How to Deal with a Lying 9 Year Old

Updated on January 24, 2008
J.B. asks from Pueblo, CO
5 answers

Hello moms! I'm needing input from you guys again. I have a normally wonderful 9 year old step son who has recently been caught in several lies. This past Saturday he was caught in a lie to his grandmother and today, his mom got a call from the school saying that he's been in the principals office most of the day for lying and being beligerant to the teachers. When he's been caught lying in the past, we've taken away his possessions for an amount of time, then returned them after the time is up. He's been spanked and grounded also, but nothing seems to be working. His mom, step-dad, dad, and myself ar at our wits in as to what to do.

Any insight?

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answers from Dallas on

I have not experienced this but a long time ago I used to listen to Dr. Laura when she had a talk show broadcast here. She was talking once about issues with her son lying. She said she fixed it like this...

On the way to school one morning, she told him that she would take him to McDonald's (BIG treat for him) when she picked him up later. He was excited as he went in to school because of the treat promised because he rarely got fast food.

When she picked him up, she did not mention McDonald's. She drove right past it on toward home. When she drove past it, he got upset and said,,,,wait, there is McDonald's, you said we would go today.

She said she looked at him straight in the eye and said "I Lied".

I thought that was a good story about turning the tables on the lying so he sees what he was doing.

Just a thought.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Love and Logic says to let him experience his mistakes. I did like the idea of the trip to MCD's. I would tell him that it will take a while to trust him since he has been telling so many lies. I would tell him that until he could earn the trust back, I would have to assume that everything he says is a lie. Put the responsibility back on him to PROVE that he is truthful.



answers from Dallas on

Sometimes children from a broken marraige have issues where they just need attention. Or they think they aren't cared about, etc.
You can say "he doesn't feel that way"... but he may need some counseling. Sounds to me like he's acting out and needs it. It sounds like his parent's marraige ended before he was old enough to PROCESS everything. Now that he is getting older, perhaps it is time to talk it all out. Lots of times children feel an odd guilt about their parent's breaking up. (I know I did).
On the other hand, children lie to see what they can get away with. You all have to be on the same page. Take things away, and punish the same way.
If you can all be in the room where he sees you all together and hear that you all love him, know it is hard for him, and that you are all here for him, but expect better behaviour -- perhaps that will make a difference.



answers from San Antonio on

Might there be something going on at school that is stressing him out and causing him to lie, like bullying? It might be worth talking to him about things that are hard to deal with at his age and see if he alludes to anything. If that's not the case, then maybe trying a heart-to-heart really honest talk about how his lying is affecting you and making you feel without being scolding or "parent-y" about it. Just an honest adult to adult toned conversation. I say this because the parenting tools of taking things away and having conferences aren't working. Maybe a switching up the game might get through to him. WHo knows how to raise kids. ;)

Good luck.



answers from San Antonio on

Although the McDonald's story is quite amusing, I think it all boils down to what and how your child understands. My child is 14 and just recently understanding how irresponsible lying is. He is now beginning to realize how his lying is affecting how much I really trust him since he wants to have a little more freedom. I have given him the open window of confession which allows him to 'fess up about what might have been a lie without me overly punishing him. This gives him the incentive of receiving a lesser punishment in appreciation of honesty. Good luck.

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