General Question

rowenaz's avatar

Why is my child such a *%S!& liar?

Asked by rowenaz (2426 points ) March 15th, 2009

At 9, she doesn’t seem to stop. She has ADHD, takes medication, but still the embellishments go on and on everyday. Today I found written on furniture, instead of straightening up her room, she hid the things in bags and boxes, she steals things from other family members, constantly breaks the rules…I’m fed up and almost told her I hated her today. She has had so many things taken away – no computer, no tv, no art projects, no play dates, no talking on the phone…nothing works because she can find lint and be entertained by it – that’s the ADHD. Any suggestions? The last two therapists I took her to, said that because of her high IQ I should see a therapist to learn to cope with how to deal with her.

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90 Answers

sandystrachan's avatar

all kids tell lies

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

I agree about the therapist. There are several things going on here that you need to get a grip on. First is the pattern of engagement with your child that’s been established. Negative behavior and reinforcement is counterproductive, as you’re finding out. What is the proportionality of positive situations between the two of you, to negative? Secondly, if negative parenting (taking things away) doesn’t work, have you tried positive reinforcement, earning rewards.

Children lie for a number of reasons, one of which is a rich imagination, the other is to avoid punishment. Writing on the furniture should result in her having to clean the furniture. Not cleaning her room properly when asked, should result in either co-cleaning with you, having to tidy her room every night before bed, so it doesn’t get out of hand. Teach the correct behavior, don’t react to the negative behavior.

You need to pay attention as a parent to what you’re teaching by your behavior, and how much of what you’re dealing with is a reaction to how you react to her. She’s 9, you must be at least 25–30, so guess which one has the responsibility of being the adult? Kids with ADHD are a challenge, Kids with high IQs are a challenge. Kids in general are a challenge. But you can do this. You just need help.

zerocarbon's avatar

Kids generally lie to avoid a consequence.
How do you chastise your child?

ubersiren's avatar

I certainly am no therapist, so don’t take my advice if it sounds lame to you. It seems that she’s having a lot of problems in her life, and her main one is that she is so smart that her mind must be working on something at all times. She probably feels singled out, and believes this is her place in the family- the black sheep. Maybe you can call a family meeting and explain to the whole family to try to accept her lies and stealing as normal for her. It’s not normal for the rest of the family, but let everyone know that it’s part of who she is, and they’re going to have to accommodate her. This could accomplish a few things. Your daughter could hear you saying this and think, “Hey, I’m not a liar and a stealer- I’ll show them!” and she’ll actually work on being better. Or, she could realize that the family is aware of her stealing and lying as it’s happening and will be turned off from it. Or, you would really adapt to her until she outgrows it.

Judi's avatar

She may have a worse problem that ADHD. They don’t like to label kids with adult diagnosis’s but my son was very similar. The meds for ADHD were the absolute wrong meds since he was really bi-polar. PLEASE, don’t let people who have never experienced this label you as a bad parent. I listened to that BS way to long. Your child has a mental illness, weather it is ADHD, BI-polar or a personality disorder. Just the fact that you’re reaching out for answers shows that you are a loving parent who cares about your child and is afraid of the emotions her behavior is stirring up in you. If you are not getting answers from your current medical team, try another. Also seek out your local chapter of www.NAMI.org. You will find other parents who have experience exactly what you’re going through, won’t judge you and will guide you to local resouses in your community. I am so sorry you are going through this. You are wise to look for answers now before your child ends up a victim of the legal system. Hopefully with a national healthcare plan mental health will eventually get the attention it deserves.

Sakata's avatar

My 9 year old has ADD but it’s nothing a belt doesn’t fix on the spot. All I need to do is hold it my hand and things get done by only asking once, lies disappear, and I have his full undivided attention for as long as I want.

It’s like magic. Amazing.

Judi's avatar

@Sakata ;
Not always. Some kids just get it in their haead and their mantra is “I don’t care.” Not all kids are the same.

