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Lying SD

Ursula's picture

I am really getting frustrated with my SD.  She is about to turn 8 and she lies constantly. She cannot be trusted at all.  Just some examples from the past week:

  • She didn't finish up some of her school work.  Husband asked her why.  She said she was working on it and one of the other kids asked her a question and then she forgot to do it.  Husband said, okay what was the question?  She says she forgot.  Then she says actually, that was a lie, she had to use the bathroom
  • Was told that she and another kid in neighborhood were going around to people's doors, knocking and running away.  Asked SD about it, she said no.  Then I said well, someone told me you were.  Then she admitted it and said it was only one time.
  • Running down the middle of the road.  Lies when asked about it, then says she was running next to the parked cars on the road
  • Being disrespectful to the neighbor who is currently helping her with online school.  Lying about it and said she wasn't rude when she was asked.

Her behavior is honestly embarassing.  I'm glad she's not my child but I still feel like it reflects badly on me.  She is constantly punished, having electronics taken away, losing time with friends and outdoor play time but seriously nothing phases her or changes her behavior.  She's a mini replica of her mother and it seems like it's just getting worse as she gets older.

I don't even know what to do anymore.  I'm so far disengaged from anything to do with her.  I refuse to be left alone with her unless my husband is working and now I'm to the point where I don't even want that.


futurobrillante99's picture

I'm not sure. Seems like she needs counseling.

However, I'm thinking her lying is a reflex BUT she's also getting a lot of attention from lying and the consequences of lying must not be much of a deterrent. One thing I'd try is for both of you to give her LESS attention when you know she's lying and reward her with attention when you know she's telling the truth. Attention seekers don't care if the attention they get is good or bad. Maybe try feeding her compulsion when you find her doing the right thing.

Ursula's picture

I think that would be helpful.  She's gone to a counselor before but it's been a while.  BM would have to agree and who knows if she would.  She pretty much controls the medical now because SD is on her insurance and my husband doesn't even have an insurance card.  But I'll suggest it to him.

Evil3's picture

You are wise to not be alone with your SD ever. She could get worse and ramp up the lies and you could end up being investigated. You are wise to have disengaged like you have. 

It seems like either your SD is a budding personality disordered child or her currency hasn't been found. It may be that a progressive discipline program needs to be established since consequences have not yet deterred your SD from lying. However, she is your DH's child and not yours and it's not your job to put yourself at risk over her lies. Your DH should find care for her when he's not there and ramp up the consequences. If that doesn't work then your DH needs to find a way to convince BM that the kid commits dangerous behaviours and lies about it and therapy is needed.

When I had difficulty parenting my extremely stubborn DD I went for counseling. When a parent cannot put a child into therapy due to the other parent or whatever other reason, the parent can always go themselves. I changed my parenting and so did DH and it turned things right around for us. 

Ursula's picture

There have been a few times that BM has made comments to my husband about my behavior towards SD.  Like how I'm so mean and I'm an "evil stepmom".  And it makes me wonder if SD is lying to BM or if BM is making stuff up.  Who even knows.  

Thank you for your advice, I think that's a great suggestion for my husband to go to therapy if BM is not willing to cooperate.  Knowing BM, she would just say that these problems only occur when SD is at our house even though SD says she is punished at her moms a lot for lying and being disrepectful.  You can't even tell what the truth is with SD anymore.

futurobrillante99's picture

I will confess that in late elementary school and early middle school I was quite the liar. My parents were borderline abusive and I would lie my butt off to avoid their wrath, BUT I would also lie about my life to impress people and win friends.

I don't think I have a personality disorder. I was just embarrassed about my life, my homelife and desperate to make friends. I must not have been a very good liar because those lies didn't win me friends for very long.

Anyway, funny story. I remember telling someone in 5th or 6th grade that I have a boyfriend up on Lake Champlain (between NY and Vermont). It seemed far away enough to be plausible and I wouldn't have to show up anywhere with a boyfriend. LOL

My BF and I vacationed in New England in October and we took a ferry across Lake Champlain. I told him about my childhood farce and we joked about finding my "boyfriend."

I may tell a white lie now and again, but my days of lying to impress people are over. I'm much less impressive but I have more friends. Smile

Ursula's picture

Lol!  This is funny!

I mean honestly, if my SD were making up lies like that I really wouldn't mind.  I think some lying and embellishments are normal.  Another thing that I think she lied about recently was saying that another kid in the neighborhood told her they hoped SD got run over by a car.  My husband talked to one of the parents who talked to the kids and they said no, that was never said.  And it's like, I'd really like to believe SD wouldn't make up a lie like that completely out of the blue, but she lies so much you can't even tell anymore.  

futurobrillante99's picture

My guess is it's about attention. Lying gets her a LOT of attention. If it's not that, maybe she's delusional.

advice.only2's picture

My BS went through a lying phase around that age, but I know he did it for attention seeking. Maybe SD is seeking attention, good/bad or otherwise. A lot of kids right now are struggling being home schooled, not getting to interact on a daily basis with other kids...its rough. I know you aren't the parent, but maybe something for your SO to think about.

Ursula's picture

I appreciate the input.  I do think it's hard for kids right now, but SD is actually still interacting with kids on a daily basis when she is here.  She goes to a neighbors house during school hours where some of her neighborhood friends also goes and after school she is playing with friends in the neighborhood until dinner time.  I did talk to SD this morning and told her I know it's hard right now with not going to actual school and that hopefully things will get better soon.  She told my husband yesterday that she feels like she's always getting in trouble and never does anything right which made both of us feel bad.  I made a point to tell her this morning that she's very smart and does a lot of things well because while she can be annoying and drive me crazy, it makes me feel bad to think of a child feeling that way.

JRI's picture

I met my SD59 when she was 10.  She was lying then and it has never stopped.  I think it's a combination of wanting to impress others, deflecting blame, inflicting hurt, and relieving boredom.  As someone on ST said, if her lips are moving, she's lying.


lieutenant_dad's picture

I would stop the niceties with her and just be blunt whenever she is around.

"SD, I'm not even going to ask you about it because you'll lie again."

"SD, stop lying. We have proof."

"SD, you didn't forget, you just don't want to get in trouble. Stop it."

Might not change SD's behavior, but might make you feel better to not dance around the issue with her or anyone else. I'd also be the person to call her on it in public. 

futurobrillante99's picture

blunt, unemotional and cutting the conversation short are good ways to not reward her lying. I'm sure she' doing it for attention.

Gray rocking might be called for. Keep any responses short, to the point and without emotion. "I'm not sure I can believe you SD. We can talk when you're ready to be honest." Then walk away. No arguing. Just keep cutting the conversation off until she is honest. Then lavish her with attention.

Nette5's picture

My mom tells me: don't ask questions that they can lie about. Direct statements like: "don't run in the street, stay on the sidewalk" may work. I always struggled with changing my mindset to be able to make statements instead of questions. 

"Why didn't you get your homework done?" Could be changed to "show me what you have done & show me the due date", then make her sit & do some.