Poo Poo on You: The Clark Chronicles

On Sundays, my husband Eric and I assign chores to our kids.  If they get “the minimum” done, they stay in our good graces.  If they contribute at a level above the minimum appropriate to their age and maturity, they get an allowance.Liz, age 16, reliably keeps her eye on the prize — the money — and does everything we ask her to, with no fuss.  Susanne, 12, makes it a challenge, but we can generally cajole her through the process.  Both girls are “neuro-typical.”Our ADHD son Clark [age 13 at the time I wrote this post] is another story.  Clark has a long history of deferring future pain for current pleasure in the form of omitting the truth, dodging the questions, and flat-out lying.  While Clark is a charming boy, this is not a charming quality.  We have tried everything we — or our many counselors — could think of, but nothing gets through to him for long.This Sunday was more of the same.  We gave Clark four tasks: clean his room, clean his bathroom including mopping, change the cat box including clean the area around it, and bag and dispose of the (mountains of) dog poo in our backyard.  Clark did not have the most pleasurable jobs his week, but we do rotate out “poo” week amongst the kids.  As an ADHD kid, obviously Clark has organizational challenges.  We expect those and work with him.  It’s the challenge with truth that causes all of us the most consternation.

Of the three of the four tasks, Clark

·         “didn’t hear me” ask him to mop,
·         “forgot” to put the cat litter into the empty cat box,
·         “didn’t understand” that cleaning up the cat area meant sweep up cat kibbles in addition to sweeping up cat litter, and
·         “thought his room looked great.”
The kicker was the dog poo.When we discovered the many issues with Clark’s other assigned tasks, Eric looked into our trash bin to see if it contained a bag of poo.
No bag, no poo.
He asked me if poo cleaning had occurred in the back yard.  Surprisingly, it had.  We asked Clark if he did the poo clean up.
“Yes,” Clark said.
“Where’s the bag of poo?”I asked.
“I put it in the bin.”
“Show us.”
“What do you want me to do, dig around in there?”
“Yes.”  Big, big wide brown fast-thinking eyes unblinking…After we confirmed the absence of the poo bag in the bin — although we smelled plenty of other unpleasant stuff in there — the three of us went around the yard and the house looking for the bag.
“Someone took it, Mom.”
“Clark, we have not had a real problem with dumpster diving in our bin, and, if we had, why would they take only the bag of poo?  No one steals poo, Clark.”
“Well, what if it is just gone, Mom.”
“Clark, it isn’t just gone, it never existed, did it?”
“Well, I didn’t throw it over into the neighbor’s yard.”Our heads whipped around.
“What was that?  Someone threw poo in the neighbor’s yards?  Who?  When?” Eric asked.“It wasn’t me, it was like, last summer, and it wasn’t me.”This was the end for Mr. Clark.  We reminded him of the little boy who cried wolf, and that he had cried wolf one too many times with us.  We did not believe there was ever a bag of poo in the bin.  Moreover, we were getting out the flashlights and doing a little recon in the neighbors’ yards right that second unless he came clean about the poo.”Wait, guys, wait.  How about we look for the poo bag tomorrow?  Maybe it is under a bush or something in the back yard,” Clark pleaded.

The “poo” was getting deeper.”OK, Clark; find this bag of poo after school tomorrow.  But know that first we are going to look in all three neighboring yards in daylight.”So, some of you know Clark very well.  What did we find…poos in the neighbors’ yards?  A bag of poo under a bush in our yard?  Or a bag of poo in the bin???  Let’s just say it didn’t go well for young Clark.
A lack of focus is one thing, and some of his un-completed chores I could chalk up at least partially to focus.  Lying is another thing altogether, and, while a propensity of ADHD, not something we can tolerate.    However, we haven’t been able to stop it, either.
Do you battle lies with your ADHD kids?  At what age did they start? Did they get worse with age?  What worked to stop them?
In my next post on {a mom’s view of ADHD}, I will continue to explore truth…versus consequences.
Until then,
Pamela aka Clark’s Monm
Pamela Fagan Hutchins writes the Clark Kent Chronicles on parenting ADHD wonder kids, thanks to the crash course given to her by her ADHD son and his ADHD father. She focuses on the post-elementary school years. Visit her blog, Road to Joy, but hang on for the ride as she screws up her kids, drives her husband insane, embarrasses herself in triathlon, and sometimes writes utter nonsense.

