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Avatar universal

what do you do with a child who lies all the time?

Is being diagnosed with ADHD a part of the lying syndrome?  
14 Responses
757137 tn?1347196453
I don't know, but I had a hyperactive child who told harmless lies. I think it created a kind of activity around her. I never put her on drugs.
189897 tn?1441126518
   I have worked with a lot of kids with ADHD.  One of the things that I have noticed is that there is a kind of self-protection mode that they swing into called "lying".  Essentially, they get tired of being blamed ALL the time for things they have done wrong (many times they don't even realize they have done it). So given the choice of being punished, or reprimanded, or questioned - they take the logical, self preservation way out, and lie.  
   I will say that the ADHD kids whose parents and teachers understand what they are going through and discipline accordingly seem to lie a lot less.  Lying (to me) is a cry for help.  A sign of a lack of self esteem.  A signal that the kid is kind of giving up.  
If this is going on with your child (and the age is kind of important), I would really do some research into how to work with ADHD kids and to make sure the school system is aware of their problems.  Probably the easiest book to give you some help - if that is the case - is, "The ADD/ ADhD Answer book." , by Susan Ashley.  It will really give you things to do that will help you work with a child that lies all the time.  What you should ask yourself is when did the lying start happening?  Usually about 4th grade, a kid is aware enough (if they are pretty intelligent) to start lying.  Definitely, by middle school.
  This is something that I think is a cry for help!  If you have any other questions, please post.
973741 tn?1342342773
I always think about the adhd child and what life must be like for the.  The majority of the time people are aggravated with them, telling them they are screwing up.  Even when they aren't telling them, they feel that way.  They always feel out of sync with others.  My heart really breaks for how they feel inside a lot of the time.  That is why I've always taken a stance to do everything you can to help a child.  They might not do great in school . . . but the real damage is inside of them and how they feel about themselves.  

Read the book Sandman has suggested.
If the person adhd is older, the lying probably started in this way and is now a habit.
good luck
Avatar universal
I experienced similar situation with my son who does have ADHD and lied when he was younger..I found that constant reminders of the rules/boundaries really help. For example don't wait until he throws his shoes in the hallway to ask him "did you just put your shoes in the hallway?" Immediately remind him where shoes go when he walks through the door every day. When I wake him up I remind him that the tag goes in the back, I don't wait until he puts his shirt on backwards--I just remind him when I give him his clothes. My boy doesn't really lie now.  
Avatar universal
This sounds exactly like my 10 year old, 5th grade daughter.  The school has tested her and said there are no mental issues.  Also, besides the lying she's unable to focus for long periods of time.  I do not want to put her on meds and my husband thinks this is something we can deal  with at home.  What can I do?  She's lies about everything.
189897 tn?1441126518
      Well, you definitely want to read the 3 posts above yours.  Also, I am not sure what the school means by saying she has no mental issues.  ADD or ADHD is not a mental issue.  It is a behavioral disorder.
   If you want to help her at home, then first you need to figure out if she has something like ADD as you would attempt to modify her behavior with methods very different then if she were just a normal kid who lies.  I guess a good start would be to read this link on ADD to see if it seems possible.
The link is -    http://www.help4adhd.org/en/about/what/WWK8
5757880 tn?1395578022
My son is 8 years old and diagnosed with ADHD.
I would typically say my son lies alot; however, it's not really true. It's almost like a self-preservation because when he was younger there was alot of "Did you do this? Why did you do this? Why did you hit her/him? Why are you touching everything? WHY WHY WHY?"
It's harder for them to understand due to the impassivity and lack of control they have, so it's easier to shift the blame to someone else or "lie" outright because they are probably tired of getting into trouble.

Usually now we sit our son down and ask him about whatever situation and before he can answer and possibly lie, I say to him that I have already spoken to such and such and know the story, but I want to hear his side. Then instead of the "whys" - I ask him how did he feel, how did the possible other person feel and would he have liked it. If it's something that happened very recently, he receives a "consequence" for his action but if it's something that happened earlier or at school. I explain that what he did wasn't right and then let him go.

