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She's taught him lying is okay

Posted by on Aug. 29, 2013 at 8:39 AM
  • 32 Replies

Older SS is 13.  DH helps coach his football team.  SS was unable to make it to practice last night due to a "family emergency" per BM.  So when DH picked SS up today he asked SS why he wasn't at practice.  SS stated it was a family emergency so DH asked if everyone was okay.  After a little more conversation, SS admitted there was no family emergency and everyone was fine.  Come to find out, there was drama going on between SS and his girlfriend and he didn't feel like going to practice so BM lied for him.  Which in turn resulted in SS lying to DH.

This isn't the first time BM has encouraged SS to lie to DH or others.  He's 13 years old!  She should be teaching him that lying is wrong.  Some day it will come back on her when he starts lying to her.  Right now they have such a close relationship (that is wrong in so many ways) that it doesn't affect her poorly but as he grows up, it will only get worse.

How do we help him understand that lying is wrong regardless of the situation when she condones it in her home? 

by on Aug. 29, 2013 at 8:39 AM
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baparrot2
by Platinum Member on Aug. 29, 2013 at 8:59 AM

SS: "hey coach, I am having a bad fight with my GF tonight and can't make it"

Coach: "show up or your off the team"

I don't condone lying either. But sometimes the world around us has set us up to sometimes have no ther choice.

Have you ever told a friend who invited you to her house (hypothetical here) that you couldnt come because of________. And because it was a lame excuse (which is OK, sometimes we just need not to do things sometimes) and she tried to punch holes in your excuse and went on to making you feel like a louse and pressuring you to come anyway? I think we have all had instances like this. Then we figure out that just saying we have a family emergency makes that person drop it instead of pushing? I sure have. The world around us doesnt seem to respect our boundaries anymore and have become aggressive when you really just don't want to go. I have found this to be true very much lately.


DDDaysh
by on Aug. 29, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Well, the problem is that lying ISN'T wrong regardless of the situation.  

We all lie quite often.  "How is your day?" someone asks in the elevator and you say, "Good, thanks" because who really wants to answer that question with a stranger.  People lie.  It's what makes the world go 'round without everyone killing one another.  

So, really, it isn't a matter of teaching children NEVER to lie, but rather teaching them to be "honest" as a character trait by not telling lies that are important or will hurt someone.  

This is probably not a lie I would encourage my child to tell his father, but I do think you're blowing things a little out of proportion.  Besides, maybe BM feels like having to deal with a distraught teenager IS a family emergency.  

D-Town
by Member on Aug. 29, 2013 at 10:08 AM
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Our coach would have told us that he would have to sit out the next game.


I agree with above. Lying isn't necessarily wrong. It's knowing that if/when you do there is consequences. Some lies are to spare feelings like "do these pants make my butt look big?" You could say yes and deal with the slap to come or you can lie and make someone feel better. Lying to avoid a consequence leads to more consequences. Such as not being able to play in the next game because you lied
Rae706
by Silver Member on Aug. 29, 2013 at 10:15 AM
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A fight with his girlfriend could be construed as a family emergency. He is in the family, and at 13 everything is an emergency. I think you're blowing this one out of proportion. She's his mom, she wants to protect him. Worse things have happened. It's not like she lied to get him out of school. It was practice. No big deal.

baparrot2
by Platinum Member on Aug. 29, 2013 at 10:27 AM

Oh and I agree with DDD, Dealing with an upset teen who is having problems with a bf/gf IS a family emergency. It is horrible. It happens though.

Birdseed
by Platinum Member on Aug. 29, 2013 at 11:26 AM
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Maybe it felt like a family emergency to the people who were dealing with a distraught kiddo?

Emotionally traumatic events (and for a kid new to relationships, a breakup can certainly be traumatic) are not that much different than a physically traumatic event when it comes to the ability to focus, participate, etc.

It was one practice.  He wasn't blowing it off whilst home smoking a bowl or something.  

If I were DH, I'd be focusing not on the lie, but on how to make sure my son had the emotional tools to navigate the difficult landscape of adolescence--including how to process a breakup in a reasonable way.  To me, taking a sanity break/emotional health day is a very healthy way of dealing with stressors.

There are times when being honest about the stressor is appropriate and also times when not everyone needs to know what's going on.  Learning the difference is an important lesson.


SMInProgress
by on Aug. 29, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Though I agree that lying is not acceptable, I will say one thing as an SM. There will be days when skids will ask you, SM, to "cover" for them too for something that you will also completely understand.

He's having a GF prob right now. BM knows how that feels. I would have too.  But at the same time, I would have just come clean with DH too.  Think the issue here is that he lied to DH.  Let DH discuss this with him & give DH back the power to figure out how to get his son to open up to him, especially in the area of relationships.

baparrot2
by Platinum Member on Aug. 29, 2013 at 11:35 AM

THis is a really good response. I love that the advice is to actually help the kid not villify him through his mother.

Quoting Birdseed:

Maybe it felt like a family emergency to the people who were dealing with a distraught kiddo?

Emotionally traumatic events (and for a kid new to relationships, a breakup can certainly be traumatic) are not that much different than a physically traumatic event when it comes to the ability to focus, participate, etc.

It was one practice.  He wasn't blowing it off whilst home smoking a bowl or something.  

If I were DH, I'd be focusing not on the lie, but on how to make sure my son had the emotional tools to navigate the difficult landscape of adolescence--including how to process a breakup in a reasonable way.  To me, taking a sanity break/emotional health day is a very healthy way of dealing with stressors.

There are times when being honest about the stressor is appropriate and also times when not everyone needs to know what's going on.  Learning the difference is an important lesson.



baparrot2
by Platinum Member on Aug. 29, 2013 at 11:37 AM

And why why why WHY is a problem that occurs always somehow BM's fault?

I mean, I know why, but it really is a problem causer in the end.

If you go looking for things to blame other people with, you will always find a reason.

Birdseed
by Platinum Member on Aug. 29, 2013 at 11:50 AM



Quoting baparrot2:

And why why why WHY is a problem that occurs always somehow BM's fault?

I mean, I know why, but it really is a problem causer in the end.

If you go looking for things to blame other people with, you will always find a reason.


Not BM's fault...but if BM is the primary caregiver, the place where the kid spends the most time, the person who is ultimately dealing with the day to day rollercoaster of life, then it makes sense that whatever happens, she is ultimately "held responsible".  

I think a better question for the Dad in this situation would be to ask himself "Why did my son not feel comfortable talking to ME?"  Especially when Dad is involved directly in the activity?

It's awfully easy to point fingers and pass judgment when on the fly decisions have to be made, but the thing is, what would Dad have done differently?  SM?  If this kid had been with them the day this breakup happened, would they have even known? There's no manual...sometimes you just have to DO and assess/evaluate later.

I think it's reasonable to expect that the more nurturing person in a child's life is the one who gets the real story. For most kids, that's going to be Mom.  That's not a commentary on Dad being shitty, it's just the truth in a lot of situations.

On a semi-related note, my DH has encouraged me to try to "connect" with my SDs.  Have a more "woman to woman" nurturing relationship with them.  Thing is, they don't NEED me to be that person.  You know where they "need/want" me?  Help in making decisions about classes to take and how they'll apply down the road. Talking about college.  Or how to deal with that "mean girl" in the neighborhood.  Or when they want to get Dad and Mom to let them do something.  LOL  

Sounds to me like the kid in this situation has all of the parenting he needs.  

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