September 11, 2019 at 11:00 pm #127487dplayleParticipant
I have a 12 year old that lies on a very frequent basis. He will hold onto the lie no matter what evidence we put in front of him. We have done countless consequences. How do you deal with it. Is it really possible that he doesn’t remember doing what he did?
Confused and Frustrated
September 12, 2019 at 8:59 am #127504ReflectionParticipant
He lies, I think, most of the time because to him the ‘lie-reality’ where he did ‘good’ even though you give him evidence to the contrary and consequences feels better to him than facing reality. I lied (still do sometimes) because facing the truth would mean that I failed or trigger serious anxiety. Having your phone taken away hurts so much less than feeling like a hopeless failure once again! And I could blame my parents for that one If in my head it was a totally unfair consequence.
If your son is not a sociopath then he knows lying is wrong and probably does not want to lie so much, but the lying is giving him some kind of payoff (that might not make the most sense to you) that makes it the easier than just admitting the truth.
I don’t know what he specifically lies about, so I do not know exactly why he does what he does, but perhaps you will be able to find some common denominators. Perhaps asking him why a hypothetical person would lie about something like that and what the consequences are about lying about that will help you get some answers about what he is feeling.
About the not remembering what he’s done: Some things I do I do semi-automatic and have no memory of, such as where I put certain items etc., saying yes to a question/task when I’m focused on something else etc, but I would definitely remember making a mess of something or breaking something.
In short, finding out why, even though he most likely feels bad about lying, he feels so much worse admitting to the truth will help him a great deal, imo.
September 12, 2019 at 9:03 am #127505AbsoluteArtistParticipant
Hey, there. So, you’ve been having trouble with him lying incessantly, no matter what. Well, let me tell you this. In the ADHD mind, we blurt out the first thing that comes to mind, and more often than not it’s a lie. And when we lie, we feel like we have to stick to that lie, or we’ll get in more trouble for telling the truth. I don’t think he means to lie, it’s the whole “We speak before we think,” and that leads to the first thing we think of falling out the mouth, usually a lie. I recommend doing this. If he lies, and you know it’s a lie, give him three chances to tell the truth. The first chance, he lies. Tell him that you’ll give him two more chances, and you already know the truth. If he lies again, give him the last chance. If he lies the final time, that is when you tell him that he would be in less trouble if he had told the truth, and then give him his punishment. My mom does this with me, and I often just tell the truth because I want to be in less trouble. Try this, and see if it works. Good luck!
September 13, 2019 at 2:13 pm #127626Penny WilliamsKeymaster
Lying is a common problem in kids with ADHD, and it’s not a character flaw. It’s often avoidance or communicating feelings in the only way they know how, by creating a story that illustrates how it felt to THEM.
ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
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