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254

Your sister got herself into a situation that she felt she needed to lie about. She could have continued doing that in the hope that she never got caught out, or until some crisis point where she was found out involuntarily. But instead, she chose to take the tough decision and confess to you, to allow things to be better in the future. She took the adult ...


185

DCook's answer is heading in the right direction, but it's at it from the wrong end. Don't ask your daughter if she did something wrong, not because she might lie to you, or she might not lie to you, or whether or not you know the answer. That's all coming from a faulty paradigm: that it's expected for your daughter to tell you the truth when you ask her ...


109

My daughter, a few years older than yours, is also a skillful liar when she chooses to be. My best advice is "trust but verify." Children are good at knowing what works, and if lying is a reliable, consequence free way of getting what she wants, there's no reason --from her point of view --not to deploy it. (In contrast, my son rarely lies, probably not ...


57

I train dogs as a hobby. This situation reminds me of a cardinal rule of dog training - if your dog is off leash and does something you don’t like, never call him back to you and punish him. Why? He will probably never return on your recall again, cause you just taught him that bad things happen when he does. I presume you see the analogy. This does not ...


52

Is lying worse than the good aspects? Aren't the negative things it brings (telling them the truth eventually) worse than the good things? No. Children experience the world differently than adults, due to their incomplete knowledge. It may, in fact, be harder for some children to understand that my daily departure from home for many hours is what keeps a ...


49

It's absolutely possible to give kids presents on Christmas without bringing Santa into the picture. (Indeed, even in families whose holiday tradition includes Santa, there are almost always presents where the tag says "From Grandma" or "From Uncle Tim", not "From Santa".) Interestingly, even if you don't tell your kids about Santa, it's possible they will ...


42

Raising a child, a parent or guardian has two main jobs, beyond providing food and shelter. Protecting her from dangers she's not capable of safely managing herself Guiding her development as a person Your sister is sixteen, and in many ways is an adult. Not legally, certainly, but in two years or so she will be. This means that (2) is mostly complete: ...


40

I wouldn't go too hard on him. He is five after all. Going super hard on him now has the potential to just make him stick to his guns in the future about a lie. This sounds like a first mistake. Treat it as such. Let him know that lying to you is not OK and that you hope you foster an environment of honesty (worded to where he can understand). Let him know ...


39

Well firstly know that despite what people want reality to be, lying is a developmental skill. It needs to happen. You need to learn how to deceive. It's an actual survival skill for humans. I am not suggesting any of us want children to lie to us, but we should be talking facts here, not preferences. There is a plethora of study on this, what age it ...


38

There is no need to lie. Telling the "Jedi truth" is a different matter. I remember, back in college, turning on the TV and listening to some bible-thumper tell me that we shouldn't tell our children about Santa Claus, because we're eventually going to have to tell them that he's fake. And then...maybe Jesus is fake?!? I'm Christian, so this really got ...


37

The way you approached this matches my approach to denying a request from a child as well. Praise them for coming to you, explain why you're not sure it's a good idea to do (whatever) in detail so they understand your rationale. It's not surprising they're disappointed. They wanted to do the thing, and you said no (or, at least, no for now)! And it's not ...


33

Lying is actually a key developmental milestone. A quick quote from Wellspringutah: when a young child tells a lie, it is helpful for parents to remind themselves that it is not as much a crisis of morality as it is a signal of an important emerging developmental milestone. It might be a bit much to say that it is cause for celebration when a child tells ...


29

I somewhat like Pratchett's take on the question "You're saying humans need... fantasies to make life bearable." REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE. "Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little—" YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT ...


29

You don't know and if you accuse your child and s/he is not the one that did it, that creates a trust problem. Most kids do this at one point or another. You should tell the truth as a model. It is perfectly okay to say you are not going to tell them something due to their age or 'need to know'. Try not to tell lies in front of them. ("I told Mary I liked ...


21

I agree with @SomeShinyObject's excellent answer. Just some additional thoughts. Do you ever lie? Probably. Don't be surprised if your child can pick up on deceptions. Almost all children lie. We would like our children to be 100% honest with us, but studies show that children start to lie at about age three. Sadly, it's a fact of life. They lie to protect ...


