Liar Liar Pants on Fire

So at what point do you determine that your child has gone from “developmentally normal fibber” to “pathological liar”?

I really need to know because I’m starting to think that at second grade, the lying should be slowing down instead of peeling out and squealing its tires, leaving frustrated parents and a nasty rubber smell in the dust.

I am referring to Boy #2. He has had a little “habit,” we’ll call it, of not telling the truth for a while now. At first I attributed it to the fact that he’s the middle child and is looking for attention or that he has an active imagination.

Now I’m beginning to wonder if he’s not practicing up for a future career as a con man. Or politician.

At first, we just thought he was trying not to get into trouble. Like we couldn’t figure out that Boy #3 didn’t write “Ha Ha Cooper” in pen on the door of the entertainment center considering that Boy #3 (Cooper) can’t yet spell and can barely write his letters.

And that whole “It wasn’t me!” argument seems to be running rampant through our entire house like it’s the H1N1 virus of excuses.

But now it’s just starting to get silly. Like convincing his cousin that his name is really “Harry,” as in Harry Potter, or insisting that a pair of 3-D glasses from the movie theater are his real prescription glasses that he has to wear all the time.

Then there’s the fact that when he brought home his journal at the end of first grade, we noticed that he started the school year by writing that his mom and dad had gotten divorced and that his older brother went to live with his dad. And he kept up the charade for at least three entries. Never mind the fact that his dad and I have never considered nor discussed divorced and actually get along better now than we probably ever have in our 14-year marriage.

So is this normal, or should my parental alarm be going off?

Yesterday when discussing our son’s behavior with Husband, I oh-so eloquently summed up my fears: “He’s going to be a sneaky little sh*t.” (I’m pretty sure that’s how the parenting books say you’re supposed to talk about your kid.)

Advice anyone? I love him to pieces. He’s such a smart and funny boy, but I don’t want to be looking back someday when I’m visiting him in prison and say, “I probably should’ve seen the signs.”

Anyone else dealing with this? Anyone? Bueller?

3 thoughts on “Liar Liar Pants on Fire”

  1. My youngest went through this phase a year or so ago. She's now almost nine, and no problems with it since. Maybe he'll just outgrow it.. he might be thinking he's getting a reaction out of you, so he keeps doing it.

  2. Normal, normal, normal. He's figured out the power of a lie, and he's having a grand old time.

    Just keep reminding him how much trouble it is, both to make up and if he gets caught. The novelty will wear off.

  3. Oh Paula, you make me laugh. This was so funny, I had to hand the laptop off to my hubby who laughed as hard as I did. Our 7 1/2 yr old lies quite a bit right now too. I think they just like to see how elaborate they can make the story and how people will react. Or at least that is what I am tellng myself for now. Good luck with the divorce. 😀

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