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My Son Is A Liar

We recently (as in the past 48 hours) found out that our son is a liar. Needless to say we are not happy parents at the moment. Tobei and I have laptops but in the basement we have to desktop computers that the children are allowed to use. Our rules are pretty simple. No computers until after dinner during the week and no computers before breakfast on the weekends. We didn’t think we had anything to worry about. I mean Big Brother is only 7.

My Son Is A Liar! How we caught him and how we are dealing with it.

Big Brothers school is pretty up there in the tech department. His homework every night consists of 20 minutes of reading and sometimes some math. We make him do math every night anyways as we are strong believers in one needing math in their lives. Both of these activities are done via a program online that his school pays for. Each night when he gets home from school we send him downstairs to do his homework.

For the past 2 weeks every night has been like clockwork. He goes down stairs then comes up about half an hour later asking if 20 minutes if over yet. By the time he is done his homework it is usually time to eat. If dinner is not ready we will allow him to go play on the computer since his homework is done.

Tuesday night Big Brother was doing his homework and Tobei went down to the basement to put on a load of laundry. That is when he found Big Brother playing Sims instead of doing his homework. He was immediately kicked off the computer and sent up to the living room where I was informed of this incident. I asked Big Brother if this is what he had done the night before. He said no. Turns out that was a lie. I then asked if he did homework last week or played games. He said homework. Turns out that was a lie. After checking the computer he had not done his homework for the past 2 weeks.

We were FUMING for 2 reasons. 1) Our son is a liar. Not even by accident since he was coming up asking if 20 minutes was over totally making us believe he was in fact doing his homework. 2) We had trusted him and believed him so we were signing his agenda every night stating he had done his homework. Now we looked like liars since the teacher can check these things from her account.

I decided to write a note in his agenda last night informing the teacher of these recent events. When we picked him up from school today I could not find the note I had left. I asked him if he erased it (yes I was dumb enough to write it in pencil) and he said no. Looking closer I could faintly make out my note. I asked him again “Did you erase my note?” and he quietly nodded. Told me he erased it as he didn’t want his teacher to know. Well sucks to be him. Sitting there in the van I called his teacher and informed her of everything.

We are still fuming. We can not believe that not only is our son a liar but he purposely and knowingly lied for 2 WEEKS! He is now grounded for a week. Let’s hope he learns his lesson. We do not tolerate liars in this house.

Now I need YOUR HELP. What do you do to make groundings no fun? So far we have lots of cleaning and extra homework on the nightly list but could use some more ideas.

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  1. On the one hand I agree with the Extra Homework to make up for what he didn’t do BUT I am hesitant to make it a punishment. I don’t have kids so you totally don’t have to listen to me but children should love and want to learn and not think of it as punishment. I had the worst experience with Math in Middle School and went from never having an issue with it to cringing anytime someone mentioned the word and still do.

    I would probably go with punishment that shows him in ways he can understand what life might be like for him if he doesn’t do his homework and fails out of school. I know he is 7 but maybe make him do things that seem like fun the first day but by the last day he really hates doing. Or maybe ask him what he thinks he wants to be when he grows up and have him do reading about that.

    • I can see your point. We don’t want him to hate homework. Hmm maybe instead of 20 minutes of each we do 30. 20 for his regular night of work and 10 extra to make up for not doing it all for 2 weeks.

      I like your idea about reading on what he wants to be. He wants to be an architect when he grows up. If we have him research that he will see how much he will need his math and reading skills to be able to do that when he is older.

      • I feel for you, Nolie and think this research project is a good idea. Unfortunately, I have a son who’s a liar and has been since he was little. He does it to get out of doing work or things he doesn’t want to do, like taking a shower. Unfortunately, punishment, consequences, etc. hasn’t worked for him. Being a liar is just part of his personality like his laziness and poor work ethic. It’s so frustrating to us. Hopefully for your son, it’s just the lure of playing a fun game and not doing his homework, which isn’t as much fun. Most kids do that and try to test the boundaries. Then they learn there are consequences and never do the lying again for fear of getting caught or disappointing their parents or teachers. (He obviously didn’t want to get in trouble in school and disappoint his teacher, too.) In the meanwhile, like all cheaters, he’ll have to earn back your trust and show you that he’s as good a kid as you know he can be. Good luck and big hugs.