Bagardbilla's avatar

My little ones started developing a habit of lying, as soon as I caught them the first few times. I laid down a rule that they basically will not get in trouble (regardless of what they did) so long as they tell me the truth! (and i always know when they are telling the truth, because I make them look me in the eyes as they speak, and they know I have special powers which I depoly while looking into them and I can ALWAYS tell when they are fibbing because their eyes start to change colour)! After that, I can talk the issue over with them, try to find other tools to mitigate the causes.

augustlan's avatar

I think Judi is spot on.

Sakata's avatar

@Judi You’re exactly right. I figure out a short while ago that his main issue wasn’t that he didn’t listen or that he was just defiant. It was that he flat out didn’t care.

loser's avatar

I was going to say something along the the lines of what Judi said but she said it much better.

willbrawn's avatar

I would change her diet, the food of today hurts the youth in ways we dont understand yet.

asmonet's avatar

I have a high IQ, I would laugh when I was placed in time out because I thought then and now that it’s a ridiculous punishment, I stole things from my sister, I hid things when I was supposed to clean, I was your kid. My mom tried everything you mentioned. I did not have ADHD, most children don’t. a change in diet generally works better than meds, but you know best.

Point is, never say you hate her and if you do, never hit her. Didn’t work on me, and it sure as hell won’t work on her. If she does have a high IQ, she’ll judge you intellectually and find you less useful in her life than before. Whatever you do, avoid that. If you don’t, you’ve lost the whole war. Challenge her daily. Arts, Sports, Reading, everything you can throw at her. Keep her occupied.

She’ll work herself out. Next time she acts out, ask her why she did it. Have her dissect what she’s doing and what she thought it would achieve. Engage her mind. Do not punish until she has worked out verbally why she did it. That’s the only thing that ever worked fo me from the age of three on up.

zerocarbon's avatar

A good beating is the order of the day.

asmonet's avatar

That’s the last thing you should ever do to a child.
Not to mention, it makes you seem pretty appalling.

zerocarbon's avatar

It’s a viewpoint none the less.Appalling or not beating a child will get the result.
It’s worth a try because the poster seems at a loss.

asmonet's avatar

Beating a child will cement a future without you.
And a lifetime of hate, anger, bitterness, and social ineptitude.

Enjoy fucking up the next generation.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

@asmonet, I should have been your mom; you would have fit right in. Lurve.

It’s hard to argue with a 3rd grader who says about after school care, “I don’t understand why stupid adults get to be in charge of smart children just because they’re older than 18. Since when did ‘because I said so’ or ‘that’s the rules’ count as a real explanation?”

asmonet's avatar

@AlfredaPrufrock: huggles ;)

Yeah, I was that kid. I needed to understand reason and logic behind actions or I deemed them unworthy of my attention and time. When I was given the courtesy of an explanation, I minded the rules. It’s a different mindset, sadly one that isn’t very prevalent and so many don’t know how to approach it.

If you you treat her like an adult (within reason) you’ll get a lot more out of her.

zerocarbon's avatar

mmmh i guess the social part has some significance.
I know lets annalise them all and take em on safari for being good and not shooting anyone in the past week.
Give a child a disciplined begining then reap the rewards.
ADHD is just a badly behaved child who has been taught no boundaries.
Give it a label makes it real ADHD lol

asmonet's avatar

You’re severely misinformed. And you’re not even trying to read what others have said.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

@zerocarbon, excuse me? I have a better idea. First let’s learn to spell “analyze”. Annalise is a girl’s name. (sorry, that was pissy). Second, let’s remember that children are people, and deserve to be treated with the same respect you would treat a coworker, or a direct report. Third, how many children have you raised?

Likeradar's avatar

@zerocarbon Wow. I’m at a loss of what to say here.
I have ADD and was raised in a loving and firm household. The guilt I felt over my actions as a child and young adult, knowing they were wrong but not being able to control myself, has affected me my whole life.
You really should get a clue before saying things that a) simply aren’t true, and b) make you seem like an asshole.

