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Why does my six year old lie so much?

She lies about stupid things directly to my face it's driving me crazy! We have bigger consequences for the lie than the misdeed and she still does it. She's not even good at it!

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Asked by ASunny at 12:36 PM on Jul. 31, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (10)
  • My 7 yo step-son does the same thing!! I don't understand it. He will lie to my face even when I sit there && WATCH HIM DO IT!! I say why did you do that, his response is "I didn't." I'm like, "Jordan, I just sat there && watched you, why are you lying to me??" He says, "I don't know." I don't understand it at all!!

    Answer by HisMommySince07 at 12:39 PM on Jul. 31, 2009

  • Some people will say that it is a normal 6 year old thing to do. It may be common but it is not normal.

    There are several explainations. She may be observing people lying. It is so common in our society. If you are doing it you need to take special care to stop and have a lie-free house.

    She may be lying to please you. How could that be? You could be critical of her or lecture her long enough that she just lies to shut you up. Lying and getting punished may be better than listening to you. Sometimes kids like the punishment - go to your room.

    You use the word consequence. A consequence is almost always a punishment. Punishments do not teach good behavior.

    She may be lying to avoid punishment.

    She may be lying to see what you will do.


    Answer by GailllAZ at 12:50 PM on Jul. 31, 2009

  • there's a differnce between pathological lying and habitual lying. With pathological lying, the child will tell grand unbelievable tales to just about anyone, and it's usually a self-esteem thing, or is triggered by an insecurity about something, like a divorce or something. Habitual lying is where the child lies about "dumb stuff"", and is usually due to a situation where they were told by an authority figure to lie if asked, like as in they were abused. I only know this because one of my daughters is a habitual liar, and it's because her paternal grandmother abused her years ago. For example, the dog was on my lap, then got up and ran to the other room. Seconds later, my DD comes into the room carrying the dog and states the dog just awakened from her nap. It was lie, about nothing. It's triggered by an effort to make up a cover story on the spot, and becomes a habit. I'm not saying your child was abused...cont

    Answer by mamapotter at 12:54 PM on Jul. 31, 2009

  • The habit could have started with something as simple as them seeing anothner child cheat on a test and was told by that kid not to tell or else. This is how it was explained to me by the psychiatrist, anyways, and my DD is of course a more extreme case. But the doctor also explained it takes a while of constant correcting to get them out of the habit. You just have to keep at it until they don't immediately spout the first thing that comes to mind.

    Answer by mamapotter at 12:57 PM on Jul. 31, 2009

  • What can you do other than punish when a child lies?

    Most important, don't create a situation for them to lie. The kid has chocolate all over him and a cupcake is missing. Don't ask, "Did you take the cupcake?" Just this step can eliminate most of the problems. Put the cupcakes where the child can't get them.

    Punishments will not stop lies. Consequences are almost always punishments.

    Think about a (not big) lie you have told. Did the possible punishment or consequence stop you. For most people it doesn't. You are an adult, how can you expect punishment to stop your child from lying. Even if you use horrible punishment (belts, boards) the child might lie more because then they are so afraid of the punishment. You can't win with punishment.

    Reward for telling the truth. The harder it is for the child to tell the truth the more important it is.


    Answer by GailllAZ at 1:04 PM on Jul. 31, 2009

  • Gail: Let me explain consequences for you: You don't do something that is expected of you (i.e. clean up your room before bed) something immediate happens (i.e. you don't get a before bed movie because there is no half hour time slot for it, you must finish your room instead). I'm not sure if you consider that punishment or not but I know of no other way to teach children then to make sure their actions (or inaction) have consequences.

    DH & I have discussed with DD social lies (lies told to not hurt people i.e. Your dress is cute) verses lies to get out of trouble and/or deflect blame (i.e. my sister did it). For the most part we are a very honest family (don't speed, don't have do as I say not as I do rules).

    We probably do make the discussions over what was done wrong too long I'll work on that.

    Answer by ASunny at 1:05 PM on Jul. 31, 2009

  • Mine steals and lies,she's 7.Can't take her the store unless,constnatly watch her,though when she gets home,she plays with the thing,right in front of me,so I know she stole it.She lies to avoid punishment and it's a control thing with her,it's her way of getting independence from me,it's all part of growing up.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:10 PM on Jul. 31, 2009

  • There are some good books about being honest and telling the truth.  It would be good to read one or two together and then talk about it.  Explain why it is important to tell the truth.  Explain what happens when you don't tell the truth.  A book can be a great help to get the message across to a child because it is written on their level to help them understand.


    Answer by momjs at 8:42 PM on Jul. 31, 2009

  • My daughter just turned 7 this month and she lies all the time and the worst part is she is really good at it. I have even caught her teaching my 2 and 3 year olds how to lie and sneak around very quietly. I dont know why she does this and it makes me very mad and stressed. She lies in school to teachers and other kids and has even said crazy big whoppers like a playtime bruise on her arm was from me punching her!!!When I try to talk to her about it she plays dumb and answers with something like " thats why we dont supposed to lie cuz you have to be good." I cant make sense of her constant impulse to lie sneak and hide things but it scares and worries me out of my mind...if you get any good answers please pass them on... in the same leaking boat I feel for your situation. :)


    Answer by ladykandaline at 9:00 PM on Jul. 31, 2009

  • My son was turning into a habitual liar, for no good reason. He started doing it because he's a people pleaser and didn't want to disappoint us, then it became a habit and it was for stupid stuff. We aren't harsher on him than our other kids, but he's more sensitive, so we're learning to handle that differently. We used to tell him that what he did was wrong but the lie was the worst part and that was why the punishment was worse.

    I know you think - lying is wrong, it's horrible, it's worse than what she did, I will teach her that she should never ever do that. But kids are backwards and it doesn't work that way.

    Read what Gail said again and take it from me- do it (all that sounded like a crock to me too, but I was at the end of my rope and tried it). don't create the situation, don't set her up, avoid it (it's like giving her some time off). get a book, it will explain more than i can.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:19 PM on Jul. 31, 2009

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