        • Thank you. He has no trust with us right now which is really sad. I know he is a better boy than this and want to break this before it does become a part of who he is.

  2. Louise Brown says:

    I think the issue here is not so much about the homework, but that he lied. Even to your face, repeatedly and schemed to continue doing so. I think having him do the homework in front of you in the kitchen as you cook or do other things or you helping him whilst he does it might be ideal Most people never love homework – in fact, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say they love it. Not everything we do is ‘fun’ and responsibility and honesty are important. My sister is a child therapist and she said that when children are tired of homework or stressed over it or can’t get a clear head, have them take a warm shower (which works as aromatherapy) then come back to it. You are too nice, I would have grounded him for two weeks.

    • That is what has us so mad. Not that he lied. It’s that he played out the act of lying and pretending he was doing what he was supposed to be doing for 2 weeks. We have set up my old laptop at the dining room table for him to do his homework now so we can supervise him.

  3. I’m in the same position. Friday my son did not bring home his homework packet, told me he forgot it. Fine, then on Monday he forgot it again. Tuesday the same thing, I grounded him (M-Wed) and told him he could only read in his room on his bed. I wrote the teacher on Tuesday asking for him to put the homework in his backpack. Last night he came home with it, inside at the very bottom, under his lunch box was a bad note. Yep, he’d not been bringing it home because he didn’t want me to know he got a warning in class LAST WEEK. He’s grounded.

  4. First, I commend you for dealing with this head on! Keeping your son accountable for his choices will continue to mold him into the young man you want him to be. I LOVE that you involved the teacher because it does, in a way, involve her too. It also gives you the line of communication open so that you can work as a team. Is there any way he can stay after school for even a half an hour to do some extra work in the classroom? Lying and being deceitful affects more than just him. I would, little by little give him privileges back, but it has to be earned. Somehow we have to teach our kids that it’s more beneficial to do the right thing than lying and temporarily getting away with something. Good luck!

    • His teacher was really good about it. She told me she will talk to him today about the importance of homework and why he needs to do it. I love the school that we attend. They are very good at working with parents and encourage us to be in communication with them. Our school considers itself a giant family where we all must work together for our children.

  5. I personally wouldn;t make extra homework a punishment. The homework my kids come home with is punishment in and of itself, but I do agree with extra chores and maybe even losing tv time or anything fun that you had planned within the week.

  6. We caught my otherwise great kid in a lie and it was a big deal too. We took away screens for awhile and he certainly got the message that lying is never ok.

  7. That is so frustrating and hard when things like this happen,hopefully he learns his lesson.

  8. This parenting stuff is hard. So is growing up. Neither one of us really knows what we’re doing, and we’re all learning together. He’s lucky to have good parents looking out for him.

  9. I’m a firm believer in consequences lining up with choices. He chose to lie, and the concequence is a breach of trust. Like someone else said, he is going to have to earn trust back, little by little, and also experience what it is like for his parents to not be able to take him at his word.

  10. I totally wish I could help. We have gone through some of the same things in when asking a child if he/she did something and they lied. We got to the point where we had to explain that they would get in trouble for doing a bad thing (i.e. time out, etc) but if they lied it would be FAR worse… meaning no electronics, etc… Then the hardest part is when we do ask them if they did something bad and they admit it we make a HUGE deal out of them telling the truth and explain that they are still in a bit of trouble for doing the bad thing, but we are proud of them telling the truth. Does that make sense? LOL

  11. Stephanie says:

    I have gone through this as well. We need to let them know that it’s not good from the get go. You are doing a great job!

  12. I have gone through this with my middle school age son- it’s a tough time to parent!

  13. OMG. I feel for you. Parenting is so hard and while we know we have good kids, it doesn’t mean they won’t do something like this. He is testing the grounds to see how much you are paying attention. I’ve been through this with my 9 year old.

    Our punishments consist of losing their electronics. It used to be more effective than it is now but we need to find something new. I like the idea of extra chores, honestly that thought never crossed my mind.

    • Oh ya electronics have been a go to for a long time and no longer effective. Neither is 1 day groundings. I got the extra chore idea from my mom. Also writing lines are why they are in trouble.

  14. I am not a fan of grounding, especially at such a young age. I think discipline should be directly linked to the misbehaviour.

