The other thing that was helpful was him learning about bucket filling and dipping at kindy (it's a behavioural tool, not a bucket-bucket). So if he lied, I could say he was dipping in my bucket and making me sad and he understood. It's a really great concept.
I think as the Wise Enough one said that initially they need praise for being brave and telling the truth, but if it's a behaviour that they know is wrong then there still needs to be a natural consequence ie cleaning up the mess. My students know that they will get a natural consequence of they are honest, whereas if they lie they will get a time out as well, but they are 9-13 year olds! I don't know how that translates to little ones and their understanding of the world. Little ones are a total effing mystery to me.
Also, something my friend does that I really like is when her daughter does a way out fantasy lie like @Californication said, she says 'wow you're really using your imagination!' If it's just a fib to avoid getting in trouble or something she calls her out.
As said above, it is a completely normal and important stage- just one that is really frustrating! He has worked out what answers make you happy, he just hasn't realised they need to be true though
DS1 is almost 5, and it's nearly stopped. When we get the occasional one I just reinforce that I will never be angry at him for telling the truth, even if I might be disappointed in his actions. He always gets off a little easier if he fesses up to something straight away, rather than telling me after the fact or lying about it.
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