Mom in tears, daughter lies.

Paula - posted on 06/21/2011 ( 7 moms have responded )

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Hello, i need help, i am coming unglued and reacting wrongly (i know) to my daughter who lies and then says we are wrong. My situation is that i have remarried after being with my partner for 6 years, she calls him dad and he treats her as his own daughter, she sees her biological dad once a week. She is intelligent, active, creative and strong willed, all of which i show appreciation and love for. At the beginning of my relationship when she was about 5 years old, she blatantly told us that she would break up the relaitonship. it was a big struggle but we overcame that hurdle, i know (think?) that she genuinely loves her step-dad and we never exclude her from anything (unlike her real dad). She has always been a great story-teller and people are amazed at how eloquent she is. She has always been around adults since she is the only child and we run a restaurant, after a while whe restricted her presence in the restaurant because i thought she was becoming a bit precocious. I must say that i do rant and rave because, as i tell her i am soft on her when she is on the right path and will raise hell when she knowingly does things that are against what we speak of. i talk to her all the time and just yesterday i took her for a gilrs day out and had a little chat about telling stories (lies) about 10 mins later she was caught in a lie. i do curse sometimes and tell her i cannot deal with it and will put her in a home if she continues with the lying ( i know i am going to get hung out dry for that) but i get so desperate and think that i need to apply tough love. i try soft love all the time but the mometn i realise she is doing the same thing i get so hurt that i lash out (verbally not physically). i feel so guilty that the circle just goes round and round. my hisband and i have even talked about him going away for a while (he is british but we live in the caribbean he is 65 and i am 43 so we are not young parents) i know that sounds ridiculous but i am at my wits end with worry that she has some problem (we have mental illness in our family) i even ask her if something is wrong in her head. (sorry) I am also very paranoid about that fact. please read this and try to be objective, i know that i am doing some things wrong but i don't have a guide-book for raising my only child that i love dearly. Asking for help.

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JuLeah - posted on 06/21/2011

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Why are you hurt if she lies or misbehaves? What does it have to do with you?
You asked her if she is mentally ill????
You said you'd put her in a home? Will you actually do that or was it a lie?
What 'home' would take a 'normal kid' acting in a normal fashion to what sounds like ... well, a not so normal situation.
You can't be both objective and paranoid.
Sounds like she lies to save herself, spare your feelings, make social sitautions flow .....
She will knowingly do things that are against what you speak. It is her job to test, to figure out who she is .... you have to figure out who you are not (often) before you can figure out who you are.
Your husband is thinking of leaving ... because she tells lies???? I have to not be understanding that correctly. Because that makes not a lick of sense.
Get help for yourself .... figure out what is age approperate for her (at some ages kids lie) She is ... 11? Yah, normal milestone and one to be worked through.
Take up a hobby, volunteer, find something you are passionate about (other then your child)
Relax, ease up on her .... and rememeber, all behavior happens for a reason ... it serves a fuction, it meets a need, it gets a need met ..... figure out what need she is attempting to meet with the lie and help her figure out a better way to meet that need.

Kristine - posted on 06/21/2011

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I would definetely sit her down and talk to her about why lying is not acceptable in any way - its hurtful, mean, rude, etc. I look after a little girl who had a terrible habit of lying all the time. I told her that I cannot trust her because I don't know when she is actually being truthful and told her that she'd have to earn back my trust by being honest all the time. Eventually it sunk in. When you catch her in a lie, put her in time out or whatever method of discipline you find works for your family. I like Sara Murphy's idea of putting a rock in a jar for every day she has without telling a lie and once she reaches a certain number she gets a treat of some sort. If you think she might actually be mentally ill or this behaviour does not improve, then you should take her to your family doctor or a psychologist for an assessment. It's better to know if she actually has a problem and address it, the sooner issues like that are treated the better. I owuld not have your husband leave for a while, otherwise you are teaching her that by acting like this she is able to get exactly what she wants. I find it concerning that she told you that she would "break up" your marriage. That's not appropriate for a child to say or even think about. I would try to help her see that she needs to treat others as she wants to be treated and get over this fibbing. I know its very difficult to deal with a little one that lies, it can be a long haul breaking that habit. In the mean time, keep trying to set a good example and get help from your husband and her father. Seek out professional help too if you need it. There's nothing wrong with that. ALso, maybe get a break from her every day. Take 30 minutes for yourself to read a book, go for a walk on the beach, visit a friend, participate in a hobby or class, volunteer, etc.

