Hi Cathy, My daughter of two and a half years has started telling fibs. She smiles and laughs like it is a game. I would like to nip it in the bud if I can.
CG: Dear Barbara, I agree it is better to stop this behaviour before it becomes a habit, although I think she could simply grow out of it – as you say it is like a game; there is no malice behind it. However, like you, I would want to ‘nip it in the bud.’ I suggest you explain to your daughter that the problem with fibbing is that you won’t know when she is telling the truth; then if she persists, prove it by using a bit of psychology. I suggest the following: The next time she asks for something e.g. a sweet or TV time refuse it and say, ‘No, I don’t think you really want it.’ She will erupt and say, ‘Yes I do!’ You say, ‘But how do I know you do and it isn’t a fib?’ When she says indignantly, ‘It’s not a fib! I really do want a sweet/TV/go to the park.’ Say, ‘Oh, I see, well in that case you can have your treat, but you need to stop fibbing otherwise I won’t know when you’re telling the truth, will I?’ A few times of this and it will stop. It also works with older children whose lying runs deep. Cathy