Worried about my 7 year old daughter...


Eye see you...
11 Years
May 17, 2008
Here, there, and everywhere...
This is a first for me. I don't ever ask for parenting help of any kind.

But this is bothering me.

I have three kids, ages 9, 7, and 3.

My 7 year old girl (who will be 8 in Feb.) seems to be constantly lying about everything, telling stories, and so on and so forth. We can't trust anything she says anymore because you just never know.

Some examples are:

She claims to get up in the middle of the night and do things (have snacks, play with toys, take showers, etc.) when we know for a fact she has not.

She makes up stories, sometimes very eleborate ones.
Example number 1; Yesterday morning she comes to me and tells me, after we've all been up for about 3 hours already, that the prior evening the city Police called our house in the middle of the night, while everyone was sleeping, and that she answered it and they asked her if she had seen a man dressed all in black wearing a mask because someone had just robbed the local bank. She said it was a man on the phone and they said they were calling everyone in the town. She was so animated and convincing that I actually looked it up on the local news website and called the local police station to ask if this had happened. It had not.
Example number 2; A couple of months ago she told me that she had seen a fox jump onto the back of a doe deer that was grazing on our property who had a baby with it. She claims that the doe deer ran off into the woods with the fox on it's back trying to kill it (I was believing her at this point) and that then a buck deer was watching from in the woods and came out and stomped the fox off the doe. She lost me then, because she said the doe had already gone into the woods. Whether the entire story was a lie OR partially true and she exaggerated to make it more grand, I have no idea...

She will tell family members and strangers things that are not true.
Example number 1; She told her Aunt that we don't have any pillowcases at home, so Aunt went out and bought them a bunch. We always have had pillow cases.

Example number 2; When she was 5 there was an incident where she told the same Aunt that her father smacked her in the face. Obviously Aunt and family were all very concerned. She then admitted that she made it up.

Lately we have been cracking down on her hard for it. If she lies and we caught her in it, she's in trouble, we're not just brushing it off anymore. It's gone beyond a toddler or small child telling stories to us now and we are concerned that she cannot tell when she is lying or is believing her lies.

I have Anxiety disorder, sometimes I am downright Agoraphobic and even when I'm not, unannounced visitors make me very nervous to the point where I will have a panic attack.
There was a time in the past where she made up a very elaborate and well thought out story and prank complete with fake knocking on the doors and claiming there was some man here, that literally gave me a wicked panic attack because we had been having a horrible time with our prior neighbors at this point... Well later that night when her father came home and I had taken the bait Hook, Line, and Sinker, she told him that she made it all up and then apologized to me for it.
I was furious.

Today is not such a great day. My oldest son is sick, my husband is sick (but as work), I threw my back out. My middle daughter is slightly sick with the same tummy thing as us but not as bad... She is still up and running around and acting like her energetic playful self...
I spent about an hour cleaning my bedroom earlier this morning, an hour with a thrown out back while taking care of a puking kid, not fun.
All I had left to do was sweep the room and make the bed.
I left the room and told her that I was going downstairs for a cup of coffee and to rest my back for a little while and that I would be back and not to make a mess.
I secretly expected a little mess, these are kids, but my back was KILLING me and I had to go sit down.

She asked me if she could take a couple of juice boxes for her and my little DD upstairs to drink while they watched a movie. I normally do not allow drinks upstairs, but I made an exception (and hindsight is 20/20!)...

