6 1/2 Yr Old lying...normal? Testing?

Updated on March 03, 2010
M.O. asks from Barrington, IL
5 answers

My 6 1/2 yr old has been lying to me about little things - brushing her hair/teeth, tells me she put away clothes/jacket when she really dumped them on the closet floor, etc. I have done everything from send her to her room (to clean it up), left her up there until dinnertime, talked with how disappointed we are because lying breaks trust (which is #1 importance in our home), and even took away her tv privileges due to her lying and "stories" to cover up lying. So what am I to do?

Is this normal, limit testing for 6 1/2? Is she "acting out" because I expect too much of her and wants more "Mom" help with her clothes, hair, etc? We have a 5 yr old daughter who does get more help since she's younger, but is still VERY independent and disciplined compared to other kids we know. I also have a 5mo old baby who takes more time - therefore I depend on the older kids to do what they are asked.

I expect a lot from my kids. I try not to project my expectations on other kids/Moms - I believe each person can decide what's expected of his/her own children. So I know I have high standards for my kids. Am I pushing my 6 1/2 yr old too hard?

What would you do? I am thinking of taking two steps back - watching/helping her with her hair, teeth, clothes, etc. I'm pretty sure she'll complain she doesn't want/need me and doesn't want me HOVERING, but I don't want to be angry about this. I need to make sure she is ready to go to school on time!

Thanks Mamas!

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answers from Eugene on

It sounds like you are pretty tuned in to your daughter and what might be going on under the surface. Lying is a tricky issue. Our kids tell us what we want to hear because they want to please us and don't want us to be angry. Or it's something they don't even see as lying, such as yes I brushed my teeth (and they are remembering last night when they did brush their teeth.)

I find it helpful to take some of the seriousness out of it. When children see we have a sense of humor and can understand them they feel trusting of us with the hard things in life. (This is especially beneficial once our children reach the teen years. Teens talk and share more with parents when they feel that unconditional love.)

Have you tried responding to the lying with a playful touch? For example, she says, "yes, I brushed my teeth." and you know she didn't, so you smile and say warmly, "You did? Oh, please let me smell your minty-fresh breath then!" If she let's you, you might respond with a perplexed,"Hmm, your breath smells more like breakfast than toothpaste. Are you SUUUUURRRE you brushed your teeth? Maybe we should try again."

She may not let you smell and try to get you to chase her instead. This is good too, it lets your daughter see that you love her and want to connect with her. It adds warmth and play to the relationship. You may notice a little increase in the lying because your daughter will love the attention, however, I have found this isn't a negative. because as my daughter sees my love pouring out for her no matter what, the need to lie starts to disappear. She sees she can trust me and tell me anything. She knows I'm not going to fly off the handle at her or treat her coldly and disapprovingly.

Here's a fantastic article that talks about answering children's core questions: http://www.handinhandparenting.org/news/36/64/Answering-C...

I hope this helps! Parenting is a tough job, but it can be fun too!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Maybe she does just want some extra attention. My 7 year old can dress herself just fine, but every once in a while, I think she gets jealous of the help I give her brother and all the sudden she needs help doing things she can already do like get dressed. LOL It makes me mad at first, then I realize she just wants me to treat her with a little more attention.
As for the lying...hmmm...maybe she is in a hurry to get to the next activity? It is probably just a phase, but I know you want to nip it in the bud. I usually just take away privelages until everything is done properly. I also give them an allowance once a week to make sure they do their chores everyday. Not a lot of money, just a dollar. They like that. If they haven't been doing them, they don't get the allowance.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

At one point in our lives, our mom told us, she would not get mad at us if we always told her the truth. Even if it was something bad or wrong. She said she might be disappointed, but she would not be mad at us. And she really did it.. We once broke a beautiful apothocary jar because we were playing around in the "fancy living room".. This was a no-no, but it happened.. When our mom came home we told her the truth and she told us. I am glad you told me the truth, now what have you learned? She was not mad, she did not yell.

I think your daughter is needing a little more attention and this is how it is manifesting itself. The lying is unacceptable. Continue to tell her it is disappointing to you that she lies, because it hurts your feelings and you know she does not need to lie. . I would also tell her it is becoming a little harder to believe her because she lies.

The most important thing to do, is remember she is only 6. This is a transition time at school because of the responsibility of keeping it together at school all day, homework, etc.

Try to praise her when she does a good job, when she asks for help, and when she accomplishes things on her own without the need for direction.

Maybe since you are so busy, your husband could sit down one night and have daughter make a list of things she needs to remember for each morning, each afternoon and each evening.. Maybe she can write them on a poster board. It would be fun on a Saturday to have dad take photos of daughter doing these things and then post these pictures next to the list.. They would all be of your daughter and she will remember the tasks!

Hang in there mom. I am sending you strength and patience.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

Wow! I think that you might need to look at what a 6 1/2 year old should be able to do. If you were that age will you be able to fix your own hair? I think that you might try and help her. Help her fix her hair, help her pick out her outfit, and just be there to guide her and help her. Eventually when she feels comfortable with doing things her self she will tell you that she dont need your help. What I did with my olodest daughter was that I helped her until she did it all her own, there are times when she needs my help fixing her hair, but she gets herself ready for school, wakes herself up, and dresses herself, and she is eight. I think that help, support and guidance will help them become independent. Good luck!



answers from Portland on

I don't think you're asking too much. I have a 7 year old daughter who can brush her own hair just fine. I would take a more pragmatic approach (rather than a moral approach about lying, because I suspect that she's just being lazy and hoping you don't find out). Choose some consequence (small, like losing a quarter or having to do an extra small job) that she'll get if she doesn't hang up her coat like you've asked. She'll still have to hang up the coat, plus she'll get the consequence. Tell her beforehand that this is the new plan. When you have asked her if she did her chore and she says yes, tell her that you're going to go check right then or in 5 minutes or whatever amount of time you choose. Go check. If it's done, great. If it's not done, then have her do it and activate the consequence. Be matter of fact, not angry or disappointed. This way it's not a big emotional deal but it gets the job done and she'll get the message that you're keeping an eye on her. I think after a few days you'll have a changed girl. Good luck!

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