How do you teach a 3 year old not to lie!?

@Sissygrl (10915)
Canada
September 1, 2009 3:13pm CST
Okay, so maybe she doesn't realize its a lie, she's a very nice girl.. a child i babysit.. But she tries her best to get out of eating every meal/snack time. She used to start with I gotta go potty, but now we go potty before we eat. and then moves on to i'm tired. i'm thirsty. it goes on and on and on.. so after a while i started to say .. ok if your that tired, when your finished your meal you can go lay down in my daughters bed. and then she'd say i changed my mind.. Think she knows she's lying ? I know she's not tired. I know she's just trying to get out of eating her meal.. her tricks may work on her mother.. but they do not work on me!! I just tried to tell her that saying she's tired when she's not to get out of eating is a lie if she's not really tired, and because she's running around playing now that she's done eating.. she can't be very tired.. She looked at me and ran away!! And i thought my daughter was a bad eater.. she is very PICKY, but at least it doesn't take her up to two hours to finish a meal!!
14 responses
@carrine (2749)
• Philippines
2 Sep 09
hahahha!! thats a sill talent for the younger ones. i have a three year old son too. and he has that kind of talent too. and if i got pissed off with him i'll really scolded him and spanked him if its too much. and i always see to it that he understand it why i did it to him. because if we will not teach them a lesson they'll think of it that their doing the right thing which is not. so very bad. we have to discipline our children while their still young. its more easier than were going to discipline them if their big already. grrr
@Sissygrl (10915)
• Canada
2 Sep 09
hhaha i bet it will be harder when they're bigger, but this child is not mine.. i dont think i'll be spanking her!! haha i dont spank my own.. on occassion a lil slap on the fingers but no spanking. they do get timeouts though!
1 person likes this
@carrine (2749)
• Philippines
3 Sep 09
hahahaha.. yeah i understand your point. even my baby sitter here i dont allow them to spank on my youngest. its painful in my part as a mother that other people will hurt them. its okay if iam the one whos doing it for them. :P
1 person likes this
@Sissygrl (10915)
• Canada
4 Sep 09
yes, i would be angry if someone else hit my children!! i have given them a little tap on their hands if they are not listening when i say dont touch.. but its hard to teach them not to hit you or other children if your SAYING DONT HIT, but you DOING the hitting also..
• United States
2 Sep 09
Is it really your responsibility as the babysitter to teach her not to lie? I think it would be better to explain to the parents that you're having difficulty getting their child to eat and ask them how they want you to handle it. If they want you to sit with her and get her to eat for the two hours that it takes then you need to explain to them that you can't do that and that they need to fix the problem of her refusing to eat or you'll either allow her not to eat or you'll have to stop babysitting her. You're babysitting, so you need to care for the children you watch, but if they're giving you too much trouble then you need to talk to the parents.
1 person likes this
@Sissygrl (10915)
• Canada
2 Sep 09
No i know its not my responsibility to teach her to not lie.. and her mother is my friend, we have many discussions about it. . my kid can be just as picky when she eats as my friends kid is slow!! but the thing about kids is.. they learn how/what your limits are, and they test you.. she knows that her mother will let her eat while she plays or watches tv, or used to at least.. so she seems to think sometimes she should be allowed to do that here even though she (and my kids and i) always sit at teht able together to eat and we need to finish what we have before we leave the table. If you let them.. kids will teach you to treat them the way they want to be treated, instead of the other way around. they are VERY smart little creatures!! and since they are all very well behaved children, they just are bad eaters.. this is the area i feel i need to work on/be strict with..
• United States
2 Sep 09
Ahh, yea, kids are smarter than a lot of adults give them credit for. I didn't realize you were babysitting for a friend. It kind of sounded to me like it was your job and not something you were doing to help out a friend. I guess it might work to try what one of the others suggested and just give her smaller portions? I dunno.
1 person likes this
@Sissygrl (10915)
• Canada
2 Sep 09
well it is my job. its an 3 days a week, the other two her nan takes care of her. i do get paid.. her mom just happens to be a friend from highschool ;)
• United States
1 Sep 09
If she is only 3 years old, does she really have to sit there for 2 hours to eat? You could save her plate for when she is hungry. At that age they won't stave themselves. As long as she is getting healthy choices and not holding out for junk food, I would let her eat smaller portions when she is hungry. Make sure she is getting plenty of water between meals and not filling up on juice or milk. What about snacking, if there are a lot of between meal snacks that might be a factor also.
