[FoRK] Parenting advice wanted...
rudy rouhana <
rudy at comlaw.org
> on >
Fri Apr 28 09:41:18 PDT 2006
Watch 24 on Monday night. Jack Bauer could get your kid to talk in a matter of minutes. Do what Jack Bauer does - threaten to stick a knife in his eye. Problem, and safety of the free world, solved.
On Apr 28, 2006, at 10:44 AM, Corinna wrote:
from those of you who have been around the hill...
My son is 8. He recently broke some rules big time. He knows that I know
what happened, I talked with him about it, he's been given consequences. But
he will not tell me in a straightforward manner any real details about what
he did. What I know I have gathered through seeing the results of what he
did and talking to his sister (who was an accomplice).
When I say "tell me what you did when you left your room" he just clams up.
He has a history of "lying" about doing stuff (he won't tell the whole
truth, or he tells just enough to sound plausible, or he looks shocked when
he's accused of something), and he tells small "fantasy-type" stories (like
how he did something or saw something that sounds remarkably like something
he's read about recently) on a regular basis. When you explain something,
his usual response is "I know" (though of course he didn't) and if you ask
"do you know what this is for" (about some strange object at the store)
he'll say "yes" even though he doesn't. Sometimes, I shake my head and
wonder if he's got split personality...
I know much of this is normal behavior for a kid his age. He's intelligent,
active, and somewhat emotionally immature, and rather socially isolated (he
occasionally plays with kids in the neighborhood). He's probably got a
slight neural defect like autism, adhd, or something in that constellation,
judging from his overall behavior pattern.
There have been some discipline issues too, where we have perhaps reacted
too harshly, and I know he probably has a subconscious desire to put on a
strong front as a result. (We're not perfect parents, though we're trying!)
He's one of those kids who, at any stage, exhibits normal behavior, but to
an extreme - finger biting, tantrums, noisiness, social cluelessness, messy
handwriting, etc. This has made us tend to be harsher than we really should
My concern is that for an infraction this large, that it's important for him
to verbalize what happened, to make the violation concrete and conscious,
instead of allowing him to be evasive. However, I'm not sure whether I
should push the issue -- for example -- you are going to be restricted in
your room until you talk to me and tell me what happened. I'm leery of a
battle of wills. I'm concerned that if we don't talk about it, he'll think
the punishment is arbitrary, and he'll convince himself that we're being
unfair, and he won't learn from this situation.
In the meantime, I'm trying to spend as much time as I can with him. He's
probably distressed that I'm going to be leaving soon (in about 8 days), and
he's always had a strong attachment to me (I probably weaned him too soon,
and he had a hard time adjusting when I started working full time when he
was 4). (He asked me to take him with me, and I explained why I couldn't,
and why he wouldn't be happy if I did.)
So I guess the question is should I push him to talk about what he did, so
we can clarify the details, and why what he did was a violation, and why the
consequences make sense in this situation?
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