I’m not here to bring any new revelations in parenting, just thought it would help some other parents with a sixth grader that has that inherent talent to exaggerate the truth. Our 11-year old boy got caught again lying in class. His math teacher asked a few students to read out their test scores. Ours didn’t quite read it correctly. When other students called him on it, the teacher asked him why he just didn’t read out his real test score.

Our clever son said, “I couldn’t read the writing. It looked like an 11. The actual score was a 10. I’m not sure why one point mattered to our son, but it did. The teacher had to ask him three times to come sit at the front of the class for the infraction.

She sent us an email stating, “I can tolerate a lot from my students, but lying.”

Our policy at home is ‘tell the truth’ and the discipline will be very lenient, if any. But, kids just have to test those boundaries.

I don’t believe in spanking. I personally have tried it a few times with no results, so I stopped years ago.

Grounding, removing privileges… not always effective with our son… He adapts well. One time we grounded him from his video game player. He never played it again. Ever. I ended up selling it and the games on Ebay. He learned he didn’t need it after all. We lost a babysitter LOL, and money.. didn’t quite get the best return on investment through Ebay.

Well, what to do. Mom DID restrict him to his room, no TV, no handheld games… read a book or stare at the ceiling. He threw quite a tirade. He threw several things around the room, no major damage. He did call me “stupid” for not giving him a heads up about his upcoming punishment when he first walked in the door.

“Can I go outside and play?”

“No. Wait until your mom gets home.”


“We both want to talk to you. Together. Just wait, she’s on her way.”

“Then can I go outside and play?”

“Go find something to do until your mom gets home.”

“Why are you being so stupid”, he said under his breath.

“It’s just the way I am”.

“Good”, he mumbled, “I’m glad you just found that out.”

“Oh, I’ve known that for a long time.”

Murmurs off to his room about how ‘unfunny’ I am or something.

With some thought, the only thing my limited skills could come up with was something my teachers and parents made me do. The old Bart Simpson on the blackboard punishment.

He’s very fidgety. To sit still for a few hours and print slowly and neatly (you should see his horrific handwriting)… well, it’s maddening to him.

I numbered, doubled spaced several notebook papers to number 78. On the top of the page I printed neatly:

“I will not lie or call anyone stupid until I am 30 years old.”

Why did I write THAT? Because our young man needs an out. He’s on a very strict schedule for something big we’ll never know about, so with him it’s “When?” “How long until?” “When will I be able to?” “How much longer for…”

I also try to suggest situation he puts himself in that are only ‘acceptable’ for adults, not children. Yes. Lying is wrong at any age. But something like “until I am 30” just makes it stick out, something for his brain to play with.

That’s right. After it was all done I gave him a final task: Take these to every one of your seven teachers and have them read it and sign it. To my surprise, he didn’t flinch.

My wife told me that was over the top. But I recalled sitting on the stool when I was a lad, in front of the class, with the Dunce cap on. I know they don’t do that anymore, so I had to find MY version.

He got it done. Good boy. He told us of all the hazing he got from fellow students because, as I suspected, the teacher were amused… and pleased (see photos below).
I told our son that I wanted him to write himself a note on it and so will I. When he turns 30, we’ll give this back to him (18 years from now). And if he wants, he can began lying again. 🙂

The note he wrote to himself: “All of the coaches laughed at me alot and checked my teeth [lying through his teeth???] and I got embarrassed.”

I think I found a quieter and effective tool to help him sit quiet for a few hours and actually internalize what he did wrong. I don’t know.. we’ll see next time. As you will see below, the teachers seemed to be impressed.

Click image to enlarge view:

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