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How should I deal with my 8 year old?

I have an 8 year old step son who was suspended from school today for having a pocket knife with him. He lied about it to the teacher, principal, and me. It was in his grandma's desk that she gave us, thought the drawers were empty, but I guess not. We are very good about keeping anything dangerous out of reach and sight.
But what should I do? We don't spank. He is a perpetual liar and we have tried everything to get him to stop.
Any ideas would be helpful. Thank you.

Answer Question

Asked by AlyssaN at 4:33 PM on Feb. 15, 2011 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 3 (21 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • I would take away a toy/privilage for each lie he tells.
    Until there is nothing left in his room but a bed and dresser.
    Make sure you always model the appropriate behaviour you want out of him and he doesn't catch you in a lie of any sort.
    Good Luck Momma

    Answer by Missikat75 at 4:36 PM on Feb. 15, 2011

  • The boy lied, stole, broke rulesand got suspended from school. And you don't spank? Would you rather burn his butt for lying, stealing, and getting suspended from school when he's 8 years old or would you rather visit him in prison when he's 19? I think you need to think long-term here and realize that breaking the laws have very painful consequences. There is no better way to make that point that making it so that disobedience and disrespect of persons and/or property have some pain associated with it right now. He knows what he did is wrong. If you still prefer not to spank his rear, I would at least take him down to the county jail and give him a preview of what is very likely to come unless by some miracle, he changes his ways.

    Answer by NannyB. at 4:45 PM on Feb. 15, 2011

  • Well, if what  your doing isn't working, change it.  Obviously it's not working or he wouldn't have done it to start with.  I agree with Nanny B.


    Answer by MrsHouston47302 at 4:48 PM on Feb. 15, 2011

  • He has been to the county jail, talked to by the security person at his dad's work. Problem with spanking is when he was living with bio mom, he was physically abused and 'spanked' with boards, belts, etc in areas other than the behind. Waiting for dad to come home from work to talk about what needs to be done. He's in his stripped room with no privileges in the forseeable future.

    Comment by AlyssaN (original poster) at 4:54 PM on Feb. 15, 2011

  • Have you tried enrolling him in martial arts like Taekwondo? The discipline and structure there are amazing, and it's great to have other adult role models reinforcing the things you say. Our kids have been in it since last summer, and it's wonderful. Having the constant structure is so helpful, and our instructors always back up the things they learn with life lessons. This month's life skill is discipline. The parents have to write up how the child has been demonstrating each life skill for them to earn a stripe on their belt. I didn't think it would be a motivator, but it is. The life skills are things like honesty, discipline, self esteem, respect, etc.

    Answer by JulieJacobKyle at 5:03 PM on Feb. 15, 2011

  • Have your tried counseling? From your post you state his bio mom abused him, and this definitely had to effect this child. He may just lie for fear of the abuse he received from his mom. Now telling a lie may be natural for him. He needs to feel comfortable in knowing it is okay to tell the truth. I cannot imagine what this child went through and I think talking his feelings out with family and a counselor would hopefully get him to open up and build a trust tha may help with dealing with his lies. I hope he gets the help he needs.

    Answer by Kellyjude1 at 7:22 PM on Feb. 15, 2011

  • We are currently looking for counseling that is low cost since we don't have much money.
    Since I'm the stepmom, I haven't known him for long, but I feel like he's hurting also, and figures that any attention, even if it's negative, is good. We try to give each child equal amounts of attention every day( there's four of them), look for good behaviour and praise each one, and try to deal positively with bad. Their bio dad has only had permanent custody of them for 7 months, after never seeing them for 7 years. So we are all learning and growning together. Thank you all so much for your advice.

    Comment by AlyssaN (original poster) at 7:58 PM on Feb. 15, 2011

  • wait, the bio dad had never seen the kid in 7 yrs and they just gave him custody? maybe i read it wrong, or misunderstood, but i would say theres your problem starter. i can't really say anymore without knowing the story, but if that is correct, i am willing to bet that is where it started. i agree with counciling, and i love the stripped room idea. i did it with my yr old, and it worked for like a week, then he didn't care. lol so, now, on to the next! good luck!

    Answer by LoveMyLos at 10:14 PM on Feb. 15, 2011

  • He fought for 7 years since we live in a mom friendly state and basically mom has to go to prison, commit murder, or run a drug lab out of the home. Finally got custody last year. Mom can never have them again.
    I try to give him time alone with each child to build up their relationship again. Overall, they are adjusting well. None want to live with bio mom again.

    Comment by AlyssaN (original poster) at 3:04 AM on Feb. 16, 2011

  • Have you thought about some positive reinforcement? It sounds to me like this kid doesn't have anything fun going on. I'm not suggesting you reward bad behavior, but maybe if you set up some kind of reward system for GOOD behavior, he could make a babystep in that direction. Also, counseling, but give him something to look forward to, too.

    Answer by jengray72 at 11:19 AM on Feb. 16, 2011

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