DS is turning 7 and has been lying quite frequently.

We give him $2.5 if he finishes folding his clean laundry all by himself and he's been able to do it. This morning, he got all the clean laundry (that I did last night) from the dryer and claimed that he'd like to fold his laundry. I was secretly so delighted and proud. He came back from school and claimed he wanted to finish it. 15 minutes later, he claimed that he has finished folding everything, and he would like to get $2.5. Trustingly, DH gave him $2.5.

All was fine until tonight. I looked into the hamper and it was half full with clothes. It would have been impossible to be so full because the hamper was empty after I did the laundry last night.

After a lot of crying, denying, and more lying later, he admitted that he put all the clean clothes that he didn't finish folding in the dirty laundry hamper. The excuses went from he didn't know how to fold them (which is not true), to he was tired, he didn't feel like it, to "his brain telling him crazy things". After everyone was able to calm down, he finally admitted to me that he "liked money more than folding laundry, and folding laundry was hard". I was really disappointed, but at least I appreciated that he was able to tell the truth at the end.... or I hope that's the truth. I told him that I would like to trust him again, and I hope he learns from this mistake and that we can work on being a better person and make good choices / not lie. But I also feel like I have said that just last week.... and the week before... and so on. The lesson was not learned.

We have been talking his ears off that lying is one of the worst things you can do. And literally yesterday he asked us what is a "scam" and we explained that that is when a bad guy tells a lie and tricks people in giving them money and we explained how that is bad. I don't know how he could do exactly that the next day thinking it is OK. He has lied before, got caught, apologized, and promised he would not lie again. Rinse and repeat. What he did today was the most elaborate act by far.

Is this "normal"? What would you do.... any suggestions? What worked for you? Any advice and sharing?