My 7 Year Old Son Is Turning into a Liar...

Updated on July 10, 2010
K.M. asks from Angola, LA
14 answers

This morning we were getting ready to go vacation bible school and my phone rang so as I'm talking on it, it begins to beep conference several times. I ask my son twice was he on it and he says "no ma'am" both times. So I called him up to my room and asked him about it and he denied it. I wasn't sure that he did it because I have new house phones and thought they were malfunctioning because they arent the highest quality so I didn't want to just accuse him. But after a little interrigation and showing him how the phone works when you pick it up and someone else is on it. Then he confesses to picking it up and pressing the buttons. I don't know how to hadle this. We went from not lying to dealing with this several times a week. I guess he shouldn't go to VBS now or should he. I know that this does happen but I just dont know the best way to handle this. Please help!

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So What Happened?

I do want to say that I would like to have had you guys as mothers growing up! Most of you are very lenient in my opinion. I would like to clear up the exactly what did happen with the phone. It rang and I picked it up and began to talk on it and it started beeping conference which means that someone was picking it up. He basically decided to pick it up and listen thinking that I wouldn't notice. The rule in my house is that you are not allowed to answer the phone unless mom or dad asks you to and also that you arent allowed to make calls without permission. Therefore there was no reason for him to be touching the phone at all. Someone said that I didn't mention but one lie. Last week he lied about have an acident on himself because he was to excited to stop playing and use the restroom. and the week before that it was about tearing a page out of his book because he was upset with me. It just over things that if he were just honest he woulnt get in big trouble for. I did not allow him to go to Vbs because I dont think that he deserved to go and have fun all day after being dishonest. I can actually teach him about God at home. Lying has to have consequences and not just talking too. That just isn't going to cut it. If I were a kid and was allowed to go and have fun after lying what would guide me to stop?????

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answers from San Francisco on


He needs to go to Bibile school and you should ask the teacher to discuss lying and the possible consequences in an open forum.


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answers from Chicago on

Well, I don't think keeping him home from BIBLE school is going to make him stop lying, if he is, so I would definitely still let him go.

Here's the thing- all kids seem to go through a phase of lying, even good ones. I think part of it is trying to see what they can get away with, but I also think part of it is just learning what a lie is.

Ask yourself honestly: has your son NEVER EVER heard you or his father or another adult he respects tell a lie?? Never, not even a tiny little white one? It can be hard for kids to learn when even those of us who love them best sometime mess up or fudge the truth a little.

You need to TALK with you son about this. I agree with the poster below- first find out if he was using the phone- check and see who was called- that should be pretty easy to confirm.

If he was NOT using the phone and it is just a glitch in your phone service or picking up someone else's calls or something, it would be really bad to accuse him wrongly and YOU need to apologize to him for it. Trust is a two-way street and you need to earn and deserve his trust as much as he needs to do the same with you.

If it was him- sit down and talk to him about why he felt like he should lie to you. Was it just a 'panic' moment and he blurted out the lie before really thinking about what he was saying? Was he just afraid of being in trouble and that is why he lied? He needs to understand why the lie is bad before he can learn NOT to do it.

I would tell him that you are disappointed he was calling on the phone if you told him not to- but that you are even more disappointed that he felt like he could lie to you about it. One thing I always told my son when he went through this little phase, over and over was " You always get caught in a lie, right? Any time you have done this, we have figured out you lied. So you KNOW you can't get away with it- why keep doing it?"

I would talk to him about imagining that his words are on a ribbon running out of his mouth and hanging there, in the world forever for everyone to see. If you say something mean or untrue- it is OUT THERE and cannot be taken back, even if you apologize. There will always be consequences to lying, even if you don't feel them right away, so THINK before you SPEAK.

I never 'punished' my son for his little white lies. I would give him some extra chores or send him to bed early, but never anything else. But I had that talk with him over and over and over and it really sunk it.

As for the woman who puts hot sauce in her kids' mouths for lying- sorry, but that is just cruel and stupid IMO. It teaches a child NOTHING about the immorality of telling a lie- just that you get hurt if you do. They don't learn anything from that, its just bullying and abusive.

I have often said to my son that we ALL make mistakes, grown-ups and children. God understands that we are not perfect and that mistakes happen and so do I- but there is no excuse for making the SAME mistakes over and over. you have to TRY to do better each time!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

Could it have been that he wanted to call a friend? Of coures I don't know about your rules with the phone, but I was allowed to call my friends at that age. Sometimes someone in our house with one phone line would pick up the phone not always knowing someone else was on it and would start dialing.

If this is the only incident, I'd just keep an eye on it and err on the side of giving him the benefit of the doubt.

Edited later to add: I was astonished when I read the hot sauce/vinegar bit that one lady posted. That is outright wrong. Why would you brag that you do that?? My jaw literally dropped when I read that.

