Telling Stories

I wouldn't say that we're exactly in a "kid crying wolf" scenario, but we do have a child who likes to tell stories.  Unfortunately for the parents in this scenario, we've believed her (because the stories are never crazy far-fetched) and then looked like idiots when talking to teachers and parents about things we thought had happened, but did not.  And on the flip side, I didn't believe when I was told a friend was moving away.  I didn't reach out to the family at all, because I was sure it was a story.  And then...they moved!  But over time, we thought things were better.

Well, the stories are back.  And now they seem to be going both ways with tall tales being told to siblings, parents, and teachers.  Again, nothing crazy or hurtful, but we've explained how something innocent can effect others opinions, both of the people's actions in the story and of her when they find out the story is not true.  We've talked about all the true and fun things going on that she could share instead of stories.  I also suggested "writing it out" as a work of fiction instead of telling it as fact.  If you think of a not-true idea, turn it into a fun story?  I feel like we've talked it to death and I'm not sure if we're getting through to her.

So, I need to ask for assistance here.  Anyone been through a similar situation with their kids?  Any advice on how to change the behavior.  Also, she seems to respond well when she sees a behavior in someone else.  Her empathy seems to help her see the downsides to behavior.  Any recommendations for books about not always telling the truth and how that can backfire?

mom said...

Have you tried throwing the process onto her? Like telling her, maybe, someone she likes is coming over and going to be bringing something fun to do...then they don't show up and you tell her it was just a story. Maybe she'll get the hint.

Martha said...

I've punished both my girls before, when just ONE of them was guilty, because no one would admit to the truth. It really doesn't seem fair, but it seemed to work.

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