Tag Archives: statements

Sept ’19 Q&A – What to Do About Lying

Q. My 9 yo son recently stole some money, told me he didn’t, and that his friends must have. Then he planted the money in his sister’s room to frame her before telling me to, “search my room”. I’ve no idea what to say or do. I asked him repeatedly. I left a pot out for the money to be put back anonymously, and then he hides it in his sister’s room.

A. This is a tough situation for all of you. I’m sure there are deeper issues besides the coverup of the money that have led to this situation and need to be addressed. I suspect that underneath the behavior (lying), which is always a signal to a deeper need, there are trust issues. Namely that your son doesn’t trust you because he has learned that you don’t trust him, and therefore he is doing what he can to get away with what he wants. Nothing wrong with a child trying to get what he wants. But when he becomes devious to do it, then there is a problem.

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Opening up Communication so Sadness and Stress Doesn’t Turn to Depression

 

Q. I’m concerned about my almost 15 year-old boy. He is depressed and with good reason.  He is slightly on the spectrum and has A.D.D. (no hyperactivity). We’ve moved twice in 14 months and we’re currently renting. He is a creature of habit and our lives have been very unpredictable for almost three years. He lost his baby brother when he was 6 and had to deal with Mom and Dad’s grief. He is totally quiet and therefore doesn’t make friends. Being stuck at home doesn’t help. He has never really talked much, especially about emotions. How can I help him open up?

A. Everything you have described is life events that have been out of your or your son’s control. Very hard but this is life happening. These are situations that people have to deal with. Depression has all to do with how those events are perceived and dealt with. If your son’s emotions are swept under the carpet, ignored or criticized, then he will be left feeling unheard, alone, misunderstood, etc. – fertile ground for depression. But if

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Communication 101: How to get your child to listen

Apologize

Communication is the core of the parent/child relationship. It makes or breaks connection. It’s not so much what we say but how we say it that conveys meaning to our children. We may want to get a point across, but tone of voice and body language determine whether the child hears what is intended or a different message entirely.

“What is it you want?” can be said with genuine curiosity and encouragement or with criticism and judgment. One reading tells the child, What you want is important to me. A different reading says, You are annoying. Leave me alone.

Good communication requires knowing when to ask questions and when to make statements. There are times for each. Usually we get it wrong.

Your child is upset. You know this because of her emotions or behavior. You want to know why, so you ask:

  • What’s wrong?
  • Why are you so upset?

Or you can’t avoid the temptation to teach if you know what happened:

  • When are you going to learn to just walk away?
  • Why do you keep provoking him?

When

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How We Say It Makes or Breaks Connection

Communication is the core of the parent/child relationship. Communication makes or breaks connection. It’s not so much what we say but how we say it that conveys meaning to our children. We may intend to teach a lesson or get a point across but our tone of voice and body language determine whether our child hears what we intend or an entirely different message.

“What is it you want?” can be said with genuine curiosity and encouragement or with criticism and judgment. One reading tells the child, What you want is important to me. A different reading says, You are an annoyance and an inconvenience. Leave me alone.

Good communication requires knowing when to ask questions and when to make statements. There are times for each. Usually we pick exactly the wrong time.

Imagine your child is clearly upset, which may show up directly in her emotions or in acting out behavior. This is the time when we want to know what is going on and so we typically ask:

  • What’s wrong?
  • Why are you so angry?
  • Why did you
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