(Closed) Daughter might be a pathological liar. Help

posted 8 years ago in Parenting
Post # 49
1666 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

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@Mars62312:  Ahhh. See I thought it was for like, a congrats you didn’t mess up this week. But I still think even if it’s for chores, she shouldn’t get them.


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@TexasSpringBride:  No one can doubt that you love her. You are here talking to us because you are so desperate for her to behave. Not so you can handle her but so she becomes the lovely person you want her to be. You have put an incredible ammount of time and effort in this child. You are an amazing mother. Truly and even if your daughter never says thank you. I am saying thank you for her. IF she comes out the other end of this okay it will be because of you and your love.

 I don’t know how I could do it. Please keep hope!

Post # 50
2512 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

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@TexasSpringBride:  i added to my previous comment but i think it got lost in all the comments that came after. this is what i wrote: eta- it took me too long to write my post! i saw your updates but i still stand behind my opinion that she’s getting too much attention. maybe you guys should try a different therapist and also a child psychiatrist. it’s possible to have mental disorders as a child. this sounds like more than abandonment issues.


i wanted to you to see it because i feel very strongly about you guys finding a different therapist or even a child psychiatrist. i know it has to really hard to deal with all of this. i’m exhausted and at my wits end for you guys, just reading all your updates.

Post # 51
3120 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

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@TexasSpringBride:  That’s great!  Have you spoken to that teacher?  Special Education teachers have an amazing way with their students.  She may be able to give you some advice. I’d also be sure to develop a close relationship with the school counselor.  


I really think you need to show the school that you’re trying.  I would be worried that they may  begin taking disciplinary actions against her which could escalate to expulsion…especially if she’s risking people’s jobs.  I know it wasn’t your intention, but I read parts of your original post as you calling the school the question why they told your child about a sub being fired, sending the message that your distrust lies with the school rather than your child who has a habit of this (this is coming from a teacher).  


Hugs to you!  I can’t imagine what your family is going through!


Post # 52
9124 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

I agree with

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@minipenguin: that you might see a physicatrist re: a personality disorder diagnosis.  Your later updates make me think that may be the case.  It’s not a bad thing to at least investigate the possibility.  Knowledge is power, and if you know exactly what’s going wrong with her, it’ll only help you treat the problem.

Good luck!  i’m so sorry about all this.

Post # 55
6737 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2014

Man this is really tough.. have you tried to appeal to her on an emotional level as her mom?  Like, have you told her that all her lying HURTS YOU?  Have you told her that you know she’s doing it to get attention and that it hurts you when she does that because she’s hurting other people and you don’t want to see other people get hurt?

Have you told her that lying like this is a crime?  Making false accusations like this that could lead to false police reports?  Pull up the penal law in your state and show her that giving police false information is a crime and that right now all she’s doing is telling it to the school, but one day the school might call the police and then what?  I know you’ve already discussed consequences with her, though.

Does she have to wear a uniform to school?  If not, have you considered taking away her clothes and making her wear a very plain “uniform” type outfit to school? 

I’m honestly not sure that any of this will help – I never lied as a kid because my parents hit my siblings and I was too scared to get hit growing up.  Hopefully she grows out of it, sorry you’re going through this.  🙁 

Post # 56
2299 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I remember reading your past posts and I’m sorry you’re dealing with this. It seems like you’re doing everything right, but I don’t think spanking would help anything and I agree with pp’s that she’s a little old.

I would take her to another therapist for a second opinion, honestly. Even if her current one is fantastic it always helps to find out what another proffesional thinks about the situation.

Post # 57
1176 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Insanity – doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

Punishing her isn’t working. Punishing her in new and different ways isn’t going to work any better. I am not a psychologist of any kind, but this little girl sounds like she has an attachment disorder. I say that because her behaviour is similar to a child a friend of mine adopted from another country (interestingly, also with a younger sibling who didn’t act out). She also had been abandoned at a young age, although the conditions of her abandonment were quite extreme.

If her therapist is telling you that the answer is to just keep punishing her, in your place I would question the therapist’s ability to deal with a child this hard to reach. I can tell you (only in the broadest outlines) that what did work for my friend’s case was a kind of positive reinforcement overload. Basically, they started ignoring everything she did wrong and praising everything she did right, even the tiniest little thing. It was kind of screwy to see, but it was a screwy situation. The little girl is older now and her behaviour has improved. She still has issues, but it’s not really surprising.

