Monday, October 14, 2013

Will the lying ever stop?

Oh my word.



I think me oldest daughter (the newly adopted one) thinks I am an IDIOT.

She lies about the STUPIDEST stuff.

She thinks she is so convincing.

I have yet to come up with a punishment that makes it stop.  Seriously, I wonder if it will stop.


Next, I am am going to make her eat yucky baby food (enjoy your smashed peas!) if she lies to me again.

I am at a loss.

The worst part is that she is so so good at it.  I can see thru it, but only because I have gotten to understand the lies and the liar and can see them coming before she even opens her mouth.

Have any of you ever warned your child's teacher that they are a VERY convincing liar?


NoMatterWhatMom said...

Our adopted children lie automatically. It's a defensive mechanism and our older children are more prone to it than our youngest. They lie even when the truth would better serve them. It is a way of keeping themselves safe and also a way of not looking at themselves. They lie less when they perceive themselves to be safer, but even then, the truth is something we usually have to arrive at through discussion.

I try not to get too worked up over the lies. I let them know that they have established a reputation for being untruthful and that means that I have to check things out, rather than rely on their word. I tell them that when they have established a track record of being reliable, I will be able to trust what they say. I understand that they lie because they don't feel safe.

No consequence matters. I just keep working on our relationship, knowing that it is going to take more years than we have already been at this for them to feel safe enough to let us see the truth. They worry that if we saw how truly awful they are inside (otherwise why would they have been so mistreated by their parents) we would mistreat or abandon them, too. With our kids' lengthy histories, there is no way to know how long and how much relationship-building it will take to get to where they feel truly safe.

If you want my advice, I would stop looking for the right consequence and focus on the feeling of unsafety that your daughter brought with her to your home and that is probably so fundamental for her that it will take a long, long, time for her to overcome.

I share your frustration, but have come to realize that with my kids, I was fighting the wrong battle.

tashapork said...

Sometimes it helps to take away the power of lying by avoiding opportunities for them to tell lies. For instance instead of asking if they have homework, have the teacher send you a list. It's hard to do, but takes some of the stress as well as power struggles out of the picture

Rebecca said...

My 6-year-old foster daughter used to do this all the time and it made me C.R.A.Z.Y!!! And because she was a foster child, there weren't really any meaningful consequences that I could use with her. One suggestion that I wish I could have used was from an experienced mom. She said that she told her daughter that she was going to take her to get ice cream after school that day. She let her be excited about it ALL day long. Then, after school, she drove her to the ice cream place. Her daughter was so excited! She then told her daughter that she had lied to her, and they were not going to have ice cream that day, and turned around and drove home. Her daughter was IN TEARS, but she got the point. Now, her daughter was 10 years old at the time, so you'd have to figure out if your daughter is mature enough to understand the point of that illustration or if it would just confuse her. For my friend, she was able to have a good discussion with her daughter about how it made her feel to be lied to and let her know that is exactly how she feels when her daughter lies to her over and over again. Just a thought. ;)

MamaFoster said...

NoMatterWhatMom, I think you are right.

Mommy Linda's said...

I have two children who have had RAD, past trauma, FASD, and are kids. They have lied. The one that is more affected by FAS and has a low IQ lies the most and it hasn't changed after over 10 years of living with us.

But it doesn't bother me. Why not?

I assume they lie, especially my daughter. I don't take it personally. I assume that if her mouth is open, a lie will pop out. I let others know she lies. It stinks that I have to give her a bad reputation, but sometimes the lies can be serious. If people know ahead of time, they may not take what she says at face value. Her lying is no reflexion on my parenting, any more than her swearing does. I didn't teach her to do it and I am more careful than ever to admit my mistakes and follow through with my promises. I call her on it, but it does no good to get all worked up about it. She'll do it anyway. It's part of the RAD/FASD/intellectual disability package.

Rebecca said...

I also agree with what tashapork said. It is best to remove opportunities for lying when possible. For example, I had to stop asking her "what color were you on at school today?" and then getting mad when she lied...because she ALWAYS did if she was not on green.

Instead, I started simply saying, "I talked to Ms. Neel and she told me you were on red today because _______. Your consequence will be ________."

My parents raised me to have to own up to my mistakes, and take responsibility for my actions, but it just doesn't seem to work well with kids from hard places. They are used to saying or doing whatever they feel they need to do to get their needs met...even if it means lying.

If I did catch my foster daughter in a lie, rather than ask her why she lied (the answer was always "I don't know"), I would simply say, "I am so sorry you chose to lie. Your consequence for lying will be ________." It wasn't a great consequence, but she did at least learn that there was always a consequence for lying.

Anonymous said...

Definitely not a DCFS approved method - but I know some moms put vinegar on the tongue when a child lies. It tastes bad - vinegar is not harmful - but is a physical reminder of how yucky lying is.

Anonymous said...

You are right on. It can take a while to help them learn they don't have to lie, because it does become habit, but security and helping talk them through telling the truth after lying will help them learn not to lie.

Anonymous said...

kids lie to fill a need that is not met. might I suggest a redo when she is caught in a lie? and you can work to find the need she is having that is not being met for her to feel safe. just a thought.

Pam H said...

My son has Asperger's/Autism and these young hearts are not able to lie - it is not logical to their way of thinking. They don't understand consequences so they don't lie. However, having said that, I have had children lie to me on numerous occasions. These were hurting kids. I told them it is wrong to lie, let's explore what the truth is, and how the truth played out. Told them that I was always so much happier for the truth even if they were admitting to something wrong. Lie or truth, I hugged them and told them I loved them. They just need to feel that they are safe. Lies push people away - and sometimes that's a deeper reason that they are doing it. To see just how much you will not be pushed away.

Once in a very, very difficult situation, when I was dealing with my adult son and I desperately wanted to walk in the other direction, I heard my little daughter say to me - can you give him a hug from me? I miss my brother. In that moment, I heard God's footsteps running TOWARDS me even after all the times I had disappointed Him. Out of the mouths of babes...

Love on the liar, praise the truth.