Has your teen been caught in a lie or perhaps a few lies making it difficult for you to trust him/her? If so you’re not alone. This is a problem many parents of adolescents deal with every day. However, knowing that doesn’t make it any easier to understand or cope with for you as a parent when the situations occurs in your own family.
The problem is that many parents feel betrayed and don’t handle the situation as well as they should. When not handled properly, the problem can escalate causing parents to blame the child and begin to even label their adolescent as “bad.”
James Lehman has an article that address many of the questions parents have on why teens lie and one point he makes very clear is:
“So I think that parents have to assume that kids are going to tell them lies, because they’re immature and they don’t understand how hurtful these things are. They’re also drawn towards excitement, and their parents aren’t. It’s not like the good kids aren’t drawn to excitement and risk, and the bad kids are. It’s not that the good kids don’t lie and the bad kids do lie. They’re all drawn to excitement, and they’ll all have a tendency to distort the truth because they’re kids.”
In other words, he reminds parents to keep things in perspective and be careful with the labels we place on our teens when we catch them in a lie. Of course we need to make sure they’re held responsible for their behavior but we must focus on the behavior as bad not the child. Once we do that, it becomes easier to set a consequence that places responsibilty for change on your adolescent.
For the full story:
Why Kids Tell Lies And What To Do About It
And check out this video from James on his highly recommended parenting program: