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  1. #1
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    Default How to deal with a child that is possibly "faking" sickness?

    DD says she's sick. She apparently threw up early in the morning. She's been "sick" ever since... but I don't know if I really believe her.

    She's 7.5 years old, so not a little one... old enough to deliberately lie.

    I'm not exactly sure how to approach it because she MIGHT really be sick, she might also be fibbing (she always craves my undivided attention, so this makes sense). She was also "sick," 2 weekends ago as well.

    It's not an anti-school thing either, because she gets upset when I say she's not going... lol.

    Anyway, how would you handle it?

    So far I'm giving her enough attention so if she is sick, she's getting looked after, but not "rewarding" her possible lies with attention I guess. Like I check on her every now and then, offer panadol, took her temperature, etc.

    I've made her stay in bed most of the day too, but this kid is a quiet type who likes that kind of thing anyway. She's spent most of the day watching TV while laying down, reading in bed and sleeping. There's no temperature, no throwing up... she hasn't eaten that much, but she still has eaten (1 slice toast breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, a snack bag of tiny teddies and some fairly plain pasta for dinner - apparently those carb-laden foods are about all she thinks she can stomach), and has had plenty of water.

    Do you think that's an okay approach? Just making sure that she's okay, but not giving her too much attention, since I'm kind of skeptical and feel she's making it up (or just bunging it on to make it seem worse than it is).

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    We weren't allowed to watch tv/read etc if we were ill or 'ill'. Mum used to tell us if we were sick we should be resting and sleeping to get better. Saw the difference between ill and 'ill' pretty quick lol

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    If I didn't believe her I wouldn't be letting her watch tv or read, especially if they are things she enjoys anyway. Being made to do nothing should get to the bottom of sick or 'sick' pretty quickly.

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    My mum used to have the rule of no TV, no toys, just books in bed and occasionally checking in. Only can have dry toast etc because if I was "really sick" I wouldn't be hungry at all etc.

    Funny though if we were REALLY sick she would make a bed on the couch and wrap me up and get a heap of videos out and sit with me and brush my hair or jump at every cough or noise and allowed to eat anything I asked for.

    But I do remember a few very very long boring days of being "sick".

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    Hey Sassy, my vote would be 'sick'.

    I'm not looking forward to having to decipher the sick v's the 'sick' when my two get older. I was the queen of 'sick' in high school lol!

    I think making the day as boring as possible (no tv) and as bland as possible food-wise then hopefully you'll figure it out. Sounds like you've got the right balance of concern/attention

    Keep us posted!

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    I have this ' thing' about being sick... If your really sick you don't want to get out of bed or 'move' etc

    So if my kids are sick that's exactly what they have to do, lay in bed to rest.. No TV no special treatment, so essentially it would be boring as battsh*t for a kid faking it, but if its for real it wouldn't phase her because that's all she's want to do anyway... You get what I'm saying?!

    You quickly work out a faking episode from this method..

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    When I turned about 6-7 I started getting sick. It wasn't a physical thing though. I'd throw up and feel really unwell, but I wasn't ill as such.

    Turns out it was anxiety and being panicked, and sick was the best way I could describe it. I did start to feel better during the day because I was home, in my comfort zone.

    Not saying ALL kids are like this, but maybe something else to think about in regards to fake illness.

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    Yep I make them spend the entire day in bed doing nothing. I find when they are really sick they happily roll over and go to sleep. When that's the case if they wake up and want to be with me then thy can curl up on the couch and watch tv or read.

    Think they've only had one 'sick' day before realizing its more fun at school.

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    I would have said no tv if it was a school day... That was a rule for me as a Kid too but I remember being properly sick but not being able to sleep and just laying there was horrible... Hence me being soft and letting her use the tv. Lol.

    She wasnt sick anyway. She mucked around with DP after dinner so she can't have been too sick!

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    I wouldn't care too much.

    I know i faked it regularly when i was her age (although was also genuinely sick very very often), and mum 'believing me', and treating it the same as genuine illness was a huge salve to my anxieties.

    If you truly don't believe her, maybe say that to her "i think you are playing boy who cried wolf. But i'll let you have today as your one mental health day this term/semester"?

    Mental health days saved my life imo.
    But i'm a hippy weirdo :P

    Ds is her age, and he tells us occasionally that he feels sick. But he has sn and diagnosed anxiety and we're working with the school to make the environment better for him. So ot necessarily as comparative

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