Likeradar's avatar

But back to the original question- It sounds like your daughter and your family is going through a difficult time. I would strongly consider a therapist. Also, be sure to let her know it’s her actions, not her as a whole, that you don’t approve of.
All kids lie, and all kids go through some really obnoxious phases. Hopefully, this is just a phase that can be worked out. Good luck. :)

zerocarbon's avatar

Am i not entitled to a viewpoint?
Ok all the people in prison have in some form or another got ADHD and therapy will cure them.lol
Get the ground rules in place first at say 1yr old then reaffirm throughout its first ten years of life the finished product will be a child who is well mannered and respected by it’s peers.
Discipline discipline discipline!!!!!!Not none of this “lets understand the child” crap.

asmonet's avatar

Not an ignorant one, you’re entitled to a willingness to learn if you’re interested.

Likeradar's avatar

Who says everyone in prison has a disorder?

Also, I’m not sure why I’m bothering to try to argue with you, but there is a vast difference between a home with a lack of discipline and management and a home where you don’t even bother to understand a child at all. You have a lot to learn about families and healthy development, apparently.

You also never answered Alfreda- how many children have you raised using this fantastic plan of yours?

ubersiren's avatar

@zerocarbon : Clearly you have no children. Either that or you’re a crap ass parent.

zerocarbon's avatar

Irrespective of what insults you throw my way i am a firm believer in discipline.
If a child is unruly and going through a “phase“it’s a “phase“it does not need therapy it needs steering with discipline.
Chidren who constantly show disregard for authority are commonly known as Brats and no amount of soft soaping will alter the childs thinking.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

Not all people with ADHD are unable to follow rules, not all ADHD is manageable only with medication, not all people with ADHD and/or poor impulse control are the result of poor parenting.

Not that it’s entirely related to ADHD, but does often go hand in hand, children with very high IQs are in many ways, “disabled” because society is geared towards education for employment, not education for breakthrough thinking or creativity.

I have a child who can master every single thing she’s presented by just looking at it one. I have another who works twice as hard, and cannot make the grades, but can dance circles around her older sister in so many ways in terms of depth of comprehension. She just has the attention span of a gnat.

ubersiren's avatar

They’re only “brats” to adults who are too incompetent and impatient to try understanding the underlying issue.

asmonet's avatar

I pity your family, and whatever your parents did to you to make you think this way.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

I believe in discipline. I believe children need boundaries and consequences. I believe children need expectations clearly articulated.

And I believe that parents need the self-discipline to make the choice to remove their child from situations where they don’t belong, are over stimulated, or is inappropriate for a child to be in.

I believe that if you ask the child to clean a room and they shove things in a bag, you have the discipline to take the time to clean the room along with them. And you have the discipline to keep them on a picking up schedule, or that you arrange your time so that you clean the room along with them to ensure they stay on task. Or that you keep their possessions to a manageable volume so they can put things away on their own.

Respect comes from having a relationship with an adult, not from punitive parenting. That only teaches children that it’s okay to be a bully because you’re an adult and you can.

Likeradar's avatar

So, um, zerocarbon, how many children do you have, and/or what is your background that make you so sure of your philosophies?

Jack79's avatar

What happens when she tells the truth?
What happens when she lies?

If the truth will get her in trouble, then of course she’ll lie to avoid punishment. Don’t we do that, even as adults?

The only way out of this vicious circle is if you either increase the punishment for lying or decrease the punishment for telling the truth. Just like plea bargains (and even then, most would rather risk it and plea “not guilty”).

My dad always found out whether I’d done something wrong and would punish me anyway. The difference in his approach was that he’d punish me with respect if I’d told the truth, but without it if I’d try to lie. Which was even worse than the actual punishment. Lying was simply unthinkable.

