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Child blurting out bad things

EatThisApple's picture

Hi all,

I have an 11-year-old SS, very sweet and bright but he's quite socially delayed (diagnosed ADHD & suspected high functioning ASD). He loves myself, mu DH & BM (who has him weekends).

What worries me is occassionally he'll blurt out horrific/exaggerated/out of context things out of the blue in front of teachers, strangers, doctors, etc. At a school meeting he said that Daddy threw his Ipad against the wall and smashed it. He said in front of people from a cottage we rented "Remember when you said you were going to kill me??" Which he was well aware I did jokingly and we both laughed at the time, but in front of strangers and out of context it made me look like a monster.

Last night he blurted out in front of my parents that his mother "Threw him into the wall and seriously injured him". DH & I know the story, two years ago he was throwing an aggressive tantrum and she pushed him and he accidentally fell. She was in tears over it, but it was an accident. My parents get this, but they are both retired CAS workers and warned me that if he said this in front of a teacher/doctor etc. CAS would have likely been called for an investigation.

We've wanted kiddo of the potential consequences of his actions, but then again, we don't want to dissuade him from speaking up if someone really hurt or threatened him. I'm not even entirely sure why he blurts these things. Attention? Anger? Thoughts?

ESMOD's picture

Obviously he needs to be "called out" on his exageration each and every time.  He needs consequences... for telling untruths.. and needs to learn that people will stop believing him if he continues to LIE.

EatThisApple's picture

We have warned him and had words. My DH went as far to say the police could yake him away from us (he's very attached/clingy to DH.. another story)  It seemed to stop for a while, so I was surprised it happened again last night. Just trying to figure out his triggers for it.

ESMOD's picture

It's most likely attention seeking.  It sounds like good consequences would be enforced separation.. "time out" in his room.  My parents would make us get into our PJ's and get into bed for a couple of hours.. no games.. no books.. no talking.

He likes the attention.  I would make sure that the retribution for this is swift too.  Try to make the consequence come into play as soon as possible.  At least tell him the consequence if you are out.

"Ok buddy, you know we don't lie in this house and your dad did NOT smash the Ipad.  When we get home, you will go directly to bed and no TV or time with us tonight."  Then when you get home.. ok buddy time to go to your room.. remember you told a lie earlier today remember?

Dontfeedthetrolls's picture

Considering he is diagnosed I would see about working with a therapist on impulse control and other social skills. I don’t think it’s anger or attention seeking any more than any child BUT he does have difficulties so he doesn’t know the appropriate way to get the attention he wants.

I wouldn’t harshly punish but for sure slow him down. Ask him to think about what he just said. Process with him over what the facts are and what is embellishment.

For example, he didn’t lie about you saying you were going to kill him. He wanted to talk and it was funny to him. He doesn’t have the same filters other kids have and even other kids might say that kind of stuff because they don’t have the same filters as adults.

Rags's picture

There is something to be said for the historical perspective of children should be seen and not heard.


Evil3's picture

Your SS blurting things out unknowingly is bullsh*t. He knows exactly what he's doing. His ADHD is not an excuse. He is doing it because he's scaring the adults around him to dance to his tune and shower him with attention or whatever else he wants. It's time to start consequencing him. Talking to him about the ramifications didn't sink in to make the change permanent, so it's time for consequences. I also wouldn't ever be around that kid alone again. Time for nanny cams. If your DH is so hesitant to do something with the excuse that he doesn't want his poopsie to not be able to come to him if something happened, then tell your DH that you risking a report that could ruin your life is a deal-breaker. Your SS needs to be told that at this point if he did need help, he won't be believed, so maybe it's time for the story about the boy who cried wolf.

I totally agree with Rags and I miss the good old days of children being seen and not heard.

EatThisApple's picture

Thanks, though actually it's me who is concerned about SS being apprehensive about not coming forward if he's actually harmed. DH and I are a strong, unified team when it comes to decision making so that's not so much the issue. We just feel lost on this and are trying to figure out the source.

I do agree that it's for attention seeking, and possibly to punish/embarrass us if he feels angry or put down. DH had another talk with him last night about the ramifications, and I will myself if it ever happens again. Not sure if I have to go as far as nanny cams and a chaperone to protect myself (again, child loves me.. don't think he intentionally wants to cause drama in the long run) but his behaviour is getting me to take steps back, filter what I say, and avoid meetings with figures of authority until it's sorter. From my parents social worker careers I've learned that it's the non-biological parent that is highest at risk in these situations.

EatThisApple's picture

Thanks for reaching out, that is some sound advise. Yes, by watching what I say (Like when I joked that I would kill him while we were playing a game) or other things, like I explained how female anatomy works to him the other day when it came up, because he had no clue. God knows how that could come up in a conversation out of context!

Anyway, I'm a blunt, open person with a crude sense of humour so it's sad and difficult to adjust. I also grew up in a family where we had no filters so information was never censored or sugarcoated for kids. That may not be 100% healthy either, but this is where I'm coming from.

justmakingthebest's picture

My SS18 (Bi-polar, Autistc, Etc) will still talk about things that happened to him when he was younger. You would think that he was beaten and abused. He gets very upset talking about it. I didn't live with them at this time, but he will talk about how SS14- Then 5 or 6 would beat the 9-10 version of himself up and on and on. He gets so upset over it. I am not saying that things didn't happen and that a 5-6 yr old wasn't rough housing with his big brother who was almost his size but it wasn't what SS18 remembers it to be. Therapy is helping with some of that for my SS.

EatThisApple's picture

Oh, I've experienced that with SS too! He still brings up when I yelled at him to shush on a plane 3 years ago (conveniently forgetting his whining and tantrums that led up to it). Same with the incident with his BM, that was 2 years ago. Could be related to ASD.. he also has a photographic memory. Can never win playing him at memory games, and have to watch phone passwords, even if they are just a pattern.