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Discussion Starter #1
How do you deal with it? I have 3 kids...Boy 14, Boy 13 and Girl 12. Girl 12 has a habit of lying when confronted on something. It happened at school this week. She was caught cheating. Teacher gave her every opportunity to "just tell the truth" as the teacher told me. She still lied. Teacher told her she was calling home and hopefully she'd learn a lesson--next time she would write up a referral on her. I think teacher should have written her up NOW.

My daughter splits time evenly with her mother and I. Her mom has a problem with the truth. She will lie for the sake of a good story....it isn't to cover up a bad deed (although it is used for that too at times)....but merely telling stories that aren't true (told me she had cancer...never underwent treatment....and has lived now for 5 years with no treatment and denied she ever told anyone that...but just recently brought it up that she had cancer but was "cured").....

I'm not sure if DD is a product of one parent who doesn't know the difference between the truth/lie, reality/fantasy? But I recently had a talk with my daughter about honesty when her computer password was changed by DD and she knew under no circumstances could she do this. She insisted it wasn't changed. Yet it was...truth FINALLY came out--and password was reset...etc...she was grounded for 2 weeks for the dishonesty.

How do I deal with this? I hesitate asking her anything because I get a feeling she will lie about it. She knows in my home honesty is everything....one of the most important virtues you can have. I told her I'd rather she get poor grades in school and be an honesty person...than get straight A's and be a liar.

How do I deal with this? It really has me stumped. My boys are as honest as they get and they can smell a lie a mile away. They know when DD is lying just as easily as we can spot it. Yet the boys don't have this particular mother. DD has the mother with the honesty issue.

Any suggestions?
 

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Good luck-my sister and I were raised by the same mother (other than the occasional white lie-not a huge fibber)-I was honest almost to a fault and my sister would lie through her teeth about anything growing up. I was almost jealous of her skill with this-LOL. My mom could tell just by looking at me if I was lying to her, but not my sister. I can't say that anything my mom ever did with her really worked-and she ran the gammut from lectures and grounding to a full fledged beating (that was only once), but the one thing she did do that was somewhat effective was to treat everything my sister said as a lie. It wasn't foolproof by any means, but it really bothered my sister that when she was actually telling the truth my mom wouldn't believe her, but she couldn't argue against my mother's logic of, "Well how can I trust you if you lied about such and such?" She would stress to my sister that she would have to rebuild the trust from square one and anytime she got caught in a lie, she would start all over again with ZERO (and I mean zero-my mom did NOT play) privileges and earn them back one by one.
I'd like to tell you that as adults she outgrew it. I give her the benefit of the doubt a lot of times, but I think she still lies about a lot of stuff. Again-good luck.
 

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We've had this scenario w/a niece-nephew. THe best medicine? A dose of their own.

One December, we were watching this niece-nephew pair and the whoppers that were coming out were just jaw-dropping. There were two threads: One to get them out of trouble and the other to embellish the truth for, I dunno, the sake of attention.

So I started lying back to them. Told them all kinds of things - that while I had studied abroad, I was translating messages for Queen Elizabeth. The SU had had a daughter that they knew nothing about who was living in Africa in a convent. Etc. Etc. All kinds of whoppers. We also told them that their parents were NOT coming back to get them... that they were becoming OUR kids etc. And things like Santa didn't bring presents to kids who didn't tell the truth etc.

The were scared sh*tless.

When their Dad finally came back to get this quivvering pair, they looked back at me with open mouths. "But - but - Uncle Dan. You said that Dad wasn't coming back at all!"

"I'll ignore your lies if you ignore mine," I said.

We never had a problem after that.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
dweck said:
We've had this scenario w/a niece-nephew. THe best medicine? A dose of their own.

One December, we were watching this niece-nephew pair and the whoppers that were coming out were just jaw-dropping. There were two threads: One to get them out of trouble and the other to embellish the truth for, I dunno, the sake of attention.

So I started lying back to them. Told them all kinds of things - that while I had studied abroad, I was translating messages for Queen Elizabeth. The SU had had a daughter that they knew nothing about who was living in Africa in a convent. Etc. Etc. All kinds of whoppers. We also told them that their parents were NOT coming back to get them... that they were becoming OUR kids etc. And things like Santa didn't bring presents to kids who didn't tell the truth etc.

