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18 Jul 2008

13 year old son
I have a serious problem with my 13 year old son. He is becoming a compulsive liar and also has no interest in his school work. He will tell any story to avoid doing homework. Normally it is that he does not have any homework, but then his teachers will give him demerit point for failing to do homework. He average around 50% in his schoolwork, however he can do much better.

Last night we had an appointment which he did not want to go to. So when I pick him up from school, he told me that he had a lot of homework to do. So I cancelled the appointment to give him time to do his homework. After we were finished with dinner, I told him that he must go and do his homework. Then he told me that he was only joking and had no homework. By now it was too late for the appointment. I was furious.

What can I do?
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

I agree with Lin. You and your husband need to devise and clarify a relatively short list of home and family rules, so as to be consistent about them ; if the boy consistently keeps to those rules. let there be a modest scale of benefits or rewards ; and a plan of specific penalties and loss of privileges when he breaks the rules. Such rules would include not lying, and doing whatever homework is prescribed / required. And as Lin says, concentrate on praise and good feelings whenever he tells the truth and DOES do what's needed, so he learns to feel good about behaving well.
And I like aNNa's point about choosing the questions --- not "Do you have homework?" but "Show me what homework you have today".
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