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Question
Posted by: stressed out MOM | 2009/02/19

lying 8yr old

My 8yr old son is lying a lot I have talked &  disiplined him about this but he just keeps on doing it He lies about stuff happening at school when I go and speak to the teacher or principal it comes out that he is lying I dont know when to believe him anymore If me or my husband has to tell a white lie we do it without the kids present My mother said that I must take him to see a psychologist maybe there is another problem and the only way he knows to handle it is by lying can that be true WHAT MUST I DO I am at the point of not believing anything he says anymore hes got a sister of 2yrs old and I told him he is suppose to be an example to her I CANT TAKE IT ANYMORE I feel like paking my bags and go I love him to bits but dont know how to handle this anymore PLEASE HELP

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Our expert says:
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Maybe we ought to work on a whole section dealing with child discipline issues. One of the reasons he lies is that it brings him extra attention ( and even unpleasant attention may be attractive to a kid who feels a lack of attention otherwise. Does he, for instance, perhaps feel that his little sister is getting a lot of attention at his expense ? Try giving him extra attention when he is telling the truth ( and there are surely occasions when that is obvious ) --- and praise him for being truthful and reliable at these times. And respond to what appear to be lies not by punishment ( which doesn't work ) but by withdrawing your attention. And a visit to a child psychologist might be a good idea, for a fresh assessment and more specific adice, based on the specific situaion of your child.
Also try posting about this in our Parenting forum

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Our users say:
Posted by: Maria | 2009/02/19

Hi MOM. What is his payoff for lying? What does he get out of it? Your mother may be right, or it could simply be that your child is crying out for attention and he has figured out that this is a way of getting it. Kids will settle for negative attention if they don' t get positive attention. Tell him the story of the boy shepherd who cried wolf. Make it clear that in your family, lying is never acceptable.

Think about your own reaction when he tells you something negative. If you have an open and non-judgemental attitude he will be more likely to share with you if there is something seriously wrong.

This is not easy to deal with and if you can afford it then therapy might be a good idea.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Maria | 2009/02/19

Hi MOM. What is his payoff for lying? What does he get out of it? Your mother may be right, or it could simply be that your child is crying out for attention and he has figured out that this is a way of getting it. Kids will settle for negative attention if they don' t get positive attention. Tell him the story of the boy shepherd who cried wolf. Make it clear that in your family, lying is never acceptable.

Think about your own reaction when he tells you something negative. If you have an open and non-judgemental attitude he will be more likely to share with you if there is something seriously wrong.

This is not easy to deal with and if you can afford it then therapy might be a good idea.

Reply to Maria

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