But it happens. Every teenager lies at some point, even though they know it’s wrong.
When dealing with a lying teenager, it's important to consider your goals as a parent or caregiver. If you don't already know, you probably want to get to the truth. You may also want to know why they are lying, what else they are lying about, and who else is in on the lie. Do you know what kind of resolution you hope to achieve in dealing with the lie? These tips will help you and your teen move towards a more honest relationship.
Below I'll go over in more detail the following 5 tips for dealing with a lying teenager.
Tip # 1 - Stay calm.
Tip # 2 - Find out what they’re protecting.
Tip # 3 - Consider external influences.
Tip # 4 - Help them connect with the truth.
Tip # 5 - Reinforce the relationship.
If we're honest, we all lie. We parents and caregivers do it too.
“If you cross your eyes, they’ll get stuck like that.”
“The tooth fairy must've had the night off.”
“I’m allergic to whining.”
I made that last one up myself.
Some people even lie to try to get their kids to stop lying. As a reader of Parents magazine confessed, ”I tell my son that when he lies a red dot appears on his forehead that only his parents can see. It only goes away when he tells the truth!"
While our white lies may seem trivial and laughable really, they are lies.
Our kids catch on to our lies and follow our example.
“I don’t mind.”
“No, you're not imposing.”
But it’s not so trivial or funny when we are on the other end of a lie.
Teens lie for the same reasons we do.
To be polite, to avoid conflict, to save face, and more. Sometimes they like to exaggerate a little to get attention or make a point. Maybe they’re insecure or afraid of what will happen if the truth gets out. Maybe they want privacy.
Whatever the reason, lying hurts. It destroys trust, creates hostility, and cultivates suspicion. It needs to be dealt with.
Here are 5 effective tips for dealing with a lying teenager.