Lying - West Orange,NJ

Updated on March 10, 2012
T.V. asks from West Orange, NJ
22 answers

So last night I'm putting my daughter to be and I noticed a hole in her jeans. I asked her how it go there and she said she didn't know, it just got there. I knew she was lying, so I pressed her for the truth. She told me she cut her pants with a pair of scissors.

Now, she's already being punished for breaking her cable box, so she doesn't have a TV in her room. So I told her that she will not get her TV back for another two days for cutting the hole in her pants, and I took away her hand held game for the lying. I know, I know, that's a lot media for a 6 year-old, but that's another ball of wax.

I'm just concerned that she will (try to) lie to me because she doesn't want to get punished. Is there anything I can do to prevent that, or is it a necessary some degree?

Geesh...I spend a lot of time with both of my children. This question isn't about that. I can't possibly be the only parent that has a child that has lied to them. It's a part of parenting that I'm looking for some guidance on. I know it's tempting to go there, but I'm looking for advice about the lying....thanks so much!

Man...OK. I get what you mama's are saying, but here is my dilemma. Now, with the pants being cut, it's not really a big deal...if that wasn't the only thing she has cut!! She cut the leg off her brother's PJ's, the sheet to her bed and I know I'm missing something. I have put the scissor up I don't know how many times, but unfortunately, I'm not the only adult in the house. We have had the conversation about cutting things up, but alas, here we are. Sorry, I forgot to add that part.

I also don't have a problem with letting things go if my kids the truth the first time. I want them to tell the truth, so I don't flip out if they tell me something. But what happens if it's really serious?

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

Thanks, guys!

Well, she did 'fess up real quickly. I asked her how the hole got there (because I had to stitch up yet ANOTHER pair of her jeans because of a cut hole, so I really didn't know if it was new or old) and she said she didn't know. So my eyebrow shot and said her name and she told me. To tell you the truth I was ticked off because this cutting crap is getting out of control. I don't think it's disordered or anything. It's just one of those things.

The reason why I believe she lied to begin with is because she has already been snipping things here and there and has gotten in trouble for it. She knows better, hence the lie. Shoot, thinking about it, I think I would have lied too! (just kidding). Looking back on it, she does tell me the truth because I don't flip out when she tells me things for that very reason, but this time was over the top.

Yelling, meh, not really my thing. I speak loudly, "Come downstairs for dinner" sort of thing, but not eye-bulging losing my crap yelling. I also don't hit my kids. I like the idea about sewing the PJ leg back on though!

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answers from Detroit on

I always tell my daughter that she will get in far less trouble for telling the truth than lying. It has seemed to help because I havent caught her lying. Unless shes just really good at it. :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

How about ditch the "media" for at least another week if not 2 and spend the time with her. Seems like a win/win to me. I think if you give her more attention she won't have an opportunity to lie about little things. Plus who wouldn't enjoy the extra time with their kids, right?

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from St. Louis on

My deal was you do something wrong and come to me before I find out you don't get punished, I find out you get punished, and if you lie about it I double the punishment.

First it gives them an incentive to come to you before you find out. This works well for things like milk spilled on carpet. Always good to know before the carpet is ruined. Basically any timely knowledge can fix the problem issue. They are also required to fix the issue instead of the punishment, not sure that would work with cut jeans though she could learn to sew.

The nice thing about making them clean or fix whatever it was is they get to the point where they just clean or fix things on their own and you never have to deal with it. :)

Second it gives them an intensive not to lie about it.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

The rule for my oldest daughter growing up was always if you tell me the truth you get in less trouble but if I find out about it and you try to lie your punishment would be WAY worse.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I'm dealing with lying a lot with one of my daycare kids. She's 5. You have to make them realize that it's not as bad if you tell the truth.
The other day, she got in trouble for lying. Later in the day, she did something wrong but told me the truth about it and another child lied. Since she told the truth, she got a warning and the other child got a time out for lying. I told her "See? If you tell the truth, you don't get in as much trouble." She understood and hasn't lied to me since. In this house, lying is the WORST thing that you can do. It was the same in my parent's house growing up. Nothing says more to your character than being honest.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

My son is nine now he started to lie at a very young age 3 so i tried to figure out how i was going to stop this from occurring. At, the .time he loved going to Mcdonald's not eat to play in the play area . One day I 'm driving down the street he was 4 about to be five i was feed up to here with the lies all the time. So, I pulled down the street and said tyson would you like to go play in balls at Mcdonald's all I heard was YEAH!! mommy is taking me to the balls. I pulled in the parking lot and drove around Mcdonald's and back out . He said mom I wanna go play you said you are taking me to play I told him well you know how those lies you tell me all the time and i ask you to stop well mommy told you a lie and it does not feel good. And of course he cried but he never lied to me again he is nine now and he always tells me the truth regardless if he thinks he is going to get in trouble. I know some moms wont agree with me but it got my point across and no more lies .

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Albany on

Well, my kids hit the 'cut everything' phase around kindergarten. Roughly the same time as the 'tape or glue everything to something else' phase, shortly before the 'draw a smiley face with marker on every wall phase', slightly after the 'tie anything that loosely resembles a string into 100 tight knots, especially a siblings shoes' phase.

