Why would children lie?
2017, in a topic about forbidding foods, and the ill effects of that:
Virginia Warren:My parents also "removed certain foods from the house". This how I learned to sneak and steal and be ashamed of what I liked.Sandra Dodd:Once a kid is lying about what he ate, it's a small side step to lie about who he was with when he ate it, and where.Virginia Warren:When I was in middle school, I lived directly across the street from my school, so it was easy for me to come home at lunchtime. I was forbidden to bring any of my friends from school to our apartment, but I still occasionally did so. I was also forbidden to eat sweets.
She said she lied so she wouldn't get into trouble.
Well, that's an excellent, rational, and understandable reason for lying. Try to see it this way: when someone lies to someone else, it's because the person doing the lying actually does not trust the person being lied to. In other words, your daughter felt she had to lie because *she* does not completely trust *you*. It's a vicious cycle! ;-)
The other basic, fundamental truth is that you cannot change or control her; you can only control yourself. If she doesn't trust you, you have to take a look at yourself and find out why. If you really want to trust her, you have to find out why she feels she can't trust you. (But, you can't ask her, 'cause she'll likely say, "I don't know." This is work you'll have to do within.)
I would be upset, too, if I found out that my son was lying to me, but not because I would see it as a flaw in his nature. I would wonder why he felt he couldn't trust me enough to confide in me, and I would work on myself to fix that problem. Also, I would not just tell him he's wrong and that he *can* trust me, because, as you know, talk is cheap. I would really search for what gave him the clues that he couldn't trust me and work on fixing those things about myself.
See what happens if I re-work these sentences, and see how you feel about them:
I want to be able to trust her.
"I want her to be able to trust me."
The lying is one thing I need to address and figure out how to deal with. I don't want to doubt everything she says.
"The lying is one thing I need to address and figure out how to deal with. I don't want *her* to doubt everything *I* say."
"I just lost it- " " My husband was very upset." "...am not big on "punishments" or "grounding" or whatever- I have always just talked it out. The last few weeks have been challenging to me. I have lost my temper on more than one occasion. It seems to stem around my daughter who has started lying to us- about important things. Last week I was angrier than I have ever been."These snippets are all good reasons for her to lie to you. You aren't trustworthy in her eyes. You may think you are, but she is letting you know loud and clear that you are not.
She's nine now, and you and she are going to be entering some pretty fast, white water in the next several years. Wouldn't you rather that she trust you enough not to feel like she'll have to lie to you about the really big stuff that she's going to be facing?
I am not writing all this to attack you or criticize you (I don't know you at all, so I make absolutely no judgments on your parenting, I only know what you're telling us). I am only wanting to help you see the situation from a very different perspective. I hope you can receive this information in the spirit it is intended. I really hope it's helpful to you!
Sandra Dodd, responding to the boldface comments, on the Always Learning list:
How do you deal with kids who lie? I would really like to hear from other parents about this. Not your own kids--but your kids' friends. My kids have some friends who lie so consistently that the boys no longer believe what their friends say, and I have gotten skittish about saying things to the parents like, "So, little Octavian says you're going to Las Vegas next week!" because such things have so often turned out not to be true. I'm struggling with how to respond to the children, and also with how to talk to my kids about this.I wouldn't make chit-chat with the parents that could get the kid in trouble.Or my kids mention an upcoming trip, and the friend tells a big story about the much bigger and better vacation he and his family are taking soon.