share your tips for dealing with a lying child

Ketty - posted on 05/14/2012 ( 12 moms have responded )

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My eleven year old lied that he went to school but he had not, he came back shortly after i had left the house..

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Bobbie - posted on 05/14/2012

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I believe that a child is like a box of crayons when it comes to their emotions. Each action isn't for the same reason. Therefore stating that he lied about not going to school is your chance to open that box of crayons and find out if he's blue, green with spring fever, or red with anger. You get what I mean. Each child faces so many stresses every day. Not just at school but during life in general. I can't think for one moment that a child lies just to lie. Nor does he stay home just to stay home. Examples, my son once skipped school to play a new video game at a friends house who's parent wasn't home. He was clearly wrong on that instance and was no permitted to play video games for a period of time. But on another instance he came home from school mid morning and let himself into the house very quietly and crept upstairs. When I found out he had been counted as absent for that day he told me a lie but I read the emotions on his face. Being plugged into your kid is key. He looked embarrassed and upset. Because I didn't read a power struggle, or silliness or other emotions from him I knew something was up. I asked him only if he was okay, he put his head down and said, I just felt like coming home is all. Years later he told me that he had passed gas at school and soiled himself so badly that he smelled horrible and just had to get out of school fast. He was too ashamed to tell anyone at the time and actually endured a 4 mile walk to get home in an icy rain with his jacket tied around his waist. Now, just think, if I would have just given the same blanket respond to his lying about going to school I would have made him feel horrible and misunderstood. We all need to feel we are understood. Give your kid the benefit of being on his side and taking the time to find out WHY he does what he does and then why he felt he should lie about it. It isn't always bad and you just may learn some great new things that you didn't know about him or at the very least you will set a good example of communication, understanding all the facts and then basing the consequences to the action that is fitting. I don't agree with the taking of the house key, or threats to drag him to school by the hand, these are drastic measures I see as too severe and used in place of taking the time to be communicative.

S. - posted on 05/14/2012

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If that was my child I would tell him that if he's not going to school i would hold his hand and take him into school everyday untill he's old enough to be trusted. If he's coming back home he must have a key so I'd have that off him as well.

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I dont want to be the bearer of bad news but............As a teenager i also bunked off school regularly. (I am now 30) My parents tried everything to make me go and i didn't, i honestly feel that the harder they came down on my the more i would do it. I did the same stuff, leave to get the bus but sneak back in after mum left for work. Or i would just "miss the bus" and come home as i knew mum couldn't drive and dad couldn't come home from work to take me. I did eventually grow out of this behaviour when i hit about 17 and we moved.

Some kids just rebel for the hell of it but the majority do it for a reason. Mine was more beacuse of my peers and attention seeking. You have to check to see if there is anything going on either with him emotionaly or at school thats making him do this. Explain to him the dangers of coming home when your not there. Don't go in hard as fast that's just going to drive him away. I don't blame my parents for my behaviour, they tried everything apart from just sitting down and talking to me. I am 1 of 5 and none of my other siblings behaved the way i did. I was just the 'bad egg' who made bad friend choices. lol.

Fingers crossed this is just him testing boundaries. I think deep down you know how to handle this situation yourself, you know your son best and know how he would react/respond to any punishment you hand out to him.

Goodluck.

Crystal - posted on 05/14/2012

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I agree with Stacey James ^ My friends went through the same thing with their teenage daughter and dad went to school with her on the bus and followed her to every class, even sat in classroom. It worked she went to school, straightened up and got good grades.
However one mistake a lot of parents make is getting upset about the kids not going to school and lying. It's important to also have an open conversation with the child. Say (name) we need to talk. I'm upset with you lying to me and not going to school. Why did you not go to school? Is there something going on at school? Etc...

12 Comments

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Bobbie - posted on 05/15/2012

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Hi Gemma,
Just wanted to say that I am so glad that you made it through your years of struggle and with understanding that your parents tried. Many who do not receive the understanding and communication they need from home are run aways. Many more begin to find comfort in self medicating. It helps to stop feeling so hopeless and misunderstood.

Dee - posted on 05/15/2012

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There's way more than lying going on here mom. first off you need to find out why he is doing this, how often it has been happenning, and help him come to terms with that, then adress the lying issue...whether it is because he is afraid to tell the you the truth about whats wrong or if he is making plans to get in trouble...there are so many variables.
Don't just take his word for it, check up on each of his statements since you won't know if he is telling the truth....and don't forget the natural consequences of breaking trust. You will need to verify his presence after this-at school or where-ever. ( all the time not forgetting to reinforce the the love factor :))

Shelly - posted on 05/15/2012

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I am glad you are going to do this Ketty it is for the best. You truly need to address not only what he did was wrong but why he did it. I agree he did something wrong but in this case I believe there must be a reason behind it.

Ketty - posted on 05/15/2012

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Thank you all for the contribution, I'll talk to him and find out what the problem is and and how we can avoid it from reoccurring. Thanks again.

Jillian - posted on 05/15/2012

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To combat lying I tell my children I'm always happy if you tell the truth. I would drop that kid off at school. And I would take away whatever is most valuable to him for a week.

User - posted on 05/15/2012

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As a child I did this... I was being bullied and hated school but I didn't want to admit that I was lonely and sad. I wanted my parents to be proud of me and thought they wouldn't be if they knew I wasn't popular (I can still remember the pain of those days) as silly as those thoughts sound as an adult as a kid I hid my pain for a long time. When my parents twigged I was hiding out at home they started a conversation about why an left that conversation open until it all came out... Look for the reason before you punish the outcome

Shelly - posted on 05/14/2012

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Ketty for one I would wonder why he is not wanting to go to school there must be a reason is he being bullied by other students or teachers even. Is he simply feeling like he is not coping. I would definitely ask for a reason before jumping to a punishment. I am not saying don't punish at all just saying ask why first. Now if he has no reason other then he simply didn't feel like going to school which I personally find hard to believe then he needs to be punished. Make sure he goes to school take him there personally every day see him through the gate and then hopefully he can't leave or won't leave once he gets there if he does then there is definitely more to this then he is saying.

Rebecca - posted on 05/14/2012

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I agree with Stacey. Take him to school every day but to make it look worse for him take him into the classroom to make sure he there! He will be that embarrassed im sure he will take himself to school. And tell him that you will be informing his teacher what he is doing and that if he has not turned up they will ring you.

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