The were scared sh*tless.

When their Dad finally came back to get this quivvering pair, they looked back at me with open mouths. "But - but - Uncle Dan. You said that Dad wasn't coming back at all!"

"I'll ignore your lies if you ignore mine," I said.

We never had a problem after that.
She doesn't create the whoppers like her Mom....She's lying when confronted on whether she did something wrong...or something as simple as "Did you take the last roll of T.P. without telling us"...basically her lying would be described as denial of some action or lack of action. She isn't telling grand stories...but denying and not owning up to her actions or lack thereof.

I refuse to "lie" to her to show her how it feels. She could psychologically feel I lie too and justify why she can continue lying.
 

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Dad of Toby said:
She doesn't create the whoppers like her Mom....She's lying when confronted on whether she did something wrong...or something as simple as "Did you take the last roll of T.P. without telling us"...basically her lying would be described as denial of some action or lack of action. She isn't telling grand stories...but denying and not owning up to her actions or lack thereof.

I refuse to "lie" to her to show her how it feels. She could psychologically feel I lie too and justify why she can continue lying.
Do you have any idea of why she's doing this? I know it sounds like a silly question, but is she just afraid of getting in trouble and/or of what that "in trouble" is going to be. My mom's schpeel-and what kept me from lying-was that we were going to get in more trouble for the lie than the misdeed. What's her motivation for lying-what does she feel is the benefit she gets from it?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
regarese said:
Dad of Toby said:
She doesn't create the whoppers like her Mom....She's lying when confronted on whether she did something wrong...or something as simple as "Did you take the last roll of T.P. without telling us"...basically her lying would be described as denial of some action or lack of action. She isn't telling grand stories...but denying and not owning up to her actions or lack thereof.

I refuse to "lie" to her to show her how it feels. She could psychologically feel I lie too and justify why she can continue lying.
Do you have any idea of why she's doing this? I know it sounds like a silly question, but is she just afraid of getting in trouble and/or of what that "in trouble" is going to be. My mom's schpeel-and what kept me from lying-was that we were going to get in more trouble for the lie than the misdeed. What's her motivation for lying-what does she feel is the benefit she gets from it?
Honestly--the best I can come up with is it is a habit for her to instantly deny. She knows the trouble she would get into is minimal...maybe loss of computer/TV etc...but nothing major. I think it's a character flaw and a bad habit she's taken.

Edited to add:....she knows any wrong she did the punishment usually isn't anything major. However the real trouble she gets is for the lying itself....that doesn't seem to stop it.
 

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I can understand your point for not wanting to lie back to her, but she may need to get a little taste of her own medicine-but an equal taste. "Dad-did you wash my blue shirt?" 'Yep'-when you didn't. Or, and you may feel this is unorthodox as well, but enlist your sons to help perhaps. You might feel that they shouldn't be involved, but if her lying continues and ventures into a more serious issue than TP, it is going to become a family issue where your sons are effected by her behavior. You're right that she may feel betrayed by her parent lying to her, but from her own peer group-that might be effective. When she comes to you and says, "He lied to me!" ask her how that made her feel-how she thinks it should be handled-would she rather have been told the truth by her brother-etc. I think it's worth a shot.
 

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My mom's schpeel-and what kept me from lying-was that we were going to get in more trouble for the lie than the misdeed.
This was the same with my Mom. You got introuble for what you did and then it was double for lying. I hate liars.

A girl I grew up was a huge liar. Everyone knew it and it really made other kids not like her. She told us once that her Dad was taking her snowmobiling in Florida. We told her it wasn't possible and she was adament she was going. We found out later on that her Dad molested her. He is actually in prison for it now, but he was put there for doing it someone else.

It was all about attention with her. She is the same today. She tells whoppers still. She was telling my Mom about her unregistered champion AKC show dog that did rescue work after Katrina. <---None of this makes sense and I wish I would have been there to nail her. She is 36 years old and still a huge liar.

In the envioronment that DOT's daugther is in I don't think anything will change as long as she sees her Mom doing it. I hate liars. There is nothing worse.
 

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That sounds a lot like my 13yr old daughter. She is a good kid at school and with friends but is a terror with her siblings. Lies fall out of her mouth. You can see obvious incontestable evidence of her misdeed and she will blatantly deny having any responsibility. Sometimes she will even deny the existence of the obvious- such as bite mark on brothers arm- no, I don't see any thing. It is very frustrating. I wish I knew how to fix this problem.
 

