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proexpert37
proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
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My ten year old son is always lying to us. We dont know why.

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My ten year old son is always lying to us. We don't know why. He has always had a vivid imagination but I feel he should know when telling a lie is wrong by now.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 4 years ago.
Hello and Thank You for consulting Just Answer. I am sorry to hear about the lying problems with your son. Does he just lie at home or does it occur at school as well? What specific types of things does he lie about or is it everything? Is he an only child? Thanks?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
He lies about absolutely everything. From trying to stay out of trouble or just showing off. He lies to everyone too. His friends seem to find it funny but it is becoming a real issue. He has a seven year old sister. He is a highly intelligent boy and very loving and sensitive.
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 4 years ago.
Do you spend enough quality time with him and give him true undivided attention?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Probably not. He and his sister have a lot of homework each evening which can turn into a battle zone and then it's dinner and bed. What would you suggest?
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 4 years ago.
One method called "extinction" is extremely effective to extinguish lying.

Keep in mind, even negative attention (yelling, spanking, punishing) is better than no attention at all. Since most children behave in certain ways to get attention, ignoring this behavior entirely, without dignifying it with a positive or negative response, is the fastest way to extinguish that behavior. However you must be consistent.

Nonetheless, You would need to explore with him the reasons why he is lying. Usually the source is the child's need for attention. Perhaps there have been some changes or stressors in his or your life recently, or whenever this behavior started, that made him feel less attended to.

The thing is, he might not even understand that this is "why" he is lying, so you might need to explore that with him also, by explaining that he's probably lying to get attention. "Do you feel like you aren't getting enough attention?" and then maybe "what can we both do to make you feel important to me?"

If you cannot break through with him, seek a referral from his pediatrician for a psychologist who can evaluate him thoroughly for any other problems that may be attributed to his lying.
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 4 years ago.
Also, make a concentrated effort to spend time with just your son every day. Even 15 to 30 minutes a day will do wonders. Increase the time on the weekends. He is craving attention. Lying is his way to get attention.
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