Incidentally, I am an extremely strict parent. But firmness and violence are two different things. Not bending the rules for a baby crying for chocolate is different from beating up a kid for breaking a vase.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

I only punished for lying, not for what they did. If they did something and told me, then they “punishment” was to correct whatever they did, to the best of their ability.

zerocarbon's avatar

Well then what about the naughty step?In itself a form of discipline and works a treat.
No shrink just reaffirmation of the rules and used over and over and over it alters the childs mindset.

ubersiren's avatar

But, you didn’t say “naughty step” before… you fucking said “a good beating.” Get your shit straight. You have no business teaching anybody anything.

ubersiren's avatar

I’m sorry, are we allowed to curse on fluther? I was never clear on that…

asmonet's avatar

We are, to a point. Many choose not to. I am not in that fucking camp. :)
Generally, cursing is ignored if it isn’t directed at someone. Walk the line, lil lady.

zerocarbon's avatar

Another form of discipline none the less and used to great effect without therapy or the need to run like hell to the nearest shrink.
“my childs a freak quick we gotta pay for some treatment”
Deal!if you can,t deal then it is you who is the bad parent.You cannot cope with an uruley child so it must have ADHD.
BULLSHIT in my book.Stops following

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

Time out only work with toddlers or children who are out of control. There is nothing wrong with sending a kid who’s having a tantrum to a room and giving you both a break.

@zerocarbon, parents with average IQs who have gifted kids do treat them as freaks, and do try to beat their intelligence out of them, either by beating them or by physically belittling them. There’s nothing worse than being a boy who’s musically or mathematically gifted but your father wants you to be a football player, and won’t support music lessons or advanced math courses (but will pay thousands for sports camps) or to be a girl who’s gifted in science, but your mother wants you be a Barbie because “no one normal will want to marry a girl who’s into science.”

Jack79's avatar

A girl who’s into science? Yuk! Who’d ever marry THAT? I married a stupid lazy bitch who wasn’t even pretty. Lucky me.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

LOL Jack, I know! You would not believe the razzing my daughter took in first grade over wanting to be a physicist.

Sakata's avatar

Funny how everyone will slander religion or state how great it is for a mother to get drunk with her daughter because of the bonding time they had together but whenever someone speaks of spanking a child (beating… whatever) everyone has a shit fit. Most of the people I know has their asses beat when they screwed up as children and they all seem to be fine.

Self righteous, close-minded, elitists… all of you

asmonet's avatar

Oh noez! What hope do I have going for a degree in Paleoanthropology and with a side love for astrophysics and astronomy?

Fuck!

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

@asmonet, come to momma, honey, it will be okay. I’ll do without a new car so we can send you to summer camp at Harvard.

asmonet's avatar

:D YES PLEASE. :D

ubersiren's avatar

@Sakata : Can you add some punctuation in your run-on sentence so we can understand what you’re saying?

LouisianaGirl's avatar

she is a kid and she will lie but if it gets out of hand a belt will do the trick because thats how I raised

alive's avatar

i am surprised that two different therapists would reference “IQ” because IQ has been proven to be total um well bs (you can check out stephen j. gould’s book “the mismeasure of man). maybe you need to check on the qualifications of the therapists. were they psychologists or just counselors?

asmonet's avatar

You need to research IQ more. It can be quite valid.
It isn’t as much a number, it’s what you do with it, they’re equally important.

Response moderated
tiffyandthewall's avatar

@zerocarbon all kids are different, and are going to respond as such to different punishments, etc.

judging by the majority of the things you’re saying, it looks like you are REALLY easily angered, which i’m guessing isn’t really helpful in trying to find a way to positively affect your child. maybe the way you react to her isn’t enforcing positive behaviours at all.
but skimming through the comments, it seems as if you already have your mind made up about what doesn’t work, so is it really helping you to ask everybody for their suggestions?

good luck, regardless.

zerocarbon's avatar

@ubersiren why no attack on Sakata or LouisianaGirl?
Could it be that i am not alone in my thinking?Perish the thought.
@tiffyandthewalli see the opposite side and do not accept that a child can have ADHD because it steps out of line.
P.s the question is not about my child so please read again and i really am very calm indeed.

asmonet's avatar

Ass blowers? You’re lovely.

zerocarbon's avatar

Well it seemed that i was getting attacked by all for my point of view until some established “Flutherites” agreed with me and then it seemed you ran for the hills.lol Theres nothing so funny as folk.

asmonet's avatar

More ‘established’ Flutherites disagreed.

zerocarbon's avatar

So you are revealed.mmmh

dynamicduo's avatar

@zerocarbon – your continuing comments are not helping with the core issue, the question asked by @rowenaz. If you continue to choose to use Fluther as a way to splurge out whatever you think whenever you want, I hope you are not surprised when “more established Flutherites” cease to answer your questions.