@Sissygrl (10915)
• Canada
2 Sep 09
I knew there would be one or a few of you that would say that.. i'm not leaving her at teh table for two hours alone, when she's not hungry.. to cry by herself or anything! She just eats SUPER slow when she dont want to eat. she's hungry.. I give no snacks after lunch (my kids picky too i learned this earlier) and they dont get a lot to drink before or during the meals.. she just STALLS. she will chew yogurt for at least 5 mins if you let her!! And she will hold out.. but that's not my fault.. lol her mom did that! i have 3 (sometimes 4) kids to feed depending on the day, so if i let one get away with not eating, then the rest will see and follow suit! I only give them small portions, but i make them sit and eat till its gone. and i dont give them aynthing they dont like or havn't eaten before. i try to make something everyone likes. and i give them choices before the meal. they all agree on something first.
• United States
2 Sep 09
Gosh Girl, I didn't mean to come off sounding rude. I read all the other comments and your answers. I think you are doing a wonderful job by the sounds of it. I actually have 4 kids of my own and know how difficult it can be sometimes to get them to eat, get dressed and ready to go, to do their chores, to get along. They are so smart and ever changing, learning, and growing creatures. It sounds like you really like your job, too. How about a time limit, we all sit and eat for 20 mins. a half hour, whatever you decide but when that's done we clean up and move on. What ever you choose to do, be consistent, if you are the only place she ever gets it from, it will be a lot better than for her not to get it at all.
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@Sissygrl (10915)
• Canada
4 Sep 09
haha i understood what you ment, it if i read that it took a child 2 hours to finish eating.. i'd think it was a little weird too.. i wasn't meaning to sound rude either! i was just trying to put the point across that i wasn't punishing her at the table, or letting her sit there upset!! she just REALLY takes her freakin time!! haha. Thank you for all the nice things you said! and thanks for your advice! always happy to hear another point of view!
@Tallygirl09 (1385)
• United States
2 Sep 09
She is being manipulative as only a 3 year old can try to be. Lying really isn't a concept she has yet so she's learning it now and you can help her. It is a stage as Highflyingxangel said, she doesn't really know the difference clearly between truth and falsehoods. BUT this is the time for her to learn that there are consequences for lying! To improve things for both of you, you need to set some guidelines that are clear and consistant. And think of it this way, you are helping to mold a person and that's a very special opportuntiy for you!One way to get her to eat her meals when served is to envolve her in the preparation of whatever mean she's having. Give her a small choice to make, like at breakfast, maybe which cereal she eats out of 2 or 3 choices. Have her get the bowl and spoon ready. That will give her some power over her life. Think about it from her point of view abit and she is told what to do most of the time and doesn't really get to have much control. And remove distractions, no coloring books at the dining table...lol Also you can add learning to tell time to the mix, show her a clock with hours and minutes, not a digital clock. Children don't have a concept of time like we do so I doubt she was choosing to take 2 hours away from her play time.. Show her what time it is when she begins to eat, then give her say 15 minutes to finish her meal depending on what it is of course. Show her what time it will be when the 15 minutes are up. Also make sure the portion is right for her size. There is no reason a meal should take 2 hours, that's not acceptable. Tell her that IF she finishes her mean within the 15 minutes timeframe, she will get a reward of some kind. And she needs to bring her bowl and spoon to the sink for you. Maybe play a favorite game right after the meal or even give her a small sticker. Kids love encouragement and positive reinforcement is what she needs. Likewise, if she lies or sits and won't chew, swallow etc then she will lose a privlidge of some sort. She is old enough to begin to start to understand that what choices one makes have an outcome either positive or negative. You have made some great decisions, like potty before meal. You are the adult and she can't lie or maninpulate you too much unless you let her. I have met some very picky eaters who were that way because their parents allowed and even encouraged it. I had a Mom tell me that her son (just over 3 years old) wouldn't eat hotdogs unless they were peeled first and they were his favorite lunch food. She'd left Mac and Cheese and a Hot Dog for his lunch. So lunchtime came and I heated up his food, cut the hot dog up but did NOT peel it. He ate all of it with no issues. WHY? Simply because when I put it in front of him, I told him that Big Boys didn't peel their hotdogs and that we'd play on the swing set outside after lunch. I didn't tell him that we'd ONLY play on the swing set if he ate the hotdog unpeeled. I just reinforced that he was a big boy now, and gave his something to look forward to and in a way a small reward. Children evolve over time just like we do and I wish you the best of luck with this clever little girl!
