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My Child’s Friend is a Liar, What Should I Do?

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Jan 11, 2018

Question

I have a seven-year-old daughter who has a girlfriend she spends a lot of time with because she lives in the neighborhood. They enjoy playing together, but the other little girl has some behavior patterns I'm concerned about--particularly, she lies almost constantly. From the conversations I have heard, the lies themselves are usually harmless, but it keeps my daughter's wheels turning all the time wondering if her friend is telling the truth or not. Do I handle this with just my daughter, trying to make sure I support her and clarify when she's confused? Should I call out the friend when I hear her lying to my daughter or to me or my husband? Should I talk to the parent? She lies way more than she tells the truth, and I feel like it is a problem that should be addressed by someone.

Counselor

Answer


lie

In this counseling answer:

“There is the option to call the girl out herself when you hear her telling a lie, but it would most likely be more effective if you instead take it up with the girl’s parents first. They know her best and will be in a better position to correct her behaviour.”


Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh,

In this situation, you are right to feel concerned for your daughter. Naturally, as parents, we are concerned about nurturing them in the best way and are therefore concerned for the friends they have. We want them to have friends that encourage them in positive ways and not be influenced by negative traits, such as lying in this case.

As parents, it is also our responsibility to make sure that they do have good friends and encourage them accordingly. At the age of 7, you as her parents will be able to have far more effect in this than if she was older, so you are in a good position to intervene at this point.

Since they live close together and enjoy each other’s company it would not be recommended to completely break their friendship as this may cause more harm than good. However, her lying behaviour needs addressing in some way before it impacts on your daughter in a negative way.

There is the option to call the girl out herself when you hear her telling a lie, but it would most likely be more effective if you instead take it up with the girl’s parents first. They know her best and will be in a better position to correct her behaviour.

Furthermore, she is more likely to be responsive to her own parents than to you. Perhaps they are already aware of it and are working to overcome it, or perhaps this is only something she does outside of the house because she knows her parents are not around to correct her so she takes advantage. Either way, you will not know unless you speak to her parents about it.

You could ask them how they feel about you correcting her yourself in future if you catch her tell a lie when her parents aren’t present. Imagine how you would feel if someone else corrected your own daughter’s behaviour. If it is because she is doing something wrong like lying then perhaps you wouldn’t mind, but everyone is different.

Perhaps they are already aware of the issue and are doing their best to correct her behaviour and don’t want others to intervene. However, sometimes, having someone else pick up on bad behaviour aside from the parents can prove to be a very effective way of overcoming such difficulties. Either way, it would be better and more respectful to her family to talk about this first before taking matters into your own hands.

This might be a difficult conversation to have as none likes to hear that their own child is not behaving with good manners. Due to this, do make sure to approach it with sensitivity and gentleness without coming across as blaming or judging. Instead come across as understanding that she is young and children are still learning at this stage and require guidance, as does your own daughter.

In the meantime, make sure to be educating your daughter about lying and letting her know that it’s not ok. That just because some people do it, it doesn’t mean that she should too. Highlight the dangers of lying with her by reading her moral stories about what happens when you lie. Likewise, reward her during moments where she tells the truth so that she will be encouraged to refrain from telling lies and feel encouraged to always be truthful.

May Allah guide your daughter and her friend on the straight path and make it easy for you to successfully address the issue and overcome it effectively.

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.




About Hannah Morris

Hannah Morris is a mum of 4 and she currently works as Counsellor and Instructor of BSc. Psychology at the Islamic Online University (IOU). She obtained her MA degree in Psychology and has over 10 years of experience working in health and social care settings in the UK, USA, and Ireland. Check out her personal Facebook page, ActiveMindCare, that promotes psychological well-being in the Ummah. (www.facebook.com/activemindcare)

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