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15 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
Teen expert
teen expert

01 Jan 0001

Hi J,

given what you describe here you have to ask yourself who is in control here? It sounds like you are being heavily manipulated as well as being lied to and that there is a need for strong consistent boundaries. In the early teens there is a great deal of boundary testing and when those boundaries collapse when tested then further pushing will take place.

With homework I suggest you contact the school, and ideally the school counsellor if there is one to come up with a schedule to monitor what homework is set so that he cannot lie to you. As for other boundaries it is about no meaning no, and when there need to be consequences that these are realistic and that you as the parent feel able to stick to them and see them through.

You need to take the control back and make it very clear who the parent is - from this point relationships can improve. Having no boundaries despite how attractive it may look is a very unsettling place for a young person.
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