My 10-year-old son is very mischievous and always tries to hide his mistakes by telling lies. He is intelligent but loves to spend most of his time in craft activities.
He is not careful with his belongings and always hits his sister who is very puny and just 1 1/2 years older.
Please advise me as I am struggling hard to balance between my job and family. Jazak Allahu Khair.
In this counseling answer:
•As you child tells lies you need to sit with him when things are calm and ask him about his lying.
•If he can admit the mistakes he makes and states he lies to hide his mistakes, maybe you can point out that as humans we all make mistakes and the best thing to do is tell the truth.
•Talk to him about what the Qur’an says about lying as well as give him stories and hadiths about what the Prophet said about lying and how he dealt with those who lied.
•Ask him why is he afraid of telling the truth and what does he think will be the outcome of the truth and what will be the outcome of a lie.
•When he does tell the truth, reward his truth-telling to re-enforce it in his mind.
•Your son just needs some extra attention to find out what is causing these behaviors.
Thank you for writing to us. I am sorry to hear you are going through so much with your son. As I understand it, he tries to cover mistakes by telling lies. He is careless with his belongings, and he hits his sister.
I can imagine the stress and frustration you must feel coming home to this after working very hard all day.
Insha’Allah, I would kindly advise you that you sit with your son when things are calm and ask him about his lying. If he can admit the mistakes he makes and states he lies to hide his mistakes, maybe you can point out that as humans we all make mistakes and the best thing to do is tell the truth.
Talk to him about what the Qur’an says about lying as well as give him stories and hadiths about what the Prophet said about lying and how he dealt with those who lied.
Ask him why is he afraid of telling the truth and what does he think will be the outcome of the truth and what will be the outcome of a lie. Once he understands the seriousness of a lie insha’Allah he will begin to stop.
It may take some time as sadly lying can become a habit. Thus, I kindly suggest that when he does tell the truth, reward his truth-telling to re-enforce it in his mind.
I understand the stress you must be under with his carelessness of his belongings. Things are expensive to purchase. As parents, we work hard to buy our children the things they need as well as the things they enjoy. May Allah bless you for your efforts.
Carelessness in children is often times a lack of accountability. If he is not careful with something and it gets lost or broken, explain to him you will not be able to get another and possibly he can do chores or work odd jobs to earn the money to purchase whatever was lost or broken due to carelessness.
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You may be surprised at how quickly careless turns into carefulness when children have to actually pay for the things they broke with money they worked for. They quickly learn the value of not only money, but they learn the value of appreciation and preserving what they do have.
As he hits his sister, this is a physical transgression that must be dealt with as soon as possible. Again, sit him down and tell him that hitting or hurting his sister is prohibited.
InshaAllah explain to him there are no second passes, that if he hits her one more time you will take away (chose a craft activity that he loves) and it will not be returned until he has 1 week of violence-free interactions with his sister.
Please do however ensure that his sister does not antagonize him or otherwise taunt him into getting upset.
Child tells lies
Additionally, you may want to find out the reason he feels he needs to hit. Ask him. He may be getting bullied at school, he may be depressed, he may just be taking his frustrations out on his sister.
However, you will never know unless you ask, and part of resolving an issue is knowing why it is occurring in the first place! Thus, I encourage you to try to spend more time with him if possible.
I know it is hard as you are working and juggling so much, but if you can spend some extra time to talk with him and try to get to the root of what is going on by addressing him as a friend – one who is concerned. It may prove to bring much ease into your life by resolving what is going on now.
Often times as parents we are on overload. Perhaps a quiet dinner, a relaxing, fun board game is just what you and your son need. You are a wonderful parent and have raised great children. May Allah bless you for your efforts. Right now, your son just needs some extra attention to find out what is causing these behaviors.
Insha’Allah your son will be receptive to your interventions concerning lying, as well as responsive to his responsibility to replace the things he was careless with. I am sure the hitting of his sister will cease when he begins to have his beloved crafts taken away as a result.
Insha’allah you can sit with your son and spend fun times with him as well as talk to him about what is really going on what is the root of his behaviors.
Once the etiology is found, healing can begin and a more harmonious life for all.
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