My 8 year old son will be 9 next month and for the last year or so has increasingly been trying to see how far he can get in lying about dumb things. His overall attitude is loving and he wants to be with family a lot, and we try over and over again, never giving up on trying to make it work, but then he gets in trouble almost every time we are all together, and it ruins it for everyone! He in trouble almost constantly at home and only for occasional talking at school, mostly because all of our attention is focused on him here and I call him out on it if I think he is lying, by asking, testing, then telling him I will check, then checking on the facts of the matter. During these "steps" of making sure he is not lying, he used to break down somewhere along the line if he was lying and admit it. Now, he just goes beyond this, will not admit it at all and you really just have to catch him and tell him you know he's lying and punish him whether he admits it or not, and by that point, he is getting grounded and probably spanked.
Today: He came home from his soccer game around 1:00pm and I asked him if he was hungry for lunch. He thought about it a second and he said no. I decided that we should go out to get our pumpkins for Halloween. At 1:10 we drove by a Chick-Filet and my husband says "I don't know about anyone else, but I want a spicy chicken sandwich!" and makes the turn into the parking lot. My son says "Oh Yeah!" and smiled. I called him out on the fact that he just told me that he wasn't hungry, when the healthy (and free!) lunch was offered to him at home. I don't expect much out of him, but we went through this scenario last month as well, when at that time he took a bite of his healthier lunch and said he was full, we had to throw the rest of the lunch away and go ride with my friend to the store. My friend hadn't eaten and pulled into the McDonald's, and not knowing any better offered to buy my son a cheeseburger which he said he wanted and I called him out then as well and did not allow him to have one (looking like a mean parent). He got a long lecture about healthy food vs. junk, and not being wasteful. Back to today-after I called him out and said that he should remember what happened last time, I told him he wouldn't be getting anything from Chick-Filet. He claimed "I didn't mean that I wanted one." (lie) I repeated what everyone just said back to him, to clarify and said "I think that is a lie, do you want to admit that?" He then says "I am telling the truth, I promise!" (lie) My husband says, "So if Mom didn't say anything, I would have ordered you a sandwich and you would have given it back and said "I didn't actually mean that I wanted one"." He replies "Yes." (lie) I get mad, try to press him to admit the truth before it gets ugly, and he just tries more and more to claim that he didn't really want one. In the end, i'm yelling and he's crying and finally admits after lying no less than 6! more times to us, that he didn't want to get in trouble for wanting the sandwich! I would have corrected him about it and that's it! I tried to get him to see how much more trouble he was in for lying over and over to us multiple times. This is the kind of scenario that happens over and over again when it comes to chores, things at school whatever...
I just want him to stop! We have LONG conversations whenever he gets into trouble where we go step by step over what he did, what happened, what should have happened, where I try to guide him into thinking logically so he chooses not to lie. When he gets in trouble the only thing that makes him upset is taking away TV and going outside with friends to play. He never sees the point, or how to stay out of trouble!
ugh. Your example of chick filet is ridiculous. Sorry to be so blunt. Your "calling him out" and such . . . well----------- gosh, I get real hungry whenever I drive by McDonalds. Cut this kid some slack. He's "lying" because he said he wasn't hungry at home and then when dad suggests something yummy, he says yes, he's hungry? Is this your step son or something that you don't like much?
He got in trouble for wanting a chicken sandwich?????? Really?????? Quite frankly I think you are the one ruining your family outings.
Ok, so in other words, you simply disagree with the parenting style, where lying and being wasteful are strongly discouraged, and eating healthy is encouraged. Secondly, if you will reread, he was not in trouble for wanting the sandwich, that was corrected simply by reminding him of a similar situation and letting him know that he would not be getting one, What the issue was, was lying about wanting it...a dumb lie, but a lie all the same. Thanks for your input all the same but please read the details before going off the handle emotionally.
BTW-I would like to add that he was NOT spanked for this incident but once again-lectured about just telling the truth. There was no reason to not just say (in his own words of course) "I forgot I told you I wasn't hungry" I understood he wanted the sandwich. No one blames him for that. Only for the lying trying to make it seem as if he did not want it.
I am sure that if you are even parents or when you were there was at least one characteristic that your children displayed at some point in time that you did not know exactly how to handle. Everyone does the best they can with kids. The name of the game is consistency when trying to correct a behavior, and so that is what we do in our house.
So, whew. I am having a very bad reaction to your post and parenting style. I'm going to take it down a notch and just suggest a book called "Love and Logic" by Charles Fey. It goes through the concept of natural consequences to help with issues we have with our children and you won't have to lecture the poor kid until you are blue in the face (about thinking a burger is better than your healthy lunch.).
