Lesson Learned?

So, I think we made some progress with ShyGuy.  I haven’t heard him bragging in awhile now (well, 48 hours anyway).  Just as we exit one problem area we enter another though.  Lying.  Not in a REALLY bad kind of way, like manipulative lying, just lying about ridiculous things.  He’ll tell me things like “in Ghana robbers came and tried to take my mom’s money so I beat them”.  Ummm….no.  Or, “in Ghana there is free ice cream for everyone”.  I asked him if he thought the ice cream was free because I was buying it.  Giggles tells me he knows that I was buying the ice cream because they never got it when they weren’t with me.  I then remind him that I was in Ghana and I didn’t ever see free anything.  He blushes a little and goes to play.  I pulled him aside, so as not to embarrass him, and told him that I think he’s one great kid and that Ghana is one great country, whether there is free ice cream or not, or even if he didn’t “beat” any robbers.  He smiles and runs off the play.

Fast forward to last night.  We went to tuck him into bed and his bed is wet.  As if he might have had an accident.  He tells us he didn’t.  Who did then?  Then I ask if I can see his pajamas from last night.  He shows me where he shoved them at the bottom of the hamper.  I remind him that the hamper will smell when I do the laundry and I’ll know.  So, for the 50th time, please tell me if you have an accident.  I don’t want to change sheets at 9pm after a long day.  I would prefer to change them when this actually occurred. He just bites his lip and nods.  Why the lying?  Who peed your bed if it wasn’t you?  I don’t think Gigantobaby crawled up into your bunk to do this just to get you in trouble.  He admits, it was a little bit implausible.

We’ll continue to work our way through it.  Like I said, the lies aren’t about things that are really bad.  He’s not hurting anyone.  He’s not stealing.  And, he doesn’t try to argue with me when I tell him I know he’s not telling the truth.  So, is it reactive attachment disorder?  Probably not.  It’s probably a combo of things.  First of all, he’s one of seven kids.  He has to seek attention by telling us how great he is.  Second, he’s from a country that is talked about VERY negatively by his sisters (and I’ll admit it, I’m not the most positive about it lately), so he has to try to find good things about it.  I guess free ice cream would be good.  Third, he doesn’t trust us enough yet to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he won’t get whipped for peeing his bed.  In his world, he watched people do it to other little kids.  So, in his little mind, he’s still figuring out what the deal is with FPD and I.  Giggles is so over that, she trusts with wild abandon.

So, next week’s FHE will be about pride and self-esteem and I’ll throw in a little lesson about lying and how it’s not necessary to do it just to make yourself look better.  Because, we already think you’re pretty great.

who thinks all her kids are pretty great.

One thought on “Lesson Learned?

  1. We went through the same thing with Kofi. Except his DID elevate to stealing. For a year he told fabricated stories about Ghana, then soon it was about daily stuff – inconsequential stuff – silly stuff. Then he wet the bed and hid it didn’t tell us, then made up stories about how it happened. Then he started stealing food – even though he could eat most anything. Then he went to stealing from the store. I did some research why this would happen and the reappearnace and escalation of such behavior. Children who come from hard places often behave this way. When they start to feel safe and secure they regress (as to why it could because they are testing that safety – will I still be loved if I misbehave – will I still be safe when I am not behaving perfect?; an other reason could be that being safe they can regress developmentally to work up to their developmental age level because their past could have forced them skipping steps and stages; another reason could be that feeling safe can actually give them space to work through trauma and it manifests itself in behaviors such as lying, stealing, and destroying things).We see that very much so in Kofi. Things got REALLY bad (6months) and are now starting to improve.We started setting up boundaries that were very strict. He may be 9 but he in many areas is around the developmental age of a 2-3yrold. So we monitor him at that age. It was very difficult – but we are starting to reap some of the rewards. He still knows he is safe and he is making progress – much like a 2-3 yr old. We are starting to loosen the boundaries. But when he starts to act out again, we tighten them and as he pulls it together welooseen them again. We do this until we see that even with more freedom he can control himself and make good decision.then we loosen the boudnaries again and go through the process. It is hard, because we have to watch him more cloesly than Sufi who is 2.1/2yrs. But this tethering or umbilical cord has really helped. IT is hard – we even had to have him sleep in our room or we sleep in his. He can’t do or go anywhere without our vigilant monitoring. But amazingly we are starting to see some good things. It was so hard because he was so well behaved – as children at his age can be- that when this all erupted we thought he had RAD, and everrything else. It was traumatic to see this behavior come out of the blue. I felt like an awful parent etc.Anyways, that is just some of the stuff we have learned. May or may not be similar to your situation. If you want to know more you can give me a call.We are praying for you and for all other mammas in the trenches!!

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