My three year old has started lying and I'm not sure how to correct the problem...any suggestions?

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JuLeah - posted on 06/19/2011

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At three, he is not really telling a lie. He would have to understand what that was to actually do it. He is telling you what he wishes were true, what he thinks you want to hear.
Magical thinking, wishful thinking ... he can't yet tell the difference. He has just discovered the power of words ... and he is asked to lie all the time odds are, so it is a confusing thing to figure out.
Most kids are asked to say their are sorry when they don't actually feel sorry. Or thank you and I love it for a gift they didn't want. Or, yes I like that salad when they really wanted pizza.
He will be 7 or 8 before he really starts to understand what a lie is.
Of course, if telling you what you want to hear works, he will keep doing it.
Call him on it when you hear it, but in a nice way. "You might wish that was true, but that is not what really happened."
Don't ask him to lie with words to expressions ... never ask him to kiss Aunt so and so goodnight if he doesn't want to ... never ask him to say, "sorry' if he doesn't mean it ....
and gently help him understand the different between what he says and what actually happened

Shannintipton - posted on 06/19/2011

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Thanks Elizabeth, I really owe that answer to a lady on here named Jenn H. She is amazing. She has a great tooth fairy answer too. Eight quarters so that sounds like a lot in her piggy bank. She is really great. :)

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Ashley - posted on 06/19/2011

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My son told his father that I hit him beacause I told him no he couldnt have something so I'm sure it wasn't wishful thinking or telling me what I want to hear,but he is aware that we don't hit in our house because he has older siblings who get in trouble for it almost everyday. I have never asked my son to like something that he doesnt' I let him express likes and dislikes as he sees fit I may not let him eat cookies all day everyday but I have never told he has to tell me he likes anything else to get what he really wants

[deleted account]

Loved shannins post!wat a great idea. My four year old hasnt started using her imagination ALOT lately when playing, shes started to read and I think all the books have given her lots of ideas. She started telling harmless lies, I.e. "my friend amy is going to live at the beach" she doesnt know anyone named amy. we just talked about what pretending is and what lying is.

Shannintipton - posted on 06/18/2011

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Somebody on here gave me some great advice. She told me that if he is lying you will be able to see a twinkle in their eyes. When I told this to my son he wouldn't look at me so I knew he was lying and he started laughing too.

Also works in reverse. He was saying something to one of his friends which I didn't think it was a lie but more wishful thinking. As it turned out he was right his dad did say that. When I mentioned that I was shocked that he was right and didn't lie, he said well did you see a twinkle in my eye when I said it? I had to laugh.

Amanda - posted on 06/18/2011

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I have a three year old stepson and he did one time, i just told him he will get in bigger trouble if he lies cause i will find out and so far i don't think he has.

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