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How do I get my 5 year old daughter to stop lying?

My 5 year old daughter, which is the youngest of 3 & the only girl, has been consistently lying about little things lately. My SO or I will ask her, "Did you brush your teeth?" "Did you put your shoes in the closet?" "Did you wash your hands?" Whatever the little question is, she quickly answers what we want to hear, but we can tell she hasn't even thought of her answer. So we either ask again, or check up on what we asked, and find that she didn't do what she said, or the boys will tell the truth.

The other day I asked her if she knew what lying was and she said no. So I explained it's when someone doesn't tell the truth. I also explained to her that she should always be honest, even if she thinks she will get in trouble, because it's best if she tells us things than if someone else does or if we find out afterwards. Since then I've sensed hesitation with her answers as though she's putting thought into it first. But the boys call her bluff: if she answers & giggles right afterwards, they say she's lying.

Any suggestions on how to emphasize and make sure she understands the importance of telling the truth?

Answer Question

Asked by MamisAngels at 1:20 PM on Jun. 14, 2011 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 11 (502 Credits)
Answers (20)
  • I spanked for lying because I think it falls under the heading of disrespect, and we spanked for two things--disobedience and disrespect. At 5, she is old enough to understand rules and discipline for breaking the rules. I know of no other method of discipline that works as quickly nor as well as spanking. If she forms the habit of lying to you at this age, and it goes undisciplined, you are in for a very rough ride for the next 15 or so years. I would break that habit now.

    Answer by NannyB. at 1:30 PM on Jun. 14, 2011

  • Yes, we found it to be disrespectful & that is exactly my concern: the future! I do not want her to think it's ok to be disrespectful, dishonest. And neither do I want her to be an adult who lies to the point she believes it herself. I've known people like that and they are so not trustworthy & completely manipulative.

    Comment by MamisAngels (original poster) at 1:36 PM on Jun. 14, 2011

  • I used to be a horrible lier when I was that young as well. My mother after trying spanking and time-outs and talking to me about it decided to give me a taste of my own medicine. She started to lie to me and then would ask me how it felt to be lied to...of course I didnt like it! I believe I didn't fully understand what the big deal was with lying until she showed me how it felt to be on the other side of it. Good luck moma!!


    Answer by lil_momma_vdv at 1:59 PM on Jun. 14, 2011

  • my 4 year old has started lying. i told her about the boy who cried wolf, and i explained to her, that when she lies, no one will believe her when she is telling the truth.

    Answer by Kainalu55 at 3:53 PM on Jun. 14, 2011

  • I also tell my kids that their punishment will be WAY worse if they get caught in a lie than if they had told me the truth to begin with. Sometimes I tell them that at the exact instance that I suspect they are telling a lie and low and behold, the truth comes out.

    Answer by slw123 at 4:46 PM on Jun. 14, 2011

  • When my dd went through the lying stage, I made a point to treat her like a dishonest person, and not believe anything she said, even when I knew she was telling the truth. She saw what it was like to not be trusted. Of course, I was talking to her the whole time about the importance of being trustworthy. She caught on.

    Answer by Pnukey at 4:50 PM on Jun. 14, 2011

  • I sort of agree with Pnukey. I think they all go through this stage, and you need to get that little boy who cried wolf thing across them. I had not thought of that method, but may try it myself.

    Answer by elasmimi at 7:56 PM on Jun. 14, 2011

  • I would read the Boy who cried wolf, and really make sure she understands what lying is and she you expect of her. Believe it or not but 5 is actually the starting age of starting to understand the concept and the difference between lying and the truth. Be consistent, nut do not spank your child something she is still emotionally and mentally processing...that is cruel.

    Answer by elijahsmama09 at 7:59 PM on Jun. 14, 2011

  • I threaten that they will loose there favorite toy for a few hours for lying. But my kids are small. For my oldest he is lying a lot and I take the Ipod away for a while.

    Answer by iam4you2 at 8:00 PM on Jun. 14, 2011

  • We spank.

    Answer by AllThatBabyJazz at 8:51 PM on Jun. 14, 2011

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