9 year old lying ALL the time

Lissa - posted on 11/30/2011 ( 10 moms have responded )

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This was also posted on the divorced page. Advice is much needed!
Long story short... My husband has custody of his 3 children from his previous marriage. He has had custody of them since the divorce because his ex wife dropped the kids off to him one day and didn't return (or call) till 8 months later. The kids were really young when he got custody of them (the youngest only 7 months old) so they have never really had a stable relationship with their mother. She has been in and out of their life since the divorce (and since had 3 more children with different men). The kids have never had a positive female figure in their life until their dad married me.
At first it was GREAT and still is except the oldest and her lying. The kids and I are very close. The girls (the 2 oldest) love doing girly things with me cuz daddy is a "man's man" and they had been without the girly things for awhile. The oldest especially took to me, copying me, wanting to dress like me, wanting to dye her hair my color... LOL It was really cute and I was so happy our family was so happy. The thing about it is the oldest is a horrible fibber. She lies about everything. We have had problems at school with her lying and starting drama making herself out to be a victim. We understand this is an attention thing and we started having "Daddy dates" on the weekend where my husband takes the kids individually to do what they want and spend time with them without me. I think it's a great thing for them to do!! We thought this special time each child had with their father would help the cries for attention....
Well, about a year ago his ex wife decided to actually take the children for her weekend for the first time in months. Of course they went and it wasn't an hour after she had picked them up that she called my husband SCREAMING at him about how I had "grabbed the middle child by her arm and threw her out of a room". WTF? He turned and asked me about it sternly (which upset me that he could even think I'd do that). I told him I hadn't and they argued about it for awhile. When he hung up we discussed how she was probably just trying to start problems and left it at that. We ended up getting papers going to court. She was accusing me of abuse. We were flabbergasted. She claimed she saw bruises on the childs arm. We went to court and with no proof (no pics as she said she had) the kids remained with us but it was a 2 day deal and 5000 dollars for court cost/lawyer for all this.
Yesterday I took the middle child to a doctors appointment while the other 2 were in school. On the way home in the car we were singing to the radio together and she suddenly stopped and started crying. Having no idea why she was crying I asked what was wrong.
"(my oldest sister) was the one who told mom that you hurt me! I wanted to tell mom that it wasn't true but mom started yelling and got so mad I was scared to tell her it wasn't true. (the oldest) saw mom yelling and kept telling her that you hit us and yell at us and that you are mean! (the oldest) thought it was funny!!"
I was shocked. Why would she do that to me? I've bent over backwards to make sure I'm doing everything right. I am so sensitive to the fact that they are children from a divorce and try the best I can to be consistent and make sure they have time with their father. I never talk bad about their mother even though she trashes me and my marriage. I realize the child is only 9 and they can do some pretty out there things but this worries me so much. What should we do? My husband was outraged when I told him. We confronted her and she tried to lie her way out of it and finally told us yeah she had said that with no explanation as to why she had done that.
I'm starting to see a very alarming pattern with the oldest child. Her "worship" of me is very fake in alot of ways. She is quick to flatter anyone who she wants favor of at the time. She lies about everything from brushing her teeth to outright outlandish stories of how she is a victim. She is really 2 faced with her friends at school and called her best friend who is over at the house all the time "fat" to another girl in her class and they proceeded to make fun of this girl til I walked in the room. She claims she hates someone and then she is friendly to their face if she sees them. I assume she does this to me and her father at her mothers house too because she claims to hate her mother. She steals and she ruins her clothes and shoes on purpose sometimes especially the most expensive things we get her. She puts candy wrappers in her brothers room and then comes to us and tells on him for "stealing candy".
What is the deal? We try so hard to make everything as normal as possible here. and we have addressed this issue with her several times from punishing her to talking to her and telling her if there is something wrong she needs to come and talk to us. Are we doing something wrong? I worry her next step is to accuse us of much worse. She has already caused a court room drama with her lies.

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Melissa - posted on 12/13/2011

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Talk with the school if you can't afford counseling. Our school district district has great school counselors and even has grants for counseling outside of school that we were able to utilize for my step daughter. I sure hope you can find someplace to help you out!

Jennifer - posted on 11/30/2011

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Hey hun... blended families are confusing, hard and extremely emotional...The kids involved get very confused and torn with the whole to and fro, and especially if they sense or hear the upset, arguments, and stress that the adults going through. I know, because im going through the same in a certain way. I am currently taking my son to a counsellor, and I've had to increase my mortgage loan to cover the costs of his father taking me to court. i am also 22 weeks pregnant, so its very stressful. Depends on which state you are in, get a mental health care plan from the doctors. in SA its called a 27/10 Mental Health plan. covers up to i think 10 sessions a year for psychologists. i still pay a gap, but i gotta do what i have to do. inquire about that with your doctors surgery and get her to a psych asap. Good luck. x

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 11/30/2011

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The school is a good beginning resource, definitely. And thru the school system, they may have a support network that would help. I would still think that your medical circumstances would qualify you for something, even temporarily.

You guys really are doing well, even though it seems like you're drowning. Just keep your head up, and stay positive!

you and dad are on the same page, and I'd have the same concerns about attention/boys/trouble!