You’re almost right. There’s nothing so funny as trolls.

zerocarbon's avatar

@dynamicduo i am sorry though in mitigation i feel that a certain party is trying to unsucsessfully goad me.
If you care to check back it is all in self defence.

asmonet's avatar

It’s really not, dear. :)

dynamicduo's avatar

@zerocarbon – whether it is in self defense or not, it is not what Fluther is meant for. Personal attacks and goading of all sorts are against the guidelines. While I appreciate your honesty about this issue, I urge you to take responsibility for your own actions and to not be goaded in by others. If you are done answering the question by expressing your opinion, you are not obliged to remain commenting in the thread. You can always choose to take the higher ground.

zerocarbon's avatar

Fair play dynamic

rowenaz's avatar

Wow and I mean wow.
Ignoring those that need to be ignored, here are my thoughts…

@AlfredaPrufrock, @ubersiren, @judy – great responses. To start with, I am a very firm parent, and keep steadfast boundaries, because that’s one of the things I learned early on with her. You can’t give her an inch, or she’ll run you over with a Mack Truck. Having said that I set strict boundaries, I have to say that I can’t hit her and won’t use any sort of physical punishment. I spanked her sometimes when she smaller, but now I don’t feel there is anything to be solved with violence. Hitting me only made me angry and hate my parents, and I am sure it will do the same for her, so I won’t be going there.

I have done a great deal of rewarding her, using positive reinforcement, but it got to the point that she just wanted to make EVERYTHING about getting a reward. But, yes, I will have to take a closer look at our “pattern of engagement” because this DOES feel like a cycle. Some things I did change recently, was that I tried to step in and help her with things, like cleaning her room. I figured if at least I helped her she couldn’t hide things instead of putting them away (she did it anyway) would fool around less (that worked) and I could help her keep herself organized. But you put it very well, when you said, “Teach the correct behavior, don’t react to the negative behavior.” I have to work on that. Thank you.

I read a book about ADHD, and chose ONE area where we are having the most difficulty and that I felt was driving us in a bad direction, and am trying to handle that – which is the organization. I feel that her disorganization – throwing stuff around, not picking up after herself, being sloppy is creating most of the problems, because then she can’t find things, breaks things by stepping on them, and wants new things because she can’t find where she accidentally hid the other things. She lies about where the things are. So this is the major area being dealt with. Her emotional swings are part of this, I believe. And yes, now how I am dealing with her is part of the problem – I am yelling at her in my frustration. She can’t clean the furniture – she completely ruined it. Writing on light colored wood with blue ball point pen – now we’ve got to try and sand it? Not to mention – this isn’t the first piece of furniture she has written on.

I’m not going to argue with anyone about ADHD and discipline, because I know how she is without the medication, and it clearly helps. I thought the medication might help avoid the mental issues, like depression and anxiety, that I was concerned might be brought on by the ADHD and her trying to deal with it. Luckily, at school everyone adores her – because she takes the medication, they get the best of her. By late afternoon, when its worn off, I get her at her most difficult, and I try to be loving and a good mom. It’s not like this everyday, but when it’s a bad day, it’s pretty unbearable.

@asmonet I’ve read the literature about IQ, and when I wrote what the therapists said, I was summarizing it. I have tried to have her needs met with Gifted and Talented program that the city we live in put her in, and I really handle the intellectual part pretty well – too well, because she only wants to be home schooled (which terrifies me, because I have trouble coping now) but it’s not the learning that’s an issue – it’s the lying.

@Jack79 I’ve tried that tact – asking her to just tell me the truth and nothing will happen, but I guess now that I am thinking about it, she isn’t buying it. I can’t always tell when she is lying, and she is learning or already has learned that it is safer to just stick with the lie.