In the case you put forward, I guess I probably wouldn't have punished. I might've said something like...

Girl I know you like to cut. But it's not ok to cut your PJs or your brother's, or the cable box, ok? When you want to cut, we have paper and a box full of things that ARE ok to cut, right?

Wait, I'm sorry, I see you already HAD that conversation. Well, I recall when my middle cutter was five, he went around the house (only took about 5 minutes) with his new kindergarten scissors and cut the cord on EVERY SINGLE BLIND (within reach), which I had JUST had custom made, and which my husband had just spent the entire weekend hanging up!

As you might imagine I was REALLY REALLY mad. I was mad at him for days. I can really hold a grudge. After ripping his face off initially, I STILL wasn't over it, so I pretty much gave him the cold shoulder for a couple days.

He got the message. Life sucks when Mom Is Mad At You. He never cut anything again.


4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

The rule in my house..and it has ALWAYS been the #1 rule is: that IF you tell the truth you don't get in trouble! I have always stressed that the punishment will be WAY worse if you lie about it.

Maybe you can go this route?

It does take some doing on your part to NOT blow up at them and hand out some punishment when they come to you and tell you something that they have done though, not gonna lie :) OR when you ask them point blank and they tell you the truth, but at our house they *only* get a lecture on why what they did was wrong and how they shouldn't do it again and a great BIG 'Thank You' for telling the truth!

This rule has served me well at my house!

Mom/Auntie to 6 boys and 1 girl
20, 17, 16, 12, 8, 6 & 4

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

In my experience when kids are punished for lying it just leads to more lying.
I think instead of punishing her I would have said thank you for telling me the truth, can you tell me why you cut your pants?
She may not even know why she did it. She's only six, she may have just been bored and experimenting with the scissors. Clearly she knows what she did is wrong (hence the lie) but I think it's more effective to TALK to her about it, and remind her scissors are not to be used for cutting anything other than paper.
At this age parents can still accomplish SO much by just talking and working things through with their kids. You are there to guide her and teach her, save the "punishments" for more serious situations.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Why do children think that we are stupid? I mean it! My children have bold faced LIED to my face like they think I am a fool. Even the kids I nanny have tried it once or twice. REALLY? Why on earth.
I have let my kids know that I will ALWAYS find out the truth. It may not be that same day or even that same week, but I WILL find out. And if I find out that I have been lied to, to my FACE, then there will be some serious consequences. I have a pretty scary angry face, so you would think that just the threat would be enough, but alas, it is not.
That means that my children have sat in time out a few times, have lost TV priveledges, have pulled weeds, have cleaned their rooms, have done laundry. I always explain that if the truth had been told in the first place then the consequence would have been MUCH less.
I don't want you to think my kids lie all the time, they don't. I can't STAND being lied to and they know it. But, the few times that they have the punishment has been swift.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I don't have advice on the cutting things up bc my kids didn't really do that but I almost don't consider it lying if they tell me after the initial lie pretty quickly... ie: no, I didn't cut my pants. "really? You'd better not be lying". ok - I cut them. I then use the time to reinforce that the lying is worse than the deed but dont punish for the lie bc they quickly fessed up. If the deed was bad, I'll punish but say it's a lighter punishment bc they confessed. If the deed was really small, I'll let it go bc they told me. Not sure if you're religious at all but I've used "God knows if you're telling the truth." We're not overly religious but it works. I like that too bc I'm tryign to teach that even if they get away with a lie, it shouldn't feel good. The greater universe knows the truth. I feel like that will help later in life when they're lying about bigger things that might be harder for me to know the answer to.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

What is the absolute worst , serious thing thing your daughter could possibly do that you would totally not give her another chance?

Cutting her jeans and other things around the house is bad.. But it is very age appropriate. She is experimenting with the scissors.

It was very wrong and cause a lot of damage. It has wasted money and is not acceptable. But is it completely horrible? Not really..

The lying was the worst part and so that is what you want her to stop doing ASAP. And so punishment? How are you going to punish for cutting up stuff that matches the bad choice she made? I can think of apologizing to you for ruining her new pants. to brother for cutting his stuff. And then talking about alternative behaviors in this situation..

I am telling you, most bright kids, really will respond to tell me the truth and you will not get in trouble. When you prove to them over and over you are also telling the truth. They are more likely to come to you and say.. Can I try cutting some clothes? And then you can approve with some options, or just say, No, we do not cut up our clothes.. and give them the real reason. They are expensive, we want our clothes to look tidy.. whatever.

My mother told me and my sister.

"If you tell me the truth I will not be mad, I may be hurt, or disappointed, But I will not be mad.. She has kept this promise to this day.

Maybe your child lies because she knows she will get in trouble even if she tells you the truth?

If when you asked, "I asked her how it go there" what would you have done if right then she admitted she cut them with the scissors?

Would she have still been in trouble, or would you have said, I am disappointed. We do not cut our clothes with scissors. These were brand new and now they do not look nice anymore. What are things we are allowed to cut?

