6 year old making up elaborate stories

Jeanette - posted on 03/04/2010 ( 1 mom has responded )

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My daughter is in kindergarten and has recently been making up crazy stories about kids at school. We haven't had an issue with this in the past, however recently we have had two instances in which this has directly affected my husband and myself. First she told some friends that her dad called them a name, which was not true. And secondly she told a friend at school that we said something bad about the girls parents, which was also not true. When I spoke with her about it she honestly thought that we said those things although we did not. I am beyond knowing what to do about this! I've had to do damage control twice now with parents. And I'm sure the parents have a hard time believing that I'm telling the truth! This is bothering me as well as my husband, and neither of us knows what to do about it!

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Rebecca - posted on 03/05/2010

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my daughter does the tall stories thing; i was most freaked out when she told me a friends parents was in critical condition at the hospital after a car accident --- no such thing happened, not even a minor car accident.



if she genuinely believes you said those things, probably she misunderstood something you said. i would tell her that conversations that happen at home between parents are private and she is not to repeat them to anyone at school. also tell her what you did say and explain how that is different to what she said you said.



she is probably using these stories to either defend herself against snarky remarks from other children, or using it to attack them when she's feeling insecure and wants to feel powerful. or perhaps she doesn't know what to say to strike up conversation and make friends.



i would discuss and over time reinforce with her:

1) appropriate ways to make friends -- how to start a conversation by saying hello, introducing yourself, asking another child if they want to play etc.

2) responses to children saying things she feels the need of a strong voice for i.e. positive ways of asserting yourself, not negative ways. for example, my daughter loves climbing and has very muscular legs but the girls at school were saying she has fat legs (there's no fat in sight, she's not even plump). i explained to her the different between fat and muscle, and told her to tell the girls that, but i also told her to tell the girls that her body is none of their business and she won't discuss it with them any further. if they make remarks after that she just laughs at them. sometimes if someone is REALLY mean to her, she'll say, 'that's not a very nice thing to say.' ... this reflects back to the culprit as they aren't being nice, and no child wants to feel that they are not nice. it really does help. when our daughter first started school and would get teased for whatever kids come up with to tease about she would respond by being nasty back. we have taught her that it is far more disarming to be nice back as the kids don't expect that and pretty soon feel silly for being mean to someone who is nice. ... if they say her hair is ugly, she tells them she thinks they are beautiful. LOL! these kids get really flustered and usually leave her alone for a bit, but later come back being nice to her.



as a result she has a large and growing circle of friends. at her nursery school, the teachers told us that everyone was friends with her. at her big school that she started in january, i recently had the pleasure to observe her with friends when she didn't know i was there -- the other children were literally crowded around her, she had a big smile on her face, and other children were calling out her name to try get her attention. she actually complained the other day that she feels a bit crowded by it.



i put this down to learning positive communication techniques. it's no good just telling your daughter what NOT to say, you need to give her POSITIVE tools so she knows what to say.

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