Ask the Experts

Problems with ADHD & Lying

“Is extreme, consistent lying part of attention deficit disorder or just a ‘normal’ 7-year-old trait? What is the best way to get a handle on this situation with an ADHD child on medication?”

Lying can develop into quite a pattern. You want to be proactive but understand developmentally all children go through this as they try to sort out what truth is.

Here are some positive quick supports: Redirect the child immediately when you catch them in a lie. Begin talking about a completely different subject and get their mind off of what they have just been fabricating. If they come back, switch again. What you are modeling is ignoring.

You can also respond by saying: “What a great story you just told about dog, it is good to know, however, that she would never do that,” or “Thanks for telling that ‘story.’ You have such a fun imagination!”

Some times these avoidance techniques just fit the bill. Sometimes when we get all upset and make the lie a huge deal the child receives desired negative attention and continues on and on. Reassure your child that truth is important and immediately compliment when you see that also.