How do you handle difficult child's lies?



Seems like it is lie after lie after lie. I WANT to believe him and he is SO very good at it. But usually turns out that I am the one being embarrassed as he is the one lying.
Tells me things that teachers say to him. (leaves out the part that he says/does). Tells me he did all his school work..turns out he does none. Says he doesn't get kicked out of class, I showed up unexpectedly at school and he was in the office. Had several different answers for that one. So..what do you do? Not believe anything? follow up with all he says? The worst part is he tells me one thing and husband another, then blames me for lying!!! I am just not sure how to handle all the lies.

timer lady

Queen of Hearts

The consequence for lying is, unfortunately, a lack of trust in the person who is lying.

I'm very upfront with kt & wm - I let them know that I don't believe what they are telling me. Many times, kt backs down & tells me the truth, as she understands it. (There are times when it is a perceptual problem versus outright lying & I try to keep that in mind.)

If there is a dispute with a school report, I tell kt I will call the teacher to get the other side of the story; again kt backs down. I've let kt know that teachers just don't have the time to make up stories about the students in their classes.

I'm seeing a change in kt - she is coming back to tell me the truth later. Foster mum reported that wm is doing the same.

I hate lying - it's so hard to overcome that behavior in our children.


New Member
I agree with the PP.

One of our older easy child's was quite an artful liar. We wound up having to do excatly what the PP did with her child. Verify everything - and I love the line that the teachers don't have time to lie.

If your difficult child is lying to your husband - you need to become a united front with husband to plug that leak. Again it's all verification. husband should say to your difficult child, "OK so if I check with your mother - she'll say this is what happened?" And then he should check with you either way.

My difficult child 6 year old is learning the lying ropes now. He is experiencing lying will get him into bigger trouble than the actual bad deed itself.

Children of divorce unfortunately are usually the most accomplished liars. That is because they want to stay on the "good" side of each parent - and that often means making the other parent look bad. One more reason for divorcing parents to make the effort to be civil and decent to one another.

hearts and roses

Mind Reader
Oh the lies! difficult child has always been a liar and I've taken great pains to help her get past this. She still is a liar. And the things she lies about are so stupid. Her version of any event or incident is always skewed and distorted. Always. I have learned to be very cautious about calling her teachers or the director of her school. I once called in a script refill to her work (a pharmacy) and when her boss asked me, "so how's difficult child? I hope she's feeling better today" I was speechless. I kind of mumbled, "oh, yeah, you know, I'm sure she'll be fine"...duh. I totally reamed her out when I got home!

I just think everything that Linda said holds true. Hold difficult child to his word, tell him that you expect him to be honest and let him know when you doubt his story, etc. It's important for him to know that you won't be bamboozled. Also, when you call the teacher, ask questions before divulging what difficult child's story was. Find out from them what happened before telling them difficult child's version. I learned early on that rushing to difficult child's defense almost always made and @$$ out of me every time!

Incidentally, difficult child has gotten better about being truthful with me about most things. She's more secretive about things rather than blatantly lying to me about them. But in my opinion, that's typical teen stuff.

Preemie Mommie

New Member
My difficult child has discovered lying. Fortunately so far she really stinks at it. I'll remember these tips for when she gets older though.


Active Member
this isn't a "cure all" by any means and doesn't always work, but sometimes i spend some real good quality time with my difficult child, doing something new or something i know we'll both have a lot of fun at and talk and laugh, then on the drive home or when things start quieting down, tell him how much fun i had and that i really enjoyed doing that together, then say something like "i sure wish you wouldn't fib to me anymore though because i like it better when i can trust you and feel like we really are close and i worry a lot about what's going on with you when you don't tell me the truth"- he usually gets quiet, so i follow with "so would you please tell me the truth about this or that".


Sheena-Warrior Momma
First thing is you and husband have to be on the same page and backing each other up, check with husband if your difficult child tells you something. Our difficult child is a habitual liar. Even when faced with proof that he is lying he will continue to lie. He's only 9 and is VERY good at it! I check EVERYTHING! If he comes home from school with prizes, ie pencils, stickers, etc., I email his teacher to make sure it wasn't stolen (we have a problem with that also) from another child or the prize box. Just within the last month husband and I FINALLY got on the same page, husband told our difficult child that Mom and Dad were DONE playing monkey in the middle with him telling both of us different stories and then us fighting over it. Our difficult child is very good at getting us into fights with each other over "I told him no" and then he goes and asks the other if he can do whatever. It was a long road for us but we are finally there. Whenever he tells one of us something, we now check with the other to see if stories match. Because he does lie so much, we don't face him with his lies until we have proof of his deception, which is usually a matter of talking to each other, teachers, friends parents, siblings, etc. He still lies but with us together on the same page he now knows that his lies will be caught more than they are believed.


New Member
I am having the same problem. My difficult child lies about everthing. I don't think he even knows what the truth is anymore. I am usually the one that wants to believe him, husband always knows better. We have tried to tell him that if he tells us the truth, we may gripe or say we are not happy, and if he lies he is in major trouble. But we can't get him to tell the truth even one time to show him how it works. Then he gets mad when we don't believe him. If you were to hear his side of the story about school or altercations with his siblings, it is never his fault. Everything happens to him.

We are at our wits ends, also. We keep telling ourselves that he is only 11 and we have to be here for him, but man, this is hard.


It seems so hard to make them understand that when they lie they are only hurting themselves in the long run because you're not going to believe them in the future. I really don't know what you do about that. I guess just letting them know that you will be checking their story.

I'm lucky in that lying isn't an issue with my kids. I'm sure they've lied to me, but it's not a regular occurrence. difficult child's biggest problem is perception. I have to dig and get the whole story as she tends to leave things out and then it's usually her perception of the situation that is skewed, not that it was a deliberate lie.