    In this case, doing his homework for 20 minutes, and then an extra 5-10 to make up for it, and no computer time other than homework until the time is accounted for.

    • We have already gone through that stage with him. This whole grounding thing is a ramp up from losing electronics, early bedtimes etc.

  15. I feel you. Our 9 year old granddaughter is living with us and she refused to do her homework one day because she wanted to watch TV. We argued and argued until we decided to make her responsible for her own actions. She was told that she didn’t have to do her homework if she didn’t want to BUT she was going to write her teacher a note and tell her she was sorry she didn’t do it and the reason why. She cried and begged but I stuck to my guns and made her write the note. That little snot had the nerve to tell me that she could just throw the note away. OH NO YOU WON’T. She had instructions that she was to give the teacher the note and have her sign it and bring it back. I also wrote the teacher a note and explained what was going on. Do you believe that teacher lectured me in a note on how she had to turn off all electronics to make sure her kids did their homework and we needed to do the same.

    When you’re tired of arguing with a child then they need to see the results of their decisions and face the consequences.

    We also recently came up with weekend bucks. She gets one for each day she gets a good report from school and on Saturday she can turn those in to buy privileges such as friends, TV or computer/tablet. So far it’s worked good and she’s so excited to see what she can buy that weekend but I know that will eventually become old and not as effective but I’ve found something new to use against her. She loves to watch Once Upon a Time with me so if her behavior at home isn’t what it should be I threaten taking that away and she’ll straighten right up.

    • At the beginning of the year he was arguing with us about doing his homework. His teacher did tell kids up front and parents that if homework was not completed they would have to stay in at recess to do it. So I just stopped arguing with him and told him he knew the consequences and left it at that. Then he started doing his homework or so we thought until yesterday.

  16. This is such a hard one. We deal with lying and our boys too. And it is hard. In our teaching we always always always emphasize that they will get in LESS trouble if they tell the truth. And that it is SO important to tell the truth, even if they get in trouble. Often if they get in trouble and tell the truth about it, we make a big deal about them telling the truth and praising them and the “consequence” is always Very minor when they tell the truth because we want them to get the point. But when they lie, Oh nelly! They get extra chores, extra cleaning, they get to wipe down all the baseboards in the house, and fold other people’s laundry, and do the dishes on their own instead of with their sibling, etc and no electronics. When their friends come to play, we make the kid tell the friend they can’t play that day because they lied. We want them to understand that lying is the reason they are miserable, not the original issue they got in trouble for in the first place. We make a big deal saying, “well you lied therefore your punishment is WORSE than it would have been had you told the truth”.
    we do not tolerate lies in our house either.

    • Yes I do need to have the talk with him about being in less trouble if he tells the truth but was still something bad. That is the one thing we have not done. My friend told me she has her son do her baseboards. I was a little happy when we grounded him as it meant I could get my baseboards done lol

  17. Wow, I can’t even imagine the turmoil and stress this caused you and your spouse. Adam and I are concerned we wouldn’t be able to deal with situations like this one with your son and the school, and I can only imagine how he must be feeling too. Calling the teacher in the car was a good call–I agree with that sort of style of parenting.

    Thank you for sharing your story!

    • Thank you for commenting. We are very firm and proactive with our children and stick to our word. This is our future generation and enough parents are messing them up as is. The current entitled generation drives me crazy. My boys will be honest, respectable, hard working and kind adults.

  18. This sounds like something my son would do if he could. We have our computer in the living area so he has to do it in front of us. We don’t do much for grounding except take away all electronics, friends, etc. It isn’t fun.

    • We have done the taking away electronics for more minor incidents. In fact when we first found out about the lying all we did was say no more electronics on school night. THEN he erased my note to his teacher and lied about erasing it and that is when we pulled out the big guns of grounding him.

  19. Oh the joys of parenting. My kids are all young adults now and things have not changed. It never gets easier.

  20. Instilling honesty in little kiddos really is quite important! I’m not looking forward to similar situations when my son grows up!

  21. My kids have learned from an early age that lying will get them into a LOT more trouble than whatever the original offense was. I’ve sometimes gone really lightly on punishment when they confessed just to show that I appreciate the honesty.

  22. Gosh, I don’t even know what to tell you 🙁 I wouldn’t let him use the computer downstairs, I’d make him be nearby so you can check his screen. I would definitely have him making up the work, and, as a punishment, no electronics? To include TV, iPod, gaming?

