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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5097
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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We have a bright 6 year old boy who has made up stories from

Resolved Question:

We have a bright 6 year old boy who has made up stories from a little one, he is now at a private school and he is being teased for his story telling or lying as the kids call it... Sometimes he is telling lies and sometimes he is telling the truth but of course children cannot tell the difference and sometimes adults cannot tell. He is becoming increasingly isolsated and left out of playing with the other kids and becoming very unpopular in his class. Sometimes when caught out by other kids and adults, he says he was only kidding. Is this a form of attention seeking, though he gets a great deal from home. He is having trouble sleeping now and worried endlessly about every issue imaginable. We are his grandparents and so want to help his mother who is our daughter and very upset about this. Should he be taken to a counsellor/psychologist to help her. The father is away a great deal with his employment. Is this behavour a one-up-man-ship, or does his ego need boosting. Can this sort of behavour be modified. He has an 3 yr older sister who is very tolerant of him, she is particularly bright. Both parents have university degrees. Thank you so much for your help Barbara
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 11 months ago.

Dr. Z :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concern about your grandson

Dr. Z :

I am so sorry that his story telling has been causing him these issues, I can imagine how distressing this is for him and for you as family to see him this way

Dr. Z :

I would like to ask a few questions, so that I can get some more information and better assist you

Dr. Z :

Does your grandson have any issues with low self-esteem or low self-confidence at all?

Dr. Z :

Also if you can provide a short example of these stories that he tells would be helpful too

Customer:

No, he has not had any issues with low self esteem. He loves talking and has, even from young age, approached people and people with authority, with his opinions and thoughts about anything and everything. Which does not necessarily suit children of his own age. Usually what he has to say seems to be intelligent. He has always gained a lot of attention because most adults have called him an 'old soul'. Though lately he does not want to go to school and will take himself to the sick bay and tell the nurse that he has a sore stomach. The nurse knows it is not a sore stomach now, because it has been done too often. He will often take himself off to 'help' the junior principal in the breaks. He is not sent off because he is very capable of helping! and talking. You asked for story - one of the very latest e.g. he goes to school with a friend in his mothers car (turns with my daughter) he has problems with her son in his class who is a football fan. Friends son happened to miss a day. James regailed him with a story that he had missed out on the best day because the AFL Swans and the Melbourne... had come to school to play football with the boys. The mother said, did the girls play, James said, no they had to sit and watch, The mother then said I will ring and school principal and say it is not fair that the girls should have been left out. and tell the teacher and she could get sacked. To which James went very silent, realising he was in a spot and said "I was only joking" he was caught out and very embarrassed.

Dr. Z :

Very interesting story and he sounds like a good boy. Does he understand the difference with what is real and what is pretend?

Dr. Z :

I mean has the difference been pointed out to him that he when he tells stories they are his imagination or what he wishes would happen?

Customer:

That has been a much discussed subject with with him and he says he does understand. He has not done it for a long time with us, Interesting. I am sure he would have liked to make the other boy unhappy because the other boy has made him unhappy and loves telling him he is a liar. The mother of the other boy is very black and white and so are her children but she is a very close friend of my daughter

Dr. Z :

Well I think your grandson definitely has an overactive imagination, which is a very good thing and shows that he has a creative mind, but I think he tries to please other with his stories and provide himself with attention. I do not think he is intentionally lying or being deceitful though, so I see nothing malicious with his actions. I think he is doing this to seek attention as you originally thought. Even as a young boy your described how he would go up to all sorts of people and tell people his opinions and thoughts. He is very social and likes to connect with people and he feels that he must do this by telling stories even ones that are not entirely true or embellished.

Dr. Z :

I think seeing a counselor may help with this, since your own intervention has not helped him with this behavior. A child therapist can help him moderate his behavior of telling imaginative stories, but not sacrifice his creativity or social aspect because these are very good qualities that should continue to be nurtured and developed.

Dr. Z :

The good news is that I see nothing malicious in his behavior and this is something that can be managed easily with proper instruction from a child therapist.

Customer:

Can you give any names of a good child therapist that I can advise my daughter to go to. She been in Oz 4-5 years, and lives in the Brighton area Melbourne. I am going over there in 4 weeks and would like help. Thank you

Dr. Z :

Give me a few minutes to compile a list, I am in the United States currently but a few years ago I worked in Australia working with Domestic Violence survivors so i have a few names for Child Therapists in the area

Customer:

Thanks so much Barbara

Dr. Z :

This is a good psychology center that I worked with in the past for children and they got high marks

Dr. Z :

I think these two places will be good for your grandson

Dr. Z :

I worked with both of them and they are still working in the Brighton area as far as I can tell

Customer:

Thank you very much Barbara.

Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5097
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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