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lying,encouraging honesty & stealing money

(5 Posts)
reddwarf Thu 06-Dec-12 15:10:35

My ds is almost 12, and he has ADHD. He has always lied if he is, or thinks he will be in trouble. We have tried to encourage him to be truthful and honest, and that the lying is (usually) worse than the original misdemeanour etc etc.

Anyway, he gets pocket money monthly, and the last 3 months he has opted to have only one third of it, and save the remainder.

Recently he has been flush, and last night I didn't have any cash so he offered to pay if I pay him back, then today he said he had to pay for a school trip and I hadn't given him the money so he paid and I would also have to pay him back for that. It just doesn't add up, as the 2 amounts each are more than his money for the month, and he owned up to having kept the money for his guitar lesson ( I have to give him 20 cash each week) when Somehow I had given him 2 x 20.

OK, on the one hand, I am v. pleased he fessed up. Believe me, for him it is an enormous leap forward. OTOH, obviously I am disappointed he kept hold of the 20. (plus, not to muddy the waters, but I'm not 100% certain he is being truthful about the 20, as I remember one time I had to give him more, and so wonder if it was that time, and it's even more than 20, but I'll never be able to prove it, so he could well have not given me even more iyswim)

so, how do I deal with the lack of honestly about the money, and pocketing a large sum, essentially stealing from me, while at the same time reinforcing the honesty and not putting him off being honest again?

TheSilverPussycat Fri 07-Dec-12 00:08:45

It does sound a bit like you are putting temptation in his way eg the school trip the £20 cash, and muddying the waters by borrowing off him. Can you pay for the guitar lesson some other way? ADHD or not, this seems too much responsibility for him at this age.

Cerise23 Fri 07-Dec-12 00:12:46

I think this is going to mean a bit of work on your part. You'll have to keep close tabs on your own cash - and mark it in some way perhaps? You'll need to keep this up for a while. Keep a note of how much money you give him too and what he spends its on (as far as you know). Although not ideal, when your DS is out at school have a look around his room to see if he's hidden money away. I know it's horrible being suspicious of your own kids. A friend had the same problem with her DD, but once DD knew her Mum was keeping a check of her money, (feigning that she was worried that she was spending too much), it all seemed to stop. I feel that if we are relaxed about cash our kids will feel it's 'easy come easy go'. For their own sakes we need to help them be a bit more disciplined with their money. Perhaps offer to help him 'budget'?

reddwarf Fri 07-Dec-12 07:53:43

The arrangement is to put 20 in his guitar case for each lesson. Not sure how I'd do it otherwise.

I don't borrow off him as such. I had absolutely no cash, and he wanted to get something from the shops, I said I didn't have the money and he said he'd buy it if I paid him back iyswim. He wanted the shopping, not me. If I had gone to the shops I could have paid for it with my card. Then the school trip, often he just pays the money when he goes, he hadn't told me he needed it that day, he simply came home and told me he had had to pay it, and could I reimburse him. It was when he said this that it flashed up loud and clear that he couldn't possibly have that money.

I did offer to help him budget. He used to have pocket money weekly, then it was recommended by a talk by a local 'expert' that at this age it's good to move onto monthly pocket money. I found he was just buying alarming amounts of sweets, so I told him A. not too, and B. to save a chunk, and if he wanted it for anything big, he could have it.

It seems like he's been saving his money by spending mine hmm

I will have to get tough and more in control re money. Maybe I should move him back to weekly money?

How do you stop them blowing it all on sweets. I am sure it makes his ADHD symptoms far worse, not to mention his teeth.

And how do I deal with this actual incident in terms of encouraging him to carry on being honest? I really want to get the mesage of honesty and truthfulness across, but at the same time v upset about the money. (Possibly clouded by my biggest childhood memory - we were very poor - talking no bathroom and outside toilet poor, and I was, and felt very deprived. I got caught stealing money from my mums purse, and my step dad took us upstairs and gave us a proper good hiding, and my mum just stood back and let him and never said a word to him or to me, so money theft and trusting in mummy has lots of emotional baggage too)

Tolly81 Fri 07-Dec-12 21:58:51

I can see why this episode has upset you so much after what happened in your own childhood but it is just too tempting to put all this cash in front of his nose. Could you not talk to the guitar teacher and say you've had an issue with him losing the money (or something) and pay it by direct bank transfer? Or cheque? If he wants to buy something that he wants you to pay for just say he can have it but you'll have to go back out for it later when you have your purse - just tell him you'll get too confused otherwise (which is partly true!). Avoid going in shops if you don't have your purse.
The sweets problem is a tough one. Maybe try and encourage a regular hobby that he can spend some if his money on? Or just sit down with him and explain about the problem with sweets. Maybe agree only a certain amount if money to be spent on sweets?

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