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Eight year old son has problem with lying.

I got a note from his teacher yesterday saying that my son was telling other kids at his table that his dad had a gun. No sort of threatening or anything of the sort, more of a "bragging" lie. One of the kids went and told the teacher, and his teacher asked him about. My son lied to her and told her that he only told the other kids that his Dad is a hunter, which was not the truth. He also lies to his teacher at other times to try to get out of trouble. I have no idea where this lie came from. we have no guns in our home. He doesn't watch any shows that glorify guns in any way or violent things. the ONLY thing that I can think of is him overhearing myself and his father talking about the political aspect of gun control that is going on right now. Why does he lie? I understanding kids lying to try to get out of trouble.But why lie about something like that? What is going on with my kid and what do I do?

Answer Question

Asked by Rachel464 at 9:02 AM on Jan. 30, 2013 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 2 (9 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • did you ask him why he would tell the other kids that? I mean, I get why he would lie to the teacher afterwards

    maybe it's time to talk to him about guns and how it could be scary for other kids for him to say something like that

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 9:11 AM on Jan. 30, 2013

  • Ok, step back a little bit and talk calmly with your child. Was this part of a general conversation? Were all the boys talking about guns? I would ask him- Ms. -- said that something happened today. Do you want to tell me what happened? Then ask questions around it. Why? Explain why it is not a good idea to lie. People will not trust you, believe you, respect you etc...It may just be a passing phase.

    Answer by booklover545 at 9:19 AM on Jan. 30, 2013

  • Honestly, I was so upset when I read what his teacher and wrote that I knew I would fly off the handle. So I gave myself time to calm down before talking with him. The last thing I want to do is make the situation worse. But I don't know what to say about the lying. This is the fourth note I have gotten from his teacher in a matter of a couple of weeks about him lying about things... and we're talking silly things that there is no reason to lie about! I agree the gun talk and how dangerous they can be needs to be had with him- but that is hard to word in my opinion too, with an eight year old. I'm just so lost. This year, all of the sudden, it seems like my son feels he needs to lie to impress his friends or make his life more glorious and interesting than it actually is. Should there be a consequence since this is becoming a habit for him? Or should it be a light conversation and then let go?

    Comment by Rachel464 (original poster) at 9:19 AM on Jan. 30, 2013

  • True, when I talk to him I will ask what the general conversation was about that prompted him to say something like that in the first place. I've had this "lying" talk with him before and pretty much told him why lying isn't a good idea, that people will be less likely to believe the things you say, that if something really bad happens at some point and he needs someone to believe him, he will have put himself in a bad position if he continues to lie all the time. He seemed to understand. But then he goes and does it again. That's why I'm wondering if I should be taking a different avenue or what...I guess it's all about repitition with kids? Lol.. So Frustrating!!

    Comment by Rachel464 (original poster) at 9:23 AM on Jan. 30, 2013

  • Yes there should be consequences. Take away what he enjoys the most. He needs to understand that this is serious and that it impacts not only his friends but his relationship with his teacher this year and next year because the behaviors can be part of his school record. Talk to him about how people think about us can be good and bad. People do not trust or like people who lie.

    Answer by booklover545 at 9:24 AM on Jan. 30, 2013

  • I think the reasons are similar: emotional. Wishing or wishful thinking, wanting something to be true, or wanting to have an effect & to feel better in some way (to impress someone or surprise them, one-up someone, make someone admire you, etc.) These are motivations for lying (embellishing the truth or inventing whole stories) and the reasons for the lie are emotional, just as the impulse to lie in order to stay safe, avoiding trouble/punishment/anger, is emotional.

    If he didn't feel like he HAD to, he wouldn't. This is obvious with safety issues (lying out of fear, or to stay safe), that a kid feels like he "has" to lie, but it's the same with other lies. The kid feels in that moment that the aim (earning admiration or succeeding in intimidating someone, feeling better about himself by seeming impressive, cool or "better than" in some way) is a matter of urgency.

    So, what was cool or slick about the claim? How did it feel?

    Answer by girlwithC at 9:26 AM on Jan. 30, 2013

  • If you recognize it as signaling an issue with self-esteem, or wanting attention, or feeling like he needs to "be" or "have" something (not enough as he is) then you can respond proactively & effectively.

    The behavior (which usually garners the attention & all the focus in response) is a need-driven issue, or it has an underlying cause. It is positive because it signals something that needs some attention or nurturing, and brings the opportunity to address that issue.

    A lot of the way we parent kids sends a strong message that what others think of you is most important, and there is some fallout to that because the message naturally begins to extend in ways we don't wish it to, as children grow & their worlds widen.

    Answer by girlwithC at 9:30 AM on Jan. 30, 2013

  • GirlwithC, you nailed it in reference to wanting to impress, seem cool or better in some ways. That is my son to a T, which tells me it's a confidence issue. But I have always done everything I could to boost his self esteem.. Telling him what a wonderful kid he is, how smart he is, making a big deal when he does something right or tries really hard at something. This year during second grade, he started a new school. I have noticed a little less confidence in him. You all have given me excellent talking points, I appreciate it! I feel a little more confident on what to say when I have this talk with him after school today. Thanks ladies :)

    Comment by Rachel464 (original poster) at 9:33 AM on Jan. 30, 2013

  • well, the good news is he has imagination! I would do what girlwithC said, and also encourage him to write his stories down, another outlet for him.

    Answer by jerseydiva at 10:17 AM on Jan. 30, 2013

  • You need to set up counseling for both of you

    Answer by escuchar at 10:59 PM on Mar. 21, 2014

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