How well can your child lie? To what degree will they go if the stakes are, as they see them, stacked extremely high against them? I found sadly that the sky is the limit in this area.
Our youngest son during his junior year of high school had become pretty popular. As most people know, when kids get popular they sometimes “lose their bearings.” My son did exactly that. He got “caught up in the hype.”
A female friend of his was being harassed by a boy from another school so of course my son, in order to defend her, challenged this boy to a fight.
Now, you must understand that local high schools sometimes show up “en masse” as a show of force when two boys from different schools are fighting. However both the participants and their “armies,” usually treat it as an opportunity to have a giant “goof-off session” since there are many boys who have friends at the other school.
What no one could have known was that my son was exhibiting symptoms of “mania.” Mania is the “up” side of manic depression.
What my son didn’t know was the boy showing up to fight him was a football player who was actually a friend of his “phone foe.” The kid was a well-known troublemaker who bullied other kids. He outweighed my son by 80 pounds and was not there to have fun; he wanted to hurt my son.
Actually he attacked my son and in throwing him to the ground, broke his arm.
My wife and I were called by the hospital and told to come to the emergency room where at least 15 kids were huddled around his bed. My son would get a cast in a few minutes.
My son relayed a story to us claiming that he had broken his arm in a fall while playing touch football. Every one of his friends verified it.
The way we found out the truth was quirky. Our niece happened to attend the same high school that our son’s assailant attended and heard that he had “broken some kid’s arm.”
The entire school knew the truth about the event. What really hurt was some of the kids told their parents and their parents didn’t lift a finger to tell us.
This is quite a story, eh? I think it is important for several reasons.
First, the lie could have been about anything. It could have been about using drugs, selling drugs, drinking, sex or any number of crimes and we would have bought it.
Next, unless your school has a close-knit set of parents who are willing to work together to keep each other “in the know,” you cannot count on any help from other parents.
The main issue however, is how do you develop honest communication with your child? I’m talking about them having faith in your reaction no matter what the situation.
I have come to believe that the biggest wall between parents and children is a history of a parent’s anger.
If a child of any age is afraid of your reaction, they will do all they can to keep it from you. Unfortunately over the years I had exhibited a reactionary temper, especially if I felt my kids had been unfairly treated, threatened or hurt.
My son wasn’t afraid of the boy who hurt him, he was protecting him because that was and is the “code” of today’s youth; you do not “rat on your peers.” He was afraid I would go after him legally if I could.
If you have a temper that may get between you and your family I have found some suggestions to quiet your anger down here.
As it turned out my son had a medical condition that needed treatment. However as I found out the hard way, you can’t help in any way if you don’t know the truth.