Teenagers may lie because of various reasons. But, whatever is the reason behind these lies, this habit must be checked. Given below are the ways of dealing with a lying teen.
Parent- teen communication
It is very important to know the reason behind a lie. But, the problem is how you will get to know the reason. Both direct and indirect communications can lead you to the answer. If you feel that your teen has lied, let him/her know that you are aware of it. There is no need to make negative remarks. But, just let him/her know that whatever he is doing is not good and therefore must not be repeated. However, if you think that it is not working, then you must try to form a good rapport with those people who are close to your teen, like his/her friends, parents of his/her friends, teachers, mentors, etc. If you do this, surely you will get to know your teen better and the reasons behind his/her behaviors. Another important thing is that, teens will model their behavior on you. As parents you must keep in mind that your children will grow up imitating you and other members of your family. So, if you or any of the family members lie, then your child might feel that lying is quite acceptable and normal. Therefore, try to be as much honest as possible.
Keep a check on exaggeration
It is true that children and teenagers often lie to exaggerate something. This is considered just a reflection of a creative mind. Definitely it is so, and there is no harm in being creative. But, in order to be creative there is no reason to lie. Creativity can be expressed in honest ways and, please deal every single lie with seriousness. Today, he might be lying for framing stories or to gain your attention on a particular thing, but tomorrow, this can become a habit. And, eventually this will cost you a lot. So, it is better that you make him realize beforehand that lying unnecessarily must be avoided. Statements like âWhatever you told me was really interesting. But, come on! This cannot be entirely true!â will make your child understand that although you are appreciating his story, but you do not believe the story to be absolutely true. In this way you are actually doing two things: 1. You are letting your teen realize that this kind of lying is not good. 2. You are not making any harsh comments that might have affected him adversely.
Individuals sometimes lie out of the fear to hide a factual position when they feel that if they expresses a truth, then you may beat or rebuke him. To avoid such situation/s they might find lying as a better option. At the end of the day you would want your teen to grow up as an honest individual. If you feel that, your teen is lying, then you have every right to question him, but not to mention, a bit politely. You must not sound rude. Make sure that you make him/her feel that you are always there to listen to all his/her problems, for giving him solutions, and for which there is no need to be scared. Unless you try to be friendly and avoid abusing your teen, he/she will keep lying, and will become the victim of chronic dishonesty.
Try to find out the reason behind his/her lie
When your teen lies, he/she actually indirectly communicates something which you must identify as soon as possible. He/she may lie in order to grab your attention, or to prove him/her to be valuable, or maybe something else. Try to know that. It has been seen that children with lower self-esteem tend to lie more often than those who have higher self-esteem. In this very attempt to show that he/she is worthwhile, he/she keeps lying. So, as parents you must take the responsibility of boosting your teenâs self-confidence. And, always remember that the more he/she will feel good about himself/herself, the less will he/she tend to lie. There may be some other reasons for your child to lie. Please recall, whether whenever you had doubts regarding something, you have accused him/her for that or not. If you have done so, then stop doing it from now on. If your child feels that even when he/she is not at fault you will keep assuming that he/she lied, it is very obvious that he/she will be unwilling enough to tell the truth. It might seem to him/her that being honest is useless. Also, try to remember whether you have ever labeled your teen as âliarâ, âfraudâ, etc or not. Such labels demean an individual. So, never use such words.
Try connecting consequence with every lie
If you find that your teen is lying, then of course do not threaten him or scold him. Rather, try to connect a consequence to it. Suppose if your teen lied about bunking his tuitions, then you can tell him that he will be taken for a movie only when he will tell the truth, or else no movie for him. Of course it might seem as if I am suggesting you to punish your teen for lying. But, it is not that. When a child lies, it becomes a bit difficult to change him. So, if he gets to know that for telling a truth he will be granted a reward, then he will try not to lie.