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4 year old grandson lying

(52 Posts)
Asterix22 Sun 07-Jan-18 14:47:41

My 4 year old grandson stays with my wife and I one weekend a month. (he did stay with us for 4 months a year and a half ago). He loves coming to us and has a great time, says that he wants to stay with us forever.

The last two times he has been he has told his mum lies about what happened whilst he was here. Saying we left him with a stranger whilst we went out, force fed him, told him he was moving to nearer to us. All lies.

Problem is that his mum (my daughter) is believing him.

Why would he do this?

lemongrove Sun 07-Jan-18 14:54:56

Who knows? He is only four years old.However you should let your DD know that fairytales are being told and she should have a quiet talk with him about telling the truth.

lemongrove Sun 07-Jan-18 14:55:47

Some very young children have an imagination that runs away with them.

paddyann Sun 07-Jan-18 14:56:40

kids make up stories at that age they dont ralise it "lies" my daughter told her granny we had given our bed to an unmarried uncle and his girlfriend and we had slept on the floor was 35 years ag and granny was not amused It wasn't true though and my GD 's in particular can come out with some hilarious storiesthat haven't an ounce of truth in them.Does he tell you whoppers about his mum too....mine do ,I have one whose mum "never brushes my hair and doesn't feed me " amongst other things.Her other Grandfather was apparently very fond of sucking a dummy while watching TV...that was while we were trying to take the dummy away from her.He'll grow out of it ,just make sure his mum knows what he's doing

Baggs Sun 07-Jan-18 15:35:57

Being able to tell lies is an important part of brain development (theory of mind: Child of our Time programme some years ago touched on this) in children. It starts at about age three or four. It shows that the child understands (if unconsciously) that other people don't know what he is thinking.

The child's mum should take it all with a pinch of salt, especially as it is so far fetched (stranger, force feeding, etc).

What was the reason for your having him for four months last year, if you don't mind me asking?

Happychops Sun 07-Jan-18 15:56:50

My granddaughter has recently told me that they don’t use the the brand of bubble bath I bought for her visit .I bought this especially for her as she has eczema.When talking to her mum she said that,s not true we always use it,she did tell me a story about something else which I can’ t remember,and once again mummy laughed and said, so not true. At that age, they say a lot of things and have great imaginations. I would have a chat with your DD before a visit,and maybe in a joke say let’s see what stories you get this visit. Hopefully daughter will see the funny side.

Nelliemoser Sun 07-Jan-18 17:51:27

He is only four years old for heavens sake.
I think that talking to him carefully is what is needed but a gentle chat not an inquest. Truths and four year olds are not to be taken literally.

NotTooOld Sun 07-Jan-18 22:57:21

I agree with Nellie. Sometimes the imagination of a four year old runs away with her/him. They don't perceive it as lies. On the other hand, if a child of mine of any age told me they had been left with a stranger it would ring alarm bells and I would make enquiries.

Newquay Sun 07-Jan-18 23:02:02

Yes I agree, things should be checked out, of course, but young children are not accepted as witnesses for that very reason, bless 'em, they just don't quite understand truth and lies at that age.
Sometimes when one of our DGC have said something preposterous, we say something along the lines of "what a story that is"

OldMeg Sun 07-Jan-18 23:08:00

Oh dear!

Floriatosca Sun 07-Jan-18 23:21:06

I don’t know if our 7yr old spins a few “fibs” to his loving mum and dad when he goes back home - but we hear a few choice ones when he is here. “We never have biscuits in our house”, “my mummy doesn’t care about me”. “We never have ice cream” are just a few of the lines he spins us! All completely untrue of course. Now and again I tell his parents a few untruths just so in case he does fib to them about us - they know the truth. Children have vivid imaginations and I don’t think they ever mean these stories maliciously. Just part of growing up - for children and parents!