I think I am too strict, and not helpful to her enough, despite firm boundaries, I am making half the problems with how I respond to her. So @AlfredaPrufrock got any books you would recommend?

Thank you everybody.

asmonet's avatar

@rowenaz: That was a point I was trying to make, lying for me was a creative license. When I was occupied with other things and my mind was fully engaged I ceased to need that ‘hobby’ in my life. I lied out of boredom, plain and simple. And it’s something_many_ gifted children do. I also wanted to be home schooled, but it would not have been a good fit.

Is she artistic? What saved me was painting and sketching. It’s my lifeblood and when I’m going braincrazy I can sit and focus on painting for 14 hours straight, even when I was a kid, I sometimes forgot to eat unless others reminded me. It calmed me, tremendously. Something I very much needed at that point in my life.

Rewards (material) are not the way to go with gifted kids, your love and acceptance is reward enough. When my mom tried bribing me and giving me material rewards I quickly turned it around on her. As did all of my siblings. It’s your choice, but I’ve never seen ‘rewards’ other than a family outing, alone time with a parent or praise do anything but teach the child how to ‘work the system’. Seems like you’re doing that but I thought I’d mention it based on my background.

My two cents.

asmonet's avatar

if she likes to writes, buy her an empty journal, some non toxic watercolors and some nice ‘adult’ pens. Give her that outlet to express herself, that no one will look at and no one will invade the privacy of. Seriously, just having something she can grab and escape with might help her tremendously.

Anyway, I’m not a parent, and I don’t hope to become one anytime soon. I just thought you might like some insight from the perspective of a kid who had almost identical behaviors and was closer in age, maybe enough to remember it a bit better.

ubersiren's avatar

@zerocarbon : Because neither of those users suggested beating the child, nor did Louisiana girl attack anyone. Sakata did attack, and I addressed it. You seem to have joined the discussion solely to make fun of the poster (in your third comment, about giving the disorder a name in order to make it real), and to give absurd responses for your own entertainment. This helps nobody, and is not what this site is designed for.

toomuchcoffee911's avatar

@asmonet wow for somebody who isn’t a parent, you sure do have some helpful answers! :-)

asmonet's avatar

haha, thanks. :)
I like these questions as they give me insight to others, and hopefully as someone young and with some unique childhood experiences behind her I an offer up some insight to those further removed from those years, thats what I aim for anyway. I’m a people watcher at heart, and when I see my extended family discipling kids I get the unique opportunity to see and hear how the kids feel afterwards since I’m only a cousin, they feel safer venting to me or something. I listen to their thoughts and how they see the punishments. It’s amazing how wide the gap is between what a child sees and how they process and how an adult sees things. You have to realize your thought processes come from having grown, they have yet to do that, the growing and learning is something that is taught as well. If they can’t see the reasons behind things, its just nonsense to them. Or it was to me, and most kids I hang out with. :-p long answer, eh?

toomuchcoffee911's avatar

long, but quite informative! :-D

Darwin's avatar

Your daughter’s behavior sounds very much like my son’s behavior. He began by being diagnosed as ADHD but has also accumulated diagnoses as bipolar and oppositional-defiant. A few folks try to say he is schizoaffective because he hallucinates during his manic phases, but others say no way. He, too, is quite bright. He also steals, lies, writes on furniture, breaks things, and does many other things that are entirely inappropriate for a boy his age (he is 14). Punishment rarely works, or doesn’t work for long. Neurologists have documented abnormalities in his frontal and temporal lobes that are very likely the cause of his problems. While still a difficult child he is much better than he would have been if left untreated (especially since he has tried twice to commit suicide, once at age 7 and once at age 9).

You would think that if it were the parenting at fault that both of our children would be badly behaved. However, our other child is popular, conscientious, high achieving, goal-oriented, cooperative, and well-behaved.

