I have a son. He’s a great son. He’s kind and considerate. He’s creative and imaginative. He’s daring and likes to take chances. He’s 14 and I’m ready to hand him over to someone else to raise. My son, my beautiful ginger boy, has a problem with lying. He tells whopper stories that never happened or that have so little truth left you’ve no idea where it started. He fibs if he gets caught doing something stupid. He lies outright if he’s caught with something he shouldn’t have. I can stand many personality traits in this world, but lying just isn’t one of them. He puts the liar, liar in pants on fire and I’m tired of putting his butt out. In fact yesterday, he was advised that should this behaviour continue, it would not be under this roof.
I’ve read the books and attended classes. I’ve listened to other mothers and talked to my own mom. I’ve tried discipline, consequences, problem solving and rewarding. I’ve tried embarrassing him, praising him and shouting at him. He’s been grounded so many times I’m surprised he’s not got roots growing out of his feet in to his bedroom floor. This is not a modelled behaviour. This is not something we condone nor encourage in this home. In fact, it drives my husband nuts how honest I am. Why then, for crying out loud on a cracker, does my son feel the need to bend the truth so badly it looks like some crazy strand of DNA having a seizure ?
This behaviour has been noted by teachers and they’ve tried to work with him. It’s been noted by his friends but I’m not sure what they do about it. Not that I expect them to fix it, but sometimes peer pressure can be more effective. Except – oh yes, my Aspergers son doesn’t get the whole social thing. He doesn’t pick up the cues that he’s ticking his friends off and as they don’t yell at him sometimes the impact of his actions goes without notice. For me ? He has “tells”. Things that instantly give away he’s trying to get away with something again. And I’m REALLY good at yelling.
Part of the trouble with handling this is that my tea-cup is full. My husband explained my stress level to the kids with this lovely little story: how many drops does it take to fill up a tea-cup ? Will one do it ? Will one hundred ? Will one thousand ? Your mom is at one thousand and too many. With years of trying to correct my son’s behaviour, my tea-cup runneth over and so my patience is in short supply. Therefore when I should be calm and have perspective about the severity of the situation, I do not. I have explosions that make Mount Vesuvius look like a child’s toy. My son is the lone resident of Pompeii running for his dear life when he sees “the look”. The ash falls in the form of not very nice words that do nothing to correct the behaviour, add to my tea-cup and leave both of us feeling trampled and burned.
So it’s time to call in the professionals. While I’d LOVE to fulfil my threat of finding him new accommodations, I know I’m too chicken to do it. However, I’m completely happy to have him talk to a counsellor or some other mental health professional who may be able to help him correct this impulsive, nasty little habit. As I told my son, I love lots of things about him. I love all the things I listed above about my son, except the one thing that I can’t stand in anybody. Honesty requires a strength of character that I’d like to think I’ve instilled in my children. It takes courage to live an honest life and be able to accept responsibility for your actions and to speak your mind with an honest voice. If that voice speaks less than the truth, who is going to listen ? Who is going to hear you when it matters ? When the time comes, and you need help to put out the fire, who is going to stand beside you ? Or will you finally get burned.