Sara - posted on 06/21/2011

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What kinds of lies are we talking about here....? Maybe you could try a reward system.......go pick some nice smooth rocks and take time to paint them up really nicely...for every day she gets through without a fib she gets to put a rock into a jar (let her help pick out)...as soon as she has collected a certain amount (let her put them in when she earns them) let her pick a treat (maybe let her pick out a small bunch of treats to pick from ahead of time).

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Bec - posted on 06/22/2011

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I reckon all round kids/people told not to tell a lie I mean seriously. In my life time ive told probably a few thousand haven't you? pick and choose your battles depends on what the lie was who to and how serious? If for some reason this lie has affected your relationship with your partner she is what 11 out smarting a 65yr old there is something sus to this sarga? To concider mental illness there would have to be a string of things unless you saying they maybe a compulsive lier? Even then most kids are as the other people have said it does seem to peak at various ages and stages.If you know more detail about family history and this situation that leads you to genuinely feel that way get an assesment. Your her parent and she relies on you being her advocate. Good Luck ps Bill Gates said to never teach a child not to lie as it is a poor way to get to the top LOL

Paula - posted on 06/22/2011

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Hello everyone, thank you, thank you so much for all your replies and for making me realise that i am not a horrible mom and that there are solutions. I'm now trying to do more with her since it was my husband who did all the running around (which I really appreciated after being the one doing it alone). My husband isn't going anywhere! I realised a change when i picked her up from school and did all my errands with her, i held my tongue and spoke calmly when something poked me to shout, i know that this is not a quick fix situation and that this process may take some time but we are trying some of all of your suggestions. @ Pam, i really want to try old-fashioned mothering since the labels did not exist in the past and mothers figured out a way. but thanks for the term so i can now go and look it up and see what that is all about. Thanks for your willingness to listen to a stranger. Living in a small island is sometimes difficult because you don't want all the moms in your child's school circle commenting on your child, sometimes the saying "small island, small minds" really does hold true. So thank you all wherever you are for coming to my rescue and not attacking me. After the melt-down yesterday, and the replies, i started thinking about things in a different light; as something that can be worked on and remedied, @JuLeah you said it so well (lightbulb moment!). So i am going to keep on keeping on and thanks again all the great moms out there who are there for their children. Will let you all know how Phase 2 is going. Smiling today!

Pam - posted on 06/21/2011

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Reading this sounds like my life...only I am the wicked step mother who has been told I will be ruined and I shouldnt be with her dad. It sounds exactly what my step daughter has. There is a diagnosis for it. Take her to a councellor and ask the councellor his/her opinion about her having Reactive Attachment Disorder. Lying, cheating, stealing, negitive attention getting, almost dillusional. It is an odd one because the child is so bright acedemically, but in personal relationships...it is a mess. I can understand what you are going thru and you must feel very alone. DON'T feel alone. You are not the only one. If you want someone to talk to that knows what you are feeling, please message my in box on facebook and I would be happy to be a support for you and your husband. Whatever you do...DO NOT let your husband leave. If that happens, she will know she has all the power and things will get way worse until she gets what she wants. I feel for ya and hope everything will turn out okay for you. Message me if you need to!!!

Frances - posted on 06/21/2011

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hi, i do understand about the frustration you must be feeling, sounds like an attention seeking thing shes doing, hmm i get mums attention when I lie is there something she really enjoys, remove her from it until she learns to behave better let her know you mean business ;) there is no need for your husband to leave, it couldd be for good, do you really want that? and about the rock idea that sounds great, but if she lies remove them all from the jar and start again, that way she will soon learn she wont get what she wants until she changes her habbits good luck i hope all works out well :)

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