Monday, March 28, 2011

The Truth is so Very Complicated

  I know that RAD kids have problems with telling lies. It's some sort of self-defense mechanism gone awry. Still, knowing this and not being ticked off by it are two different things. I guess what gets to me the most is the absolute absurdity of the lies and how totally un-productive they are. I mean, I can totally understand a kid lying about breaking the lamp so as not to get into trouble. That seems logical. Telling a lie about something inconsequential blows me away.

  Case in point. This is the scenario in my kitchen this morning. Son, what do you have in your mouth. Answer: nothing. Now I clearly saw him chewing and only asked out of curiosity but now I am on alert. Whatever it is, he thinks it is a problem. So I press the point and immediately begin to get stammering, eye rolling and blinking, and parts of sentences that make no sense. I tell him, calmly, that I think he has gum in his mouth and he starts telling me he is sorry. I ask where he got it, he tells me in the bedroom. Is that where the rest of the gum is? Yes. I search. No gum. Next story is he put it back on top of the refrigerator, so I look and again no gum. (Now I am getting ticked because if he is climbing up on the counters to get on top of the fridge then he was in dangerous position) I send him to his room to think about where the gum is. Finally he tells me that it is hidden behind my bed. I find a mostly empty pack of gum and several empty wrappers. I have no idea where the gum even came from. Never did get that out of him.

  Now, the gum chewing before breakfast is a minor no-no. It would have elicited a very small reaction of 'spit it out and don't do that again'. Instead, this child is on restrictions all day. No electronic games, early bed, no sweets. Plus they get the joy of listening to me remind them about lying every half hour or so all day. Maybe it will sink into that little wonky brain, maybe not. In fact, i really doubt it will. This will need to be repeated many hundreds of times and then, maybe then, it will dawn on him that lying makes things worse.

  Do any of you have any secrets/tools/tricks to help them learn to stop lying? I will try anything short of dancing naked in downtown rush hour!

Update: it is now 4:30 pm and my day has been challenging. Take one child on restrictions, add a pit bull puppy who ate a child's expensive shoes, a bedroom door that mysteriously got locked and the key conveniently lost, a prescription that had to be picked up from the doctor's office to go get filled, another dog who threw up on the living room floor, a plate of ketchup dropped on the dining room floor and freshly washed sheets that got peed on and you have my day. So far. There are still hours to go. And I wonder why I never get anything accomplished around here......


Diana said...

Wish I had some wisdom. I've got the same problem here...and it always seems to revolve around gum,too. So annoying. I'm about ready to take the dance naked during rush hour option. I'd do it in a heartbeat if I thought it might actually work!

Reba said...

I don't know why it is so complicated but it is a neverending problem. And honestly, I don't know that it is just a RAD problem. My kinders do that kind of stuff all of the time. I did have a teacher tell me once that really a true sense of honesty doesn't develop until about third grade.

I do hope your day got better. :(

Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

Oh! I have one!
I tell Genea that I know what she is saying is not true. I am going to give her a minute to think about it and I am going to come back and ask her again. About90% of the time she tells the truth the second time.
Oh, I had to start it by telling her back in the beginning that she would not be in trouble if she told the truth. Then, as time went on I told her she would not be in as much trouble if she told the truth.
When she gets caught, she freezes and will say anything to get out of it. Good luck. It can be a hard one!
ps keep your chapstick, thanks anyway lol

Kathleen Benckendorf said...

Lying doesn't go until the shame and fear go and they've built a trusting relationship with you. I think lying is one of the LAST things to go. And I think they really can't help it. You ask the question and they're already in freeze-fight-flight mode, physically, which blocks out ANY chance of cortex thinking or control or logic or regulation.

What sometimes worked when mine were younger (and one is 20 and still lies ALL THE TIME), was approaching them gently, non-confrontationally, and saying, hey sweetie, everything's OK, mommy loves you, you're safe, you're not in trouble. Can you stop and relax a minute and then tell mommy where you got the gum?

just ran across your blog today - added you to my blogroll. ;-)

Mamita J said...

Lisa just had a discussion about this over at a Bushel and a Peck.

This is the link.

Sorry your day is starting out so ugly.