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Old 02-10-2009, 12:17 AM
kti kti is offline
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Default How To Discipline for Lying?

Hi, Folks.

I'm new here. I'm a single father with a little 8 y/o girl. She lives with mother and father in separate households 1/2 time each. Mother practices Jehovah Witness and I am, thankfully, Christian. My daughter does well in school, has friends and is well-liked by others, no emotional problems.

After my sweet little girl started lying more, I found this website. I hope I can get some great Christian viewpoints on this topic. I searched but couldn't find anything on this one. So here goes:

A little history...
About a year ago, I caught her sneaking eating candy after she had gone to bed. She cried when I busted her and apologized. We talked about the sin of deceit and how God becomes saddened when we do that. I thought she learned her lesson. Thinking it was an issue of independence, I told her she could eat 2 candies/day w/o asking me, as long as she brushed her teeth. It seemed to work okay.

Six months pass, I catch her once again eating candy at night. This time she also admits she had been hiding candy in her room to eat at night. She's eaten candy other times, this time I caught her. More cries, more apologies, more lectures and anger from me. I guess she didn't really learn her lesson first time around. So, no candy allowed in the house at all now. I made her throw all the candy away.

Six or so months pass again. I catch her in the early AM hours walking around the house, when the rule is for her to stay in bed until 7:30 (unless for potty use of course). She says she was using the bathroom. Okay I say. We both go back to our bedrooms. Then I realize why did she have her glasses on (She only wears them during the day)? Funny thing. Somethings up. I go back out to check on her. I catch her walking back out of her room, glasses still on and lying on the floor. Now the lies start coming out. Her excuses:

Dtr: I like to sleep on the floor.
Dad: Isn't it cold?
Dtr: No, not for me. I like it.
Dad: Why are you wearing your glasses?
Dtr: So I can see better?
Dad: At night?
Dtr: Sure, why not?

After a few more questions, she finally confesses that she wanted to look at her book order from school. More cries and apologies from her. By this time, I'm furious. Not so much because she was up, but because of her lies. It seems now I can't believe what she says and can't trust her. She's only 8 and it frightens me how quickly and confidently she came up with those lies. After three times of lying to me and sneaking behind my back, something needs to be done to nip this in the bud!

So, what's some good Christ-like ways to handle this? She needs to understand how wrong it was and needs to be punished appropriately. Any Godly advice appreciated.
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Old 02-10-2009, 02:04 AM
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worshipwarrior5 worshipwarrior5 is offline
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Hi kti and welcome aboard...I personally have had issues like that with my kids especially with my son and I would do so many things to try and get him to stop but he didnt and then I did a bible study with him on the topic to show him how serious lying is. Every time it would come up I would do it again until it was broken and it did break,Praise be to God. I know that was the Lord who showed me that and it worked. I also let him know that God loves him so much that He exposes the truth to me so it is better just to come and confess it in the first place cause lying and not confessing will cause a big punishment because sooner or later the truth always does come out but if he confesses it that will cause a punishment but not so severe cause it shows me you dont want to continue in it and I will pray with you and ask God to help deliver you from this. thats how I deal with it here & with pretty much any sin issues bring them to the Word.It doesnt matter their age, God will show you how to reach them at their age with His word..Even if you dont see results right away you will cause God is faithful and His word is what destroys sin...I think when we bring the Word the conviction in itself makes us feel like not so good so that and giving her some kind of time out I think might(hopefully)work
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Old 02-10-2009, 09:11 AM
LizzysNest LizzysNest is offline
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Hello, kti.
I understand your concern as a father about lying. However, I'm not so sure you have a serious lying problem on your hands. As a mom of 6, I can tell you that on occasion, when they are afraid of getting in trouble, a child will panic and lie. I do believe we have to teach them that it is wrong, but not break their spirits in the process. A father's love and acceptance is so very important to their daughters. If she feels your unconditional love, she will want to obey and please you. A harsh reaction can begin to break down that relationship, so that when she is older she won't want to come to you. I know it must be difficult raising a daughter alone. Girls can be very emotional and sensitive. And yes, you do have to have rules, and teach her what is right, but strict rules without relationship can turn a child the other way. A little grace could go a long way at winning the heart of your daughter so that she will not turn away and go the way of the world. I pray that God will give you the wisdom to raise your daughter to love and serve him.
I hope what I have said does not offend you. I believe that you love your daughter very much and want the best for her. I applaud you for being an active part of her life. So many dads aren't involved. May God bless you on your journey (of raising a girl).
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Old 02-10-2009, 12:20 PM
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RedwoodMom RedwoodMom is offline
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I agree with the above poster who talked about doing a Bible study on lying. Here are some verses:

Ps. 51:6
Pr. 12:22
Eph. 4:25
Col. 3:9
Ps. 119:29
Ps. 19:14

One thing you can have your daughter do when she is caught lying is have her copy one of these verses onto an index card, then have her memorize it. God's Word hidden in our hearts is powerful.

You said that the rule in your home is that she is to stay in bed until 7:30, but she has been caught breaking this rule. IMO, don't accept any excuse from her for breaking the rules. She knows what is expected from her and is still choosing to go her own way. Hold her accountable. There has to be a consequence imposed -- Deny her a privilege. This could be missing out on a special birthday party coming up, no time on the X-Box, not seeing a movie she has been looking forward to. . . anything that would be a meaningful punishment for her. Just make sure you are consistent and do not back down.

One thing we do with our kids is give them a chance to come clean with us. If they are honest about what they did, they will receive a less severe punishment. There is still a consequence for their bad choice, but we adjust it according to their honesty with us.

I hope some of this might help.
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Old 02-10-2009, 03:18 PM
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Old 02-11-2009, 12:59 AM
kti kti is offline
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Wow, great responses. Thanks so much for the words of support and encouragement.

myhappyhome,

i think you touch on a very important part of my daughter's thoughts on this too. she said she started the lies to keep from getting into trouble. i need to reinforce to her more the fact that what she did was wrong, but lying is worse. i'm still not sure she took that to heart yet. i'll read her those versus and do the memorization with her. that's a great idea.

i need to also give her grace, yet enforce the consequences. fine line there. how to walk it is the challenge.

giving her an out, a chance to redeem herself is also very necessary. i so much want to be the father that she can turn to for anything, something so vitally important esp. in the teen years coming ahead....YIKES! a teenage girl! and my daughter can be a drama queen. she gets an "A" for acting here!

i love this little girl that God has gifted me with. isn't it just amazing the love we feel for our children. probably similar to the love God has for us. but yet i'm sure many steps below His unfathomable love.

thanks again for the great comments. keep 'em coming if you have 'em.
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Old 02-11-2009, 10:30 AM
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you sound like a great father kti! I will pray for your wisdom and guidance from above in this very sensitive area!
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Old 02-11-2009, 12:11 PM
LizzysNest LizzysNest is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kti View Post
i need to also give her grace, yet enforce the consequences. fine line there. how to walk it is the challenge.
kti, I'm glad you understood what I was saying about giving her grace. It seems that some reading my previous post may have thought I was saying not to discipline her for lying. On the contrary, I think you have to definately deal with the sin of lying, but without breaking her spirit in the process.

You sound like a really great dad. And, walking that fine line? It's sure not an easy thing. But, thankfully, we have the Holy Spirit to help guide us along our child rearing path.
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