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Parenting advice needed over here...

Okay ladies, I need some guidance.

Wes came home from school today and I noticed 3 cuts on his arm, one of which had a bandaid on it. He is 13 and is 8th grade. Scott noticed it as well, and Wes seemed to want us to see them. Now, these are actual cuts, not scratches. So we ask what happened, and he starts with the comment that someone brought a dog to school and it scratched him. He seemed to be joking, so we asked again what happened. Then he changed to a story about some kids on the bus fighting and that he got in the middle of it. The story seemed fishy, so we pushed harder. Then it changed to some kid in the hallway with a piece of plastic, cutting people.

At this point we were getting mad. He was clearly lying and we didn't know why. We pushed harder and made it clear we didn't believe him and even asked if he had cut himself. So then, he says it was a kid in his 5th period class but he doesn't know his name. Yeah, right. So I get angry and insist he tell us who did this. He tells me a boy's name and that he had this piece of plastic and he cut several kids but only Wes was bleeding badly enough to need a bandaid and that his friend, Joe, got him a bandaid from the teacher. At this point, I am really starting to think he cut himself. So I call Joe's mom to see if Joe can fill in the missing parts of the story. Joe is at wrestling, and his mom says he will call us when he gets home.

So I read Wes the riot act and make sure that he knows that if we get a different story from Joe, Wes' life will be seriously miserable for a LONG time. So, he breaks down and says that Joe was the one who cut him. Now I am really mad, because I just talked to Joe's mom about this, and now I look like an idiot who doesn't know what she is talking about.

We ask Wes why he was covering for Joe, and he doesn't know. We give him the whole speech about why lying is such a mess, and how we are not able to trust him now, etc. He is crying and can't seem to tell us why he did it. The whole thing is AWFUL!

About 45 minutes later, Joe's dad calls and Joe has confessed to cutting Wes. Joe's parents are mortified and willing to meet with us and the principal for disciplinary action. Now, if we do this, Joe will be expelled. Scott (my husband) says we need to let it go and let Joe's parents handle it. He feels Wes has been through enough and we need to let it go. I am okay with that, but Wes needs to be punished for the lying. Our rule here has always been a SERIOUS punishment for lying - way worse than if they tell the truth.

So, what do we do? I am thinking of grounding him from all social activities for a month or so. He has a Valentine's dance next Friday and he is on student council and they are responsible for the dance. Scott wants to take that from him. That is a tough one for me because it is part of his student council obligations, BUT, it is a big social event for him. He was planning to ask a girl to it (his first date), but on the other hand, grounding him from it would send a clear message...

So, experienced moms, what do we do? This is very serious. Also, would you take this up with the school or would you let it go?

Thanks for reading all this!

Re: Parenting advice needed over here...

Hi Uki
I went thru 2 teemagers, thank God they're both grown and married..

If that was my son, I would punish him, a month is a little tough, first of all, he'll drive you crazy, I think 2 weeks is a good amount of time to give him
the message.
School?? thats up to you and your husband..to decide
what to do.
(I would notify them of the situation, if it was me)

Lying is bad, becasue they take that into their
adult life..
I have a daughter that lied as a child, and I thought
what an imagination she has, well, she's now grown
and still lies.
She'll come up with a story, so far fetched, and then say don't you remember mom.. no I don't remember because it never happened.. so today I'll call
her a pathological liar..

The most important thing to my son when he was your sons age, was his bike, and thats what we took
away from him....

Nip this in the bud, before it really gets out of hand..
Good Luck.....

Re: Parenting advice needed over here...

Thank you, Tobe.

This is so hard for me because I always thought of him as an honest kid and now I find myself second guessing EVERYTHING! We have always told our kids that they can tell us anything, and I guess part of my problem is that by covering for Joe, Wes was communicating to us that his relationship with Joe is more important than an honest relationship with his parents. I realize that this is the age where peers are important, but he and I have always had a closer relationship. In fact, he is closer to me than he is to his dad. He will talk to me about all kinds of personal issues, so it seemed so out of character for him to conceal something like this.

So, I have called the teacher in charge of student council about him not participating in the dance and we are deciding on the grounding.[

I felt like the school should be notified, but my husband just wanted to put it all behind us... So I am not sure what will happen there.

Time heals all wounds, or so they say. :(

Thank you again for your kindness,

Re: Parenting advice needed over here...

Hi Uki;
I agree with you completely about the lying but do you think Wes lied because he is afraid the boy may do something else to him?

Re: Parenting advice needed over here...

Hi Becky,

We asked Wes about it last night and Joe has been a friend of his since they were about 4 years old. They aren't best buddies, but they are friends. Joe has never hurt Wes before. Joe is also one of the more popular kids and we suspect Wes was trying to kind of fit in a little more with that crowd. Wes is more like one of those middle-group kids as far as popularity goes - he is not an athlete or a brain, but he is in the band and was elected to student council, etc. I also know he likes a girl right now and may have not wanted to cause a scene at school for fear of embarrassing himself in front of her.

Despite all that, it still doesn't seem to explain why he wouldn't tell us the truth. I can understand covering for Joe at school, but I don't understand the lying at home. Sigh. :(

Re: Parenting advice needed over here...

Hi Uki, sorry to hear of the trouble. We went through them with one of our boys. I agree with Tobe on the length of time for the grounding. A month is a long time. I had always told my sons that if they lie to me I won't be able to trust them for a long time. When it did happen the trust was gone. It will come back with time. Knowing that Joe is a very good friend of Wes and for so long I would not tell the school and get him expelled. Let his parents punish him. You and your hubby should decide on what to take away, it should be something that would make an impact so he will feel the punishment. Also, pray, pray, pray, that's what got us through the teenage years. Just a thought, maybe Joe is a cutter (on himself) and he was doing it to your son for kicks. I could be way wrong and don't have any experience with cutters, but I just thought of that. I'm praying for you.


Re: Parenting advice needed over here...

Uki, check your email.