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I agree with the poster who said to treat everything that comes out of her mouth as a lie. Explain to her that her lying hurts you, and you cannot trust her like you wish you could. Doublecheck everything she does, etc. I think this was on a supernanny episode once? I remember watching some advice program on lying children, and while this treatment really seemed to hurt them (lots cried often) it seemed to finally get across to them the value of honesty.

disclaimer: I have no children and am going from memory of "some TV show" :) Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Princess Zoe said:
My mom's schpeel-and what kept me from lying-was that we were going to get in more trouble for the lie than the misdeed.
This was the same with my Mom. You got introuble for what you did and then it was double for lying. I hate liars.

A girl I grew up was a huge liar. Everyone knew it and it really made other kids not like her. She told us once that her Dad was taking her snowmobiling in Florida. We told her it wasn't possible and she was adament she was going. We found out later on that her Dad molested her. He is actually in prison for it now, but he was put there for doing it someone else.

It was all about attention with her. She is the same today. She tells whoppers still. She was telling my Mom about her unregistered champion AKC show dog that did rescue work after Katrina. <---None of this makes sense and I wish I would have been there to nail her. She is 36 years old and still a huge liar.

In the envioronment that DOT's daugther is in I don't think anything will change as long as she sees her Mom doing it. I hate liars. There is nothing worse.
We had an issue with her school work early in 3rd quarter. DD is in advance science and math. She fell behind at the start of the quarter. She wasn't handing in homework...getting easy points for having something signed by parents etc....I went to her Mom with this and her mom was pissed....chewed out DD like you wouldn't believe. I simultaneously checked DD's internet activity...saw some things she did that she was told under no circumstance to do (open myspace account....add new email accounts...change her email password)..she did all of these. She insisted..."I swear I didn't change the password!" etc.... Her Mom told me, "She is smart..she has the potential for straight A's....Frankly I don't care about her lying about the password...I care about her keeping her grades up...that's her meal ticket...not her honesty"....she said this right in front of DD. My mouth dropped in awe. So you see what is influencing her. I feel lost in what to do with her. She is a very smart girl....she doesn't get into trouble with friends...she gets along well with her brothers...but she has such an honesty problem. I simply have no idea what I should do.
 

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You're between a rock and a hard place then if her mom and you are not on the same page. Lying about the computer stuff is bad bad news. I have another little sister (dad's second marriage so she has a different mother) who we caught lying about computer stuff and it was REALLY NOT GOOD. We convinced my dad and step-mom to totally ban the computer and police her every move. It sounds severe, but in the age of "To Catch a Predator" and all that stuff-you might need to take a hard line. That's hard though if your discipline and way of life isn't maintained when she leaves your house. And I don't want to blow it out of proportion either if you don't feel it should be. I feel for you-it's very frustrating. Hopefully, she will grow out of it. Until then-try to maintain consistancy with whatever you do with her.

Do you have one on one time with her? Maybe like a pp said it's about a need for attention??? I don't know-I'm grasping at straws-just trying to help.
 

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Princess Zoe said:
We convinced my dad and step-mom to totally ban the computer and police her every move.
I think this is a fantastic idea.
It worked. Probably not 100% (she's 17-what 17 year old tells the truth ALL the time), but I think it scared her. Not so much her activity-she realizes now that it was wrong-but that somebody was watching her. My dad and step-mom are a little clueless (she's a combo of Rose Nieland and Edith Bunker and he's a combo of Al Bundy and Dan Conner). She knew she could get over on them, but what she didn't know was that her computer savy older sisters were on to her and weren't afraid to rat her out. Once we did what we did I think she had an "Oh crap-they're not messing around" moment.
 

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My sister and I were very much like regarese described. My inability to lie about even small things has become legend in my family, while my sister always had the ability to stand there and look you in the eyes and say whatever she had to say to save her ass.

In fact, my Mom was the opposite of you: "Connie, you have got to STOP being so honest all the time! It's going to really get you into trouble one day!" :D I have, on different occasions, ended up turning myself in for things I was guilty of, and also things I was not guilty of, just because I am compulsively honest. But my dad was my role model for this, I suppose. Honest to an absolute fault. The type that would walk two miles in the snow back to the store when he realized he got too much change.

