First, everyone needs to stop talking to him about the problem, including repeating the story of the boy who cried wolf. You’ve all said enough. It’s time to act.
Second, you cannot afford to ever give him the benefit of doubt. If you think he’s lying, then he’s lying. End of conversation, end of story.
Third, take all of his prized possessions, activities and privileges away. Put up a 30-block chart on the refrigerator. He gets his possessions, activities and privileges back when he has gone for 30 consecutive days without lying (or, more accurately, doing anything that causes anyone to even think he’s lying).
Every day that he manages to keep his bad habit in check, he gets a smiley face in one of the blocks on the chart. If he lies, the chart comes down and a new 30-day chart goes up. You do that even if he goes 28 days without lying and then lies on day 29. It’s absolutely essential that you folks cut him no slack during his rehabilitation.
Be aware that it may take him six months to succeed with a 30-day chart. If you hang in there, this can pay off handsomely for everyone.
Family psychologist John Rosemond answers parents’ questions at parentguru.com.
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