Ask the Experts

Child’s Tall Tales Drive Away Friends

“My 10-year-old son embellishes his accomplishments to his friends. This doesn’t go over well with his peers, and I’m fearful that he won’t have any friends.”

Telling tall tales is a sign of wanting more attention and, perhaps, feeling insecure. It’s important to point out the consequences of his lies. Help him see that his embellishments are driving people away from him, rather than drawing them to him.

I use a strategy called “fact checking” with some of my clients. If I hear something suspicious in a conversation, I ask my young client to prove firsthand what he’s saying or to call his parents to verify his words. I get to the truth quickly. Think about asking one of your son’s friends to fact-check his words.

If these strategies don’t help, have him see a child psychologist to work through the reasons for his behavior.

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