Saturday, March 08, 2014

The Lying Game

  I have to remind myself sometimes how far Jon has come from when he first joined our family. He has made tremendous progress and is doing very well for the most part. There is one area we still struggle with though and that is lying.
  I know that kids lie. It's normal. They  lie when they are in trouble and they lie to try and get something they want. Jon's lying goes far beyond the normal. He lies about everything. I do not exaggerate and those with RAD kids know what I mean. Here are some examples from just the last two days.
  Jon asks if he can have a snack and I say yes. He goes to the fridge and gets some cheese. The other two boys are with me in another room. Ten minutes later when I walk into the kitchen I find a piece of cheese on the counter. I ask Jon if he left the cheese out and he says it wasn't him. I really just wanted him to put it back in the fridge or eat it, whatever. My first mistake was I asked him if he did it. His knee-jerk reaction is to deny whatever I ask him. I should have just told him to do something with the cheese he accidentally left out. Instead we ended up squared off in battle over a stupid piece of cheese and his staunch refusal to back down and admit anything.
  Ahren begins to cry and comes to me with a large red mark on his arm. He claims Jon pinched him because he was winning the game they were playing. (This is about the 1,000th time I have encountered this scenario) I ask Jon to. Come to me so I can talk to him. He refuses to come to me, starts screaming he didn't do it, Ahren did it first, it wasn't him, it was an accident, etc etc. I send him to sit on his bed to think about things and cool down and I hear banging, wall kicking and nasty talk. After he cools down we talk and I explain that because he lied the consequences are much worse for him.
  Right now he is sitting on his bed because he tore a hole in Ahren's stuffed Mario toy and then lied about it. I can watch him do something and he still denies it and will die sticking to his story. Well he got more than he bargained for today because Daddy is home and heard our exchange. He tripled the consequences and really came down hard on Jon's behavior. We have to keep a united front for this kid at all times.
  We are now commencing to institute what we call 'commando parenting' on this behavior. It's when we focus on one undesirable behavior and clamp down on it full force. Consequences are increased, no instance of this behavior goes unnoticed and without consequence no matter how small, and we essentially make his life miserable whenever he does the wrong thing. We do this with a couple of methods. One, we remove things he enjoys. This is not particularly effective with our strong-willed boy. He just sneers and says he didn't want his bike, computer, play date, or whatever. Our second method is to assign him extra chores, the smellier and more undesirable the better. Clean out the cat box, pick up dog poop, shovel horse stalls, clean out my van (ooh that's a bad one lol!) and such. Today is going to be a long day of  chores. I have even volunteered his services to the neighbor lady to pick up sticks in her very large 2 acre yard.
  I HATE having to be a mean, tough mom. I hate to be on his case all the time. I really would prefer to be having fun and playing with him. Instead I know that if we don't get a handle on this now, he will be in danger later in life. If he continues like this I can only see a life of misery in his future, so I will do whatever I have to do to try and set him up for a successful life. Arghh, Mom never told me it would be like this!!!!

1 comment:

Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

yep, sounds familiar! It does suck having to police every move but it's amazing how much my kid can come up with to pull.