When your child is the accused but denies it.. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 11-16-2006, 09:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How do you handle situations when your child is accused of something and he/she denies it? My DS (9) who lies sometimes is accused of doing things at school occasionally. There are some things that are just NOT him - like when he was accused of writing a note saying he wanted to kill another student in the 1st grade. I had no problem standing behind him and saying confidently to the teacher and counselor that I know he didn't write that. And he was ultimately exonerated when the perpetrator wrote a new note weeks later. But, there are times when he is accused of something at school that he could have done. So my son responds that he didn't do it - they are lying and he is tired of students lying and the teacher believing them. I just don't know the proper reaction! I feel like I have to address whatever the issue is that was brought to my attention but I don't want him to feel like I'm not his safety zone and that I am always against him. What do you think? I would really like to hear from parents of kids ages 5 and up.

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#2 of 11 Old 11-16-2006, 11:42 PM
 
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I have been here, my son is now 13 but when he was younger he did lie sometimes. And there were times that other kids took advantage of that and would blame him for things he didn't do. And the teacher (or whoever) did not question it. Sometimes I would tell him, you know I am sure there were things you did that you never got caught for, or had any consequences for so maybe you can just consider this balance of the karma. It still makes him really mad to be blamed for something he did not do, but I think that contributed helping him stop to lie. He realized (finally) that nobody is going to believe him if he lies.

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#3 of 11 Old 11-17-2006, 09:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Cherie2 View Post
I have been here, my son is now 13 but when he was younger he did lie sometimes. And there were times that other kids took advantage of that and would blame him for things he didn't do. And the teacher (or whoever) did not question it. Sometimes I would tell him, you know I am sure there were things you did that you never got caught for, or had any consequences for so maybe you can just consider this balance of the karma. It still makes him really mad to be blamed for something he did not do, but I think that contributed helping him stop to lie. He realized (finally) that nobody is going to believe him if he lies.
I've said something similar to that to my son too. Just curious...at what age did he finally stop lying?

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#4 of 11 Old 11-17-2006, 02:53 PM
 
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My son is only 5.5yo, so I can't speak to preteen lying issues. But one of the things that we have been telling my son when he lies (which is usually obvious at this age) is that he will never get in trouble for telling us the truth. I have found this to be one of the major benefits of not using punishment as part of discipline. If he has nothing to lose by telling me the truth, then he will probably be more likely to do so.

I have also explained to him that I can't protect him if I can't trust him. We have talked about situations in which he says someone hit him, and how if he has a habit of lying to me, then I can't know when to believe him and help him out.

Lying was a huge deal in our house when I was a kid - it was pretty much the worst thing you could do. My parents were very clear that they would always stand by us no matter what kind of trouble we got into, but that they had to know the truth in order to help us. That's the message I am hoping to convey to my children.
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#5 of 11 Old 11-17-2006, 03:02 PM
 
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I've said something similar to that to my son too. Just curious...at what age did he finally stop lying?
Well we struggled HARD from about age 6 till about a year or year and a half a go (he will be 14 in January). He was also stealing. His impulse control was very very low. When things would happen to him (like when his x-box was stolen) we would talk about how it feels and how others must feel when their things are stolen. When he would get accused of things he did not do, he would be so offended, so upset. I would talk to him about what creditability means. We would talk about what it takes to build trust. I think something must have finally clicked when his brain .... a cognitive hurdle and he finally got it. It amazes me how honest he is with me now.

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#6 of 11 Old 11-17-2006, 03:12 PM
 
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Hmm..no real sage advice here. But,

Scenario 1:
Your son didn't do it and is being falsely accused by other children. Why are they trying to shift the blame onto HIM? (And it appears it's happening repeatedly, right?) Is there bullying going on? What are the classroom dynamics like? I'd want to have a long talk with the teacher about that one. You may also want to read The Bully, The Bullied and the Bystander. Is there something he can do (or the teacher can do to keep a closer eye on him) so that he can't be falsely accused? As a protection for himself.

Scenario 2:
Your son did do it, and is trying to avoid punishment. What's the criime and what's the punishment? What's an alternative way of addressing these issues? Then I think talks about trust, credibility and usually the lying being worse than the consequences are in order. And that takes a LONG time, alas.

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#7 of 11 Old 11-17-2006, 04:48 PM
 
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Oh this is a hard one!!! I thought the 2's were hard until I had a preteen to deal with. We went through this big time when ds1 turned 10 and he's now almost 13. It is becoming less and less but wow what a mind blow.
You just have to take it as it comes. For me the biggest thing that gets me through these hard times is remembering that it is ds's life...and I don't need to take anything personally. That helps in so many ways. When you realize your kid is a person making the wrong choices...that he is experimenting with behaviors that are less than ideal...that he is seeing what he can get away with, what will happen when he lies and what will happen when he gets caught, it allows you to take things less personal and deal with the problems more contructively...without getting all mad.

ds stole this summer from a couple stores in town. I made him save up money to pay the stores back and he had to go in, confess what he did, say he was sorry, and give them the money for what he stole. And I stood beside him lovingly and supported him through it. It was all I could do. He knew what he did was wrong...knew I didn't approve...and knew that I still loved and supported his higher good.

And now he knows that often we don't believe him because of all the lying he has done in his past. I think it humbles him. He realizes. And your guy will too.