    • The iPod is already missing as his brother lost it. It’s no xbox, no computer downstairs, only laptop upstairs for homework. TV is on as the rest of the family is not in trouble but he gets no say over what is on the TV.

  23. Technology can be so tempting to kids. It’s always so frustrating when you find out something like this that your kids are doing.

  24. It’s a good lesson to learn. I’m sure this will be a meaningful experience where he learns that lying is absolutely not acceptable.

  25. Ooh. The first lie. That’s always a biggie. At least you can feel better about it knowing that kids are born hard-wired to lie and see what they can get away with. A week’s worth of torture should do the trick. =D

  26. I was one of these kids that never did homework and would do it in school the next day. I wish my parent monitored better and did not have a TV in my room. I started getting better grades once I realized on my own the real life consequences of getting Cs. After that, I never got another one.

    I think you are doing a great job and this seems like it should work.

  27. Ouch. I remember when my nephew told his first lie. Boy did he get the hammer for that one!

  28. Lying is one of my biggest pet peeves. When my kids lie to me, they are punished as well. Stand firm because once you lose their trust it’s hard to get it back.

  29. I hate the word just sounds so condescending to me. I think all kids lie not that it makes it right. They like to test our boundaries, and it is a good time to reprimand them.

    • I agree with this. I feel like attributing a word to the child is like saying “you are as bad of a person as the behavior you did.” I know he probably won’t read this and calling him a liar is probably Nolie venting and sharing how it made her feel. So I am not saying she needs to change the post……but I just wanted to say I agree with you Amy 🙂

      I personally try very hard not to call my kids names like liar, thief or meanie. I feel like that makes them feel like they ARE that and so why try to be better?

      But Nolie is a good mom, and I know she didn’t call him that to his face, just to her readers here 🙂

  30. It’s a terrible feeling when your kids lie to you. Hopefully his week of non-fun will be enough to keep him from doing it anymore!

  31. I know I’m going to face this moment soon. I agree it’s a learning lesson and that means teaching learning consequences like no computer for a month and showing him what it feels like to be lied to.

  32. My daughter hasn’t lied to me yet, but I know it’s coming. It’s inevitable. It’s just something kids do to test their bounds.

  33. I’m actually less surprised about the lying and more surprised he was given so much trust. Most seven year olds are notorious for sneaky behavior, heck, we’re still dealing with it and ours is 13. His level of trust with us has dwindled to zilch. Now instead of having fun on his iPod or the Wii, he gets to walk the dog extra laps, do laundry, dishes and other chores he hates doing until he can earn our trust back.

  34. You and T are great parents. I am sorry to hear that you guys are going through this. It is always so tough when we find out that our kids are lying.

  35. Wow….2 weeks….that is SO tough. I have to admit that I don’t feel qualified to give you advice. I don’t know the entire situation. So many questions can change my advice: like how is your relationship with him? Is this unusual behavior for him? Are there changes in the home? I wonder if he is retreating to the computer as an escape from reality, or has he always just had a problem with authority?

    I wish I could help you…..but I just don’t know enough. I think grounding him sounds fair. I mean the punishment seems to fit the crime. But I’d also talk to him. Find out why he did that.

  36. I’m sorry that you are having to deal with this.I hope things get better.

  37. I don’t think this is a big deal. Every child has to have a moment when they think 1-I don’t want to do this, 2-the truth won’t work to get out of it 3-but a lie will!
    When I was 8 my mom gave me a pen from the bank she worked at. I lost it. She gave me another and I lost it as well. When she gave me the 3rd pen she told me it would be the last one. I lost that one as well, but since she had another on her desk, I helped myself to that one. When she asked me where her pen was I said I didn’t know. She gave me a chance to change my answer, “this isn’t MY pen, from MY desk”. Nope. I felt very smug. Then mom pointed out the pale pink nail polish she had painted around the top of the pen. I can still feel my cheeks burn and the sting of those guilty tears as I handed the pen back to her. “No” she said as she pulled her hand back. “I don’t want a pen that’s been LIED about”. I was so ashamed that my mother was disappointed in me.
    This is your chance to show your son that you hold him to a hire standard. It’s a normal developmental milestone for a child, but you don’t want him to feel that HE is bad. What he did was wrong, and he must not do it again.
    For my kids, looking at the next math test, and seeing the poor grade would probably start a discussion of “wow, you didn’t do very well. Why do you think that is? What could you do differently” would be enough.
    Good luck mom 🙂

  38. My girls are still young, so thankfully I have not encountered too many lies or fibs. I am not looking forward to that part though. I hope things get better for you.