@Sissygrl (10915)
• Canada
2 Sep 09
Tally, All very very good advice! I do give them all choices, even the 18 month old, on what they will eat. They all have to decide together (team work i guess) so that i'm not making 3 or 4 different meals per mealtime! I tend to not let them help in the kitchen though.. cause there are three of them, and they fight over who wants to do what, so i guess its easier (for me) to just let them play while i fix it up. The time frame.. 15 mins.. i've never seen her eat that fast.. except maybe once, when i gave her a hotdog.. lol. How you mentioned the hot dog thing, the little boy you where looking after.. that's funny cause i tell her mother what she's eaten for a meal sometimes and she's shocked she's eaten it. like pizza.. and WHAT Kid doesn't like pizza!? lol. I try positive reinforcement.. i used to try with treats.. but the treats didn't work out well.. i try (i call it bribing them) with crafts after their meals if they eat it all.. its hit and miss with this lil crazy girl!! i'll keep trying new things and maybe eventually they will all eat WELL and HEALTHY! haha.
@dragon54u (31605)
• United States
2 Sep 09
Don't make her eat. Tell her it's time to eat and when she starts to make excuses, ask her why she doesn't want to eat. Forcing mealtimes on kids is one of the things that makes them obese later on. Maybe she's not hungry. Let her know how long it will be till the next meal. She won't understand hours probably, but tie it to something she knows like playtime or naptime. Then let her skip the meal and don't let her eat until it's time again.
1 person likes this
@Sissygrl (10915)
• Canada
2 Sep 09
I make her eat cause she will go all day without eating if i dont.. suppertime is the worst for her.. so i dont give afternoon snacks unless they ask for something and then i only give them a small light snack. she for example this morning ASKED for a snack and told me she was hungry. so i gave her a squishem! (applesauce with strawberry in it, but in a juicepack type format) i asked her first if that's what she wanted and she said yes! so i gave it to her, told her to get at the table to eat (we ALWAYS eat at the table) but it took her a long time to eat it. i had to keep reminding her to eat.. well pretty much drink.. lol. i never seen someone chew applesauce before! even yogurt she chews! no.. her problem is.. she likes to stall.. STALL STALL STALL.
• United States
2 Sep 09
I will teach the child not to lie in so many ways. First we know that the very first teacher to our kids are we as parents.As parents we are responsible to educate them what is right and what is wrong.By being the role model to our child we also try to be their educator.When they are very young they don't realized what is right and what is wrong. If that is a lie. I will emphasize to her that its nice to tell the truth because the truth will set you free.And being honest to oneself is very rewarding.
@Sissygrl (10915)
• Canada
2 Sep 09
very good advice leer! but i guess the problem with kids in daycare and babysat, is they have to learn a set of rules where ever they go.. i dont have too many rules that her mother doesn't have.. except she didnt always have to sit at the table to eat at her moms. now they moved and have a kitchen table and eating area so i am hoping they make her eat at thet able there too now.
@happy6162 (3011)
• United States
2 Sep 09
Just tell her if she is not hungry when you fix a meal that she can not have any sweet until she eat what in her plate. If she still does not want to eat then tell her when she is hungry she will still have to eat what is in the plate later. Also talk to her parents and tell them that she does not want to eat when you fix a meal and ask them what they do to get her to eat.
1 person likes this
@Sissygrl (10915)
• Canada
2 Sep 09
They so dont get anything sweet at my house very often!! haha. If they do a really good job eating all their meals, then they get few jelly beans sometimes, but we dont do treats a whole lot.. i found the reward thing wasn't working a whole lot, and just made them hyperactive afterwords and cranky when the sugar wore off!
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
2 Sep 09
Both my two-year-old son and my two-year-old niece that I babysit are this way when it comes to eating. They seem to think that everything in their lives has to do with play. I always tell them that they should tell the truth, and if I catch them in a lie then they get a time out. After time out they have to go back to the task that they were taking part in when the lie occurred. It really is a stage in their lives though. I don't think at this age that they conciously know that they are lieing, it is just their way of testing the limits. So my best suggestion is to be firm with them.
