Liar liar pants on fire

Just Ella Bella

What do you do when your pre-schooler tells a big fat whopper of a fib?  Just Ella Bella blogger Eleanor Douglas-Meyers takes a look at what parents can do. 


My pre-schooler lies and that’s not cool.

It’s particularly not cool when his lies include that I am a child abuser…

Let’s backtrack…the other day I come home to him excitedly telling me that the teacher at school asked about the bruise on his bum and he told her and all subsequent teachers that I and his dad hit him.

Say whaaaaat!?!

Funny how just the night before I had inquired about the same bruise and had to hold a mirror up to his little behind so he could see what I was referring to. We figure it must have happened when he went down a slide a bit faster than anticipated.

I asked him why he said that and he replied that I have hit him before …

Well, he is not wrong. I’m a “time-out chair” mom, an “okay now we take your toys away till you earn it back” mom and as a super last resort for things like biting your cousin or me finding you dangling off the roof (this kid is seriously trying to use the jungle gym to get on to the roof), I am “a swift whack on the bum followed by an explanation” mom.

I am NOT an “abusive hit you till you are blue and you have to get the teachers in to call child protective services” mom.

The teachers took what he said seriously, just like I would expect them to, because you can never be too careful.

But JOH! Guys! Was I ever mortified? Mortified, mortified.

This is not the first time Aidan has embellished the truth. However, he has admitted to hitting kids at school and when I ask the teachers about it, they tell me it is just a story. He has told me he ate food which I would find hidden somewhere and would blame things on his little cousin, when I clearly saw him do it …

I’m definitely not a fan of this lying stage BUT according to my research (parenting books and websites aplenty), we are at THAT age now, which is three to four years.
Here is what the Baby Center website  has to say about it all.

Why pre-schoolers fib

  • Your child might have actually forgotten they did something;
  • Wishful thinking. Sometimes they wish they didn’t do something with such vigour they convince themselves they had nothing to do with it;
  • An active imagination. Pre-schooler’s creativity is at a peak and they may think that what they conjure up in their heads is actually true;
  • A need to feel good. Creating stories makes your pre-schooler feel important;
  • A craving for attention. Your pre-schooler may have figured out that telling a tall tale is a surefire way to get a response out of you;
  • A sense of control. When your pre-schooler falsely claims that she was the one to rescue her baby brother after he fell out of the swing, she’s trying to bring some order to a situation that overwhelmed her.

 What to do about lying

  • Humour your child;
  • Don’t accuse;
  • Be sympathetic;
  • Explain why honesty is important;
  • Be positive, not punitive;
  • Reassure your preschooler that you love him or her no matter what;
  • Build trust.

UPDATE: Feeling bad about lying about me bruising him, I come home to this: “Mommy, don’t worry, I told the teachers my mommy says she didn’t hit me”.

So I’m basically just waiting for Child Services to call me now …

Do your kids lie? And, if so, how do you handle it?

  • Eleanor  is a crafty mom from Uitenhage who writes about DIY, parenting, natural hair care, fashion, food and fun on her blog JustEllaBella .

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