And the lying to make it seem like he did not want it to you might be because he doesn't want another full day of you lecturing . . . he's protecting himself from it.
Parenting is hard. That is very true. Read that book and see what you think. good luck
Having raised 6 kids and gone thru similar situations myself and at a time when food was scarce, I do know how frustrating situations like this can get. With that said and having the value of hindsite being 20/20, I will share with you what I learned as it might save you, the child and everyone around a lot of frustration. First of all. Choose your battles. This one is simply not worth the anguish it is causing. A child will generally say he is not hungry, if it is something that does not strike his appetite or he simply doesnt want it for any given reason. Secondly, I do not know a child that will not jump at the chance to eat out and get the good stuff he is not allowed to have on a regular basis because you are trying to stress good eating habits. He is getting way to much attention as a result of this annoyance. Ignore it! He will not starve and will pretty much eat what he wants. As annoying as this is, it is totally normal and the best thing to do is forget it, there will be much bigger issues in a few years so enjoy these pre puberty times and allow them to be kids. You will have better memories and so will he. If you are at home and he wastes his food, pitch it and no more till the next meal is reasonable, however if away from the home, in a case like mcdonalds and he is offered, no big deal, but enforce it when in the home.
I am having a similar problem with my 7 almost 8 year old son. He is constantly getting into things (food) or cooking goods and eating them. We have tried everything from rewarding the good behavior all the way to escorting him from room to room. Last night we played outside and had a water fight and just plain old fun we had just had a conversation about his behavior since his birthday is coming up and usually this works for about a week. But upon coming inside to shower while his younger sister was in the tub he gets into the cupboards again and when I ask what is all over his face he lies and starts saying he didn't get into anything. Knowing that we just had a water fight and he went straight to the shower and the pizza hadn't been delivered I continued to ask since it was a white powder and I was concerned about what he possibly could have eaten. After much time even with a threat trip to the hospital (concerned since he wouldnt say what it was) finally he brings out a pudding mix package. Later finding more things from the cupboard hidden in his room I was in tears. Then the next day we had to stop by my husbands work and I ran in to tell him something (2min) only to come out and have his sister tell me that he got into my purse and ate the gum. Which he denied quickly. After calling my husband to ask how much was left I find out that almost half the pack was gone and when asking my son he flat out lies to my face. I ask him to empty his pockets knowing that I checked the car for wrappers and he tells me he found that wrapper which was another lie because the gum is always in my purse and my purse is always in the car. I asked again why he lied and he says that he didn't want to tell me the truth. HELP I and my husband are at a loss here and don't know what to do.
well could he be hungry,how old is his sister , does she ever do similar things regarding food ?I wonder if he is trying to get attention albeit negative attention .Maybe focus on his positive side and praise him when you see him doing something right ...good luck
I think we are puzzled about the problem. Obviously, you are worried about him sneaking food. Usually we say just make sure he has good healthy snacks and that typically ends the problem.
So the questions is why the concern? Is he overweight and is that why you are so worried about his food intake?
You have tried several things to stop him, and they haven't worked. Which makes me think that you are not addressing the problem. And that problem is why does he have to sneak food? He knows he is doing something wrong, so why is he doing it? Does this happen at other places? What happens at school? Physically, how is he doing?
If the only food in the home is healthful, snacking is not a problem. Children don't manage well on three meals a day. They are growing fast and need to eat in between. There was always fruit, nuts, cheese, seeds, and other things to nibble on in the kitchen. The children could help themselves, and never had to ask permission. All of them grew up to be fit and slender.
Is the issue lying or sneaking food? I see the lying behavior which should be relevant in other areas of your child's life vs just wanting extra or non healthy food? My 8 yr old lies about brushing his teeth, watching TV early, finishing homework at school, getting dressed. We have used disopline, reward witholding, lecture, to no avail.
"...when at that time he took a bite of his healthier lunch and said he was full, we had to throw the rest of the lunch away and go ride with my friend to the store.? My friend hadn't eaten and pulled into the McDonald's, and not knowing any better offered to buy my son a cheeseburger which he said he wanted...."
I don't understand your behavior at all. You cater to his ridiculous whims and then wonder why he pulls these stunts. He is one smart kid and you are one gullible mama.
Next time just put his food on the table and say, "This is lunch." If he doesn't eat it, he goes hungry (only the first couple of times, I bet). Don't worry about his starving to death. Children understand survival.
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