Post # 58
4369 posts
Honey bee

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@TexasSpringBride:  I remember when you first talked about this months ago here. I’m so sorry you’re still dealing with it. 

Post # 59
2747 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

As a teacher, here are some of my thoughts.


Your daughter is too old to be spanked.  It would just be a very ineffective disciplining tool to use right now.


If none of the behavourial reinforcements are working for her, I am beginning to wonder if her lying has to do with character development.  As a response to her “abandonment” issues, it may not be related to wanting attention, but more of a false sense of security? 


Lying could make her feel in control of a situation because she is the annex of information. For that small time of gratification, she is willing to get into trouble again and again. 


I also do not think ignorning her behaviour will work.  She needs some TOUGH love at this age before it is too late. I would suggest that she get some lessons on empathy. Situationally, ask if someone lied to YOU about HER and as a result, you would not allow her to go to Disney, how would she feel? Or better yet, do it. You need to be firm and stern.  Her mother was absent and flippy, you need to be strong and steady.


The idea of having her WRITE out or even talk/discuss/record a video about her thoughts on how lies affect others may put her in a place where she is defending victims of lies, rather than gloating and bragging. She is 11 years old meaning she is in grade 6/7? She is old enough for you to sit with her and have a heart to heart.


Talk about WHY she chooses to lie. Why her stories change. When she defends it, use questions back at her (How does it make you feel when you lie? How does it make other’s feel when you lie? Is it worth it? Does it get you what you want in the long run? If she won’t talk to you about these things, it may be a good time to have a third party talk to her… maybe someone less “clinical” than a therapist.  Who does she admire (a celebrity, book heroine, movie character? What are the qualities that make these people/characters good?)


Most kids 11 years old are acutely in tune with “adults” trying to “cure” them and become resistent to help. Objectively illicit what consequences a person may have from lying. (eg. If she keeps lying, what will her friends think and feel?  What will they do? Answer: they will stop being your friends. Ask her if that is what she wants? What she/you can do to stop that from happening etc)


Don’t take sloppy answers from her.  11 year olds will say what you want to hear to get out of it. But peeling back the reasons will make more of a change than superficial punishment type reactions. Also, I agree with stop calling the school unless it is to help clear up the lies she had created. You want to work WITH her teachers, make sure they know of her compulsize lying, also let them know what steps you are taking at home so that they will be on board with you.  Trust me, teachers and parents working together will have a strong affect. All the adults cannot be on a divided front with this issue. HTH!

Post # 60
745 posts
Busy bee

Hm, it seems to me that she hasn’t learned how to handle her emotions what.so.ever.  Even for an 11-year-old.  This can happen with children who have been abandoned or who have had some form of trauma in their past.  It’s the prescursor to personality disorders such as histrionic and especially borderline.  With borderline, it can get even worse as the child/adolescent begins to self-harm, and violent behavior can escalate.

I dealt with this as a teen and twentysomething, however not as a child.  If I were in your situation, I would try to respond to her every word, every action, as evenly as possible.  Show her that your love/attention does not depend on the presence or absence of her outbursts.  Be patient but do not tolerate her lies.  Don’t respond, don’t call the school.  Work on your relationship with her father, if there’s any stress/tension there – children pick up on that and it can make her behavior worse if she realizes she can impact your relationship.  

Other than these points, I don’t have too much to offer.  What a tough situation, and i wish you lots of luck  :/

Post # 61
1006 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

I can see you are getting a lot of opposite advice….


Every child is different and I am only letting you know about the one I watched because she was also 11, had dyslexia, was abandoned by her mom, and also lied frequently (though this girl did not do well in school and it sounds like you are MUCH more loving than her step mom).


But based on her therapists advice they took away everything (it was SO sad seeing her sit in an empty room without even books) and unfortunately her behavoir didn’t change.


I cant tell you if it ever did because I only watched them for a year 🙁


This is probably the worst advice ever but it made me chuckle…. Tell her she is going to Disneyland and then tell her it was all a lie 🙂




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