How to Deal With A Lying Student - ProTeacher Community





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How to Deal With A Lying Student
Old 09-20-2008, 04:51 PM
 
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Hello!

I am a first year teacher and I'm having trouble with one particular 4th grade student. This student has a major problem with lying about anything and everything. When this particular student gets in trouble, she always has an excuse for it. She has already forged her mother's signature on a paper I had her send home, lied to my face, as well as lying to two other teachers (those are just some of the things she's done so far)... and it's only been the 3rd week of school!

I've spoken to her mother about this. She wasn't much help because she says that that's just the way she is and she can't really do anything about it.

It's just frustrating that so many incidents have occurred in these first weeks of school, and I know it's only going to get worse. Does anyone have any suggestions to help me out with this student?


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Me too!
Old 09-20-2008, 06:52 PM
 
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I need help in this area too. I have a little girl who lies to me all the time. She lives with her grandmother, who is at her wits end with three grandchildren living with her full time.

Mom lives in Texas and is not in the picture. Last week she told my whole class that her mom was the only person in Houston to survive hurricane Ike and was on the news celebrating. My poor kids kept coming up asking about all the people who died during the hurricane and how Sally* was so lucky because her mom was the only survivor. I finally had to have a meeting with the class to explain that the Hurricane was very devastating but there were very few deaths involved because people were prepared and/or evacuated.

When the Scholastic book orders came in she lied to me about placing an order. I was worried that I lost her order form, but I KNEW she did not order. She also steals my supplies and hides them. The supplies are not a big deal because I know she doesn't have anything but still to actually steal them!!

I don't know what to do...

Last edited by Carlimichelle; 09-20-2008 at 06:54 PM.. Reason: Added something
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Old 09-21-2008, 05:34 AM
 
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I'm not sure if this would help, but last year I had a student similar to this and the only thing that helped was to show her a general lack of trust. Whenever she told me anything, I made a big production of not believing her and of needing to get verification from other students, teachers, her mother, etc. Each time I did this, I made the point of explaining that trust was earned and I couldn't trust her because of the times she lied to me.

It didn't completely solve the problem, but the lying did decrease and when she did lie, she would often back down much sooner.
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Old 09-21-2008, 08:52 AM
 
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I've had this problem before too. I make a big deal with the class in general how I trust them all now, but if they EVER lie to me, I won't trust that person again. If someone does lie, then I make it clear to him/her that anything they say from then on out is suspect. YOu may be able to find a good picture book to share with the class about lying as well. If there's no help at home, it's going to be really hard for you to deal with, so keep her away from your things that could be stolen and don't ever leave her alone in the room. . . sorry I couldn't be more help!
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I had this happen already.
Old 09-21-2008, 09:18 AM
 
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I addressed the class. I told them all that our new relationship was still new like this blank paper. We haven't learned a whole lot about each other at this point. When one person in the relationship lies, it damages it.--Then I tore the paper. Then we talked about how we could mend it, but it really wasn't the same. I also went on to explain that once we start telling lies that that leads to more lies and more lies and kept tearing the paper. Most of the students understood the meaning, and I don't think I have had more instances. I will also call them on it (in a kind loving way), as they are telling me a lie. I let them know that I know they are not speaking the truth. Then I have them retell the story that is the truth. I tend not to ignore character issues like that.


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Behavior Modification
Old 09-21-2008, 04:57 PM
 
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For some lying is a way of life and they know no different. It is actually considered a major offense when connected to major events in our team's discipline code. We track the number of offenses and contact the parent. Usually, the student slows down before an unsatisfactory grade is earned. The head teacher or guidance counselor might become involved if it continues.
Look at it this way. If it was math, there would be skills to address. Social skill training might be required here, too. Relate this to the parent when you share your concern. Check with the teachers at your school to see what has worked for them.
This is frustrating, but you will come up with a method that works for you in your classroom.
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Old 08-12-2009, 05:14 PM
 
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Hey,
You guys should check out this book. There is a great section on lying students, and how to deal with it. I hope it helps!

Practical Solutions to Practically Every Problem: The Early Childhood Teacher's Manual. Revised Edition.
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