189897 tn?1441126518
   Excellent advice.  As a teacher, assistant principal and principal - I never asked a kid why?  If I knew for sure they did it - I dealt with the future, not the past.
Avatar universal
i have a 10 year old son who was diagnosed with ADHD in 1st grade. His lying about everything- mostly small- has always been a struggle. He doesn't want to get into trouble and lies to protect himself. But it only gets him in trouble to the point where as parents we've taken away his TV privelages and technology (ipad, computer) hoping to teach him a lesson but all the conversations we've had and punishment don't seem to work. I'm at my wits end and feel like a horrible parent sometimes for having to keep taking things away from him and making him feel like he's in trouble all the time.  What do we do?
5757880 tn?1395578022
My husband and I were there too; nothing we seemed to do phased this kid and it drove us crazy!!!!

One thing, kids don't always give the responses that we would want. Partly, because they know if they did - you would do it again. So if they seem blase about it, then how likely are you to try that consequence again?

What we did with our children is we sat down and made a Rules of the House chart and asked out kids, what should be the rules of the house. Of course, we helped them along - throwing out ideas but it really helped out kids to put an effort into the rules. Then we created an Actions and Consequences chart - it listed the negative action we didn't like and the consequence that they would have if they did said negative action. We read through it with them so they understood where all of us stood.

Now I cant say that it's all rainbows and kittens at our house but it is better. Consistency is the BIGGEST thing we have learned works with ADHD children and heck, with all children.

Also, the conversations we have with our son is short and sweet. Asking him what happened, asking him how did he feel doing it, how does he think the other person feels, what was the better choice in that situation. We make him talk to us by asking questions because if we didn't he wont pay that great of attention.
189897 tn?1441126518
   very good ideas by Babblemom.  I also hope that you read all of the prior comments as you will find them very helpful.  
  Lying by kids with ADHD is very common.  Barkley says that 49% of kids with ADHD lie compared to 5% of normal kids.  The reason why they lie is pretty easy to figure out as I stated above.
  The thing you have to realize is that to punish for lying is to punish the wrong thing.  What you want to change is the reason or the thing that he is lying about.  Punishing for lying is not going to change what he did.  And, in fact, probably makes it worse.
   So what you want to do is to deal with what is causing the lying.  These links should also help.
and these are just a few of the parenting tips from this site.  Obviously what you are doing is not working.  So its time for a change.
     One other thing to think about is his medication.  Is he on any?  If so does the lying tend to happen when the meds have worn off?  
7922624 tn?1396424978
my eldest boy is now 18yrs old he was diagnosed as severe ADHD and asparagus. he started lying at the age of 5. there was no reasoning the mental health team could find even after extensive counselling with the whole family. He was lying to protect himself for getting into trouble he was telling lies about other people including his family members. i lost a marriage and many partners due to the behavioral issues and lies. however when he was 12 i realized he actually was not lying all the time, i discovered he in fact was taking several parts of conversations or things he had seen and was in fact putting together the pieces in his head and it would make sense to him but would be rubbish to everyone else...a lie... once i found this out i was able to reach him in a way i never could before i started to get him to talk about it and break it up into the correct sequence then fill in the gaps he was missing. i would make sure the school then contact me if he said anything and would break it into the correct context for them so no misunderstandings could continue. teaching him problem solving skills was a must and to stand up to when he was wrong. he has broken the law a couple of times so i had him charged he stole from me and ran away for 3 months so i told him i didn't want to talk to him until he found a way to make it right. he wrote a letter then called 2 weeks later he came home. he now has not broken any laws or lied or stolen in nearly 2 years. he has applied for the army as routine is extremely important with these children, a lot of positive reinforcement and consistent support. when i had him charged i also sat right beside him through the whole process with police interviews through to court and took him home showing him what is expected and what consequences there are shook him to the core it taught him a very hard but real lesson in life. He is now a really good son and turning into a good man and we have a very strong unshakable bond because i have never given up on him. that is number 1 to these children they need your consistent no rubbish down to earth LOVE
before people jump to accusing a child of lies have a closer look at what they are saying it might not be a lie just many conversations or experiences put together incorrectly they are problem solvers by nature and are actually very intelligent it just takes a lot longer for them to realize 1+1 equals 2 not window as they are always looking for other solutions
7922624 tn?1396424978
i agree with this you need to consistently reinforce the boundries
7922624 tn?1396424978
the only thing i wished was if i had of known sooner what really was going on i may not have needed to be so hard on him as a teenager and i wished i had someone to support me through it not having to do it on my own. i use very similar positive steps with my other children one been autistic and i have no problems with this with them
and i do it on my own
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