13 answers

Breaking My Eight Year Old's "Lying Habit"

Please help! My daughter is 8 years old, and has developed a serious habit of lying! As a toddler I praised her for always being a honest and truthful child, but somewhere down the line that has all changed. Her father and I have explained the importance of telling the truth at ALL times, and stressed how detrimental lying will be for her if she carries that trait into her adolescence and/or adulthhod. Nevertheless, she will cry and yell insisting she is telling the truth, when we KNOW she is not! I plan on bringing this issue to her pediatrician, and discussing some options he may have. In the meantime, I would love to hear from any moms who have faced, or are facing, this same dilemma! Thank you!!!!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

well, my brother had this problem with his son. and despite all the extra effort in breaking the "habit" he just would not stop. so he sat his wife, and daughter downa dn devised a plan to "show" the son why not to lie.
they told him they were going to Kings Island for a weekend. by the time teh weekend came the son was so excited and had his things packed. morning of leaving he took his stuff to the car and dad said "whatcha doing" son said I am getting things in teh car so we can go. dad said don't bother I lied...how does it feel.
cruel yes but it worked he has not lied since.

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I don't know if I have any suggestions to help with breaking the habit, but I think this is a girl thing. I have a 12 year old daughter who at the age of 8 or 9 told a big fat whopper of a lie. We were pretty harsh with her punishment and it seemed to go away. In the last year or so she tells little white lies. I obviously know she is lying and I call her on it every time. She says she doesn't know why she does it. Or she is afraid of getting in trouble with us. If she owns up to it, we reprimand and let it go. If she doesn't we ground her. Hopefully, some day it will sink in, not to lie. Since she is older we have started talking to her about not being able to have a car or drive by herself anywhere or hang out with friends places when she is older, because she is already laying the groundwork for us not being able to trust her. She seems to be getting it. Keep pressing on! Hoepfully we will end up with honest girls.

Hi my name is C. and I also have an eight yr old that does the same thing. I just smuggly respond to her that it isn't good to lie and ignore her. I know it is harsh but when it comes to lying in our house it isn't tolerated. I can usually tell when she is lying though. She does the same thing. She insists on it being the truth and cries but she knows I see right through it when I insist she isn't telling the truth and I tell her that she doesn't need to talk to me about things if they aren't the truth. She makes things up about her friends just to have things to talk about and incorporates these lies with her friends saying things like "well, claire was at the doctors the same time I was getting her physical" or she will make up something completely off the wall that really seems more like fantasy. I really think it is just a stage they are going through to be more grown up and fit in with the adults. I hope this helps out a little. I am still working on my girl right now. She always told the truth when she was younger and would cry if anyone told her she was lying. I knew she was telling the truth at the time so it was no big deal but she uses that technique now when she lies so she thinks she can pass over a lie. She thinks she's slick but momma knows better than that. My husband even said he has a lie detector in his head and it beeps when a lie is told to him. He even does the "beep, beep, beep,......" Funny to watch but she stops and tells the truth when he does that, or she gets embarrassed and walks away. Hope this helps. Just know you aren't alone and maybe talking with a pediatrician is a good idea but it really is a stage they are going through I think.

I agree with the pay-off. She's getting it somewhere.

When I was 8, I lied all the time. I was deeply afraid of telling the truth because bad things were happening in my life that I didn't want my mom to know about. I'm not saying this is the case with your daughter at all but lying has a purpose - a reason for existing. Lying was a comfort zone for me because it was easy to do and I felt safe doing it.

It could be she's having problems in school or church. It could be she's mad at one of her friends and is lashing out by lying. It could be she has aspirations of being or doing something and can't so the frustration is allowing her to feel that lying is the way to relieve the frustration. Does she participate in sports (or want to)? Does she want to sing and doesn't feel like she can? Does her hair color bother her? Trust me, simple things that are normal to adults are mountains to kids.

Get to the root cause and the lying will stop. Taking privileges away will work for a while but kids are smart - she'll catch on soon enough and eventually that won't work.

well, my brother had this problem with his son. and despite all the extra effort in breaking the "habit" he just would not stop. so he sat his wife, and daughter downa dn devised a plan to "show" the son why not to lie.
they told him they were going to Kings Island for a weekend. by the time teh weekend came the son was so excited and had his things packed. morning of leaving he took his stuff to the car and dad said "whatcha doing" son said I am getting things in teh car so we can go. dad said don't bother I lied...how does it feel.
cruel yes but it worked he has not lied since.

I think the PP had a good idea with the jar but I don't think it should be money. I think it should be somethomg she favors...like lip gloss,or w/e she uses alot that she'd miss on a daily basis amd let her mow that the items stand for how much lying can cause you to lose things you love. Ask her to think about how she'd feel if you told her you guys were going somewhere fun and then for her to later find out you were only lying. Or how she'd feel if a boy she liked told her he liked her only to find out he was lying.If she put herself in your shoes she may understand how it feels to be decieved.And give strong punishment when she is caught lying, such as no phone or a couple of days of nothing more than homework,dinner,bath and bed for her after school.

I have a six and a half year old girl going through the same thing, except she doesnt insist as much. Not sure if its a girl thing, but she is my oldest - not sure if your daughter is the oldest, but it may be an older sibling thing.

Hi N.:
I know how frustrating this can be. My son is now 7 and thought he did not do it alot, he did occasionally lie when he knew that we would be disappointed in him. We assured him that no matter what there could NEVER be anythihg that he did that would make us not love him. That we always loved him no matter what. We also stressed the importnace of telling the truth....and though it may be hard to tell her this...tell her the reprocussions of her lying to you or other people. For example, let her know that the more that she lies to you, her friends, or anyone else the less she will be trusted. Eventually, she will have no friends because of it and as she gets older instead of being able to be with her friends and do things without you as supervision she will not be allowed to do so because you cannot trust that she will be doing as she said she would be. Be calm with her from the beginning and that if she tells you the truth to begin with that her punishment, (if you do punish) will not be as hard as if she were to lie to you. Or maybe because she tells you the truth, you let her off this time.

I hope this helps with you. We did this with our son and he never lies to us now. He now understands the importance in telling the truth.

I think there are some great ideas here. I just want to say one thing about an earlier post, please don't use "what if a boy told you he liked you and was lying", she is 8 for crying out loud. Help her be a free thinking woman without that does not need a boy/man to "like" her.

Best of luck!!

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