Pamela Fagan Hutchins writes the Clark Kent Chronicles on parenting ADHD wonder kids, thanks to the crash course given to her by her ADHD son and his ADHD father. Pamela is the author of the book The Clark Kent Chronicles: A Mother’s Tale of Life With Her ADHD & Asperger’s Son, and many others, like How To Screw Up Your Kids and her bestselling, award-winning Katie & Annalise mystery series, led off by Saving Grace. Visit her blog, Road to Joy, where you can buy her books in any form, anywhere. Pamela is passionate about great writing and smart authorpreneurship, as well as her husband and kids. Like Clark Kent, she also leaps medium-tall buildings in a single bound, if she gets a good running start.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Flickr YouTube 

Related posts:

Pamela Hutchins, parenting/FAMILY ·

About the author

Pamela Fagan Hutchins writes the Clark Kent Chronicles on parenting ADHD wonder kids, thanks to the crash course given to her by her ADHD son and his ADHD father. Pamela is the author of the book The Clark Kent Chronicles: A Mother's Tale of Life With Her ADHD & Asperger's Son, and many others, like How To Screw Up Your Kids and her bestselling, award-winning Katie & Annalise mystery series, led off by Saving Grace. Visit her blog, Road to Joy, where you can buy her books in any form, anywhere. Pamela is passionate about great writing and smart authorpreneurship, as well as her husband and kids. Like Clark Kent, she also leaps medium-tall buildings in a single bound, if she gets a good running start.

18 Comments

  1. Oh, yeah. This is so timely. I wound up talking in circles with my kid last night because he seems to have picked up the habit of lying. About everything. It's pretty ridiculous.

    Mine is obviously lying to avoid having to do things or to avoid getting in trouble for things he didn't do. However, he also now lies just because. He'll lie about random things that don't make sense (like saying he ate green beans at lunch when no one ever served green beans).

    My fingers are crossed that this is a stage.

    Reply
  2. The lying/evasions/talking in circles has been the bane of our existence since he was about 6 or 7. I used to get so upset about it, because I thought he was just pathologically untruthful. When he got on a decent dose of concerta…he started telling the truth…more. 🙂

    Reply
  3. Omg this is classic. I am *so* not looking forward to adolescence…but keep it coming. Seems like I'll need the full 7 years to prepare.

    Reply
  4. screamin says:

    THis hits home in so many ways you just don't understand. This is my son, as if I wrote it myself. Don't think I'd change much if I had too. My son is also 13 and I'd say he started lying around 6-7 but very seldome. Not it's an every breath activity. We are working with his counceller but have yet to have any success. Wow, keep me posted on this. How old are your kids now everyone ? Thanks

    Reply
  5. Ann Brennan says:

    I am new to the ADHD thing but this story could be us completely. With poo in neighbors yard and everything. I am so glad to see I am not alone. Once Meg went on the medicine though it hasn't happened like this and she said something that explains it really well. I asked her what she thinks of the medicine. Her response was “I like not being scared of screwing up all the time.” I think the afraid of screwing up thing is what brought on the years of lying. I am so glad for both of us that the medicine has helped.

    Reply
  6. Oh my! Feeling like a giggly kid right now reading that post about poo. You keep me laughing Pamelot (and Clark). It just amazes my the things our kids think we'll believe! Luke usually fesses up after it's obvious we don't believe his first excuse. I certainly hope that holds through teenhood!

    Reply
  7. Two things have worked best:
    1. Like Ann, I found a step change in truthfulness once he was on meds.
    2. We swallow our frustration and as we see him start to lie, very gently, I'll tell him “it's ok, I want the truth, make a good choice and it will be alright.” We used to get upset. That didn't work. This does sometimes, especially as he gets older.

    The talking in circles and evasive answers are our current challenges.

    We worked with a counselor on “love and logic” parenting with all our kids, but Clark as the focus. It worked great on the neuro-typical kids. It failed miserably with Clark. See my Truth or Consequences blog for an explanation of it. http://pamelahutchins.wordpress.com/2010/04/13/truth-or-consequences/

    Reply
  8. Penny, this is one of our favorite stories, right up there with lacrosse gloves and lawnmower springs. Lawnmower springs is another classic example of falsifying, pre-meds.

    Reply
  9. @Pamela Hutchins,

    Lawnmower springs is my favorite!

