Monday, December 28, 2015

The Consequences of Lying

We had a great Christmas. It was nice and it lasted for two days. Then, return of the lying.

The child in question lied and lied.  Lied when the evidence was right in front of everyone. Lied when our friends were over.  Was sent to her room and screamed going up the stairs that she wasn't lying.

I waited for her to calm down and then I went up to talk to her.  She admitted that she was lying all along, even when she was screaming up the stairs that she wasn't. I told her to get out some paper and write a paper for me that explains the consequences of lying. I wanted three specific consequences. This is a topic in which we had discussed numerous times.

She wrote her paper. In short she said the consequences were spankings, banning of electronics and grounding to her room where she could only read. I wrote back on her paper that the three biggest consequences of lying are: people don't believe anything I say so my word becomes worthless, I am showing that I don't respect the person that I am lying to or myself, and most importantly I am hurting my relationship with the people I lie to because good relationships can not be formed on lies.

She read my response and got very mad. She crumpled the paper and threw it down. We have talked and talked about these consequences of lying and I have never gotten the response that I got today.  I guess that the written word has a stronger impact on her. Yes, the consequences of lying will be posted in several places in my home.

I asked her why was she so mad. This was something we had discussed numerous times.  It is the truth. Why does the truth hurt so much? Also, why was her paper written with lies? I do not spank for lies. I am not against spanking. However, my biggest issue with spanking is that it takes the behavior away from the child. It changes the issue from the child's misbehavior to the person delivering a spanking and hurting them.  I don't take away from the child's behavior.

Since the writing got a stronger response from her we are about to start a journal in which we will both write. I will have her write what she lied about and I will respond to her how that has impacted our relationship, trust and respect. Will it have an impact?  I won't know until I try.


  1. Wow, thank you for sharing this. My oldest son was a pathological liar when he was little, and truly believed his lies. Some have perpetuated into adulthood (He claims to have been lead singer in a famous local band, claiming his voice is on the albums, etc... WHAT??? He was 14 years old when that band was about - yea he so was not...) Anyway, it really sounds amazing what you are doing with the journaling. Please let us know if it helps. My kids have what I call "processing disorders." What they hear is different than what I say, so this writing it down may actually bring real truth to the situation.

  2. Writing/ illustrating does work with James. I need to do more. And yeah, processing disorder big time here. I get all mixed up myself trying to figure out what is direct lie and what just messed up interpretation.

  3. My boy that lies always says he didn't do something if I don't use the exact wording. For instance, if I say he threw the toy he says no because in his mind he didn't throw it, he tossed it and will deny all day long if I use the words threw the toy. He always gets stuck in the semantics. I have finally started talking about whether or not he used the toy appropriately. Love what you are doing with the journaling and what you said to her about the consequences. Going to implement that here.