Toddler caught fibbing
My niece is like a daughter to me and I help take care of here whenever her Mum is doing errands.
Lately, though, I noticed that she's starting to learn how to fib and she can barely speak straight! This concerns me since she's not my daughter but I want to make sure that she doesn't do it again.
Do you have an advise to an aunt who would like to cut that bad habit from her without stepping on her Mum's toes?
How old is your niece?
Can you explain more what you mean that she can barely speak straight?
Im assuming that her speech is difficult to comprehend....if so....her age is a factor that would play into the issue.
Will be checking back.
She's just 3 years old and she understands simple questions already. She knows how to answer 'yes/no' questions.
She usually says 'yes' to any question whenever she wants to get her way even though she didn't really do it. For example, I asked her if she already ate breakfast, she would always say 'yes' because we let her play after breakfast. After I check with the nanny, she actually hasn't eaten yet so I tell her off that she can't play until after she's eaten. She would walk away from me at this point and go to her nanny who in turn would try to cajole her to eat.
These kinds of things are happening more frequently nowadays and the whole family feels that she shouldn't be spoiled but we don't want her Mum to feel that we're taking over her role. We just want to do our share in helping bring up a good, honest girl.
This is totally normal for a 3 year old. Actually it is an important developmental phase. Dr. Sears (the famous attachment parenting pediatrician) says this on the topic:
'Preschoolers usually can’t (or don’t want to) distinguish fact from fiction. To a four- or five-year-old, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs exist somewhere. Most children don’t begin to understand truth and falsehood until the age of seven – the age of reason.'
We don't need to stop children of this age 'lieing' - they are learning to be creative, use their imagination and are starting to comprehend complicated emotions such as pleasing an adult. It is a wonderful age to engage in imaginative conversations with children and to ignore or gently joke with them (but not at them) about things that they say that aren't quite as things are.
For the full Dr. Sears article on this have a look at: 5 Reasons Kids Lie.
Your niece sounds lovely.
I completely agree with you, this is a normal behavior for a 3 year old.
I second Dr. Sears wisdom on attachment parenting, his articles are great.
I do hope the OP can read up on his website.
Thanks sunnymumof5. Yes Dr. Sears' work has given me countless times of reassurance and often restored my confidence that following my instincts and being child-led really is best for the child.
Thanks ljmarsden and sunnymumof5! She really is a lovely child and sometimes I feel she's like a daughter since I don't have my own yet. I didn't realize there is such a stage that I can actually let some of these things pass since it's normal behavior. I understand as well though that it won't always be like this. Good thing I asked! :D When we have our own child, at least I know how to deal with these dilemmas and I won't overreact which I guess is a tendency for a first time mum. Cheers!
How wonderful that you are figuring this all out before hand!
You will be a wonderful mum to a precious little one, some day.
Yes indeed sunnymumof5 - what a wonderful mum you will be wants2bemum :D