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how do you teach a four year old not to lie?

my son has been big on lieing for awhile and i'm running out of ideas to get him to stop. any advice would help

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Asked by natasha86 at 12:40 PM on Aug. 15, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 15 (1,879 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • Set a good example.

    Answer by Cochise at 12:41 PM on Aug. 15, 2010

  • You model telling the truth. Don't set him up in situations for him to lie. If you are always with your 4 yo and always supervising them there isn't a lot that could come up that they could lie about. You know everything that is going on & you don't have to ask them anything.



    Answer by Gailll at 12:45 PM on Aug. 15, 2010

  • Kids are going to lie, you just need to tell him why it's not OK to lie and give him some consequences when you do catch him in a lie.


    Answer by Anonymous at 12:46 PM on Aug. 15, 2010

  • Not sure what your religous beliefs are but I really like the Veggie Tale series. They have one called Larry Boy and the Fib from outer space.-


    Answer by JeremysMom at 12:50 PM on Aug. 15, 2010

  • what my sister did with her 4 year old is just call her on everything, every time she lied. She also explained trust and that if she kept lying she would never be able to believe her because she lied so much. There was a lot of crying and it is was very hard, but it worked.

    Answer by Amelora at 1:03 PM on Aug. 15, 2010

  • I flat out told my kids that if they lie and get caught the punishment is twice (or more) as bad!!! I've had to make good on that a few times, but It seems to work pretty good now!! They are 4 & 6. (When I say punishment I mean stuff like longer timeouts, taking away more toys and privileges then the infraction would warrant, stuff like that)


    Answer by Morgain at 1:07 PM on Aug. 15, 2010

  • When I catch my niece (4 yo ) lying I make the infraction much worse than the original infraction would have been if she had just told me the truth from the beginning. I had her over last week and she lied 2 x's in a 30 min period. All fun stopped and we went to bed when the 2 yo went to bed. Sounds harsh but it worked for that incident.

    Answer by coala at 1:43 PM on Aug. 15, 2010

  • I just tell my son we don't lie. Then I ask him if he'd want me to say we were going to get toys tomorrow and he'd say yes. Then I'd say but what if tomorrow I told you we're not really going to get toys, I just said that and made it up? He said ooooh I get it. I tell him it really does nothing but make people upset or sad. So we don't really have the lying problem.

    Answer by kksmomma1019 at 1:54 PM on Aug. 15, 2010

  • Are we lying, or telling stories. I encourage a story that is not hurting anything. If we are lying I just say "I am sure you know that what you are saying is not true, would you like to tell me what really happened?". If I don't get the truth it goes something like this "I know that you are not telling the truth, so you are telling me a lie and lie's will get you into more trouble then the truth will, so I will ask again....what happened?" I have almost always found that they will then confess.

    Kid's don't lie to be bad, They lie for self preservation, even when it is small and stupid cause no matter how big or small the lie they want to please us.

    Answer by luckysevenwow at 6:38 PM on Aug. 15, 2010

  • I like lucksevenwow's answer.

    Also, kids around that age are just developing the capacity to understand truth from fiction AND theory of mind (which involves the idea that another person will believe your 'lie' if they weren't there to witness the event -

    Just remember that kids this age aren't trying to be mean or nasty, they're just exploring their new skills.

    Answer by jrd_phd at 12:32 PM on Aug. 23, 2010

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