child lying for attention...any advice? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 10-23-2006, 07:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi - I'm new here and didn't see any other threads like this so please forgive me if this is an old subject.

I need some advice....
My attention used to often lean heavily towards work. I have a job that allows me to work from home most every day but is very demanding at the same time. I struggle with keeping a balance between my 2 kids (8 yr old boy and 10 yr old daughter), my career, household responsibilities, myself etc... I know - who doesn't struggle with all this? ;-)

Anyway, I've recently gotten engaged and my fiancee' has moved in with us. Both kids like him a lot and they all get along well. My fiancee is a second set of eyes for me as far as my kids are concerned and he has helped me to implement some new discipline and reward techniques that are really great for the household. At times though, my kids seem to see my fiancee in a bad light because now they do not get to "run over me" as much as they used to when I was swamped with a deadline and I had to let a few things go in that they should have been called on.
The new techniques are great though and the kids are getting used to the new system. I can't believe how organized I am now and how much calmer things are! We are still working out the kinks and my fiancee is still getting adjusted to step parenting but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am very grateful to now have more time to be able to devote to my children as well as life outside of work.

I have discovered that my X's family has been grilling my children for information on the new fiancee and has even told my 8 y/o son that if my fiancee does anything wrong to call them and they will come over immediately. I have offered to arrange a meeting with all involved but the X family refuses. I have sat down with my X husband, talked to him openly and told him if he has an issue to come to me. He said he was fine.

Something happend on this weekend's visit to my X's house that bothers me even more though. I never "grill" my kids for information after a visit - I think it is just wrong. On the way home, however, my daughter brings up the fact that my son had decided to tell his father and family that my fiancee hits him. From my daughter's account he was told that if that were the case to call the family immediately. My daughter did inform the family that what my son said was untrue. I do know for a fact that this is not true at all. Not only does my fiancee not believe in corporal punishment in any way but he has never been alone with my children.
I am really concerned that my son is now lying to his father and his family merely to get attention and sympathy. I don't think it is meant to be malicious towards my fiancee as my son really does seem to like him and is happy around him and our home. My son genuinely seems to not understand what he is doing and I have not really had a good sit down with him about it yet. I am unsure how exactly to approach the situation at this point and make him understand the potential severity of lying in that manner.

I'm sorry this is so long winded but I wonder if anyone else out there has been in a similar situation? I could really use some advice right now.

Thanks so much and take care.
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#2 of 5 Old 10-24-2006, 07:50 AM
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I'm afraid I don't have any great advice - just to let you know we've been there too!
DH has 2 daughters and the younger one was (is!) very keen on attention - be it positive or negative- and would cheerfully lie and generally stir things up to get the focus. She started making things up like that from about the same age as your ds.
From what you've said, I would think that he has realised the new 'boundaries' are permanent and so he's turning to another source (your ex's family) for some sympathy and 'babying'.
I would consider calling him on it; we didn't challenge DH's daughter for a while and we should have done so sooner to help her learn that you can't cause waves like that, nor play different sides of the family off against each other without expecting it to come back and bite you in the bum!
He knows how much you love him and he needs to know that his lies will have ramifications. Hugs to you Mama, I know how badly our situation made us feel.
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#3 of 5 Old 10-26-2006, 10:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you so much! It really helps to know I am not alone!
I will definitely call him on it and have a discussion on the matter.
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#4 of 5 Old 10-27-2006, 11:58 AM
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I don't have much great advice either. My sd doesn't lie to her mom (that I know of), but she does use manipulation a lot to get attention or her way. It is amazing the things she comes up with as a six year old. My dh and I just make it clear to her that we will not listen and that kind of behavoir is wrong and will not be tolorated. If she persists, she loses privilages. Hope this helps. Good luck!
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#5 of 5 Old 10-27-2006, 07:11 PM
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I feel sorry for your DS. 8 year olds aren't ready to navigate through that kind of complicated situation. It sounds like the ex's family are encouraging him to do this, so it's not a case of his spontaneously lying for attention.

Do you think that if you sat down with him and talked about the seriousness and potential consequences of falsely saying anyone had hit him, he would be able to understand? I think my DSD would have understood at eight, but not entirely sure.
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