Those people who think such children are always the product of poor parenting, or who believe ADHD is a “made up” diagnosis are extremely fortunate. They have only had contact with children who do not suffer from mental illness. It is amazing how closed-minded they can be, however, never realizing how lucky they and their children are that their brains work within the range that is considered normal.

In any case, I strongly recommend a therapist for you as well as one for your child. A good one can indeed help you learn how to cope with such a child and can also bolster your own mental health by reminding you that you are not the enemy.

rowenaz's avatar

thanks @Darwin. Honestly, now I see that I am at least on the right path, if at times I make the wrong choices. It’s an area for me in which I have little to no support and little guidance. So I need to model more, react more appropriately, love her up, and give her more attention on how to cope with her own feelings, which at times are not the right reactions according to the situation, if you know what I mean.

The breaking things and lying may be partly in retaliation for what she perceives are her lack of input or lack of choice, but then it was to be this way because of her poor impulse control and inability to meet everyday normal expectations. Some of my expectations are just plain too high, too. I see that now. It’s tempting to treat her too much like an adult because of her intellect, and not like the kid that she is.

Likeradar's avatar

@Sakata what are you teaching your child? How will your belt ideas translate into helping your child in school, in future relationships, and in the workplace?

Sakata's avatar

@Likeradar Good question. How does babying your children and letting them walk all over you without forcing them to understand that there are consequences for their actions going to help them in the same situations?

For the record, most people who know my sons say (pretty much) the exact same thing; “Oh my god, I can’t believe how great your kids are.” And they are great kids, just not so much at home.

Also, I don’t walk around all day long with a belt in my hand screaming at them either. Most of the time it’s unnecessary, but when the situation calls for it then, yes, the belt comes out and occasionally gets used.

I’m am actually upset with the amount of people on here that instantly jump all over someone with insults and call them bad parents simply for voicing their method of doing things. You don’t have my children. Some of you don’t have any children yet you feel so free and righteous in asserting your anonymous judgments.

For thousands of years when children screwed up they got spanked or beaten, and it seemed to work out fine for the whole world up until about 20-or-so years ago when, all the sudden, we aren’t supposed to do that anymore. Why? It’s not working? Seems like there’s been a lot more “issues” with children since we stopped whooping their asses.

Likeradar's avatar

@Sakata this is way off topic, but I’ll go with it. My issue arises when people don’t see the middle ground between babying their children/letting them walk all over them and using painful, physical punishment to scare them into doing what their parents want. I am an equally vocal adversary of both.

I have been helping raise a set of children (who have never been spanked) for 5 years. Their parents and I constantly get complimented for their behavior. These are children who understand that adults have the final word, who have lots of fun and are incredibly bright and kind, and feel free to respectfully question what they are being told. Instilling fear of physical pain is not the only way to get good behavior- teaching respect and setting developmentally appropriately boundaries and expectations works wonders.

It’s true, I don’t have children. However, I do have a BS in early childhood development and family studies, I am continuing my education, and have been working in private homes for the past 10 years. There are people who are more of an expert than I am, but I will also argue that being a parent does not mean you are automatically doing the right thing.

asmonet's avatar

Who is saying we should baby the child and force them to never achieve anything?

asmonet's avatar

For thousands of years we were entranced by fire, wore furs and painted on the walls, we evolve. We think. We change.

asmonet's avatar

Okay, to be fair, I still love fire, wear fur and paint on my walls. But that’s not the fucking point. :P

Sakata's avatar

Just realized that I never mentioned the part where we, as parents, have done every type of disciplining imaginable. We’ve also found that the only thing OUR sons respond to is fear of physical pain.

I completely understand that there are children who never need to be yelled at let alone spanked. We don’t have those children. I wish we did because I’m not particularly fond of spanking. Hell, I don’t even like yelling at ‘em, but I do what’s necessary for my particular children.

Everyone has a different learning style whether it be in school, at home, at work, in the military, or whatever.

Likeradar's avatar

@Sakata while I still see things differently than you do, your last post is by far the most sensible thing I’ve seen you post on the topic. Thank you for giving some backstory.

