Parenting K-6 Kids/6 year old lying


I am currently married with two children.  I have a 14 month old with my husband and a 5 (almost six year old) from a previous relationship.  We recently went through a pretty ugly custody battle for my 5 year old.  I have physical custody, and we share responsibilities related to medical and education decisions.  My son does very well in school and his teachers rave about him, but at home I have noticed that he has been lying about things that happen or do not happen when at his father's home.  We were both ordered by the court to take a parenting class, I have done so, but he has not.  I have been told by his girlfriend that he talks bad about me, and encourages my son to do the same.  He is praised for speaking ill of my husband and myself.  I do not want to do the same here, but I have a hard time not being able to defend myself to my son.  He has no rules or guidelines there so he favors being there which of course turns me into the mean parent in his eyes.  My husband treats him as if he were his own son, and goes out of his way to please my son, but he still talks bad about us to his father.  When he comes back here from a visit he lies to us about what happened and pretends to like being here better.  I don't know what to do or how to discipline this.  Please help, I'm at my wit's end.

Hello Jessica,

Thank you for writing. Before I give you a few suggestions I have a few questions. I am not clear when you say he lies about things that happen at his dad's house?  Do you ask him questions or does he just tell you things? Are you on speaking terms with his dad?
Could you give me an example of what you mean when you say he lies. Other than the lies  about his  visits how is his behavior at home?

Jessica, your six year old is in a very hard place right now. He loves and wants to please and be loyal to the both of you. Whatever issues you and his dad had, he is too young to understand, other than what he is told. I am not sure, but, in the divorce papers in my state  it specifically states that neither parent is allowed to speak negatively about the other to the child(ren). This is not fair to him. You are correct not to defend yourself to your six year old it will only confuse him more.
It appears that he lies about where he is happy at,which is more that likely both places for different reasons.
Thank you,

Dr. Swaby

Parenting K-6 Kids

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Dr. Mabel J. Swaby


I can answer questions about Pre-K 5th grade. How to listen and talk to your child.Discipline that makes sense and much, how to understand your childs behavior and more. I am able to answer questions about teens,as well I have worked sucessfully with teens in foster care and a teen center, I have a great understanding of teens behavior.


I am retired teacher.(2005)and administrator. I am a Court Appointed Special Advocate(CASA) with the Juvenile Court for the past 6 years. Working with children and teens in foster care. I am a S.T.E.P.( Systematic Training For Effective Parenting) Parent Educator, and I am preparing to conduct workshops in my community.

Masters in Early Childhood Education/Certification in instructional Leadership Court Appointed Special Advocate(CASA) (Volunteer) S.T.E.P Parent Educator/Leader-(Systematic Training for Effective Parenting) Parent-Aide Oasis Counseling Center

Awards and Honors
Teacher of the Year Judical Commendation Award from the Juvenile Court

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