“After the supermarket incident, Cathy and I decided it was high time Ned had an allowance, first so he can have his own money and stop seeing his parents as a never-ending source of cash, and second so he develops some sense of what that money is worth… we established an allowance, with one special condition: if he lies to me about anything, it costs him a dollar.
We still don’t want him wandering into supermarkets or with loose cash in his pockets at school, so the rule is that he can’t take his money out of the house without our permission. Yet when I looked in the wallet this morning, it was empty.
Ned came home from school at 2:45, and I asked him what happened to the money.
“I don’t know,” he said immediately. That cost him a dollar. He didn’t know two more times- two more dollars – and finally he said that he took it to school, hidden in his shoe so I wouldn’t find it in his pockets when he left in the morning. That cost him another dollar for breaking the rule, and a dollar for being sneaky.
“And what happened to it at school?”
“Mr. Hilton has it.”
“If I call Mr. Hilton and ask him if he has your seventeen dollars and why he has it, what will he tell me?”
“Uhh, he doesn’t have it.” One more dollar down.
“And what happened to it?”
“I lost it.” We had a long discussion about how that might have happened. I wanted to make sure he hadn’t given his money to another student or spent it on something. I finally believed what he said, that the money was somehow lost. It was a chat neither of us enjoyed at all, especially my having to tell him that because he has Down syndrome, all his life there will be people who think he’s stupid and will try to take advantage of him. “I’d sure hate to think you’re being cheated already, Ned.” I said, and he assured me he isn’t…
My real concern is the ease with which he lies to me and his obvious lack of concern about breaking rules.” pp 131-132
Does your loved one lie to you? How do you handle it? Does your loved one handle money? How have you addressed the possibility of someone taking advantage of him/her?
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