Lissa - posted on 11/30/2011

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Thank you :) The Daddy date days are a really good idea (if I say so myself lol) and the kids get one on one with dad for a couple hours each Saturday to do what they want with him. While he is out with one the other 2 are home with me baking or playing so everyone gets lots of attention. The thing is we have noticed since we started Daddy date day the oldest (the one we have problems with) has gotten a little worse about craving attention! It feels like we give an inch and she wants a mile! Her father is so worried that her want for attention will turn to boys when she is older and then.... ya know? We don't want that! We have looked into aid but he makes just over the limit. We have to put down the amount of child support we are suppose to be getting but it hasn't came in 8 months. So it looks like we are getting more then what we have. I talked to him about quitting school but I'm so close to graduating and he said we will just hang in there.
I'd thought about talking to her principal at school to see if the school would be willing to let her talk to someone through the school (and for free). Maybe she knows of something we could do. That would help so much!
This child can be so loving and she has so much potential. I would hate to see her become a "mean girl" in school or get herself or someone else in serious trouble with her fibs! Hubby and I are talk about it tonight!

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 11/30/2011

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Oh no, so much to deal with! I've been there. Most medical offices will have excellent financial resources for you, make sure to take advantage of anything offered!

Don't beat yourself up! You've done your best, and more. But the other kids need love and help, too, and if you spend all of your energy on just the one of them, and then try to help the other two, you'll be in an early grave!

Can child services help, since mom isn't a contributing parent? Just a thought. Plus, a lot of services like the counseling, and ADHA services could be on a sliding scale. Make sure you ask. It's tough admitting that you're struggling. I know. We did it for many, many years...(I still wonder how I managed to get thru the years when I only brought in 19K a year, but we had 25K going out, between medical, house, utilities, etc) By the grace of God, and the support of family and friends, we were able to do it. But, the first time I had to ask for "assistance", I almost couldn't do it. I was so embarrassed to admit that, even though I work my butt off, I didn't have enough to be comfortable in raising my family. Most agencies are very understanding, and even if you don't qualify for most assistance, there are ALWAYS some programs that will help.

I pray that things look up for you, Lissa! Please know that you have support here, and vent when you need to!

Lissa - posted on 11/30/2011

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Yes, I figured for awhile we needed to have her evaluated and talking to someone. It seems there is no other way around it. Her younger brother just got diagnosed with ADHA and her sister has leukemia. *sigh* We have so many doctor bills and appointments already and their mother refuses to pay child support. We are strapped for cash and time. My husband makes *just* enough so we can't receive any aid at all. I'm trying to finish my last year in school.... but it seems we are going to be adding another monthly doc visit on top of the weekly chemo treatments :( and yet another bill... We have tried so hard to work through the behavior problems with love, support, being consistent and being understanding. We have given up our time to do things for the kids to show them that we care about them and sometimes I think we even go a little overboard to try to compensate what their mother lacks. I guess it didn't work :(

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 11/30/2011

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You have done everything, it seems except take her in to a therapist and doctor. Both need to happen if you want to trace her behavior to an initiating point.

She is a confused young lady who is seeking attention. You've got that figured out. However, she is seeking the attention of whoever she is with at the time. And it doesn't seem to matter who that is.

She is insecure. She wants everyone to like her, be her friend, and pay attention to her, and love her. It doesn't matter to her HOW she gets this attention. She may have felt guilty that she "likes you too much" while she was with her mother, thus that story got started.

Your fear that she will manipulate the counselor like she has everyone else is pretty much unfounded. They are trained, and know what signs to look for. No matter what , a person who is lying is giving signals. Very visible signals, no matter what the lie. She won't get away with it.

However, you also need to have her evaluated for behavior disorders, such as ADD, ADHD, or bipolar conditions. Any of these can cause the described behavior. And, with any of those, therapy and doctor's treatments really should be combined anyway.

Don't walk, RUN to your local counselor and your physician. This child is crying for help, and she will feel much better when whatever condition is causing this is brought to light.

In the meantime, just reinforce that you love her. She may listen, she may not, but somewhere, deep down, it'll stick.

Deb - posted on 11/30/2011

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I can understand the concerns that you have. The plus side is a counselor / psychologist is accoustomed to dealing with behavior problem children and are adept at avoiding the manipulation. And going into it you are going to be telling the counselor WHY you are seking help for her.

Obviously she does need help, these are huge isses that need to be addressed now before they escalate into a problem that cant be fixed.

Seek help from a professional that is equiped to help you and this little girl. If you dont I fear you WILL be spending more money in legal fees and still have NO solution to the problem.

Lissa - posted on 11/30/2011

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I have mentioned her seeing someone to her father too. If we punish her for her behavior it seems to work for a little bit but then she will pull another whooper.
Last year she was going to the nurses office every day for weeks with an "illness". They could never find anything wrong with her but we took her to the doctor twice in one week. The whole time the doctor was looking her over she had a HUGE grin on her face. When the docs couldn't find anything wrong with her we would send her back to school with a note saying she was ok. She told her teacher she was getting in trouble at home for being "sick" and the teacher called us in to lecture us about not believing her!! This was after she stole 100 dollars from us, hid it, and after looking for this money for 2 days told us she "found it" under a couch cushion (we had tore the house apart previously and looked there before). A parent called my husband and told him that her son saw our daughter with 100 dollar bill at school showing it off.She was the one that pulled it out from under the cushion at home in a big dramatic show and she turned glared at us and said "WOW and you were blaming ME for taking it!!!"
The thing is she is SO dramatic that I worry that these lies will continue with a counselor. She makes up things that are "wrong" with her. I don't worry that we can clear ourselves of anything she accuses us of but she can manipulate people. Her mother jumps on every little thing she can (when she is around) to try to get us in trouble. I want the problems to stop and I agree with doing whatever it takes but I also worry she can manipulate a counselor (like she did her teacher) into thinking we are mean and horrible to her and causing even MORE problems! We can't afford to be in court all the time.

Deb - posted on 11/30/2011

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Get her to a Counselor or Child Psychologist right away. This little girl has some much bigger issues going on and needs some professional help. This will also help you, as a proffesional will have some advice on how to handle the situation without making it worse.

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