How I Get My Almost 6 Year Old Daughter to Stop Lying!!!

Updated on October 22, 2008
J.D. asks from Chehalis, WA
9 answers

I am having problems with my almost 6 year old daughter. She is lying
to me, her teacher, father constantly. I am really getting tired of all the lies. I put her in time out when she gets caught telling a
lie. But so far that is not helping. She will tell a lie about
anything for no reason at all. It is not just to get out of trouble
either. I am at a loss I want this to stop, and it is really
embarrassing to have her teacher call me and tell me that my daughter
will not own up to what she has done. Please give me some advice I
really need it!

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So What Happened?

I would like to thank everyone for all there great advice. Actually my daughter has been doing a lot better lately on her own. I am going to try some of the things that you all suggested when I find her not telling the truth. Thanks again everyone~

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answers from Portland on

It is not true lying, it is storytelling. At this age children are still grasping/learning the concepts of reality, imagination, and fantasy, and where the lines may divide or connect. I would not suggest punishment for this, but simply to understand that this is a normal healthy part of child development, and to simply correct the child with the truth. It is not necessary to get the child to "own up". She might not be ready for the concept of accountability yet. The teacher should know this as well, it is a pity she does not. May be you could educate her. I am an Early Childhood Education major, and I learned this in school.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Portland on

Some lying at this age is common. Their brain isn't developed enough to really know the difference between what's real and what's fantasy. And fantasy is a part of being creative in playing and learning how the world works.

But it sounds like your daughter is lying too much. I suggest that it's become a power struggle. Or even that she is overly anxious and doesn't even think about what she's saying since you have been so negative about it.

I think that Katherine has the right idea and to do it as calmly and non blaming as possible. This is why we tell the truth and this is what will happen when you don't. Perhaps even have a game about the difference. Each of you tell a fantasy story and then the two of you decide if that's a story or the truth. The sort of thing.

It's important for kids to know that what they do is unacceptable or bad but that they are still good kids. I don't know if that applies in your situation or not but I've seen frustration, which is very understandable, turn into blaming and belittling. When that happens the lesson is lost.

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answers from Seattle on

I went though this situation with my son when he was about that age. It can be very frustrating but patience paid off. A big help was his teacher at school. What we did both his teacher as well as his father and I at home, was whenever he would tell a lie we would very calmly but sternly tell him that we know what he is saying is not true and we would like to start over and give him another chance to tell us what really happened, and let him know that there would be consequences if he did not tell the truth, but if he told the truth on that chance we would not punish him for lying the first time. Then we would discuss with him the consequences of lying such as us not being able to trust him, and other people not believing him when something he was saying really was true. We also told him how much it hurt everyones feelings when he lied, and how if he told the truth even if it was something that he did wrong the first time the consequences would be much less becuase he was honest about it and took responsibility. We also followed through on everything we told him if he lied on his one chance to tell the truth the consequences he was warned about would be put into action. Such as losing a special privelage for a day or having to do a chore like cleaning the yard as appose to playing with his toys. When he would tell the truth we rewarded it by tell him how proud we were that he decided to tell the truth and how much of a big boy he was for making a good choice. We would discuss what he had done wrong if there was something and why it was wrong and if it was something minor we let him know that he would not be be punished because he chose to tell the truth but we would have him do something that didnt seem like such a punishment such a writing a apology letter or something along those lines. The important thing I think is that they understand that when they lie it affects peoples feelings. They need to relate lying to being just as bad as saying a bad word, or saying something really mean to hurt someones feeling. It wont happen over night but if you just be persistant and always let them know the conesequences and then follow through with what you say. Otherwise its just pointless and they figure they can get away with it nothing will happen. Make sure they understand that you will actually do what you say and they have a choice to decide what the next step will be. I hope this helps, and be patient I know it can be frustrating and embarrasing but your daughters teacher should understand and be more than willing to continue what you do at home at school if they arent already doing so.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Hi J.. I have a son in first grade who has been telling stories lately. There is a good article on that you might read. Sometimes it can be their way to get attention or to feel "special" in a group of peers. The parentcenter article recommended a few books that I tried out at the library. One was called liar liar pants on fire by Gordon Korum. By the end of the story, my son really related with the little girl in the book. It might be one way for you to start a conversation. If she is doing it for attention (positive or negative)the time outs probably won't work. By giving her a time out, she's getting attention for the behavior that you don't want. I hope this was a little helpful. I understand your frustration. A.

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answers from Seattle on

I know the problem and looking back I think these are some things I should of done....and maybe a reason for the lying.

I feel I went through with mostly because mine was biding for attention, wanting something to add that seemed important.

I would cover for him because I was embarrased for him and me!
I should have confronted the lie in front of the person that was lied to. In a nice way but make it known that it was not the truth.

I would also not be hard on the punishment. Looking back I think he was more sensitive and when Dad punished him on a truth, I broke such and such, he decided it was better to lie from then on. I always told him thank you for telling me and the punishment was a punishment it was more of working the problem out together. He didn't want to let anyone down, so he lied. Always inforce that if the truth is told, that no matter what the result is better, and you can fix what happen so much more easier. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Medford on

My friend had a problem with her daughter lying about everything too. Little stuff, stuff that just didn't matter. They tried everything, grounding and so on. They finally set her down and made her right on collage rule paper front and back every line. "I will not lie. I will what ever it was she had specifically lied about." It took her an entire Saturday to do. Things changed fast. It really helped. I hope that helps you too.

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answers from Portland on

Lies well she has an over imagination.Maby she needs some Family time sitting together with a bord game or get her into crafts alow her cerativaty to flow with that insted of making up different ideas for changing real life with a lie

Hope this Helps




answers from Eugene on

Well this is going to sound a little drastic, but this is what we had to do to my step daughter. We couldnt seem to make her understand that lying is not ok and it only gets you into worse trouble. We ended up having to take everything out of her room. All she got to have was her bed dresser and a table other than that nothing. She got to go to school, come home do homework, and eat dinner than go to bed. No toys, No tv, No video games. I know it sounds drastic, but they have to understand the ramifications of thier actions.



answers from Spokane on

We have this problem with my 6 year old stepson. You can ALWAYS tell when he's lying 'cause he gets this look on his face (well, I should say, I can tell, his Dad can't!) We've tried washing his mouth out w/ soap for telling lies...and it's helped, but sure hasn't cured it!

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