How can I get my 10 year old to stop lying to me?

Christine - posted on 12/13/2009 ( 15 moms have responded )

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My daughter keeps lying to me over stupid things. for example: My daughter is ADHD so she takes meds every morning before school, she has been lying to me about taking her pills so now she will start taking them at school, She has lied to me about taking a shower, lied to me about putting on clean underwear, lied to me about sending text message to sign up for things on TV.

I dont know what to do anymore. I have explained that she is getting into more trouble lying to me than actually telling the truth but she keeps lying. What can I say or do to stop this. Im losing my mind!!!

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Krista - posted on 12/14/2009

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Quoting Christine:

She knows that she can come to me and talk to me about anything, and I mean ANYTHING(I have already had many deep conversations with her on things to say anything.) I am consistent on consequences when she lies to me. In Fact we didn't go Ice skating yesterday because she lied to me. As for taking her phone away, She stays at home by herself in the morning and is home for a bit in the afternoon so she needs that in case of an emergency as we dont have a house phone.Ooh but suspending text messaging is an option... When I ask her why she lies she tells me she doesn't know why. I do tell her she is getting into more trouble by liying to me than just telling me the truth. She even tells me at times that she is too Loved and wants me to hurry and have a second child so I can share her love with that baby.
Thank you so much for all the help and advice. Im glad that I am not the only one going through this. Sometimes it feels like I am the only one.


She probably DOESN'T know why she lies. We adults always ask kids why they do what they do, but we need to understand that kids don't really have all that much self-awareness. My guess, from everything that you're saying, is that she's just trying to assert a little more independence.  So she defies your request (i.e. "you can't tell me what to do"), and then lies about it because she's worried about getting into trouble. And yes, she knows that there are also consequences for lying, but she likely thinks that she won't get caught in the lie. Maybe an option is to start offering her more choices. So instead of telling her to shower, period, let her know that she has to shower every day, but let her pick what time of day it'll be. Giving her a little bit more autonomy might satisfy her need for independence. 

Jenny - posted on 12/13/2009

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My nine year old son is the same way even down to the adhd and problems with the meds. Good idea with taking them at school. My husband and I just keep calling him out on the lies and we have certain punishments set up for if he is caught in a lie. My sons psychiatrist also suggested when catching him in a lie confont him, talk thru it, and follow thru with the set punishment. Hanging up clothes is a big problem for my son, he hides them so he won't have to hang them up. When we find them after he tells us they are all hung up then we confront him, make him admit he has lied, ask him why he lied, ask him what he should have done, and ask him what the set punishment for that lie is and then follow thru with it. I make sure that he understands that he is being punished for doing something that he knows is wrong and then lied about, and because of his choices he is being punished. I say alot think before you act and speak. We are slowly seeing a change with this. I think with the ADHD he is very impulsive and doesn't always take the time to think about right and wrong and then lies to get out of it. Hope things get better for you!!!

Wendolyn - posted on 12/14/2009

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I have a 26 year old that has lied I believe his whole life and I don't know where or when it started. I have talked to him about the truth and how much easier it is to back up the truth instead of a lie. I dont know what I did wrong but over the years lying turned into stealing and more lying. Try to get it under control because we have a strained relationship and I rarely see my son anymore

Krista - posted on 12/13/2009

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It's a control thing. I actually lied all the time as a kid, so my parents were in the same boat as you. At that age, kids usually lie either to avoid confrontation, or to assert control. In your case, it sounds like the latter. Basically, it's a way to defy your orders, while trying to avoid the usual punishment that comes with direct defiance. I don't really know what you can do to stop it -- I just sort of grew out of it. But I wanted to give you a bit of an insider's view on what might be going through her head.

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Andrea - posted on 07/31/2014

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I have a 10yr old daughter with fragile x syndrome n I gotta tell u im velry greatful my daughter doesn't lie to me, when she trys to lie she starts to feel guilty and comes and tells me the truth. I tell my daughter thanku for telling me the truth that was a very awesome decision u made;) but then I do tell her that u did start to lie to me and that is not ok so I still take her phone away for a day just to let her know lieing or even starting to lie is not ok but then I praise her for telling the truth to me. I taught my daughter at a very young age that lieing is not ok and the truth is very much rewarding;) don't worry keep being consistant on discipline when your child lies n let them know its not ok and the lieing will soon stop. good luck with u all...

Christine - posted on 12/14/2009

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She has he own cell phone and has had one for the last few years. She is a walker to school and has it to let me know if there are issues on her way to school and also to tell me when she gets to the school patrols. She also is home alone for a while in the mornings and then afternoons and we do not have a house phone. This is the first time she has ever tried to sign up for something she has seen on the TV. I knwo that she has had alot of changes in her life this year. First I kicked my husband out of our house, now I am divorced. But my daughter hated my ex-husband so she will tell you its a good thing and Thank god he is gone. Plus we moved, so she had to start another school. That poor child has gone to 4 Elementary school in her 5 years she had been in school.So maybe all of this crap is starting to catch up to her and she is just now starting to vent it out. IDK. Thanks again for all the advice, Everyone.

