets attention for that. The little one is 2. She gets a ton of attention. The oldest is doing very well and gets attention for that. I believe since he was once the oldest child and now he is the second oldest - he maybe feels left out? We had given him positive attention before all this happened, and come to find out he was doing all this during. Stuff like: dances and friends sleepovers, we started taking all his things away and it got worse.
    Angkay07

    Answer by Angkay07 at 1:10 PM on Feb. 9, 2009

  • I am sure that once the lying started it snowballed and took on a life of its own, but I would think that it started because for whatever reason in his mind he is disenfranshised from the family. Like you said, he feels left out, unimportant. Now that he is lying and causing so much trouble, how do you take a step back and give him attention in a positive way? It is hard, but you don't want him to see himself as bad because that will only make him worse. Like you said, when you punish him he gets worse... Can you think about counseling for everyone...and let him know you are doing it out of love and concern?
    BJoan

    Answer by BJoan at 12:38 PM on Feb. 14, 2009

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