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Hi i wonder if anyone can help .

I care for a little boy of 3 years and during the holidays i also care for his older brother who s 6

Both boys are well adjusted,well behaved bright boys .

Both of them are lovely ,though both can some times be what could be described as sometimes

"a bit in your face"

the older one particularly will often try and answer for the younger one when you ask him a question(the younger one is more than capable of answering for himself)

I ve noticed the last few times I ve had him he s very prone to telling " tall tales" about where he s been what he s been up to etc

Last week it was about rescuing people from the water with his dad-he s very convincing !!!

 

Mum and dad do lots with them so its not as though he doesnt do lots of fun stuff.

 

When I spoke to mum she said he s been very fond of telling tall tales recently and was a bit concerned

has any one any ideas of how to deal with this sort of behaviour ,what to say to discourage it

My concern is if he can tell stories about things like this what other stories might he tell if its not dealt with .

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reminds me a bit about the 'cry wolf' fable.

 

Actually one of my foster sons (10 yrs) has shown this trait, I am mildly concerned on the basis of his self esteem/self worth, does his fabrications make him feel more important either due to the 'content' of his fabrications or mearly due to the fact that what he say's makes us stop, listen and respond (not saying we ignore him otherwise :o ).

 

My daughter explained to me recently that her son is telling 'fibs', he's 6 yrs old. Is it a phase I wonder or a reason for concern, I haven't the answer but like you am aware and would be interested in others replies.

 

My daughter has spoke to her son about why he shouldn't 'fib' and the consequences if she discovers he has, but I do think how it is handled would be different depending on the individuals child.

 

Peggy

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just an add on, my foster son has an elder brother who talks and thinks for him, ie: undermines him, so maybe part of telling 'tall tales' is finding a way to be listened to as an individual, finding a voice (other than his brothers), saying something that he feels has more value/impact than his brothers comments, ect.

 

Peggy

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I am a bit puzzled............why is it a concern??surely it's just a vivid imagination, simple as that......................we took our grandaughter to the seaside on Friday and all the way there and back again, she kept us all hugely entertained with her 'tall stories', she's 5 and we had a smile on our faces all day long thanks to her. I think there's a huge difference between these and fibs/lies which are a very different kettle of fish and which can be spotted immediately, surely? With this boy, maybe it's enough to say 'I REALLY like your stories,you make them sound like big adventures...........why don't you write them all down for me and maybe draw some pictures to illustrate them'? That way, he knows that you know they ARE stories?

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When we've come across this in our nursery setting we have usually planned a few low key activities around 'make belief' and 'eal', generally something all the children benefit from. When you consider all the stuff children watch on the television or dvd, or even the fantasy element in children's books, unless someone overtly points out that one isn't real how are they expected to know? As adults we all enjoy an element of fantasy or make-belief to a greater or lesser extent, and there will be times when its appropriate to indulge this, but clearly there will be times when the children need to understand,and quickly, this is reality and there are consequences..... We owe it to them to plan regular slots to help them differentiate at their levels. you could consider puppets or persona dolls, staff roleplaying and the children then saying whether real or not etc...... When you consider how much violence children are exposed to through modern media we have to help them appreciate what is real and what is not. Sorry if I've over-simplified the original question but this is a hobby-horse of mine!

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I had a very similar situation earlier this year with a 4 year old girl. She'd been with me since she was age 9mths and has always been very settled. She's very bright, chatty and outgoing.

Suddenly she developed the ability to tell the most heart-rending tale of how unhappy she was, both here, and in Nursery and at home!

She cried when Mum left, when I took her to Nursery, when I picked her up from Nursery and sometimes during Nursery.

Tears, head hanging, sobs, the whole works!! :o Award winning! :(

She even performed one day in the garden for her neighbour who she calls Nanny! Nanny said if she didn't know better she would be convinced that she was seeing a desperately unhappy child!

Unknown to her though, her Mum was watching from the other side of the fence and when she asked her daughter what was going on a huge, beaming smile and "only teasing!" came the reply! xD

We asked everyone for advice - school nurse, health visitor, staff at Mum's school (she's a nursery nurse) and no-one had experience of this behaviour or suggestions for handling it. Most found it highly amusing that H was so entertaining and had found such a way of manipulating us all. She KNEW we were all worried about her and felt this is what she wanted.

Parents were fantastic, wrote a letter to Nursery and copied it to me, explaining that Mum was pregnant and they thought this was maybe having an effect on her behaviour. They stressed that they knew she was fine when she was here, and spoke enthusiastically about me and Nursery when she was home.

The Nursery teacher phoned Mum at home, reassured her that her daughter was fine and that having seen her with me, and spoken to me, we would all take the same approach and play down her stories in a very matter of fact way. Pretty much "is that so, H?" and then carry on with whatever activity we were doing. Mum & Dad had tried stickers, star charts and rewards with no success so we gave it a try.

It took a couple of weeks but one day it just stopped. No tall tales, no tears and (fingers crossed!) no repeat since.

When we reviewed the behaviour later, we all felt it was a cry for attention, that perhaps she was just trying to make herself feel "special" or "important" and had realised that we wouldn't/couldn't ignore her apparent unhappiness. As soon as we all "downplayed" it, she threw in the towel but it was SO hard to handle at the time.

You have my sympathy and I hope it sorts itself soon!

Nona

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Thanks for all the replies you ve given me lots to think about

I ve never had to deal with this type of behaviour before and did nt want to make an issue of it or make it worse and so who better than yourselves to ask.?

I did consider it was his way of getting attention make sure he s included etc but he s not the type you can ignore !!

 

I only look after this boy in the school holidays so dont "know" him as well as his younger brother,though I always try to give him individual time and attention .

 

Mum is quite concerned,though she does say he s always had a vivid imagination.

He seems to be aware that that what he s saying isnt true as when I mentioned to mum about them having to rescue some one from the water on holiday ( at the time I thought it was true) he sloped off quietly and got ready to go home .

Mum also says that they ve talked to him about truth and stories and he seems to understand the difference but still continues to tell very tall stories.its happening so often now that every time he says something you wonder if its true or not -which is nt really a very healthy situation.

Will ponder your replies and have another chat with mum and see if we can find a suitable approach

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just had a thought, maybe if everyone praises his truths and his fantasies, ie: when he tells a story/event just respond equally to whether you think it's a 'lie' or 'truth' by saying "Wow, if that's true you noticed/listened/saw a lot of things and remembered all the details, how interesting, if what you've told me is 'made-up' then you've got a fantastic imagination, how interesting" So then 'lie' or 'truth' gets the same positive reaction, but the 'lying' loses it's 'power' of making the 'listeners' feel they have to 'find the truth' (giving more attention), hope this makes sense. :o

 

Peggy

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Thanks Janice116 & LJW, all I need to do now is remember to try it my own suggestion out on my foster son. xD

Practice what I preach eh :o

 

 

Peggy

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