Ask Me No Questions and I’ll Tell You No Lies

Question

Lately, I’ve noticed my 6-year-old daughter telling lies. One day she was playing with her baby sister, and I suddenly heard the baby cry like she was in pain, so I figured she hurt herself in some way. I asked what happened and my daughter looked at me for a moment and wouldn’t answer and then said she hit her head when I think she made it up and accidentally hurt her. Another day she didn’t flush and I told her to come up and flush and she denied it and said “It wasn’t mine.” I know it was hers because she’s done things like that before and it wouldn’t have been anyone else. What should I do about her little lies? I don’t want it to get worse.

Answer

Thank you for reaching back out to Parent Guru.

The quickest way to handle lies is to never ask a child a question you already know the answer to. Just state to them what it is that you know. For example, using your examples; “I know your sister is hurt OR her head is hurt” instead of “What happened to your sister?” The latter is inviting a lie to be told. Also, when they respond with “I don’t know” or “it wasn’t mine” like you mentioned, but you know otherwise just kindly restate what you want the child to do and don’t feed back to them more attention about the matter. Remember young children thrive on attention and things of this sort don’t need any more than what is needed. A side note concerning when the baby gets hurts in anyway and you are not around to witness it - remind your daughter that you need to know so that you can give proper care to her sister to get her well again.

Stay strong and carry on.
Please reach back out if you have any more questions. We are here to help.

Amy Timberlake
Certified Leadership Parenting Coach

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