My son turned 14 in Fedruaury & we've been having some serious trust issues. He lies about EVERYTHING! Even little thing that there's no reason to lie about or things that he's obviously going to get called out on.
He barely passed the 8th grade because he wouldn't turn in any home work. Even when I stood over him & made sure the work was being done, he still wouldn't turn it in & then he'd lie to me & say that he had & that the teachers just hadn't posted his grade yet! I've met with teachers, the principal, school counselors, child psychiatrist, you name it, & still wasn't able to get through to him the importance of turning in his work or of being an honest, trustworthy person.
Whenever we discuss it, he gets upset & swears he's going to do better, be more trustworthy, stop lying, etc... but nothing ever changes. We had the same issue in the 7th grade & he ended up taking summer courses in order to pass, with lots of promises that he was turning over a new leaf & going to do better, but here we are dealing with the same issues over & over & over.
He goes to great lenghs to hide his homework, even some that is completed but not turned in. He folds them up & hides them in books & boxes in his room. We went though his room & found DOZENS of hidden papers! Even when his teachers agreed to allow him to turn some of them in for partial credit, he didn't turn them in...but told me he did. When confronted, he says he forgot. Makes me want to SCREAM!!!
Most recently, I checked his facebook & conversations with his friends where he claimed he's been smoking pot & having sex. When I confronted him, he swears he was just joking (read lying) to impress his friends. I actually believe that his claims were lies, but it concerns me that he would think it was cool to say that he was doing those things. I know that kids have a tendency to stretch the truth in order to impress their peers, but this seems more serious to me.
Up until this past fall, I have always worked from home & my son has had pretty close supervision. Now, I work about a 1/2 hr from home & he is home alone alot, especially with the summer break. I have no way of truly knowing what he's up to all day or of enforcing grounding or restrictions.
His dad & I divorced about 4 yrs ago & I've had a serious boyfriend for the past 2 years, who moved in with us about a year ago. My ex moved out of state in December & my son talks to him once a month or so. All three of them have a good relationship & there doesn't seem to be any rivalry, although my son would like more interaction with his dad. My boyfriend is very loving & supportive, without overstepping his role, but the lying is taking a toll on all of our relationships.
I'm interested in other parents' opionions or suggestions for putting an end to the lying and instilling a sense of responsibility for his actions & choices, as well as how to handle the facebook/pot/sex situation.
Some kids are more difficult to parent than others - no doubt about it.....but throw in divorce, moves, boyfriends, girlfriends, and you can have a recipe for an out of control child.
Your son needs to want to succeed on his own - not because you want him to. But, how to make him care? There is no easy, fast fix.
IMHO, too much time home alone unsupervised is not a good thing. I would not let him have unlimited access to the internet for one.... I would look for "teen centers" in your area, a place where he can go during the and hang out with other kids his age, yet have adult supervision.
I also think find a really good, smart child psychologist (preferably male) to see your son would be a good thing. Someone for your son to bond with and trust, where he can share his feelings and come to some sort of solution in regards to school. Do you think your son needs a different sort of school ?? Maybe he feels too much pressure where he is at, and needs a new environment?
Thank you for your prompt reply. Unfortunately, we don't have any teen centers near us, but I will definately look into a male psycholigist ~ that seems like a good idea.
I don't know what options are available regarding school, but I will check into that as well.
What do you think the consequences should be for the "facebook incident"? Do I enact some sort of punishment that I may not be able to enforce? Do I let it go with the very serious discussion we've already had? Should I look into getting a sitter?
The Facebook account has been closed, but how do I keep him from just setting up a new one, or even know if he does?
He does not have unlimited access to the internet. This was done while at a friend's house.
If there are no teen centers....how about a Boys and Girls club? Or YMCA? A little more checking, may turn up something?
As for a sitter.....that could be tough, your son may resent you thinking he needs a sitter. In my opinion a center would be better. I know you mention not working in town......possibly where you work has a "teen type" center and he could ride with you and you could drop him off?
Does he like any sports? If so, maybe you can find a sports camp that he can participate in.
- Just trying to throw out some ideas......14 is a tricky age - too young to get a job and work, yet too old for a sitter.
As far as consequences for the Facebook incident, I would make sure his phone (if he has one), loses the internet privileges, and limit the time on the home computer. The no Facebook plan is a good one, and I'd keep checking to see if he sets up a new account.
The lying is difficult - - that's where you would need to rely on a professional to guide you. I'm glad you like the psychologist idea - I think a good one could really help your son. Here is another link for a book about lying: http://www.positivediscipline.com/articles/lying.html
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