My dear mommy friends, I need your insights. Lately, I’ve noticed that my 6-year old has started making up stories, stretching the truth, and hiding the truth to avoid getting into trouble.
It started a few months ago when his teacher talked to me after class as I was picking him up. She informed me that he had to be moved to a different seat because he and his seatmate would talk to each other a lot during class. When I asked him about this, he said it was the other boy who kept talking to him, that’s why they were separated. This was the first time that my attention was called, and it was over a small behavioral issue, so I just let it slide.
Last week, there was a note in his assignment notebook from the teacher asking that we remind the kiddo to refrain from shouting, especially when he gets excited over something. When I asked him about this, he told me that he was trying to stop his classmate from running. Since his classmate was already farther down the hall than he was, he had to shout so the other kid would hear him. I explained to him that disciplining his classmates is not his responsibility, and that he should just let his teacher deal with situations like that so that he doesn’t get in trouble too.
Yesterday, when we picked him up from school, the little guy tolm my mom and I that he wasn’t able to finish a seatwork in class because there wasn’t enough time. I asked if the other kids were able to finish, and he said that some of them did. He named some names of kids who supposedly didn’t finish either. I asked what happened, and why he didn’t finish. He told me again that there wasn’t enough time. I then asked how come the others finished and he didn’t. I wanted to find out what happened to him. He eventually told me that a classmate was talking and talking, and that he got annoyed and told her to be quiet. That’s why he didn’t finish.
I knew there was something fishy with his explanation so I suggested that maybe he was talking to his seatmate too, which was why she kept talking to him. Of course, I was right. Sorry little guy, mommy’s been there and done that.
Again, that same afternoon, he told me a story of how someone might have put pressure on his eye, and that it hurt a little. I get really upset when kids play too rough and end up hurting each other, so I asked what he was doing when this happened. He immediately changed his story and said he was the one who put pressure on his eye, not someone else. And he said it was because the teacher asked them to put their heads on the table and he pressed his head down on his arm too hard. Honestly, I’m not sure which parts of this story are true, and which ones are made up.
That afternoon got me thinking about the times he had gotten into some sort of trouble, big or small. Like if a pencil was missing, he’d say that someone borrowed it and never gave it back. Or if he didn’t write his homework for the day properly, he’d say that someone was distracting him while he was copying off the board. I talked to my mom about this, since she witnessed our discussion after school, and her take on it is that maybe it’s his way of covering his butt.
This strikes a negative chord on me for two reasons – one, he has started telling white lies, and two, he is playing the blame game. I don’t know if he does the same thing with other people, but I’m sure he’s pulled a white lie on me more than once. I understand his need to cover his butt, and that he doesn’t want to get into trouble, but I am pretty upset that he does it by fibbing and the making up stories. I especially don’t like the fact that he blames people for things.
What do I do? He’s an only child, so it’s pretty hard getting him to understand these things without us being able to point out actual instances with another kid. We do try to practice what we preach at home, and really do our best to set good examples.
I wrote a note to his teacher asking why he wasn’t able to finish his work, and if he was the only one. Maybe she can shed some light on what goes on inside the classroom.
Meanwhile, any advice from mommies out there with older kids, or with kids of the same age? Is this normal? What can we do as parents to right these wrongs? Is it our fault? Help! Please, someone enlighten me.
Much love and happiness,