Or let her know if she wanted to cut cloth, you would look for some rags or some old fabric pieces.

Make it safe to tell the truth.. and She will not hesitate to tell you,

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Lying in my house is about the worst thing you can do. There is nothing more important within a family than being able to trust each other. That said, my five-year-old just falls apart when she gets in trouble, so naturally she feels the need to lie so she won't get in trouble. I have had to explain to her several times that I won't be mad if she tells the truth, that she will get in MORE trouble if she lies. Slowly but surely, she is getting it.

My eight-year-old really responded when I told her, "If you lie to me, I won't be able to trust you, and that disappoints me because I really want us to be able to trust each other." She never lies. But she's just 8, so we'll see what the teen years bring. :)

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answers from San Francisco on

That's always a big delemma (sp?) You gave her an extra punishment for lying. Be sure she understands that had she not lied, she would still be playing the hand held game. All you can do is show them the difference in punishment when they come clean the first time versus lying.

By the way, if she's keen on cutting up clothes, take those PJs, get her a needle and thread and let her spend hours trying to sew them back together. I know he won't be able to wear them, but she will probably get bored real fast and not want to have to do that again!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I would withhold her privileges, like having a tv in her room and video games, not for a specified amount of time (such as saying "you can't have your tv back for 3 days), but instead, until she has earned your trust back. You can tell her that she has shown you that she doesn't treat her belongings properly (breaking the cable box, using scissors to destroy clothing). So if she wants privileges, she will have to show you that she knows how to treat her belongings and your property. Tell her when she shows you that she is careful to use scissors, pens and markers only to cut paper or write on paper, when she puts the remote control back where it belongs, when she takes care of her clothing (hanging up her coat, etc), that you will begin to give her some of her belongings back. Tell her that whining or complaining will only lengthen the punishment time. Positive action on her part will resolve the issue.

And make sure that you don't give her a chance to lie. I think it's important. For example, if you see cookie crumbs on the floor, and cookie crumbs on your kid's face, don't say "did you take a cookie?" That's pretty obvious. Confront them honestly. Say "you ate a cookie when I told you not to, and you made a mess, too." Then calmly pass out your punishment ("since you were not honest, you cannot have any more cookies today or tomorrow, and you will clean up the mess that you made.") It's different if you notice a dollar missing from your wallet but you don't have any idea where it went. Then you can interrogate.

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answers from New York on

I tell my kids if they tell the truth I an not allowedto get angry
And they have a free pass. If they lie and don't tell
Me what happened then they get punished. I usually
Get the answer and I speak to the kids about
What they did wrong. I also want my kids to feel comfortable
Talking to me about anything especially in this say and
Age. Best of luck!



answers from New York on

The punishment should fit the crime. Never over punish or go on for yelling for more than 30 min. You really want to keep the communication line open in case something way more serious happens later on as she gets older. Communication is very important. Just simply telling her that there will be severe punishment if she does something wrong, doesn't really mean anything to a kid other than "I better not get caught." You really have to explain why it's wrong and see if you can find out why she did it. ("You really should cut a hole in your jeans, because they cost a lot of money and I may not be able to buy a nice pair like these." "You shouldn't cut the leg off your brother's PJs just because you're mad at him. That's really not fair. How would you like it if he did that to you?"...) As for the other adult...If he can't put the scissors away, then you're going to have to Mom by locking them up so he has to ask you for them. When he does, tell him he has to bring them back to you when he is done. (Works great for my hubby.)



answers from New York on

In my parents' house the rule was:

"If you tell us the truth you will likely get a consequence. If you lie about it, the punishment will be twice as bad because you will be punished for lying on top of whatever you did."

Remember that a consequence (for minor things) can be a time out, a "lecture", something small and on-scale for the "crime". My parents were always really clear about the consequences. For example, in this case...

"No scissors because you cannot be trusted with them. Because you lied to me about it, you also have no television for ___ days."



answers from New York on

Maybe tell her the story of "Chicken Little"...that if you keep on lying, one day, given your history of lying, no one will believe you when you need them to. And maybe point out people that she knows that have a reputation for lying... what do people think of them? And does she want to be associated with them?



answers from New York on

Kids that age DO lie to avoid getting in trouble. I think you're doing the right thing by setting clear consequences for it. The thing I wonder, though, is if you might want to seek some kind of counseling around her desire to cut things up. That's an unusual impulse in a little kid. Not terrible or scary or anything like that -- but as someone with mild OCD tendencies myself, I pick up on these things.



answers from Lake Charles on

My 2 year old understands that if she just tells me and aplogizes we deal with it (fix it, clean it, etc) and she doesn't get punished but she does have to make it right. If she lies or doesn't come tell me she gets time-out or something taken away. So now she'll come up "i'm sorry mom, it's broke" and i say "thanks, lets fix it together" now.. we haven't gotten into any serious things yet but hopefully it'll stay the way it is.



answers from New York on

Personally, I would really focus on the fact that she later told the TRUTH and praise that. It might encourage coming forward in the future.

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