Re: Punishment for this?
In my opinion, it is a normal child reaction to getting into trouble. I do not think you should look at him as a liar in terms of a personality trait, but rather see it as a natural reaction from a child. I remember telling my dad whoppers for not wanting to get into trouble and got into worse too. My husband tells me how his dad used to look him in the eyes and said: I know you are not telling the truth, so you have a x minutes to think it through and tell me the truth. My husband does that with our children now. It is rather amusing listening to the conversations at times. I caught my 3 year old lying about stuff she does. Just thought I'd put that out there as a reassurance that I don't think your boy is really being bad.
As for punishment, I think working back the $30 is great but he should be on a schedule. He shouldn't be allowed to do it in his own sweet time - because I wonder how effective that would be. Maybe narrow down the tasks you need him to do and allocate a time of day to do that. Something you can check of each day so he can see more clearly how he is paying it back.
As for the grounding everything, I wonder if it isn't too much. I take it the grounding is for the lying. How about taking away just some privileges and letting him write out 20 times on a piece of paper: Honesty is the best policy. If I were honest with my mom, I would be able to _______. (enter privilege he has lost).
Just my take on it.
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