I need some advice:
My 8 year old loves telling stories...always has from the time he could speak. But he HATES anything that involves him having to read or write. Currently he is in a private school (was homeschooled last year and will be homeschooled again next year). I'm concerned that he is confusing story telling with lies, and that one of these days his lie will get someone in trouble. He came home once and very enthusiastically told me about a boy that was bullying him on the playground. It was a very in depth story (and being told in an excited manor nothing like a child who had actually been bullied) and insisted it really happened. When I told him that I would have to go into the school to talk to the teacher about it, he told me it was a pretend story. He also made up this in depth story about how his teacher lets anyone who brings their lunch eat part of it for snack in the morning, but he is the only one not allowed. He insisted several times that this was true, until again I told him I would talk to his teacher. Then he told me it was a story. I have told him several times that he can't make up stories about other people that might get them in trouble if they aren't true. I could give many other examples. But besides these types of stories, he makes up other stories that are harmless....every day, almost constantly!
I bought him a journal before and encouraged him to write in it and share it with us if he wanted to. Even just draw his stories in pictures instead of writing words if he wanted. He never touched it. I was thinking about every day as an assignment, requiring him to write a story or 2, and then the next day he can take his journal to school with him and share his stories with his friends if he'd like. I know he doesn't like writing, and will get upset about it at first, but I think he will get excited once he starts reading his stories to others just as he does when he simply tells them. I want to somehow turn this into good, while teaching him that he HAS to separate stories from lies that could harm others. What do you think?
OH, MAN! I read an article about lying on day this week.. I'll have to go back through my browser history to see if I can find it...I don't have time to search for it at this moment because we're about to leave for an outing. But I wanted to post to remind me to come back here. It was an article about the developmental aspect of lying. I think it will be a tricky thing to help your child understand that making up believable stories is a gift, but that doing the right thing and not using them for deception is important. The article I read indicated that lying was less about morals than about development, so I think you're on the right track so far about stressing the difference between story telling as a skill versus doing harm.
My daughter was like that, especially when she was younger. She still does, just not as often. We've talked to her about how to tell the stories so it's clear that it's a story not fact. She also does not like to write them. Sometimes I can get her to type them but she says it takes too long. Sometimes I'll have her record them or sometimes she'll tell me and I'll write them. I like to encourage the stories because she is a natural at it, but again she has to be honest about them at the same time.