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I have a 7 yr. old nephew that will not listen and has been lying. My sister has tried time out, being grounded from tv and video games, every parenting method she can think of and nothing seems to work. I've talked to him about why he won't listen. His mother has also talked to him. He ends up telling us both a different story. We think it may be lack of attention, but were not sure. What could be some effective discipline methods?

His mom and dad had been divorced for 2 years.
His dad committed suicide last year (but my nephew doesn't know that).
His mom, his two sisters 6 & 3, her boyfriend, his daugther (4) and a son (11 months old-his mom and boyfriend had together) all live with me and have now for 6 months.
Even when his dad was alive, he wasn't a positive influence in his life and didn't act as a father.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 8:12 PM on Feb. 3, 2011 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Answers (8)
  • Perhaps he just has a vivid imagination. I'd talk with him about how important it is to tell the truth. I wouldn't over react but I'd follow through checking his stories. I'd reward him when he tells the truth and when you know he's not, I'd remind him how important being truthful is. Guide him as he may grow up to be the next fiction author. He just needs to be reminded there is a time and place for embellishing stories.

    Answer by admckenzie at 8:22 PM on Feb. 3, 2011

  • therapy

    Answer by terpmama at 8:46 PM on Feb. 3, 2011

  • As someone who went through this it sounds like he's repressing some things or has feelings about his parents divorce or dad's death that he doesn't know how to express or deal with. At his age, he may not truthfully know why he's acting the way he is. He is probably confused and maybe even blames himself a bit. After my parent's divorce I was acting the same way. I was so confused and hurt that I'd make up lies and stories and daydream all the time to escape what I was feeling. It's very important to talk to him about what happened and his dad's passing (even if you don't want to tell him how he died) and tell him that you're there if he ever wants to talk. Most importantly, make sure he knows that it was NOT HIS FAULT! Kids, for some reason, seem to blame himself when this kind of stuff happens. You may even want to consult a professional if his behavior doesn't improve or gets worse. Watch for signs of depression as well.

    Answer by MamaStuart at 9:10 PM on Feb. 3, 2011

  • i'd suggest some extra alone time for him with his mommy.Seems like a lot of people in one house and maybe he feels left out!?Especially with a "new" baby brother from a different dad. SOunds like he might have a problem with dealing with all this! Defintely dont get mad with him for acting out, obviously a cry for attention. And i agree with the previously said: sit down with him and talk about the passing of his dad and also try finding out any other problems he has with the actual situation by talking with him in a quiet one-to-one session. Good luck! Little children's minds are so complex!

    Answer by Davina85 at 11:29 AM on Feb. 4, 2011

  • His mom needs to talk to him about the importance of telling the truth. He maybe telling lies so that he won't get punished, or needs attention, or may not want to disappoint his mom. You need to let him know it is okay to tell the truth and as long as he tells the truth he will not get punished. As for the not listening ,using time-out and being consistent is best. Let him know why he is being placed on time-out. It is not so much the time spent on time-out, but that you are in control. Try using a chart where he can place stickers for good behavior. Encourage and praise him when he does listen and behaves. If he gets so many stickers then plan a day together doing something he enjoys like going to the playground. Hopefully this will encourage him to want to have positive attention instead of the negative attention. I hope everything works out.

    Answer by Kellyjude1 at 11:11 PM on Feb. 4, 2011

  • Disciplining him doesn't work because of the way his mind works. This is pretty common in children who are very bright, have active imaginations and are creative thinkers. creative and independent thinkers tend to appear ODD. Oppositional Defiant Disorder. So they may call it. But really, He is just a creative thinker. Play with him more. he is lonely in his creative world. He will appear less defiant and or more truthful to you because you understand him better. Don't say things like , you lied. Say, " You tricked me, silly. Then he will feel free about really telling the truth. He's still so young, give him more time. Understand where he is coming from and why he has the need to do and say what he does.

    Answer by Avitar at 6:51 AM on Feb. 5, 2011

  • I wonder if he knows that his father is no longer alive. He needs some kind of closure as to why he never sees him without detail. He never had a true connection with his father, so he has little to connection with a sense of self. Perhaps he doesn't even know that he's angry inside. You should definitely play with him more, it is through play that you learn the most about kids, Not seriousness.

    Answer by Avitar at 7:03 AM on Feb. 5, 2011

  • Please, get this child therapy.

    Answer by rkoloms at 6:37 AM on Feb. 6, 2011

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