21

Ask your sister. If your sister doesn't believe that her actions were worthy of punishment, then punishing her will only serve to illustrate the power you have over her and widen the gap between you. Understanding why your sister felt justified in her actions will allow the two of you to begin the process of mending your relationship. On the other hand, ...


16

I am not a parent, so I apologize for my perhaps unwanted view on the topic. However, I feel this perspective may clarify a point previously considered. A comment in Joe's answer was lashing out at the proposed method because it "treated children like animals instead of people". In that answer the suggested method is to talk to the child and let her ...


16

Should I punish my kid for lying to me in order to secretly see her boyfriend? I suggest "no". Instead, consider feeling remorseful that she wanted to (or 'felt the need to') lie, and reconsider your relationship (i.e. your previous communications) in that light. At 16 I presume she's getting past the age at which you're able to coerce her. I think ...


15

Well at first you shouldn't be that worried. His actions are the consequence of a different way of thinking that you do. Children think in the moment not the future. If they see something they like they deal with the question how to get it as easy and fast as possible but not, what might happen or even what he is actually doing. With the stealing example: ...


14

I'd say you've inadvertently let him develop a pattern. He's found he can lie and the world doesn't end, it's comfortable, and now it's what he does... plus he's got a challenge, because he can see if he keeps trying, he may get good enough to fool you. I wouldn't keep increasing the punishment. You'll either run out of stuff in your arsenal or the ...


14

Your daughter is sixteen, and only a few years away from adulthood and going off on her own (if she chooses). I think the question you need to ask yourself is, have you raised her so that she is able to make (mostly) good choices on her own? If your answer is yes, then you have done what you can. Keep it up, and keep paying attention for anything truly ...


13

The reason children lie is generally that they fear punishment. One way of getting the truth which I've used is to make it clear that no punishment is in the offing. In this case, you could say that there's nothing wrong with putting the pizza in the trash, but you just wanted to know why it was done - not enough refrigerator space, yucky pizza, or ...


12

Don't punish mistakes, but do (always) reward honesty and responsibility. There is a good chance that the children are refusing to tell because they feel they will get in trouble. In the case of an actual accident, this is unfair as the child is receiving punishment for something it cannot be held responsible for. Responsible behaviour also means ...


12

A study conducted by Talwar and Lee shows that harsher punishment only teaches children to lie "better" to avoid punishment. But it doesn't reduce lying link In this study 46 children of two different schools had to do a “temptation resistance paradigm” tests. It was an object guessing game, where the instructor left the room and the children had the chance ...


12

I'm at total loss of what to do, how to punish her, and what to believe. I'm desperate to find answers. If I were in your situation, I would be dumbfounded as to how my daughter managed to handle that condition/practice for so long, I really would. And I would be worried for her. But you've known about it for years. Why suddenly panic? But manage it she ...


11

Why if your sure she did something are you asking her? Why are you setting her up to lie to you? Start there, tell her you know she did it first and don't set the stage for her to lie.


9

My experience was a bit different from most. I found out, at age seven, on a bus full of other kids on the way to school the day after Christmas vacation ended. I remember a burning sense of shame, and of betrayal. Shame for being so "stupid" as to have believed a lie, and betrayal toward parents who had put me in the situation where I had half a bus full ...


9

This is quite normal, as in it is a stage where the children try out how far they can get away with lying. They are testing you, and so it is important to make clear that this is not acceptable behavior. You should confront this every time you see it, and tell her that this is not true, and that she is not allowed to lie. At the first attempts, the clear ...


8

Discovering how to be deceptive is common in the preschool child as this is often the point when they develop Theory of Mind (an understanding that different people can have a different understanding of the same event - the link has an article about the development of this in Asperger's kids, but I thought the cartoons contained within are some of the best ...


8

I don't think you can achieve your aims with punishment. I think the fact that she confessed, and wants you to meet the guy is very positive - it may be that this guy is good for her confidence. I don't think you can keep a 16yo 'safe' without harming their developing independence - but you can and should talk about all the directions the relationship can ...


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