"See, buddy, the thing is… everybody has a Thing.
Everybody. Some people lie, or they take things from other people.
Some people are really good at hiding their Thing, and so they don't get in trouble for it.
But they also don't get help for it.
If you get really angry, so angry that you hit somebody, you're going to get in trouble - every single time. And only more trouble as you get older.
Everybody has a Thing. Yours is right out there for everyone to see, but I want you to know - everybody has one Thing that they're trying to learn to control."
"Mommy, what's your Thing?"
"I think, kiddo, I might not always tell the whole truth. I have to be careful with my words so I make sure I tell the truth and not just a good story."
(I have a few other Things too.)
"Okay, mommy." He looks out the window.
Just because you're the only one in trouble doesn't mean you're the only one having a hard time.