Lynnebo Sun 07-Jan-18 23:37:36

I have two 4 year old Grandchildren and they both invent stories. They are very funny. We laugh and let them know we know that they are story telling!

cornergran Sun 07-Jan-18 23:45:13

I agree, it’s not unusual for young children to shall we say speak from their imagination. Ours have done and on occasions still do. I think the difference and your underlying problem asterix is that our family take the children’s reporting with a large pinch of salt but if I’ve understood your post correctly your daughter believes him. Is this so? I truly wouldn’t think she would accept his word that you force fed him or left him with a stranger. Or I would hope not. The reporting of moving closer to you was probably just a little lad’s wishful thinking. Would a calm and straightforward chat with your daughter resolve this? I’m not sure what conversations you have had, it could well be another would straighten things out. Personally I don’t think of this sort of thing at your grandsons age as lying, more the product of a fertile imagination and this is how we talk about it as a family. I hope this sorts out soon as you sound worried.

NannyTee Mon 08-Jan-18 05:41:28

I have two 4 yr old Gds at the moment. You wouldn't believe the fibs they tell. It's all part of their growing imaginations as far as we are concerned.

Starlady Mon 08-Jan-18 07:30:13

I think it's just his imagination, too. Kids that age don't really know the difference between truth and lies, surely?

But I'm wondering why he lived with you for a while. Does he perhaps think his mum just left him there? Could his stories reflect a fear that she'll do it again? Or that he might be left with someone else? I think both you and mum need to reassure him that he'll never be left with a stranger and that he'll always go home to mum from now on.

Nezumi65 Mon 08-Jan-18 08:00:53

I think I the problem is his mum believing him rather than what he is saying. As others have said lying is a normal developmental process. Maybe show your daughter something like this - looks as if he’s bang on target developmentally

kittylester Mon 08-Jan-18 08:05:01

I thought it was in the job description for 4 year old. Parents, on the other hand, should not believe everything a 4 year old tells them.

PamelaJ1 Mon 08-Jan-18 09:04:51

The problem here is that your daughter seems to be believing his stories.
Why would she? Do you have a problem between you?

Maggiemaybe Mon 08-Jan-18 09:26:14

Whatever a four year old says should be taken with a pinch of salt - they have huge imaginations! On the other hand we shouldn't get into the habit of dismissing everything out of hand, and it's only sensible and natural that your daughter would mention this to you. You could perhaps have left him with a babysitter for a while, or persuaded him to eat food he didn't really like. There might have been a kernel of truth in what he said (I'm not saying there was, btw!).

And I am very glad that my daughter didn't believe DGS2 when after a very normal day at ours he told her I'd dressed up as a witch and knocked him down with a big stick.

radicalnan Mon 08-Jan-18 10:35:33

He is just doing the normal stuff that kids do they role play things they have seen or heard in stories, they are ruled by their imaginations for a while.

Least said the better I think. We encourage them to play, dressing up and being a shopkeeper or a pirate etc and then they introduce some ideas of their own.

I would just leave well be. Maybe if you are reading stories you could draw attention to the real v imaginary stuff?
Honestly at 4 their world is full of 'Stick Men' and 'Tigers who come to tea'............all much of a muchness to them.

Musicelf Mon 08-Jan-18 10:55:39

My GD once told her Mum that she'd been bitten by bedbugs when staying with us. She'd had a mozzie bite earlier, and on top of the "Night night; don't let the bedbugs bite......."

I was horrified when I heard, but could reassure DD that we had no bedbugs!

Coconut Mon 08-Jan-18 11:02:46

Personally i would start a chat with him, ask him if he likes coming to you etc Then gently ask why he has said those things. It’s great for kids to have active imaginations but they also have to know that some things can have serious ramifications, lies are wrong etc Record the chat on your phone too so that your daughter can listen. Open communication is needed to avoid escalation.

elena Mon 08-Jan-18 11:10:26

Asterix, please come back to the thread and let us know what you think of the suggestions. You have identified the problem as the mother believing what he says....that's pretty serious as you and his mum shouldn't be at loggerheads about this.

Perhaps your daughter has some difficulties in her life that make her see the 'worst' in you, and this means not understanding how absolutely normal making up tales is for a four year old, except in this case, the four year old may be testing boundaries and seeing what happens when you and your daughter disagree.

Jalima1108 Mon 08-Jan-18 11:38:54

I would call it 'fantasising' rather than 'lying' at that age.

inishowen Mon 08-Jan-18 12:17:56

My GD went through a stage of saying everyone hit her. She told the nursery staff that I and my husband hit her, and her mum and dad! She was three at the time. I don't think it's lying. I think they have a huge imagination and they're not sure what's true and what's not.