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How do you deal with lying?

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Pickles fibs are getting out of hand. She has been diagnosed with sensory processing difficulties and trauma related ADHD. The thing is she lies....a lot and a lot more than other children. She is rude and aggressive, defiant and violent. She has no respect for Mr WLC and whenever he asks her to do something it is met with shouting and sticking out her tongue along with blanket refusal and rudeness.


Like now, she was asked by hubby to sit down on her bottom after she told fibs and was rude. She has refused and is now arguing the toss with him and refusing to follow his instruction.


She lies at home and at school and it is something I find hard to deal with. It is also affecting her relationships with her peers at school.


When I saw a paediatrician she mentioned ODD to me. Could it be this?


We are also struggling to TP her especially with natural consequences. The other day she refused to get dressed and I said that if she didn't we would be late for school. She shrugged her shoulders and carried on. The natural consequence was that we were late for school but she didn't seem to care.


Likewise, she was yankimg some sort of toy and I said she needed to be more careful or it would break. It did break and that was the consequence but she had to retaliate and then snap one of her sisters toys so that they were even.


The fibs bug me. I don't like being lied to.

Any ideas?


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You say that Pickles has been diagnosed with ADHD. Is she taking medication? Both my children were diagnosed with ADHD and my daughter with ODD too. They were prescribed Ritalin - this was a long time ago - and it made a huge difference, not just to the ADHD but to my daughter's ODD too. Without the medication she was constantly defiant.


Lily x


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Not sure if you've come across Bryan Post - he has some really good strategies on lying. Its a while since I read it, but he talks about why children with trauma histories lie and gives some ways to tackle it - a lot of it is about avoiding shame... His stuff is available online to download.


It is tough - one of my big bug bears that really triggers me - but there are things you can do to improve the situation and learn to deal with your own reactions too.


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She isn't on medication only circadin for her sleep.


I understand the avoiding of shame and know that is the case some of the time and try and deal with that. I will look up Bryan Post over the holidays. Hopefully I will get chance.


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Just a quick one as we’ve had a bit of a day! 6 hours in hospital after DD had a bit of a turn in school ... have you come across PDA? Might be more likely than ODD.


http://www.autism.org.uk/about/what-is/pda.aspx


Also google confabulation. Sits nicely (haha) with pda!


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My AD (aged 13) has awful sensory processing issues and ADHD symptoms - for which she takes medication - including high impulsivity. She is also very rude. In the past, AD was regularly very aggressive & violent, and the constant lying really got me down too. While still an issue, it has reduced a lot. I think that not being constantly stressed in the school environment, with the underlying fear of rejection, and feelings of shame has made a big difference for her. A bit of maturity has also helped.


I've had to work really hard to manage my own feelings about her lying - not always successfully and I do get irritated with her at times. Aside from the big issue of reducing stress and shame at school, I've tried to do the following with some success (I think):


- Really praised AD when she manages to tell me the truth, even when she admits to having done something wrong. I've had to work hard at not telling her off when she does and try to rely on natural consequences..


- Acknowledged how difficult it is for her to tell the truth sometimes, and wonder aloud if she's worried that I will reject her/think that she's bad inside, or whether she is worried that she is bad inside ...This approach no longer works. My AD now complains that I always try to 'dig deep' and could I please stop it!


- Discussed with AD how to help her tell me "the uncomfortable truth", eg by not looking at me, and by saying it very quickly in one go.


- Explained that I am her greatest champion with others (not least school) for explaining why things go wrong and how to support AD, but that I really need to know what really happened.


.... and occasionally I've managed successfully to make a joke about the fibs.


Maybe she's just really stressed and tired, and not managing school?


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The thing is it changes with time. It took about two years before ours started to trust us enough to stop having to protect themselves with lies. In their past lives telling the truth would lead to abusive punishments so lying was the protective mechanism they both used.

I went to Bryan Post’s fantastic lecture at The PAC/AUK conference three years ago and it changed my outlook on this totally. His approach is to accept they are lying, as an adult you know it is a lie, can usually work out exactly what is going on and can fill in the blanks from your experience. If that is the case then what is to gain from then making an issue out of it with the child. Once the trust builds the lying will reduce.


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Our AD aged about 7 used to lie about lies so much that she did seem to lose sight of what the truth was and often the lies were so transparent and over such small stuff that it didn't really matter what the truth was. I think I used to say oh I think that is a lie but it doesn't matter, you don't have to tell me what has really happened. It's ok. After a number of months the lies petered out but then they kicked in again during teens to cover dangerous behaviour patterns. The lies during this time were often to keep me from challenging or worrying, even though the reality was that I would worry more as I usually could sense a lie and wake up panic stricken in the middle of the night. Nowadays AD is delighted and proud to tell me the truth even if the truth is at times hard to take. She confides in me about pretty much everything and I have always pushed the view that I will accept anything she has to tell me and I will always give her my truthful opinion, even if she doesn't like it. Try not to worry too much about the lies, rather focus on what she may be unsettled, worried or sad about.


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Like donatella says, I would suggest you check out PDA, especially the strategies for dealing with it. Mr WLC may like to avoid making direct demands on her and see if that helps.


The lies are of course part of the bigger picture. The others have given great advice. I would add to keep doing what you are doing and try to keep her out of trouble while she heals.


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Hi lying is a compulsion for my son and remains a problem. Tbh it remains a problem for me. It’s not a big problem for him at all. He sees a problem/ danger/ worry ahead and lies to dodge it. Totally sensible when you think of it.

It’s a defence mechanism which has become dysfunctional. How I deal with it now it to try and nod along and say ‘that would be nice love’

In the past I’ve explained how much it hurts when he lies

How being known as a liar is a negative thing

All that stuff. But really the only thing I can change is my reaction to it.


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One of mine has often lied - she has ADHD and I wonder if it is related. So her impulse might be to lie or, when younger, describe a fantasy as fact. Then when confronted, she feels panicky and sticks to the ridiculous story. I have drummed into her, gradually over many years, the issues I have with lying, and frequently, once the panic has subsided, she will come to me and tell me the truth.


What I did when she was younger, if I doubted her word, was to ask her to repeat her story. Usually the details would change and I'd work out which bits were truth and which were not. If I could piece the story together and suggest it to her, she'd often confirm it. I'd always try to get independent confirmation too, whenever possible (eg from teachers).


It used to really bug me and it was something I found hard to let go. But over time I came to accept it more. And tried to stay calm and discuss it rationally. As she went into her teen years, she was constantly asking us to trust her and that gave lots of opportunities to work on this, so she learnt that if she didnt' act in a trustworthy way, there would be a consequence ie that we wouldn't let her do X because we didn't rust her. Mostly it has worked!


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