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how can i explain lying ans truth to mt toddler

my child is 3 and sometimes lies about little things and when i ask if she did it she says no i put her in time out and talk to her anout telling me the truth but i dont know how to explain it other than good and bad. she knows what she did is wrong and why shes in time out but i dont think she understands what lying is.

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Asked by e_dan at 7:59 PM on Nov. 30, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 3 (18 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • It is difficult. Kids that age don't understand that they are lying. They are really telling stories more than anything. You can try explaining real and make believe first and see if they understand that and then talk about lying and how it hurts other people.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 8:05 PM on Nov. 30, 2010

  • I sat down with my kids and SHOWED them rather than explained... I got them some colored paper and we talked about what colors everything was. Then I asked them what if I told you this (the red paper) was blue, what would you think? And they laughed at me, "No mommy that's red!" Which was where I was able to say "So if the paper is red and I said it was blue, that would not be the truth would it?" And they said NO...

    It went on from there and it's an ongoing thing, but they are getting the concept rather well. Every time we seem to have an issue with lying we have a similar conversation and make a point to discourage lying and reinforce truth...

    It's not something most kids will get out of just one conversation, it has to go on and on...

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 8:06 PM on Nov. 30, 2010

  • I'll bump this because i'm having the same issue with my 4 year old. He flat out lies to my face. It's the whole "Did you get into the candy?" And he says no, even though there's chocolate all over his face thing. I assume it's fairly normal for this age, but i dont really know how to deal with it either!

    Answer by MommaTurbo at 8:12 PM on Nov. 30, 2010

  • Like what, exactly?

    It's common and normal to invent answers and respond creatively (AKA lies).
    We don't punish for "storytelling."
    I encourage you to set a wonderful example of what at good, decent, honest person looks-acts like and allow the imagination to roll~


    Answer by doulala at 8:23 PM on Nov. 30, 2010

  • For getting into the candy, I would say:
    "Really, wow. It's a good thing you didn't get into it because you aren't supposed to."
    And then keep it away.

    As an adult, candy in the house is TERRIBLY tempting~ imagine being just 4 years-old with candy accessible!?

    Answer by doulala at 8:25 PM on Nov. 30, 2010

  • try getting books that focus on those things like what happens when you lie and when you are good. it can help, that's what my 4yr old teacher does to the kids at school.

    Answer by sodapple at 10:25 PM on Nov. 30, 2010

  • In the same boat w/ my 3 yr. old GL!

    Answer by ethans_momma06 at 11:31 PM on Nov. 30, 2010

  • I just talked about it in a silly way with my daughter, who will be 4 in January. I told her the sky was green, and then asked her if that was the truth or a lie. I just kept asking her a bunch of questions like that over and over. It was fun, and it made it easy to understand for her. I don't think that punishments really work prior to them understanding the importance of telling the truth. Now that my daughter understands the difference, I will punish her for deliberate lying, and praise her for telling the truth.

    Answer by squish at 1:58 AM on Dec. 9, 2010

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