Owning up/telling the truth(6 Posts)
Have a problem with my DS. He's 8 and I know from a very minor incident a couple of weeks ago that he can lie very, very convincingly now. But that was a minor thing, now something major's cropped up and I'm between a rock and a hard place. My neighbours (who are the loveliest, kindest couple and we have a great relationship) just got back from a week away and came round with some little presents and to thank me for looking after the house and garden. A little after that they noticed they had a broken and bent back wing mirror (car was parked on the drive all week when they were away). I don't know what happened but I have a very strong suspicion that my DS might have done it when playing football out the front with a friend from down the road. He denies all knowledge of course but he was so convincing the other day that I don't know whether he's lying or telling the truth this time. Last time I knew it was him and just wanted him to own up, but he was so utterly convincing that he had me questioning myself in the end! Eventually he admitted it but it took an hour on and off. This is much more serious and I need to get to the bottom of it somehow. It's an electronic wing mirror as they all are these days and will cost £500 to replace They are such lovely people and have supported me through some very difficult times - if it was my DS they deserve the truth. Obviously it was an accident, but how do I get him to come clean? If it was him of course...if it wasn't I'm going to feel even worse than I do now! I think that's called a no win situation! Please help.
My DS(10) has been going through a similar stage of lying. The last time it was over something stupid but it took what seemed like hours of me and him sitting in a room asking him the same question over and over and over again before he finally told me the truth.
So in my experience, repetition and persistence seem to work. Also, I keep telling him that if an accident happens, I won't be angry but I do need to know and that it's lying about it that makes me angry, not the event before.
You suspect but you have no evidence. In your position, I would not keep asking him.
TBH I'd leave it unless you have some hard evidence that he did it. Yes you know he is capable of lying, but if you treat him as though he is lying and disbelieve him when you don't actually have evidence then you risk damaging your relationship with him. If it would make you feel better you could be upfront with your neighbours and tell them you suspect it might have been your son, but he denies it and you have no evidence. You could even offer to contribute something (whatever you can afford) towards fixing it, as a thank you for their support in the past, without having to take responsibility for something your child flat out denies he has done.
I think I'd approach it along the lines of:
Ds <event> happened. You've said that you didn't have anything to do with it. That's fine. I will speak to the neighbour tomorrow about that. However if you have a rethink and think you might have been involved I would appreciate it if you could come and talk to me before then. Because I won't be angry if you own up, however if I find out later you were involved then I will be angry and there will be consequences. <Neighbour's name> is asking around to see if anyone saw anything so hopefully they will find out what happened.
Then you don't mention it again unless evidence comes out what happens.
If he does come to you and say he did it, then you praise him for telling you, and he has to apologise to the neighbour and that ends it.
If it comes out later he did it, then you need to find the correct consequence-but be clear it's for lying not for what he did. And if it comes out that someone else did it, then you tell him and say how pleased you were. You can also point out that the only reason you doubted him at all was because of the previous lying episode and emphases that's why it's important to own up.
Mine are always in to tell me within a few minutes if they have been denying something when I take that approach.
It could have been a postman, delivery driver or anyone approaching the door carrying a bag or parcel.
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