Friday, May 31, 2013


I know a lot of my fellow trauma momma's have a BIG issue with kiddos lying.  When Matthew first came to me this was also a big issue for us.  He would lie about everything, teacher asks what he had for dinner, he would say Pizza when he had Tacos.  He would tell you the sky was green or that someone had stolen his lunch at school.  I quickly realized a few things about his lying.  First, he used lying as a test with adults.  If you believed his lie he would brag about how he "tricked" the adult.  In his mind if you were this easily duped you certainly were not smart enough to be trusted to take care of his needs.  Second, it gave him a sense of control over his environment, he could easily send the adult into a tailspin with his lies and gain attention.

Although I could certainly understand WHY he was doing this it became an endless battle and quite frankly drove me batty.  He would be coloring with a green crayon but tell you it was red.  Next thing I know I'm in a 20 minute argument with a 5 year old over the color of a crayon. For some reason I just HAD to have him admit he was lying, even though we both knew he was.  Somewhere along the way I heard the greatest advice I had ever been given in regards to this lying issue:  Do NOT give him the opportunity to lie!  How simple a solution and why hadn't I thought of it.  I just stopped asking him questions.  No more, "Did you steal that cookie off the counter?."  Duh?!  Of course he stole the cookie his mouth and hands are covered in chocolate!  Instead I would just say, "I see you stole the cookie off the counter, since you ate that you will not get a cookie at snack time." And I would walk away.  If he started with a story about a miraculous possum that came in and stole the cookie, I would say, "That's a very good lie you came up with, you are SO creative!"  I also did not believe anything he told me, everything was followed up on and checked.  He would get upset and say, "You never believe me!"  And I would simply say, "You are right, you have told me so many lies that I do not believe you right now.  Hopefully when I see that you are telling me the truth all the time, I can believe you and you can earn trust." After doing this for awhile the lies diminished, he wasn't getting anymore control in the house by telling them, he wasn't engaging me in arguments, and I became an adult he couldn't dupe, someone who was smart enough to take care of him.

Check out this great article on lying.

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