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When is a Lie not a Lie?

Posted by Krystal Hundt on Thu, Feb 14, 2013 @ 03:43 PM

Why does my child lie?Have you ever told a lie or half-truth and then experienced the energy and focus it takes to remember what you said, and in what context, and why? It takes incredible strain to maintain all those details. Have you been in a relationship with someone who seems to be able to dramatize a story more with each time it is repeated? Have you tried to rationalize with someone who does not seem to have both feet in reality? Those scenarios all exhaust me and yet pull at my conscience a bit as I have experienced the truth of them personally and relationally.

I can remember an incident in Kindergarten or Grade One. I was crying and some friends asked why. Instead of telling them the truth, and risking looking like a baby as I missed my mommy, I told them a classmate was picking on me. They took it upon themselves to remedy the situation and I was found out after they got a little frustrated with my stories. This is a simplified version of the story for sure. I can still remember the anxiety of trying to cover my tracks. Low judgment skills and low self-esteem were the cause of my imaginative and creative tale. With low judgment skills I was unable to determine that telling an untruth was wrong. 

As a teenager I can remember a young man who told the most marvellous and entertaining stories. I remember one day in particular where he was describing an outing a group of us had also experienced, and his telling of this experience seemed to have a different scale. I remember being baffled by this scenario and wanting so desperately to expose the truth. Fast forward to today and I can see that this person had very creative tendencies. He also lived life on the risky side. It's interesting to see how his gifted creative skills, low judgment skills and high risk disposition would lead to extravagant stories. For people with low judgment skills, the line between truth and lies is often fuzzy.

I have worked with a child who changes his story and opinion every few seconds. "This activity is so hard, I can't do it," he says. I explain that it is the effort he puts forth and a good attitude I am looking for. I don't expect perfection and none of us are perfect. These are a few of the encouragements I use regularly with clients of all ages. This child then changes his tune to "This activity is so easy a Kindergartner could do it!" When working with him I find my head is spinning and changing directions so often I experience dizziness. It is exhausting trying to rationalize his way of thinking. This client's profile has a telling story. His skills average two years behind his grade level. The brain skill that indicates where his brain expects to perform, however, is level 8, in the gifted range. This is a superior level far above high average for his age. This indicates that he expects to be almost perfect all the time. He uses all sorts of stories to cover his need to do well. I am grateful to see beyond his behaviour to his actual ability. I look forward to when he is able to function with much more balance on a day to day basis.

The more I work on developing brain skills with my clients, the more complex I see every learner to be. The way the brain-skills work together creates unique learning skills and deficits in every individual. It is truly fascinating. In the cases above, what looks like a liar can actually be better understood as a brain with areas of strengths and weaknesses. Everyone I know has a weakness in one area or another. We are all human. I pray that we may all experience a balanced brain skill profile. A balanced brain skill profile means a more successful future. To discover how we can help you move forward with developing judgment skills and many other brain skills, contact us today.

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Topics: parenting, expectations, lying, behaviour

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