I am getting a little better about being able to spin something occasionally, or recognize when would be a good time to just keep my mouth shut, but I think I am just hardwired for truth, honesty and fairness.

So...why are my sister and I different? We were raised basically the same. Actually, you might be interested to know that the older we get, the more we are the same. We recently went shopping together and when we got outside, she told me how much she paid. Looking at everything she had, I said, "That can't be possible. They didn't charge you for something." She checked the receipt and sure enough, they had left off a bunch of things. Without batting an eye, she went back inside to stand in line AGAIN to pay the difference. :angel:

So, maybe it's something she will outgrow?

I know what used to hurt me more than anything, the very WORST thing you could do to me, was be disappointed in me. You might also try what someone above said about treating her like a liar if she is lying.

It sounds like she hasn't got the best role model in her mom, so it's a lot to overcome. I mean, when you have a parent that flat-out states: "I don't care if you lie, as long as you get ahead..." (which is basically what she said...Hoo boy. :-[
 

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I have some questions, and maybe their answers can give some insight:

What happens when she lies?

What would happen if she told the truth?

Was there a bitter divorce/separation and if so, just how pissed is the ex?

Who do her brothers live with?

BTW, once I read your answers my "guess" might change, but right now I'm guessing that she is conditioned to believe that this brings her attention, she is angry and everyone else is always wrong/it's never her fault/argumentative and she doesn't feel very good about herself, and she doesn't have any really good friends.

If I'm close, let me know if you really want me to post my suggestions.

edited to add: I didn't mean to sound insensitive, quite the opposite, I'm extremely sensitive to these issues and am sorry that you are going through this, raising children is never easy.
 

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I think all kids go through a phase where they test this honesty thing out, but basically I think people often lie because they don't feel safe telling the truth. Your wife may lie because she has an inferiority complex and doesn't feel the truth is what people want to hear. This may be her strange way of getting approval.

I would make sure your daughter understands that anyone whose esteem she values will expect complete honesty and that it is important for her to get a handle on this as there will be a lot of situations in her future that could ride on it, such as her marriage, her job, important friendships, and her integrity and reputation overall. Word travels fast when someone is lied to.

Or...when you sense that she is being less than truthful, you can look at her ruefully, then look at your watch and say "You have a 60 second option to change your answer without punishment if you wish." If she insists it's the truth, tell her that's fine, you believe her, but if you do find out later that it wasn't the truth, there will be repercussions.

Ted's mom.
 
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The ex's lying (embellishing to make her life seem more exciting, important) is very different than what your daughter is doing. That is attention seeking and a very hard habit to break. The daughter seems to be avoiding responsibility and perhaps trying to exert control over her life.

You have said that she is lying about stuff to avoid being responsible for her own actions. Is she secure in her relationship with you and the ex? She may not feel it is safe to tell the truth. Has she got a stable group of good friends or are they kids you wish she was not with (or is it a completely different set of friends than she had at 10)? There are probably a lot of issues behind the lying that you need to dig down and deal with.

Whenever I needed to really hash something out with my boys I would finagle a car trip to a distant mall (one on one) with them and we would talk out the issues - talking in the car is great - they are trapped, they feel safe, you are close so boundries are hard to throw up..... they give up the whole story pretty easily. I recommend a nice long car ride where you can discuss the issue head on. And be prepared to ask a question and leave a LOT of silence for them to fill. Creates pressure and they will spit it out just to fill the silence.
 

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One of my boys had an issue with telling the truth at about that same age. Our psychologist at the time told me to assume that everything that came out of his mouth was a lie...EVERYTHING. His teachers were also told to do the same thing. So when we'd ask "don't you have homework? and he'd say "No, I did it at school" we would assume he was lying and assign our own homework. When we'd ask if he had brushed his teeth and he'd say yes, we'd assume he was lying, take him to the bathroom and watch him brush his teeth...AGAIN. At first it wasn't such a big deal to him because he usually was lying but I can't tell you how crushed he was when we accused him of lying when he wasn't. I would just say "well you lie to me all the time so I've lost trust in you. You have to earn that trust back." That really hurt his feelings. It only took about 1 month of this treatment before we noticed that he really was telling the truth 99% of the time now.
 
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