Lies, fibs, tall-tales – why teens lie and how parents can stop it

Teens lie to their parents for several reasons. It is important for parents to understand the reasons and help their teens find other options instead of lyingLying teenagers can easily drive us nuts if we allow them to. There is no doubt that it is hurtful and frustrating when you learn that your child has been lying to your face. The best thing you can do when figuring out how to deal with a lying teenager is not to overreact when you face the problem of habitual lying. Teens lie because they feel there is a barrier between you and them. By overreacting, you are further strengthening this barrier. This can also fuel up the lying coming your way.

The psychology behind habitually lying teenagers

There are several reasons why your teen chooses to lie to you instead of telling the truth. Here are some of the major ones:

Fear: When kids think that the consequences will be worse than the truth itself, they lie right to your face.

  • To protect someone else: To support someone or to protect them, teens often lie.
  • To avoid a task they don’t like: Have you brushed your teeth? Yes, daddy.
  • Lying involuntarily: Sometimes a lie just slips out by mistake. This happens usually when they are caught in a misdeed.

For love: Kids lie to get approval, attention and appreciation. They try to impress others by lying about their achievements.

  • Just because they are imaginative and the truth is boring: Teens lie just for the ‘fun of it’. The plain old truth fails to impress them and they take it in their own hands to improvise and fix the flaws.
How can parents stop the teens from lying?

When dealing with teenagers who lie the first thing parents need to do is to recognize the difference between fibs, lies and stories that they make up to cover up a low self-esteem or lack of skills. They also lie to veil behavior that they think is going to lead them to punishment.

Whenever handling a lying teen, keep in mind that they are self-centric and often forget how much it can hurt their parents when they tell a lie. Keep your calm and talk to them about honesty and dishonesty. Keep your tone non-judgmental. Pointing fingers at them is just going to entice the feeling that they can’t discuss anything with their parents. This discussion may not be able to stop the everyday stories they make up but will give them other options.

Talk to them as their friend: Lose the parent attitude for some time and make them feel comfortable talking to you. Once they start trusting you with their feelings, you can be their emotional coach. Tell them how anyone can feel scared while telling the truth and it’s okay to feel scared.

If your child is using lies to cope with some problems then make them cognizant of the consequences they will face when the truth comes out. Whatever you talk to them about, don’t use a judgmental or shaming tone. Talk to them like a friend, not their parent.

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