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Jennifer, School Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 397
Experience:  Collaborative parent consultation on everything from modifying behavior to child development.
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my 10 year old son is saying bad stuff at school and lying

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my 10 year old son is saying bad stuff at school and lying to me about homework and the things he has said at school. other kids have come up to me and told me he is creepy and that he scares them. is he seeking attention? what do i do?
Hello and thanks for using!

I'd suggest you set up a meeting with his teacher and the school counselor or school psychologist. Since the behaviors are occuring at school, they would be the most effective at assisting you with the problems. Ask about setting up a homework tracker. Something he carries (a notebook? Sheet of paper?) where he writes down his assignments. The teacher initials it before he leaves for the day and you initial it when he completes his work at home. It may be helpful to offer rewards for when he remembers to ask to have it checked / initialed. At first you and the teacher will need to prompt him to see the homework tracker and make sure it's completed. After a while he may be able to initiate this on his own. It may be helpful to offer rewards for when he remembers to ask to have it checked / initialed. Nothing big -- Simple things such as control of the TV remote for an hour, choosing a favorite food for dinner, or playing a game with you.

As for saying things at school, this could be handled at school as well. He may very well be looking for attention. What kinds of things is he saying?? He might benefit from meeting with the counselor for a few sessions just as a check-in. A mentor relationship with an adult in the building or a "job" in the classroom or school (helping out a younger grade level, assisting the janitor in the cafeteria, or helping office staff) might provide the attention he's looking for in a more positive way. The school counselor may even have a social skills group that may be appropriate.

As for discipline, I'd recommend you look into the parenting / teaching theory called Love and Logic. They offer a lot of effective strategies for discipline. The website ( has several free videos and articles for parents on how to manage common childhood behavioral problems. It's a resource I recommend to many families I work with as well as use with my own daughter. I wish you the best of luck!
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