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Preschool Bullying + Lies (Is This Normal?!)

Posted by on Sep. 28, 2012 at 12:07 PM
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My son who just turned three, just started Headstart/Preschool. I have NEVER known him to be a liar, at least in the way he may be now.

His first day of school (which he LOVED) he ended up telling me that "the big boys and girls knocked him down". After talking awhile, I found out he was referring to ALL the other kids in his class, he calls them the big boys and big girls. (My son is literally a teensy shrimp, much smaller than ANYONE in his class).

So I was immediately concerned, I questioned him about it and etc. I wasn't sure what to think. The next day he said it again. It was brought up to his teachers who said there hasn't been any bullying happening and that would keep an even closer eye on it.

Now today, at his 5th day of school he apparently fell during gym class (so said his teacher) he has scratches on his knee and a fat lip. I was asking him about it and he ends up telling me "the big boy kicked me" - like what?!?!

Of course as a concerned mother who doesn't want her little one hurt, I am worried that it could be happening but I honestly do not believe it is. WHY is he lieing to me about these things and saying other kids are bullying him? Is it normal? I do not give him a big reaction to it when he says it, so I don't know.

I don't even know what to do anymore, I don't want him lieing about these things, I don't know what to say. So is this normal, have you been through this?

by on Sep. 28, 2012 at 12:07 PM
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by on Sep. 28, 2012 at 12:56 PM
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I know that lying at this age can be normal.  They are startying to realize that they can "bend the truth" and they also start to learn that they can bypass (hopefully) getting into trouble by not telling the truth.  In my household, you get into worse trouble for lying.  But the act of it at this age is totally age appropriate.

Now as for what he's lying about.....bullying.  You did speak to his teacher and she doesn't see this happening at all?  Perhaps he is intimidated by his other friends.

Also, perhaps he's clumsier and is afraid to admit it.  That's all I can think of.  But def. make srue you take what he says in this regard seriously.  Show him that you actually mean business.  That way if its not true, he will probably fess up (not wanting someone else to be in trouble falsely).  Let hiom know its ok if he meesses up and bonks his head LOL.  We all do it LOL.

by New Member on Sep. 28, 2012 at 12:56 PM
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Well i do know that this is EXACTLY when stories start.  Not lieing, per say.  They dont look at it as lieing they usually tell stories from their imagination like they were true.  my son tuned 3 in August and has started this.  He told me a whole story about a boo-boo he had and how his teacher got an ice pack and fixed it, etc.  She said it never happened.  She was tickled by his story. . . it is actually a good sign of development.

Your situation sucks though, I am not sure what advice to give except to talk more in-depth with the teacher.  Maybe if she asks him questions about it throughout the day she can figure out what is going on.

by on Sep. 29, 2012 at 12:03 AM


by on Sep. 29, 2012 at 12:17 AM
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lying is normal. i'm not sure why he would make up stories like that though. My son says some pretty strange things too. it's hard to know what to believe and what not to with kids. you don't want to not believe them when something IS happening. here's a bump

by on Sep. 29, 2012 at 12:22 AM

my daughter also has started 'lying'( she is 4 1/2)  I think it is totally normal. Frustrating though because its hard to know when she is telling the truth and she didn't do something wrong. Thats what I try to tell her- how can mummy help or not get cross when she is telling the real story if she keeps telling me pretend stories!!hopefully she learns its not worth it because she'll get into trouble for things she didn't do because people have trouble believing her when she says she didn't do it!!makes it harder to protect them if you don't know whats really going on.... tricky

by on Sep. 29, 2012 at 12:22 AM
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A fat lip from falling? That sounds a little odd to me.
by on Sep. 29, 2012 at 12:29 AM
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What makes you think he is lying. 

Young children are miserable interpreters about what is happinging, or what they "should say" and that young, do not really know the meaning or consequences of truth/lying. It is also very easy to unintentionally lead a young child to say things that are not true. 

Start talking to him about "true stories"  Point out true things that happen, as well as things that did not happen (that you know did no happen). Help him start to see the difference.

I would also go to his school and make some observations to see what is happening. 

by on Sep. 29, 2012 at 12:32 AM
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I have dealt with almost the exact same thing, only it is just one child our dd keeps talking about. There were some issues with him a few months ago when he was transitioning from toddler to preschooler rooms, he was not expressing himself well and would hit, kick, etc. We got that dealt with,the teachers have been great keeping a close eye on both of them, but she still tells me he hits her or pulls her shirt. Our daycare fills out incident reports if a child is hurt, and we have to sign off on them, I have signed a lot for her falling playing but only one for issues with this child. Pp are right, ths is prime age for story telling and imagination (dd tells some very interesting stories of when she was a baby lol) and the best thing is to listen to him, reassure him, and double check with the teacher. When we first had the issues with this boy we emphasized to our dd that if someone hurts her physically or verbally, she needs to walk away and tell a teacher, because they can't do anything if she doesn't tell anyone until the next day at home. That has helped, because then we can ask her if she told a teacher, and if so and so got in trouble, what the teacher did etc, and if we want to we can check with the teacher.
by on Sep. 29, 2012 at 12:38 AM
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Ds is almost 3 and has been going to the same pre-school style daycare for a while now. Kids will be kids and one time one of his friends hit him (we know this to be true because the teachers spoke of an incident, although they never name names). That day when we asked him how school was, he said "Luke hit me" and went on to tell a detailed story about how Luke hit him and he had to sit out because he made a saaad choice. We laughed it off and he went off to school the next day. Every day for about a month he came home and said Luke had hit him, had to sit out, and made a saaad choice. Obviously this didn't happen every day and he was probably just telling and retelling a story that had been true and had gotten a reaction out of mommy and daddy (we thought it was hilarious and kept asking him about it after the first time). 

Anyway, every so often one of his friends will hit him or bite him or make some other sort of saaad choice, and he tells us about it. Day after day after day (He still likes to tell me about how one of his friends bit him...3 weeks ago). Maybe your son got hit or pushed once, or misconstrued something. He could be telling you over and over to get a reaction from you, even if that reaction is just your interest in his story? I wouldn't worry too much about the little things like this. Just encourage the truth (I will remind ds that his friend hit/bit/etc a few weeks ago and sometimes our friends make sad choices but they are still our friends). Turn it into a teaching moment, I guess. If you figure out how to make it stop, feel free to let me in on the info :)

by on Sep. 29, 2012 at 12:41 AM

OMGOSH! My son is 4 he is not smaller than everyone, but much less social and shy.

HE IS SAYING THE SAME STUFF AS YOUR DS! I am so sad because I don't want to tell my son I don't believe him!! But The teacher keeps saying no one is picking on him. He has marks and says the kids threw rocks at him two days in a row. Then after that he said they called him names for telling about the rocks. The teacher keeps saying she sees none of this and he is fine!

Omgosh I hate school more now than when I had to go myself. Im so scared he will be bullied like I was growing up, he reminds me so much of myself, he is awkward and kids sense it and pick on him.

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