To the original poster.. coming back and reading what you wrote in the "so what happened" area. I think the other posters are suggesting a good idea that he should go to VBS. Ask the teacher to help you out and teach something on lying. If he's allowed to watch tv or something like that, perhaps that should be something else to go.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

When my children tell us a bold face lie they get vinegar or hot sauce in their mouth. This is one thing I will not put up with at all. I'm trying to break my children of this horrible trait, and I explain to them that lies only hurt people. Nothing good ever comes from a lie, and the truth ALWAYS comes out at some point. They are learning that if they tell mom and dad the truth up front, they do not get into as much trouble. In your case, I would allow him to go to VBS because they teach possitive things. Hope he will stop telling lies soon. Good Luck!



answers from New Orleans on

My step daughter went through a major lying phase starting at 6 and finally came out of it around 9 (she only spend part time with us and bluffing worked quite well at her mom's house, so we had a long battle at our home). My best piece of advice is the technique that my husband came up with that worked quite well. When you suspect your child is not telling you the truth based on the evidence and your parental intuition, tell him point blank you think he is not being honest and give him only one chance right then and there to come clean without any consequences for the lying, assuring him that the punishment for doing the bad thing is a lot less severe than the punishment for lying about it. If he insists he didn't do the bad thing, tell him if you find out at any point that he was lying to you, he will be punished for both the offense, and then punished again even worse for the lying. My husband made sure that when my step-daughter upped the anty by lying about things, it upped the stakes as well, punishment-wise. You have to address the lying specifically as a separate and far more serious offense, every time, and follow through with the severe punishment for the lying, explaining how things would have been better had he just told you the truth when you originally asked him. A child's motivation to lie is to stay out of trouble- if they end up getting in twice as much trouble for it, then they will learn they are better off just being honest. It only took a couple times of her words coming back to haunt her (kids aren't very skilled at coming up with fool-proof lies at this young age) and really paying for what were originally small offenses that she made ten times as worse because she lied about it before my step daughter dropped most of the lying.



answers from Anniston on

Church related functions should definitely not be removed as a punishment. Even VBS and its fun activities teach the children wonderful lessons and Bible stories. Consider taking away other things that he values and enjoys.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Wow...he said "No ma'am" TWO times? I kind of stalled out at that point in your message! LOL
I have a 7 yo and he's been upping the lying thing a bit lately too. Not sure why. I'd probably not keep him home from VBS, but warn him that the next time he lies, he will receive a consequence. Also, I always try to tell my son that he will never be "in trouble" for telling the truth. (In your case, if I had asked him if he picked up the phone and he confessed, he would be told not to do it again but wouldn't get a consequence b/c he answered truthfully.)



answers from Baton Rouge on

By all means let him go, and tell the teacher to pull him on the side and give him a lecture on lying.

When he gets home ask him what happen and see if he tells you about it. At 7 he probably will not, then speak to him yourself about lying. Hopefully by coming from both ends he will stop. I hope so, as he can become a habitual liar and if so he in the end will believe himself~!



answers from Jonesboro on

VBS is a positive influence on your child. Why would you want to take that away from him? I would talk to him about not telling the truth and the consequences that continuing to engage in that type of behavior will be. I have a 7 year old daughter and I think that they feel that they are just "joking" about little things such as that, but those "little" things can turn into "big" problems if the behavior continues.



answers from Montgomery on

VBS should not be a reward or punishment but a necessary part of your child's spiritual education. Perhaps another punishment would be more fitting.



answers from San Francisco on

You only mention one lie in your post, and it wasn't that bad. Are all his lies about being on the phone?

Of COURSE you should send him to vacation bible school. It will give you a break and it will allow the people at bible school to teach him not to lie.

Why make your life miserable over this? Let other people teach your kid for a while.



answers from Texarkana on

I wouldn't punish him from VBS; it is church-related and he NEEDS church to guide him in the right direction. Why not punish him from TV or video games, etc? That would be a better punishment. And maybe he didn't understand what you were asking at first, you asked him if he was on it, not if he was playing with the phone. Maybe he thought "were you on it" meant "were you talking to someone on the phone". Then when you explained it, he admitted it, so maybe he understood what you meant. He may not have been lying intentionally. Good luck!



answers from Memphis on

I don't think I'd overreact at this point. First, I'd try to figure out what his motivation is for lying. Is he just curious about how the phone works (like,"hey, if she's talking on THAT phone, why can I hear her on THIS phone?")? Was he the topic of your discussion and maybe he wanted to hear what you were saying about him (kids LOVE to hear their parents talk about them, even if they aren't saying anything really interesting)? Of course, you need to reiterate that lying is wrong, and why, but I'm thinking maybe he was just curious about something involving the phone and was then maybe embarrassed that you caught him. It's a natural instinct, not wanting to be caught at something, but you can teach him to approach you with questions with impunity and he'll gradually be less likely to instinctively tell a lie to cover up his behavior. I think severe, harsh punishment without trying to get to the 'why' of lying just leads to sneakier behavior (I've definitely seen this happen). Best of luck.



answers from Birmingham on

Calling your 7 year old son a "liar" is the beginning of an ongoing problem. He is 7, and not making excuses, it's not right for him to lie, but he is a child, a young child. He's discovering new things all the time and the reason he lies is probably because he feels you won't understand and in a beautiful childs mind, he's already come to the conclusion that his mom will get so mad that he has no choice but to lie. You need to be more understanding and remember he is a young child. Be loving, but let him know there are consequences for his actions, don't treat him like a criminal, and please don't use VBS and God to smooth over the fact that you need to learn how to deal with him without so much persecution.

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