    Reply
  10. @screamin
    Hey “screamin”, our oldest at-home daughter was 15 at the time of this post, and the youngest was 11. Clark was 13 (they each are two years older now). It's much better now that he is on medication. We know when he has skipped, that's for sure!

    Reply
  11. Eric Hutchins says:

    The idea of dog poo flying over the 6 foot fence and landing on a neighbors lawn chair still makes me chuckle, in a slighly painful way. But the very best of it was; “I think someone went into the trash can and stole the poo!” this is the words of someone really stumbling on a way out of a mess (which Clark is a master of because he is such a smart kid). Normally when confronted with evidence of lieing he is an expert at fabricting a plausible story and then hanging on to it like a pit bull.
    When it comes to dog poop, its obviously no big deal, as the parent (step-dad) of a teenager what you worry about are things like drugs and alcohol.

    Reply
  12. @Eric Hutchins,

    You make an amazingly profound, yet simple point. There so many “bigger things” to worry about with teens that throwing poop in the neighbor's yard. In the thick of these situations, we get so frustrated, but remembering that we must scale our reactions to the true severity of the instance in the grander scheme of things is so important.

    It's a good lesson for all parents of ADHD children, no matter their age. Having to ask three times before your kiddo gets up and brushes his teeth should not get the same level of response as stepping out into the street without looking first. But yet we get so caught up in the frustration of the moment, we seem to overreact. Of course, you and Pamela keep your cool and see the humor in these situations (at least the way she so eloquently tells it, with hindsight and all).

    So glad to have your voice here too, among all these ADHD Mommas! 🙂

    Reply
  13. Erin says:

    I am laughing my ASS off at this one…especially since I have twin girls who are 4 and have no doubt that eventually there will be similar circumstances happening at our house (we have a dog). Am so glad @trimon29 sent me your way!!!

    your most devoted new follower,
    erin @ the mother load
    http://abbyandizzysmom.blogspot.com
    @erinlynn76

    Reply
  14. Thanks, Erin. Twin 4 year olds, wow!! You have been busy these last few years, I'll bet. You really bigged me up on Twitter today, I'm going to have to think about how to live up to my enhanced reputation. 🙂

    Pamela

    Reply
  15. sadiesmom says:

    Thank you for posting this. Lying is a a huge issue with our little Sadie (just turned 7). It seems to go along with taking things that aren't her's. When we ask her to do a chore we always ask her if she is ready for us to come check. This is almost always followed by her scampering off and telling us she needs to check first. lol, gotta give her credit for trying I guess.
    If she says she isn't lying, that is a dead give away that she is! I find myself getting VERY frustrated, I think like you said Pamela, I worry that it is pathological.
    This is probably my least favorite part of ADHD and I think it started at age 4!

    Reply
  16. Gypsy Heart says:

    Hi Pam,
    First I want to thank you for stopping by my blog ~ I really appreciate it!

    I also wanted to comment re: ADHD. Experienced this for awhile with a former step-daughter. I am probably repeating something you've already had shared, however, do you make lists for your son? Truly, they cannot remember a lot of short term directions. Now…I'll keep my mouth shut! 🙂 I feel for both of you…it is a very real problem for him and a challenge for you and the rest of the family.

    Hope you have a great weekend! So glad fall has finally arrived in my area of Texas ~

    Pat

    Reply
  17. Sal says:

    This is the hardest thing for me to deal with. The fairytale stuff is hard but not damaging, but the lying has nearly gotten others in big trouble. I am worried every time I leave him with someone because he spins such tales and tells such untruths and I wonder what things he says about us? Do they grow out of it, is it controlled with medication? He is on medication, but still lies all the time.

    Reply
  18. Saundra says:

    I just discovered this website for the first time and after reading some of your articles, especially this one, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry! It was as if you were writing about my son. Thank you so much for sharing. This is what I needed for my sanity. Saundra

    Reply

Leave a Comment

The "ADHD Mommas" are not medical or mental health professionals, nor an ADHD coach. Any opinions shared here are just that, opinions. I, and the other "ADHD Mommas," are sharing our experiences with our own ADHD children. Please do not re-post or publish any content or photos without a link back to {a mom's view of ADHD}. Have the courtesy to give credit where credit is due. Copyright protected. All rights reserved.

Powered by WordPress | Customized by KW Design