Thursday, May 25, 2017
The Untruthful Child
Today's topic is one that is difficult to explain and live.
The untruthful child. All children tell tales, untruths, lies, right? Of course they do. But what do you do when that is all the child does?
Let's look at what I'm classifying as an 'untruthful' child.
This isn't just telling little white lies, or even big ones in order to get out of trouble. This, of course, is a big part of it. The bigger part is the child that will not accept responsibility for his/her actions, especially when those actions hurt someone else. This child always blames the victim or someone who was never a part of the situation.
This is the child that needs therapy/counseling and when it's provided makes sure that the conversation never gets focused on them or the true reason for the sessions.
This is the child that can convince anyone that they are always telling God's honest truth while fabricating an entire scenario out of thin air. And, that scenario has absolutely nothing to do with the child. They throw someone else under the bus, so to speak.
For a child like this to benefit from therapy of any kind, they first have to acknowledge there is an issue. Their issue. They have to take ownership of their words, thoughts, and actions. Then they have to want to change and become a truthful person. They have to understand that with change also comes consequences and rewards. They have to want that.
Right now I have an untruthful child. I have just found out that my child is speaking with a school counselor (I knew that part) about a sibling and their issues. This is not why the school provided my child with a counselor. The school provided my child with a counselor to help my child see and understand that their actions at school are not appropriate. We, the child's parents, also teach this at home but we all know that children don't always listen to their parents.
So, what do you do with the untruthful child that refuses to change their ways?
In this family mental and physical health professionals are always going to be involved. So the question arises; who needs to know what? Not every professional needs to know all aspects. For instance, does the school counselor need to know about one siblings issues when they have no bearing on the child seeing the counselor? The child seeing the counselor brings up the sibling and their issues to divert the conversation from themselves. The counselor needs to know that the child they are dealing with does this, but do they need to know about the sibling that was used as a diversionary tactic? My answer to that is no.
What do you do if you explain what your child does to the counselor and the counselor asks to know more about the sibling? Do you share that child's story? Do you explain that there is a family therapist that is dealing with those issues? I don't think the child's story is anyone's business but those who need to know to help that child and the family.
As I stated, the untruthful child will use anyone and anything to divert blame and conversation away from themselves.
If the people in an assessment facility had listened to my husband and I when we explained about our untruthful child, and how that if that child were an actor our home would be overflowing with Oscars, we might not be in the situation we are today. But they didn't. The confirmed for our child that their behaviour was acceptable because they didn't see it. They were given the tools to see through the child; not only by us, but by other professionals dealing with the child, and they chose to ignore all of us. They became part of the problem not part of the solution.
If you are a professional that deals with these types of issues, listen to the parents. Hear what the parents are telling you about the child you are trying to help. If you don't, you're not going to do anything more than affirm to the untruthful child that they can keep doing what they're doing and get away with it.
God Bless and Have a Wonderful Day!