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Old 08-02-2014, 11:58 AM   #1
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How do you deal with lying to avoid consequences?

Would like to know your thoughts.

My children are honest as a general rule. But DD (8) will lie about something she's done (or hasn't done) out of fear of consequences. She knows we take dishonesty very seriously so at times she does tell the truth, but right now it's about 50/50 whether I can trust her word when I ask her what happened. Thankfully she's still at the stage where her manner and eyes tell me everything, so I know when she's lying.

How do you teach your children to be honest even in the face of possible discipline?

We do believe in appropriate loving discipline, so hopefully this won't become a thread about the merits and ethics of discipline itself.

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Old 08-02-2014, 04:04 PM   #2
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I would tell them that I know they are lying and if they didn't fess up they would be in more trouble than if they told me. Usually worked. If it didn't they stayed in their rooms until they were ready to tell.

The lying seemed to be a phase they all went through. Around the ages of them doing it I also evaluated what was worthy of consequences and what wasn't. Lying was something to consequence because of future trust.
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Old 08-02-2014, 04:08 PM   #3
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Re: How do you deal with lying to avoid consequences?

The problem with threatening with further punishment if they lie is that I'm afraid it will spur them to lie "harder" or more convincingly, or just try to cover up their wrongdoing in other ways..
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Old 08-02-2014, 04:59 PM   #4
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The problem with threatening with further punishment if they lie is that I'm afraid it will spur them to lie "harder" or more convincingly, or just try to cover up their wrongdoing in other ways..
I suppose you could draw a hard line by explaining you can't trust her to be honest, so for the time being she will be punished regardless of what she says. Then once you feel she's trustworthy you'll start taking her word again. That's the only thing I can think of but it seems harsh and I'm not sure I could do it...
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Old 08-02-2014, 05:27 PM   #5
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Re: How do you deal with lying to avoid consequences?

Ds#3 went through that phase at about the same age. It made me nuts.

Honestly, lying is a trigger for me so if I caught him in a lie he got in trouble for that instead of whatever the original incident was.

I just kept having to point out that I knew when he was lying and that when he broke that trust the result was that I treated him differently.

So while his siblings might be able to clean up with minimal supervision, he would have everything he was asked to do checked and rechecked.

I think he matured. In think he also realized that life is more difficult when mom is not happy with you for lying.
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Old 08-03-2014, 07:34 AM   #6
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Re: How do you deal with lying to avoid consequences?

Discipline for the lying and discipline for the original offense. Make sure they understand that there are consequences to both, and make sure the consequences for lying are harsher than the other.
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Old 08-04-2014, 06:48 PM   #7
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Re: How do you deal with lying to avoid consequences?

Quote:
Originally Posted by expaik View Post
The problem with threatening with further punishment if they lie is that I'm afraid it will spur them to lie "harder" or more convincingly, or just try to cover up their wrongdoing in other ways..
This was me I get extremely good at lying as a child and avoided a LOT of punishments doing so. Missed a lot of opportunities to grow and mature and a lot of times where I would have been forgiven and where my parents would have problem solved with me as well though.
Here we don't give lies power. They are called out if the lie was told to avoid punishment we address that choice and assure them that lying wont change the consequence so don't. They also are taught that lying means we can't trust their words as much and their privileges can reflect that. For our tween any change to her growing freedom is met with regret so she usually decides the truth is best.
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Old 08-06-2014, 01:06 AM   #8
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Re: How do you deal with lying to avoid consequences?

My son of the same age has the same problem. Lying is a red flag to me that leads me to believe something is amiss with his character. While I am sorry to hear other children are having this problem, it makes me wonder if some of it is emotional and intellectual development, rather than just a character issue.

I tend to react more strongly to the lying than to whatever the original offense was. And I am on the same page as some of the previous posters...lying means less privilege because trust has been severed in some way. One way we have dealt with this is to require the child in question be my "shadow". That means whatever I am doing, DC is right there, sitting at my feet, on the floor while I go about my business. For however long it takes for them to have a change of heart. It is not long before DS realizes that watching me fold laundry or tend to the baby is not as much fun as coming and going as he pleases, but I wait for the indignation and resentment to pass from his expression until we are able to have a conversation about what trust means. Shadowing is no fun for either of us (I like my personal space, too!) but it has been helpful in our house at setting things right again.
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Old 08-06-2014, 02:00 AM   #9
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Re: How do you deal with lying to avoid consequences?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarrieMF View Post
I would tell them that I know they are lying and if they didn't fess up they would be in more trouble than if they told me. Usually worked. If it didn't they stayed in their rooms until they were ready to tell.

The lying seemed to be a phase they all went through. Around the ages of them doing it I also evaluated what was worthy of consequences and what wasn't. Lying was something to consequence because of future trust.

our phase has been going on for about 4 years so far. we tried doin g the more punishment if lied and that didn't seem to do much. It just seems to go in cycles... I get so frustrated as I hate lying as my dad did it and bfs did too.
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Old 08-06-2014, 05:13 PM   #10
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Re: How do you deal with lying to avoid consequences?

We explain and discuss how lying affects trust. How it makes it harder to believe him. He is 7 . He is starting to understand but lying is normal to a certain degree at this age. They can't fully understand the effects of lying and they are trying to avoid punishment.
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