Why Does Your Teen Lie and What to Do About It?
No matter how much you love and trust your kid, know and accept the truth; ‘Teenagers lie’. They lie to you on several occasions for plenty of reasons. If you don’t know about it, then you are blinded by the unconditional love you have for them. There has been a research that proved that around 82% of college and high school students lie to their parents.
Is this new to you? Or you already know about this habit of your teens? If you think your teen is so innocent that they would never lie to you or break your trust, then you are putting them in danger. You must know when they are lying and when to do something about it. If they are becoming secretive day by day, using parental control software might be a good solution.
The Types of Teen Lying
Research has shown that teens lie more than people of any age. They have also found that there is a touch of dishonesty in the adolescent period. Thus, teens lie more and they have their ways to get away with it.
Researchers think that maybe brain development in adolescence is the reason why they have this habit. When they are teens, their emotions and impulses are on the edge. They tend to adopt risk-taking behaviors that involve lying.
With a lot of research, three types of teen lying have been observed:
Lying by Omission: It is the type of lie when teens leave out important information that would be valuable to their parents when telling them something. For instance, they might say that they are going to hangout at their friends’ but don’t mention that they will be visiting the club too.
Lying by Avoidance: This strategy is very common with teens. They strategically divert their parents from the topic that they don’t want to discuss. So, they avoid the conversations that might make them reveal the true information that they don’t want to share.
Lying by Commission: The most basic form of lying is when the kids intentionally tell the stories that aren’t true at all. It is very rare but it is a white lie. These types of lies can affect the parent-teen relationship more than other types of lying.
Why Do Teens Lie?
When parents find out about the lying habit of their teens, they often become emotional thinking that they might have made them do this. However, on the other side, a survey conducted in 2012 showed that teens admit that in every relationship honesty and trust are important.
So, what could be the reason behind their lying when they believe in honesty and trust? Here are some of the reasons:
- They know what they are doing will get them in trouble. So, they lie to get out of the situation.
- They want to do something dangerous and they know they won’t be allowed to do so.
- They think that the rules their parents have made are completely unfair. And, there is no way they can argue with their parents on this so they prefer lying.
- They think it is unfair for their parents to stop them from doing something harmless.
- They don’t want to hurt you with the truth. So, whatever the issue is, they will handle it on their own and lie to you about it.
- They want privacy.
- They want to feel independent and free so they do whatever they want and lie to you about it.
What Do Teens Lie About More Often?
Teens often lie to focus on their own identity. They don’t want their parents to tell them what to do anymore. They feel freedom and autonomy in making their own choices. To make their own decisions, they start lying.
While it is important to know if they are lying to you, it is also essential to understand what they are lying about. Here are some of the things they might be lying about to you:
- They often hide bad things about their friends to keep them in their social circle. So, they lie about their friends.
- They will lie about substance abuse or drug use if they are doing any.
- They will lie about the party they are going to attend whether it is supervised or not.
- They hide things about their romantic relationships.
- They lie about their homework.
- They lie about the activities they do when they are not appropriate.
You might have noticed that some of these lies are quite normal and not very dangerous. But, some might be proven unhealthy for them.
How Can Parents Handle This Situation?
Well, here are some approaches that can help the parents deal with this situation of their teens lying to them:
- Be available to them all the time. Show that you are interested in whatever their interests are.
- Use parental control software to keep an eye on them. If they are too much secretive about their activities and peer relationships, use the best parental control apps out there to know what they are up to.
- You must set family rules, but at the same time try to be accepting and calm about what they have to say about those rules.
- You are their role model. If you are constantly lying around them what else they would learn? When an adult lie, teens learn and adopt the same thing.
- Most parents backfire and label their kids as liars. This is wrong. Don’t treat them like that.
- Try to know the deep meaning behind every lie they have told. Why are they lying in this specific situation? Is it because of you or there is something else?
- Be ready for what they share. Sometimes they are lying so that you don’t get hurt or lash out. So, be ready when you are forcing them to tell you the reason or the truth.
Lying is a very common thing among teens. However, if you don’t take care of it now, it might get worse and get them in trouble. So, keep a keen eye on your teens and know the reasons behind their behaviors.