Well I know I’m not alone in struggling with this issue and I know even birth children do it….. but lying has become a habit for Owl. It’s happening on a fairly regular basis, and usually over things that are just ridiculous. Sadly it’s leading to a LOT of distrust with us and Owl. We’re struggling to know when things are lies (white ones, silly ones, BIG HAIRY ones) as Owl is quite adept at it. We tried ignoring it, but the lying’s moved on now…. We’re blaming and involving other people. We’ve tried all sorts of ‘consequences’ and had been up to 10 days no privileges. This had meant 10 days of no: TV, computer time, desserts, extracurricular activities, etc. We tried 1 day no privileges (laughed down and then lied next day), 3 days – this had an effect for perhaps a week or two, when they then lied again (day after receiving punishment) we cranked it up to 5 days. The next time Owl got 5 days we were told ‘No problem that’s too easy’. In desperation we doubled it.
It’s not just the consequences we’ve tried to get Owl to understand the position we’re in. Owls blaming other kids for their behaviours (like destroying a new school bag), teachers (no my teacher did NOT give me reading work) which has led to some fairly embarrassing situations for us and with Owl screaming ‘Why don’t you believe me’ meanwhile the parent of child they lied about is upset, or worse the teacher is thinking we’re just trouble. We of course explain that it’s hard when the story keeps changing, we don’t know what to do and we end up checking everything that Owl says with the other party and this in turn upsets Owl.
I see it as symptomatic of Owls larger issues. Owl is struggling with emotions, and so desperately wants to just do the right thing (even when that means lying to try to accomplish it); whilst we’re struggling to contain them, as well as chasing up all parties (read: BEGGING) for help.
The school have said we can NOT use the Pupil Premium Fund to fund counselling (with their OWN in-house counsellors who had previously done life story work). We’re now chasing them up to find out exactly WHAT they are spending the Pupil Premium Fund on.
With Social Services – Post Adoption we’ve only (12 weeks on) just completed the first stage of our assessment! “Yes” they say – you do need help….. only we can’t tell you when or how that help will come. We’re now on to stage 2 – we’ll get assigned another Social Worker …… and then well we get even more meetings, discussions about WHAT help they may be able to offer.
In the interim our little Lark is feeling the effects, the visit of the initial social worker sent them round the bend and into melt down mode – making it VERY obvious that any intervention for Owl really needs to be done outside of the home as it off balances Lark. I don’t want this to become a see-saw thing where we get one back on track only to have the other fall off.
Owl lied last week (blaming a friend) and we tried an old school consequence….. writing LINES! Owl HATED it, but it didn’t stop them from lying again last night. So tonight we’ll do the lines, and we’ll get out our books about lying, It Wasn’t Me and the old favourite The Boy Who Cried Wolf. We’ll keep talking and explaining why trust is so important and we’ll keep praying that help materialises soon….. For all our sakes!
If anyone out there has some ideas about other ways to break down this behaviour we’d love to hear! We’re trying anything now.