  39. Such a tough subject. If it was my boys I’d take the computer away for quite some time. I would punish separately for the actual lying. I’d definitely make the distinction that there were TWO wrongs here, not just one.

  40. Oh I so feel for you! Ours is 8 and kind of played the same game. The issue was a couple things combining to make the perfect storm. We under-estimated his comp skills and never thought he’d even be able to be sly and pretend. Also, the amount of work kids have to do these days allows for so little ‘playtime’, they feel they have to sneak it in. We made a compromise…. 2 days a week, I cut him loose. No homework. Just go outside, play with your friends. Ride a bike. (NOT playing video games or watching TV, good old outside play) and the other days spend a bit more time making up for freebies… it worked well. He’s happy to play and not be so weighed down. He also knows we are watching. We moved the computer where we can see every move he makes on it. Kids are WAY smarter these days, but they are still kids.

  41. That is so heartbreaking! Things like this are what scare me as a parent of an only child. We only have one shot at this! lol So I feel like I have to ruminate on what is the exact perfect response to behaviors, etc. It’s exhausting! I hope you figure something out that works!

  42. Yikes! My kids are so little they don’t use the computer yet or have homework. My oldest is in preschool. I can only imagine how upset you must have been, but its a good time to make this a learning/teaching opportunity. I hope he learned his lesson!

  43. When we realized my stepdaughter was cheating on her timed math homework (she typically did it while I was preparing dinner so I’d just set the timer…she would faintly write in answers to some before we started the timer) we went into school with her the next morning and SHE had to tell the teacher what she had been doing. She was embarrassed, of course.
    We also don’t sign for any homework unless we actually see it.
    We have a desktop computer the kids can use, but it is in a common area so we’re almost always around. Our poor kids (sarcasm) can’t really “sneak” on that one.

    Lying is a serious offense in our house. Our kids get 1 week of grounding from ALL electronics (computer, TV, game systems, tablets, phones, radio, etc) for lying. The bonus side to that is that they rediscover stuff in their room they forgot they had and become very creative. LOL

  44. I agree with Pam. That’s the downside of technology. 🙁

  45. Wow..I thought I was the only one dealing with this.. It will pass.

  46. Bernadette says:

    seHi- I have twp college kids and 4 littles between the ages of 7-3 so I know how you feel about this issue. I don’t want to make lite of the lying or judge how you parent, but do you think 7 is too young for a child to be on a computer unsupervised? Even whith all of the parent blocks available they seem to “accidentally” click on things they shouldn’t.Our computer is at a built in desk in our kitchen, every one uses it there for homework, research games, etc. I feel more comfortable being able to see what the littles are looking at or doing. Good luck with your son, again I know how you feel about the lying it feels so disappointing when our kids resort to telling fibs 🙁

  47. Maggie McLeod says:

    Somehow, I suspect your little guy is pretty smart and punishing him is going to be very difficult. Our little guy always seems to enjoy whatever we do to try to punish him regarding electronics and privlieges – he loses his electronics, well, Lego never looked so good….and so it goes. What gets him (everytime) is if we make him apologize or explain himself to the person(s) slighted. The most difficult time was when he wanted a kinder egg at teh store and I said no at the cash and when we got outside I found it somehow jammed between his 3 or 4 year old hand and his sleeve. We trotted right back into the store and he had to return it and apologize. The cashier was fabulous and he did not do that ever again. Since then there have been many other times, and, I won’t lie to you, often we cannot even get him to open his mouth, but he does come and is part of the “meeting” for the apology/explanation. Good luck!!

  48. We just caught our 4 year old telling a lie. He told Daddy that Mommy said he could have the fruit snack. Which I did not say. But I wasn’t sure how to handle it. I tried explaining to him what a lie was but I don’t know if he got the point. He obviously did not get the fruit snack and he knew he did something wrong, but I don’t know how to better explain it to him. I like hearing other parents ways of teaching their kids, since it helps me out. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

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