Parenting: ‘What should I do about all my son’s lies?’


On this week’s ‘Parenting’ segment on the Moncrieff clearly show, just one listener sought information about what to do about all her son’s lies. 

Joanna Fortune, psychotherapist specialising in Boy or girl & Adult Psychotherapy, joined Moncrieff to respond to this and other listeners’ issues.

The issue:

“My son has been caught with a couple lies currently. Primarily with the childminder. He is six and tends to lie about things that happened. The other working day he advised her I was in a car accident and experienced to go to medical center. Unquestionably not correct.

“He said his brother went missing for a few hrs and we all assumed he was stolen. It didn’t transpire at all.

“And they are just the factors we know about. Luckily the childminder knows us so well and is aware of not to choose him at his phrase.

“I worry about the styles of lies he’s telling but also that someone may well believe him. Why would he be executing this and how do I stop him building up these tales?”

Joanna’s assistance:

“I know that men and women do not often agree with me on this but I’m type of respectful of lying – specially in childhood. 

“I imagine discovering how to explain to and refine how to explain to a lie is as developmentally important as… understanding how to tell the fact.

“All small children are likely to convey to a lie at some level. It tends to start as early as a few-many years-aged. ‘It wasn’t me, I didn’t do it.’

“They’re not really excellent at it by the way but they do notify it and it rises in between four and six-decades-outdated – particularly wherever this little guy is. 

“They tend to be rather fantastical lies – as yet again his lies are – and they’re easily disproved for the reason that he’s telling them to someone who is aware you and you are likely to occur and choose him up. You evidently are not in the medical center. 

“So it normally takes them until eventually about 8-yrs-outdated till they can inform a fairly first rate lie that’ll have you going, ‘I do not know, perhaps that is genuine.’” 

She continued: 

“There’s nothing at all pathological below. There’s nothing at all that I’d go, ‘He’s doing what now?’ Of study course he is, he’s 6-many years-outdated, he’s telling actually obvious over the top rated fantastical lies, which is specifically what I would expect a 6-year-old to be doing. 

“Some of them do it with bells on a lot more than other people do it. I think what as a mother or father you’re going to do is emphasise the importance of telling the truth of the matter in your loved ones. 

“‘In our loved ones we all notify the truth to each individual other. In our family members we are all genuine.’ 

“Don’t say, ‘Don’t lie.’ Explain to him what to do instead than what not to do and be quite interested in the truth, considerably far more than you’re fascinated in the lie. 

“Because a different way little ones get this loop is they explain to you some massive story and you’re like, ‘What! Is that accurate?’ 

“And they get a great deal of investment decision, they get a lot of curiosity from older people about it. So they’re like, ‘This is wonderful, allow me see how deeply I can embellish this just one prior to you phone me on it.’”

She concluded: 

“Praise him when he tells the truth and enable him know that is what’s important and examine stories like The Boy Who Cried Wolf but this isn’t a lie that’s acquiring any individual into problems. 

“If lying crossed the threshold then of course you’re heading to just take it a lot more critically and say, ‘Look, this isn’t alright, here’s the effects of your lie.’ 

“But with this man at 6, I imagine I’d be a tiny little bit additional playful though holding a boundary that the fact is what you’re intrigued in.”

Principal image: A younger youngster. Photo: Annette Riedl/dpa


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