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Honesty is the Best Policy: Dealing with Teens Who Lie

A recent survey indicated that 98% of teens admit to lying at least 2% of the time.  Do the math and you get the picture.  The problem for parents is that teen lies take on so many different shapes and size that it’s often hard to know how to handle each situation. 

Reason 1 

To get out of trouble.  Like most adults, teens will lie if they are trying to avoid punishment or even just a stern lecture.

Solution:  In addition to disciplining a teen for an infraction, be clear that you are adding to the punishment because of the lie.  Depending on how serious the infraction was, you may want to treat the lie itself as the bigger issue.

Reason 2 

To get attention.  Sometimes teens lie to make themselves look more important, to garner sympathy or to create drama.

Solution:  Work with your teen to help them understand why they told the lie.  Depending on how often this happens, you may want to seek counseling for them so that they can work through some of their issues.

Reason 3

To avoid hurting someone's feelings.  While on a limited basis these sorts of lies are what makes the world go around, if your teen is regularly uncomfortable giving her honest opinion about something or someone, this could indicate a problem with her own self-esteem.

Solution: Let your teen know that, as an adult, you are mature enough to handle the truth, even if you don't like it.  Encourage them to be honest with you at all times by not responding with anger when they do tell you something you'd rather not hear.

One more thing about teens that lie.  There is a real good chance they learned it from us. 

We'll teach you how to #LiveTo100!

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