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My son has ADHD also and had problems with lying. They must have consequences and you need to be consistent. Also, try not to give them the chance to lie...if you know they did it...why ask? Just dole out the consequences. Also, you need to let her suffer from the consequences of her actions any time that you can...plus the consequences that you give. It also helps to talk about scenarios BEFORE they happen so you can talk about she SHOULD do. ADHD kids do things without thinking them out so the better you can prepare them the better off they will be.

You said she was sending text messages to sign up for things on TV...is your daughter 10 years old with a personal cell phone? I hope not.....in my opinion she is too young. Do not let her use your phone unsupervised if she is.
Hope this helps....ADHD kids are very tough!

Emma - posted on 12/14/2009

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Lay it out for them. Lying will equeal this punishment. My step daughter is ADHD and when she lies she knows the consequences. Its usual pretty simple, she has to just sit on her bed until the time is up. First lie is generally not very long, she is 6yr; the second lie is for the rest of the day. It only takes one or two reminders and then she snaps out of it. However, every once in a while she'll test the waters again to see if she can get away with it. We have warned her, and followed through, that if she persists with lying then the punishment increases and she will only earn stuff back with good behaviour. Example, we have let her used one of our tv's in her room, its not hers but as long as there is good behaviour it is there and she can watch it when she wants. When she has crossed the line, the tv is removed and she has to earn it back. It does work but it takes a while. In other words, sit down and figure out what punishment you are going to use and stick with it. They will be mad, say mean things but they don't mean it and will calm down after a while.

Christine - posted on 12/14/2009

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She knows that she can come to me and talk to me about anything, and I mean ANYTHING(I have already had many deep conversations with her on things to say anything.) I am consistent on consequences when she lies to me. In Fact we didn't go Ice skating yesterday because she lied to me. As for taking her phone away, She stays at home by herself in the morning and is home for a bit in the afternoon so she needs that in case of an emergency as we dont have a house phone.Ooh but suspending text messaging is an option... When I ask her why she lies she tells me she doesn't know why. I do tell her she is getting into more trouble by liying to me than just telling me the truth. She even tells me at times that she is too Loved and wants me to hurry and have a second child so I can share her love with that baby.
Thank you so much for all the help and advice. Im glad that I am not the only one going through this. Sometimes it feels like I am the only one.

Maranda - posted on 12/13/2009

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I am having the same problem with my 10 year old little boy. He was just diagnosed we tried the counseling and everything else and nothin has worked. I am so losing my mind.

Angelia - posted on 12/13/2009

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The first thing to do is to keep telling her that lying will get you in more trouble, then look ourself and are we doing the same thing. I am not saying that you are lying to your child but they do what we teach them.. I know that I have a 10 son and I know that he does tell some lies that is normal for any child, but he will not lie when I ask him about simple stuff like have you taken a shower. I know that some get in that age and they don't want to shower but start by taking the phone that she is texting with away and when she starts to tell the truth she may have it back. Take the things she likes the most and she will begin to see that she has nothing to do and she will like to have it back. Try it for a week the first time and then longer the next. Then maybe find a harsher punishment. I know that these kids these days believe they run things. We tell ours all the time, unless you have a job and have your own house and pay your own bills you do not make the rules and you do not get to think that you get to do what you want. But it is always a challenge to raise children. I also think that cell phones are not for 10 what on earth do they have to talk about and they have plenty of time to grow up and get one. Whatever happened to playing outside until dark and playing barbies forever. I think that our kids grow up way to fast these days for us.. Think about how you where at that age and think about what our parents did. Sometimes a good ol spanking will help out some of these children. I am not saying that about your situation but I know of some that walk all over their parents. Just keep on trying and good luck.

Halissa - posted on 12/13/2009

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i have two chidren and both were taking ADHD meds....the oldest is now not on the meds...i had to always remind her to take them....and at the end she wuld tell me that she did not want to take them any more.....but she took them when itold her to....my little one will remind me most of the time so she can take it....does your daughter have electronics, or tv in her room...take things away when she lies to you...and tell her she is only hurting herself when she lies to you....i always told my girls they can alwayscome to me with anything....we always talk everyday about how their day wasat school....i try to make themfeel important and what they accomplish is important to me and my husband...b/c if my girls lie or get in trouble they get things taken away....such as my 16 year can not live without her cell phone...if it gets taken away she thinks it is the end of the world...so she is working very hard to do the right things in life.

Dana - posted on 12/13/2009

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I don't have an answer, but have the same situation. Just inherited a 12 yo step daughter with ADHD who lies to me continuously and I am just learning about ADHD. Any advice would be appreciated.

April - posted on 12/13/2009

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Lay down some consequences and stick to them! i dont mean to say hateful, but most parents will say "if you do that, Im going to spank you" and then they wont. Tell her clearly what will happen if she lies to you, and if she does it , follow through on what you said you were going to do. If she knows something she doesn't like will happen, then she will eventually stop lying.

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