Welcome Oh Man!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Oh Man, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. Oh Man

    Oh Man New Member

    Just do your best and choose your battles wisely. You should decide if something is really worth the trouble that will come from it when dealing with his misbehavior. Provide your son food, shelter, a safe place to land after his many mistakes and chance for an education. Remind him that you love him and you are here when he needs you. You can not change him or his behavior. The more you try to make him "normal" the more he will fight back. If he is going to make changes he will have to do it himself and it will most likely get worse before it gets better. I know that you are sad for him because who wants this for their child. When he says "stop crying like a baby."...... take his advice. Remember he is human and he is dealing with all kinds of feelings and emotions. Do the best you can and don't be consumed by his mistakes. Try your best to live your life because you are a human with feelings and emotions as well. Who knows what is going on in his brain? Good Luck and I wish the best for you and your family.
  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome Oh Man!

    I know the lying can drive you nuts. My difficult child used to do that all the time but now only rarely. My easy child/difficult child does it often and I have a very hard time trusting her. I'm really glad you found your son in time and that he is seeing a counselor and a psychiatrist.

    No advice at this point as I haven't dealt with a lot of what you are dealing with. Others will be along with more ideas. I'm glad you found our soft corner of the world but sorry you needed to.
  3. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    He's lies for the power. The more you beg him to tell you the truth, the more power he has. Use your best judgement as to the truth (ex. who ate the chips) and then react as such (punishment, etc). Do not ask him to tell you anything as it is just a request for a lie. If he asks how come you no longer ask for his side of the story, tell him that he has proven time and again that he cannot be trusted to speak the truth so you will no longer bother asking him.
  4. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Welcome Oh Man. Sounds like you have your hands full.

    I agree with JJJ's advice about the lying. My difficult child lies about everything also, for every reason under the sun. And if he does tell the truth, he often uses it as a tool to manipulate. No remorse, no guilt, no learning. It's impulsive.

    The way I've dealt with it is to take difficult child's words out of the equation. If he tells my something, I assume it's a lie unless I can get independent verification that's not influenced by him. (In other words, I won't ask his Nana or sister, since he could have told him the same lie. I have to be able to verify it myself.) It makes things so much simpler, because I don't feel betrayed and hurt anymore, and I just deal with the behaviour and consequences.

    difficult child sometimes gets angry and frustrated because I don't believe him and don't trust him, but I've explained that this is the reality he's created by being untruthful.

    Asking your son for his side of the story just sets you up to be lied to and hurt. I know we want so badly to believe them that it's tempting to give them "just one more chance to tell the truth this time", but sometimes they're just not hard-wired that way.

    Sending gentle hugs,
  5. wintak

    wintak New Member

    Welcome. My difficult child lies constantly, too. And I would also go check the weather if he told me it was raining.

    Trinity...so in this case, would you not ask who ate the nuts, but assume (if the others said it wasn't them) that difficult child ate them? Is that kind of what you are saying?
  6. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Not really. I tend not to ask questions like that at all, since it puts everyone in an awkward position. difficult child gets upset when I believe other family members but not him, and no one else needs to put up with the drama. Rather than asking "Did you eat the nuts?" or even "Who ate the nuts?" I would either look for some tangible evidence that I could use (e.g. empty nut container hidden in difficult child's bag, or salt dust on his fingers and around his mouth), or set up the situation differently.

    It's a matter of asking the right questions: Do you really need to know who ate the nuts? Or is it that difficult child is eating something he shouldn't, or at a time when he shouldn't.

    When difficult child still lived at home, we either kept things he wasn't to have under lock and key, or we didn't keep them in the house at all. That way, if he had them he either broke into the supply or got them from outside. Either way it was against the rules and he got consequences. And we didn't have to rely on trying to get the truth out of him in any case.

  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Welcome, Oh Man. I've been busy for the last day or so; I saw this thread but mentally bookmarked to come back to it later when other things were not so distracting!

    First, kids lie for a number of reasons. The first and most important reason they lie, is to get out of trouble. From there they can get into other bad habits and, as JJJ said, they begin to lie for the power. A habitual liar gets some sort of kickback out of fooling other people; they feel smarter than everyone else and they begin to lie NOT just to get out of trouble but to make themselves feel superior to others and thereby boost a flagging self-esteem. But like a drug addict, it needs a bigger fix each time.

    Looking at the bag of nuts as an example, your main need was to ensure that when you buy nuts (often for a particular purpose, or maybe because you had a yen for nits right then) that you can explain where they went, or at the very least, know you need to replace them.
    We run a shopping list. There is a roll of paper and a pencil on top of the fridge, when anybody opens the last packet of something, they are supposed to write it on the list. I have been known to stand in the middle of the room and say, "I don't care who ate the last of the cereal, I just want whoever did, to make sure it goes on the shopping list!" This way part of the "where di d the nuts go?" suddenly gets tied to WHY you want to know - so you know whether it's worth replacing them or not.

    When I found certain foodstuffs evaporating within hours of getting home, and in such a way that they were not shared, I simply stopped buying them. Chocolate biscuits gone in half an hour? Fine, I'm not buying them any more. Bag of walnuts gone? Fine, I will cook my biscuits without nuts. Choc bits eaten? No home made choc chip cookies, no brownies. If I want to cook anything chocolate, I now use cocoa.

    difficult child 3 eats a lot of corn chips. I keep a weather eye on the supply, but he has to put them on the shopping list. If we run out, then he hasn't got any to eat. He has to put them on the shopping list. Same with his deodorant, his toothpaste. He is learning - this morning when I telephoned him for the shopping list, he said, "Ground beef is not on the list and it should be; I need you to make me some more bolognese sauce."

    This is not only teaching your children life skills for the future, it is putting reason and balance back into the issues and teaching them to work as part of a team.

    He sounds like there are deep issues here, and it also sounds like your methods are not working for him. That does not mean you are a bad parent; it just means that whatever you do that works with the other kids, is not working for him.