Sakata's avatar

Sometimes emotions outrank sensibilities and people get carried away.

/bow

wundayatta's avatar

There is a school of thought, represented by education researcher Alfie Kohn, that suggests that the best way to educate kids is to encourage them to do things based on intrinsic motivation. This means both “no whip” and no “good jobs.” Both of these approaches are manipulative, aimed at getting kids to behave in order to please others, especially parents and teachers.

Intrinsic motivation does not mean “self-discipline,” either. People should act because they want to, not because anyone is “telling” them to, even if the person telling them is themselves. To make kids respond to discipline is to attempt to strip them of creativity and their own interests. In fact, we want kids to be a bit disobedient, because that shows us that they are, in fact, being motivated by their own goals.

Many of the educators who follow this approach believe that ADHD is an inappropriate concept. ADD/ADHD Alternatives in the Classroom and The Myth of the A.D.D. ChildThe Myth of the A.D.D. Child: 50 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Behavior and Attention Span without Drugs, Labels, or Coercion are a couple of books that describe the reasons why ADD may not be a useful concept, and how to approach teaching kids who behave in ways that get them an ADD diagnosis.

There are numerous books out there—far too many for me to talk about, much less review. So I’m going to point out one more, though I don’t know if it is good, or not. It is representative of another approach to ADD, that is based on understanding your child’s experience, and working from there. In ADHD: A Path to Success, by Lawrence Weathers, Ph.D., According to the blurb at that web site, Dr. Weathers says that ADHD is a skilled defense that children develop against the unpleasant situations we put them in at home and school. You can only help your child when you understand their experience of attention deficit disorder through their eyes. Many case studies and concrete examples of effective strategies are provided.

It is my sense, based on personal philosophy, that this kind of approach will be both more humanistic, and more successful. Dr. Weathers apparently offers a workshop to help teach these techniques. Whenever I give advice, in general, it is by trying to imagine what the people asking the questions are thinking and feeling, and what could make them think and feel this way, and then trying to provide a way for them to make the change they want to make. People here seem to like what I say.

I can not imagine what it’s like… well, maybe I could if I tried… to be a child diagnosed with ADHD. From a friend, I know that they tend to think visually, instead of linearly or in writing. Visual stimuli and representation of concepts helps them, and there is software that helps present information visually (good for adults as well).

Back to your question. By this theory, your daughter is lying because it works. It’s her adaptation to her situation. Your efforts to control her by taking away privileges doesn’t work because it doesn’t address the reason why she lies. If you understand what the world looks like through her eyes, you can begin to see how she hopes to get wherever she wants to go, and teach her alternate ways to get there that take into account your needs, as well.

She’s smart. She’s interested in a lot of things. Her attention switches from thing to thing when they don’t interest her, or she’s forced to do them. However, when she’s interested in something, she can stick with it. Is this at all accurate? That’s what I’ve gleaned from what I’ve read for this answer, but never having dealt with an ADD kid, I don’t know. I have had an ADD employee, and she was my best employee ever. I structured her goals, but let her deal with them however she wanted to, and she did her work, and much more besides.

rowenaz's avatar

@daloon – great answer! I will get a hold of the books you’ve suggested. She does love to write, and it’s so simple – she lies because it works, but what gets me is the sneaky destructive nature of her hostility. She’s angry, and I have to find a work on myself more, too. Ah well, I feel a lot better now and we actually had a good morning and afternoon.

asmonet's avatar

@daloon: I clearly agree with you. Lurve.

Seriously. Buy her some paint, a canvas, three clearance sale brushes a notebook and pen. I really think it could do wonders for your daughter. I wish you both the best.

iAManEXPERT's avatar

because everybody lies sometime in there life

rowenaz's avatar

@dynamicduo – I give you and any other “more established Flutherites” free reign to never comment on any of my “splurged out” posts again. I will live.

augustlan's avatar

@rowenaz Please read @dynamicduo‘s post again… I thought at first she was attacking your question, but she was addressing @zerocarbon the whole time… only referring to your question. Just a little misunderstanding.

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