“Please tell my husband he’s over-reacting.” The woman across from me is quietly concerned. I can’t tell yet if she is worried about her son or if she’s worried how her husband will react to her request.
“I’m not over-reacting. The kid is a chronic liar. If we don’t stop it now, who knows where this will lead!” The dad is upset. He’s upset with his son. He’s upset with his wife for not being as upset as he is. He’s going to be upset with me unless I can calm things down a bit.
“Let’s start from the beginning,” I suggest. “Why don’t you tell me more about it?”
The dad jumps in right away. “Amory constantly lies. I mean constantly. You ask him whether he washed his hands before dinner and he’ll say yes even though I know he didn’t. You ask him if he’s fed the dog. Same thing. And the stories! He tells outrageous stories. You should hear him. According to him, he can run faster than any other kid at school. He says he can count all the way to 200 and I know he can’t. He says he has lots of friends but the teacher tells us she’s worried because Amory doesn’t seem to know how to get along. We’ve got to get this under control!”
“How old is Amory?” I ask.
“He’s four and big enough to know better.”
The mom finally chimes in. “Honey, he’s only four. Really. You’ve got to calm down. He’s not a murderer or something. He’s just a little kid!”
“You’re not getting it, are you?” her husband shouts. “The kid is always lying and now you’re defending him.”