It's hard. I know. But just stick with what you are doing, love him regardless, stand firm on your beliefs, ... Also make sure he's getting the good attention for the good things too. Often preteen boys start to pull away and it's easy to forget that you haven't held them or kissed them in a long time. They still need this! Probably more than anyone at this age.

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#8 of 11 Old 11-17-2006, 10:22 PM
 
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such wise mamas here. thanks for sharing!
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#9 of 11 Old 11-17-2006, 10:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Cherie2 View Post
Well we struggled HARD from about age 6 till about a year or year and a half a go (he will be 14 in January). He was also stealing. His impulse control was very very low. When things would happen to him (like when his x-box was stolen) we would talk about how it feels and how others must feel when their things are stolen. When he would get accused of things he did not do, he would be so offended, so upset. I would talk to him about what creditability means. We would talk about what it takes to build trust. I think something must have finally clicked when his brain .... a cognitive hurdle and he finally got it. It amazes me how honest he is with me now.
I guess I am both encouraged and discouraged by your response. Lying really gets under my skin. I have told my son so many times that if he just tells the truth, he is definitely not going to be in trouble because i appreciate the truth. Plus, so often I know when he is lying or he leaves some evidence around that I end up knowing that he's lied. I used to have him affirm that "I am a man/person of integrity and I do not lie, I do what is right whether my mom is looking over my shoulder or not". I just wanted him to get it into his consciousness that he is an honest, truthful person. I've talked to him about how it makes it difficult for me to go to bat for him with others, when he lies sometimes b/c then I don't know when to believe and when not to. I've talked to him about how it is understandable that he is upset and indignant about folks not believing him but that he created that kind of situation for himself because of his actions. Goodness, I have had at least 100 talks about this with him. The lying isn't consistent either - sometimes it's honesty and sometimes not. When I used to spank - yes I used to and please let's not make that an issue in this thread, I would spank for the lying. Now that I've left spanking alone and am really really actively reducing the frequency with which I yell, I find that I have to walk away from him once I discover a lie. But it burns me up inside. Anyway, I guess I am glad to hear that your DS eventually became really honest and I will just keep plugging away with my son trying to reason with him until he eventually turns the tide too. It's like his first instinct is to lie sometimes - even for small stuff. I'm always pointing out that he needs to stop and take the time to think about what he's going to say before saying it. I don't want to hera the right answer, I want to hear the truthful answer.

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#10 of 11 Old 11-17-2006, 10:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh this is a hard one!!! I thought the 2's were hard until I had a preteen to deal with. We went through this big time when ds1 turned 10 and he's now almost 13. It is becoming less and less but wow what a mind blow.
You just have to take it as it comes. For me the biggest thing that gets me through these hard times is remembering that it is ds's life...and I don't need to take anything personally. That helps in so many ways. When you realize your kid is a person making the wrong choices...that he is experimenting with behaviors that are less than ideal...that he is seeing what he can get away with, what will happen when he lies and what will happen when he gets caught, it allows you to take things less personal and deal with the problems more contructively...without getting all mad.

ds stole this summer from a couple stores in town. I made him save up money to pay the stores back and he had to go in, confess what he did, say he was sorry, and give them the money for what he stole. And I stood beside him lovingly and supported him through it. It was all I could do. He knew what he did was wrong...knew I didn't approve...and knew that I still loved and supported his higher good.

And now he knows that often we don't believe him because of all the lying he has done in his past. I think it humbles him. He realizes. And your guy will too.

It's hard. I know. But just stick with what you are doing, love him regardless, stand firm on your beliefs, ... Also make sure he's getting the good attention for the good things too. Often preteen boys start to pull away and it's easy to forget that you haven't held them or kissed them in a long time. They still need this! Probably more than anyone at this age.
Thanks mama. Big hug to you too. We do frequently say I love you to each other and this week I realized I hadn't had a hug in a few days. he is very very affectionate though so I am going to make sure we hug at least once daily. He's so wonderful in so many other ways and I make an effort to acknowledge that. Like he LOVES giving to other people, especially those in need. It is second nature to him - even if it means spending my money to do it. I do love him, I just want him to do the right thing in life. I am encouraged by you moms that have responded.

Mom to DS (16), DD (7), DS (5), and excitedenergy.gif about my final baby due October 2014. Love fluffy mailheartbeat.gif, appreciate midwives, and can't wait to wear a baby againjoy.gif!
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#11 of 11 Old 11-20-2006, 06:08 PM
 
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When my ds was 9 it was about the peak of his lying. It was such a hard age for him. My dd was on contrast so easy at that age, so I was not prepared. Its like opposite, when she turned 14 all heck broke loose, and for ds things really seem to be settling down. I too despise lying, I think it is one of the worst things a person can do. I remember reading in a book a long time ago about instilling our values on our children to make sure they know what our values are. (before that time I was afraid to "impose" my values) So I made sure to tell the kids exactly how I feel about it. I figure eventually when they are adults that will hold a lot of water. Hang in there. I could never figure out exactly what ds was so afraid of in telling me the truth, he has never been spanked or grounded. I know he feels often times that he is not "heard" especially by his father. Have you read "How To Talk So Children Will Listen"? I think it really helps ds when he feels like he is being heard.

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