1 person likes this
@Sissygrl (10915)
• Canada
2 Sep 09
Thanks for sharing that. I agree with you.. but if i put them on timeout for not eating, then they are getting waht they want.. to not eat! lol. I do do timeouts for other things.. like pushing, being all around rude.. (three year olds love the word NO as much as or more then two yaer olds!) I also make them tell me what they did to get on timeout and if needed apologize to person it affected before they can continue play!!
@mequan (141)
• United States
2 Sep 09
If you want to make sure a 3year old does not lie you have to do this. When they tell a lie take away something that they really like. Once you do that they will realize that it is not right and want back what was taken. Keep taking until they realize what they did.
1 person likes this
@Sissygrl (10915)
• Canada
2 Sep 09
yes repetitiveness.. i know.. i drive myself crazy saying the same things everyday all day long lol.
• United States
1 Sep 09
Lying is actually an age/stage related thing. Children will move out of the phase around the age of 5 or so. It just takes time. It's important to really work with them to get them to understand that lying isn't OK but they truly won't understand the whole idea of not lying until they are older. Children don't really understand that they are lying as they kind of create their own reality. What they see and what happens can vary depending on situations so don't count on her not lying right away!
1 person likes this
@Sissygrl (10915)
• Canada
2 Sep 09
ahha wonderful! lol I will keep trying though.. i will incorporate the its okay to pretend, but when i ask a question, you need to tell the truth!
@jillhill (37384)
• United States
1 Sep 09
Its been a long time since I had to deal with something like that but it truly would try my patience! I don't think I could have someone sit at the table for two hours to finish a meal! I really don't have any suggestions!
1 person likes this
@Sissygrl (10915)
• Canada
1 Sep 09
lol jill well a lot of the time she's not eating the entire time. i tell her and her mom tells her, if you eat at a regular pace, you could be done and be playing sooner.. but it just depends on her mood that day i think, and if its something she really likes or not. today, she ate both breakfast and lunch well. but supper was another story. sgetti.. shouldnt take long to eat.. noodles are soft.. *shrug* that was me coaching her at the table.. feeding her.. telling her to keep chewing.. lordy.. sometimes i leave her on her own to eat.. but i just feel so bad for her even though its her own fault! lol. sitting there all sad cause she HAS to eat. lol.
@SomeCowgirl (32271)
• United States
5 Sep 09
Hmm, I think you should say something like "you shouldn't say that - you don't look very (tired,thirsty,like you need to potty)... and then look at her directly and ask "are you? (tired,thirsty,needing to potty)... I don't know if that will work. We don't have kids yet ourself, but my sister has, so I've been around them.
1 person likes this
@katisaurus (1038)
• Canada
2 Sep 09
My sister's 3 year old was like that for a bit. We used to tell him if he was really too tired to eat, then to go to bed but he isn't getting anything later if he's hungry. Sounds kind of cruel but it usually worked. He would eat. I know you'er not supposed to spoil children but sometimes you need to reward them. Tell her that if she eats her dinner or lunch, she will get a little something for desert. Depending on what she gets for snacks it could be a pudding she likes, a yogurt or jello. Y'know? We used to give my nephew a little bit of chocolate milk after his meal. Not a lot to make him have a sick tummy, but enough that he felt rewarded for doing something good because he loves chocolate milk. Try little things she really likes. If she really likes a certain toy, or movie. Tell her she can watch the movie after she finishes her food. Don't do it all the time, but once in a while. Especially if it's a meal she doesn't enjoy very much.
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@yoyokiwi (31)
• China
2 Sep 09
I can imagine the scene you followed her from time to time just for the purpose of getting her have meals.O(n_n)O~ Don't worry,little children are alaways like this.When I was yong,I used to refuse eating as well.You'd better not look afer her tightly,for this way she'll feel that you're her enemy.If you regard her as a little friend and give her more freedom,maybe things'll turn out to be a different way.She won't lie to her friends,eh?After she grows up,she will understand lying is not right if educated suitably.During this period of her growth,it's just an excuse to avoid from eating.Take it easy,hey.