When Your 5-Year Old Lies To You…Continuously…


All I know is something happened when my little Lola turned 5.  Her “stories” became more dramatic.  Her eyes became bigger as her hand movements became more animated. And she never did anything wrong…not even if she was caught in the act.

Recently, my oldest had a full bottle of tea tree oil on her night stand. A couple days later I walked into her room to discover a distinct odor. As I walked over to the night stand I noticed the bottle of tea tree oil with the cap on, but empty. COMPLETELY empty. After getting down on my hands and knees, I tried to find where the spill had happened. Then, I went on to find the culprit.

The good news is, IF there was mold in Autumn’s room, there is no more! Yay for tea tree oil and its goodness. The bad news is, we’ve got a tall tale teller, non-admitter on our hands. A pants on fire.

As an adult, we all have told little white lies now and again, but as a parent how do you teach your children not to lie? We want to teach our children that lying is not the way to resolve things, but also understand why we sometimes don’t tell the whole truth, in order to not hurt another person’s feelings.

Kids under four do not clearly understand the difference between truth and lies. These youngsters let their emotions rule, and the lines are definitely blurry when it comes to lying. As a parent, you can try a gentle and diplomatic approach when you catch them in a lie. Around age four your child will generally be more verbal and outright deny when they have done something wrong. You can guide a conversation and explain to them why it is not okay to not tell the truth.

When children go to school (say between kindergarten and 3rd grade), they really like to test the waters and see what they can get away with. Kids this age sometimes feel overwhelmed in school and will fib about things like homework, or getting in trouble. You really must practice what you preach for kids this age, as they are looking to you as a parent to learn about behaviors. Be positive and acknowledge when you child is truthful. Explain how to navigate trickier situations, such as if they receive a gift they don’t like. Show them how they can still be thankful to the gift giver, and learn that they don’t need to tell them everything they are feeling.

Tweens start getting better at lying and hiding it. Remind them it is ok to be polite in certain social situations, but also reinforce that you need them to be truthful with you. If you keep the lines of communication open and are respectful to your child, they will be more inclined to open up to you. You want your tweens to feel comfortable telling you the truth and just talking to you.

If you start talking to your children about honesty while they are young, you have a better chance of them being more truthful and willing to talk to you when tough situations arise. Always listen to your kids and try to set a good example when it comes to lying.

And so, we are still trying to get the truth out of our little Lola, but we will! The tea tree oil investigation…To be continued…

Mamasita Amber
Mama of three children and proud new mama of a standard poodle named Prince Miguel.

17 Responses to “When Your 5-Year Old Lies To You…Continuously…

  • Sne@fg.com'
    Robin Masshole Mommy
    6 years ago

    It is important to talk to kids about being honest while they’re young. Great advice.

  • My sons have been caught in a few lies here and there. I try to instill in them the importance of always telling the truth.

  • This is where punishment has to fit the crime can come in. Basic concept is almost like love and logic. If you lie this is going to happen and follow though. Oh follow though write it down in-case you forget but follow though lol

    One thing I learned is to get a sticker chart label it Monday to Friday and give one sticker for each day she didn’t lie if she didn’t lie by the last day and was good all week then she earns something that involves you trusting her example for my kid would be time playing mindcraft don’t let her have mindcraft until she’s stopped the behavior monday to friday showing stickers that she did it. My daughter is 7 and I didn’t catch the lieing fully nip it in the butt now she’s mater minulapitor trys every chance she get’s to get her way. Don’t let her win lol stay strong momma.

  • Oh no – I wonder why she did it and what she was thinking, will be interesting to hear if you get the bottom of the tea tree misadventures.

  • I think most kids go through something like this when they are young. Hopefully her phase is a quick one, for your sake!

  • aimeefauci@gmail.com'
    aimee fauci
    6 years ago

    My grand daughter just turned 5 and she is a different kid! Oh my goodness. I hope she realizes that her grand ma has raised a lot of kids and she won’t be able to pull the wool over her eyes.

  • cmongetcrafty@gmail.com'
    Megan @ C'mon Get Crafty
    6 years ago

    Ok, so maybe it is the age. . . my eldest is four and a half, and a big fan currently of the “I didn’t!” regardless that you may be WATCHING him “do” at the very moment. Sigh.

  • Talking about honesty early on can help in the long run. At least the stories they tell when they’re young are amusing!

  • My daughter is now just learning to lie. For now she fesses up and I hope she stays honest.

  • I feel like this happens a lot. I found talking to my kids about why it’s super important to be honest and how even making little white lies can make me not believe them helped a ton!

  • Oh gosh, I remember those days. They didn’t happen very often but I know there were a few lies or fibs told in this house by a couple of little ones. Fortunately they grew up to be pretty honest adults.

  • I think all kids lie, especially if they are afraid of getting caught doing something wrong. It’s so important to make them understand that nothing good comes from lying!

  • Kids definitely like to test the waters when they’re that age. Tea tree oil has such a strong odor!

  • Everybody lies when it suits their needs and right now it’s suiting Lola’s needs to tell fibs. I’m interested in watching how this unfolds.

  • Interesting. All kids go through this at one point or another. In our house we just reinforced the need to be honest even if it means sometimes getting in trouble.

  • I started talking to my kids about honesty when they were around 3-4. I found my kids imagination growing around those times.

  • To be a parent sure is hard as you need to deal with these stuff and be alert to know.. and noticed when they are lying as well.

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