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Old 12-17-2006, 08:31 PM   #1
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What do you do when your dc lies?

DD is almost 3 (Feb) and lately has this habit of lying or fibbing, whatever you want to call it. Now, before you roll your eyes and think I am being ridiculous, dd is very advanced intellectually and can hold a converstation with anyone for any length of time.

For example, she came to me a bit ago wanting a snack, she already had one so I said no. She immediately goes to dh and says "dad, mom says I can have something to eat." Then a bit later she asked dh if she could watch Fox and the Hound, dh said no, too close to bed time. She then comes to me and asks if I will turn it on for her cause dh said yes.

Is this just typical for this age? I explain to her that she has lied and that is not nice, but is that good enough? Should there be some kind of consequence and how do you really explaining lying to a 3 year old? She is my oldest so I am really at a loss for what to do on this .

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Old 12-17-2006, 08:43 PM   #2
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Re: What do you do when your dc lies?

No advice .. just an "oh crap! This starts at 3?!?!" That's like a year and a half away ... I'm sooooo not ready for that. I'm still trying to figure out WTH to do about Isabel biting!!
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Old 12-17-2006, 08:56 PM   #3
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Re: What do you do when your dc lies?

Yea, I had no idea this started this early either! I didn't really figure she would even have the concept to do it, ya know? Apparently she does, and I don't really know where she gets it. Dh and I make it a HUGE point to never lie, so this is all really a shock to me. I guess I could just lock her up until she turns 30!!
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Old 12-17-2006, 09:07 PM   #4
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Re: What do you do when your dc lies?

Oh yeah, it suprises me what they can come up with. When my youngest sister was about that age her crib was in my parents room and she would yell out that there were spiders and ants in her bed just so that she could get in the bed with our parents. And after that didn't work, she'd take off all of her clothes and her diaper and intentionally pee in her bed.

Anyway, I don't know if there's much you CAN do other than try to explain it to her. She may not understand just WHAT it is that she's doing that isn't nice, kwim? I know its hard, but you probably know better than I do that you always have to answer WHY when it comes to toddlers. As far as consequences go, you could also explain to her that if she keeps lying, Mommy and Daddy aren't going to be able to trust what she says anymore and you can probably actually act on that. That's what my dad did with me when I was little, though I was probably closer to 4. But I remember realizing that lying got me into more trouble than telling the truth.
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Old 12-17-2006, 09:20 PM   #5
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Re: What do you do when your dc lies?

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But I remember realizing that lying got me into more trouble than telling the truth.
That's exactly what I want to teach her. That telling the truth is always the best. I am afraid that if I treat it as nothing, she won't learn, but again, how do you teach that concept to a 3 year old?
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Old 12-17-2006, 09:32 PM   #6
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Re: What do you do when your dc lies?

This is very normal for this age. They are doing a lot of testing, but not really understanding either. I think Dr. Sears' site has some info, and I know Baby Center just had some info in their newsletter.
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Old 12-17-2006, 09:38 PM   #7
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Re: What do you do when your dc lies?

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That's exactly what I want to teach her. That telling the truth is always the best. I am afraid that if I treat it as nothing, she won't learn, but again, how do you teach that concept to a 3 year old?
Hmm... do you think she would understand a "hypothetical" type situation? Like what if you said "How would it make you feel if Mommy told you 'x' but it was really 'x'"? Something that relates to the situation might help - for example "What if I told you that you could watch a video but you really had to go to bed?". And you don't even have to use the word "lie" if you don't think she quite grasps the meaning of the word. But maybe if she gets an idea of how it would make HER feel she can understand how it makes YOU feel. I'm sure she won't get it right away or anything, but you could remind her that your "feelings will be hurt" or something every time you think she's lying. Chances are if she thinks she going to upset you, she'll come clean.

Anyway, I hope I'm making sense. And I hope you find something that works for you.
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Old 12-17-2006, 09:56 PM   #8
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Re: What do you do when your dc lies?

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Originally Posted by urchin_grey View Post
Hmm... do you think she would understand a "hypothetical" type situation? Like what if you said "How would it make you feel if Mommy told you 'x' but it was really 'x'"? Something that relates to the situation might help - for example "What if I told you that you could watch a video but you really had to go to bed?". And you don't even have to use the word "lie" if you don't think she quite grasps the meaning of the word. But maybe if she gets an idea of how it would make HER feel she can understand how it makes YOU feel. I'm sure she won't get it right away or anything, but you could remind her that your "feelings will be hurt" or something every time you think she's lying. Chances are if she thinks she going to upset you, she'll come clean.

Anyway, I hope I'm making sense. And I hope you find something that works for you.
Totally makes sense and that is a great idea! I will definitely try that with her. The thing is, she does know what she is doing is wrong. Like when she came to be about the movie, I hollared at dh to see what he had said, and she was like holding her hands up to him to try to get him to not say it, kwim? So she definitely knows it is something we don't want her to do, maybe she understands more than I think!
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Old 12-17-2006, 09:57 PM   #9
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Re: What do you do when your dc lies?

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Originally Posted by raceNzanesmom View Post
This is very normal for this age. They are doing a lot of testing, but not really understanding either. I think Dr. Sears' site has some info, and I know Baby Center just had some info in their newsletter.
I love Dr. Sears, I will definitely check out his site and see what he says!! Thanks!
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Old 12-17-2006, 10:00 PM   #10
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Re: What do you do when your dc lies?

Okay, anyone have the link to Dr. Sears' site? I can't seem to find it.
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