I went upstairs about 20 minutes later and my bed is SOAKED. Like someone didn't drink a drop of their juice but instead sprayed it all over my bed.
I notice at this point that my son who was sleeping in my bed when I left (my room is the only bedroom with a TV) had moved to his own bed in the other room.
I freak and squack and squeal and yell "WHAT HAPPENED TO MY BED?!?!"
She comes around the corner (7yoDD) and gets this SHOCKED expression on her face like she's never seen it before and immeadiately pegs her little sister for it.
She had better grow up and be an actress that's all I'm going to say.
When my son comes back through the room to go to the bathroom (You have to go through the master to get to the upstairs bath) and hears me complaining and sees me cleaning and pulling my bed apart, HE informes me in front of her that she did it and he saw her and that's why he went to his bed, because mine was wet!
I can't really blame him for not coming to tell me, he is pretty sick...
She just stands there with this look on her face "you caught me"...
Now she's grounded for lying to me, after she did tell me that she did it and she was sorry for not coming to me as soon as it happened, and she cannot go to her cousins b-day party next week.

I understand that kids will lie because they're afraid to get in trouble... I know that to some degree that is normal.
But coupled with all of the stories she is telling, I am WORRIED... I have an Uncle who is a diagnosed Pathological Liar and I am worried sick that she could end up like that...

Is she just really creative or something or should I be finding her a Dr.? Is it a "middle" child thing?!

How should I be punishing her for lying? There doesn't seem to me to be a particular pattern, she will lie about big things and little things that don't matter...
She has said "Mommy I saw deer coming out of the barn." and then "Mommy the police called", something innocent and then something that could be serious....

She is driving me NUTS! and I'm terrified that my nearly 4 year old DD is going to pick it up from her!
Something is bothering her--that is for sure. At 7, kids don;t always separate reality from fantasy, but she seems a bit extreme.

She may be acting out to get attention (lost in the middle), or it may be something else. I do think an evaluation by a child psychologist may be helpful, and I am normally not one to push counseling or therapy.

You might also want to start praising her creativity and imagination when she comes up with stories like the fox or the police & bad guy, and ask her to write them down. This reinforces that it is imaginary, and also that you, the parent, can see through fabrications. The latter story almost sounds like she heard the news or a cop-type show on TV while she was asleep, and her mind dreamed that it was real?
Regular evening lessons on telling the truth... might be helpful.

We don't want her to become pathological at 7.
I agree. Maybe a doctor's eval wouldn't hurt at this point. That sounds like a tough situation, in regards to what to do. Be consistent with your punishment for her lying, but still let her know you love her unconditionally.

Hang in there, though! Things will work out, one way or another!
Honestly, I would get her help. This has been ongoing and the fact she has other disorders is a huge red flag. I say this not to be unkind but because I am the mother of a child who once needed help too.
I have no real answer for you. Have you asked her why she feels the need to lie? If she were mine I'd continue to call her on it when you know that she is lying...more just letting her know that you know when she's lying rather than really punishing her for it. I liked the idea of having her write her "stories" down, maybe that will help her seperate the truth from her lies. My husband has a cousin that has lied his whole 60 years. His parents never called him on it and I don't think even he knows what's truth or lies anymore.

Who knows, she might just end up being a famous writer someday!
I'm sorry, she does not have other disorders, she certainly has them in her family genetics, but she herself is not diagnosed with anything at this point. The anxiety disorder I refer to in the post is mine, not hers.

I thank all of you for your kind responses, it means a great deal to me.
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First of all, your daughter has a wild imagination! That isn't a bad thing. I would try to get her to put down some of her ideas, even if you have to be the person writing down her words. That might give her an outlet for her unique talents.

As far as the lying, yes, you need to nip that now. The problem is how to do so.

My oldest went through a period in which he lied. Not as severe as your daughter though. He also was punishment resistent. He did not enjoy the punishment but it didn't have much effect.

Eventually, he grew up into a very honest young man. But it took a lot of talking and talking and talking to him. I can't tell you that it was an overnight solution. It took a lot of time.

Don't wait until she has told a fib to talk to her. When you see someone on tv who has told the truth, record the show and make certain that she is watching it with you. Praise the character. If she is with you and you get a penny too much from the teller or you accidentally take a pen, make a big deal about taking it back.

Every night tell her stories that involve a person being honest, make the stories up.

If she tells the truth at all-even if she has to because you caught her in the act- then make certain you point out that she was honest.

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