Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Gifted Little Liar

With the addition of a new little one, you can imagine that my three girls have reacted in their own way to Jared's arrival.  While I know they all love him and think he is cute, some crazy developments have surfaced as well.  Hannah is old enough that she has been nothing but awesome, but Eva's terrible twos have seemed to come on full force with full-on tantrums and disobedience, and Lia has turned to lies.

When we bring home a new baby, we always buy the child just older than the baby a new doll.  This way that child can have a baby of their own to care for and to copy mom and dad with.  It has been a big success, mostly...

...but now we move to our Lia...who has lied since she was two...but is now a challenging daily habit.  I am not talking about making up stories of fairies and make-believe friends, we are talking lying about making her bed, cleaning her room, washing her hands, hitting Hannah, the list goes on and on....

Let's just say, I am at a loss.  I am tired and I am out of ideas.  If you have any helpful words they will be most welcome.

While occasional lying is normal for most children, gifted kids present a different challenge. Their ability to reason ahead of their ability to control impulses can often result in a situation ripe with the temptation to lie. The child sees what they want, they know they are not supposed to have it, and devise a plan to get it. Most of the time, they are caught. When they are not, they store that experience away for future reference.
Reprimands are also a challenge. Gifted kids have the ability to rationalize very readily. Take away the stuff in their room, and they will simply convince themselves they really didn’t want those things anyway. Pretty soon, they have nothing left in their room, and they’re still unfazed. Stealing represents an extension of this same behavior. I want it, so I take it. No one will miss it. The reasons for taking the items is rationalized in an instant. (

Lots of love,


  1. You are describing my five year old Ethan to a "T". I am also at a loss, one big, frustrating loss. If you find anything that works, post it! For now, all I do is say, "You have lied to me. This hurts my feelings and I can't trust you. Go (whatever was lied about) with me and you will have to do (another chore) now." Then he throws a massive tantrum. It's exhausting. I feel like it's all day, every day. Ethan isn't gifted like Lia, but his mind works exactly how you described when it comes to lying. He lies straight to our faces with no remorse. He doesn't care if we take things away (toys, computer privileges, etc.) and that makes it so hard. Stay strong, keep praying and take it to the temple. The only answer I've received so far about him is to hug him more.

    1. Thank you for sharing. If anything, it is so nice to know that I am not alone, although I am so sorry for your situation. If I find something that works, I will post it for sure :) Good luck, and I will try the hugging thing for sure.

  2. I don't have any great advice, but the first thing that comes to my mind is this: You and Flavio are wonderful parents. You are kind, loving, nurturing, caring, involved parents who are doing a great job of raising your kids. I'm sure it is hard to internalize that when you feel like one or more of them just isn't getting it. But you are providing Lia with a strong enough foundation that will help her pull things together as she ages and matures. I know that probably isn't comforting for the meantime, but just keep plugging away, knowing that it isn't all in vain. As a weird side note, I am almost finished with a book that has really changed my perspective on parenting, although it isn't directly about parenting. It's called Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, by Daniel H. Pink. Lance read it to help him be a better manager, but I was so fascinated by all the stuff that he would tell me that I decided to read it too. It's a very interesting look at why humans behave the way that they do; it has given me SO much insight into what makes people tick, and understanding where people are coming from and what motivates their decisions and actions is half the battle. Specifically, understanding what your individual children are motivated by can drastically change your approach to parenting/discipline with each of them. It's a short book and wouldn't take long to read if you are at all interested. I would lend it to you, but I only have it on my ipad. :) Good luck Niki - stay strong!

    1. Thank you, Haley :) I want to read that. My hubby is always reading a new manager book for his job, so maybe we will read it together :) Love and miss you!

  3. I don't know how to adapt this into your situation exactly... but when we have a new baby, we give the older siblings small $1 store gifts from "the baby" whenever they are being nice or helpful towards the new little baby. We say this is a "thank you gift from your brother" for being so nice and loving. Maybe you could do this from Jared to Lia whenever she tells the truth or gives a special love to him. Rewarding her for her positives rather than focusing on her negatives. Just a thought. I don't really know. Good luck.