How to handle your teens who lie to you, how to get them to be HONEST!

Julia - posted on 02/13/2009 ( 4 moms have responded )

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Hi!

I have a ton of kids aged 4-24 yrs. (no I don't have a t.v. show!) and one question that so many moms ask me is "How do I keep my teen from lying!?" Obviously lying at this stage can be very dangerous so it is a very important topic to parents and I would like to hear all of your expert answers, if you want to site sources from publicatons that's good too!

Thanks a bunch,

Julia

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Tina - posted on 02/15/2009

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I agree with several of the posts below in that we have to set the right example.  For me personally the frustrating thing is that I do set the right example and have their entire lives.  However, as a mom to teens (stepchild who is 15 and biological who is 13), peer pressure is one of the biggest outside forces.  I also think that even though  they are teens their thought to keep from getting "caught" is to not be honest.  I believe that by continuing to take the kids to church, teaching them that lying is not right, and issuing repercussions when they are caught in a lie, will hopefully help them see the right thing.

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Julie - posted on 02/15/2009

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I agree honesty in teens starts when the child is 2 and has to be built up. Don't lie to them, be honest and they will see that honestly is the best policy from day one. Also follow through. If you say you are going to do something if they don't clean their room then do it. So don't threaten to throw them out the window, because we know you won't do it, but if you say you're going to take away all their stuff and clean their room for them if they don't do in 1 hour. Then you have to be willing to do that. Also give them a chance to show that they "can" be responsible and honest, start small and build up and remember we were all kids once too!

Alice - posted on 02/14/2009

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The most important thing about this issue is, in my opinion: If you expect your child not to lie, DO NOT LIE TO THEM! In many cases a child mistrusts  the parent and is modelling their behavior. If you are honest with your children and do not lie to them, and they still lie to you, my advice would be to find out why? Are your consequences for misbehavior too harsh? Or does the punishment suit the behavior? It takes years to build trust with a child, they need to know that no matter how terrible the behavior they have your love and acceptance. Teens lie, this is true, usually to avoid punishment and/or consequences. It is a  TEST. A test to see what the limits are. As they grow and mature this is normal. You have to be consistant and fair.  When they push these limits you have to set boundaries and stick to them, but always try to keep communications going.

Jennifer - posted on 02/14/2009

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I believe that it is important to show your teen, or any age child the importance of being honest and how a lie can not only hurt someone else, but yourself too. Consequences to your actions is a must in my opinion. My 11 year old at this point is too mature for her age and is entering puberty very early. She has been 'lil Miss Social with a cell phone', and for some reason she thinks her popularity is the top of her list. I always confront her openly about the lies she is trying to tell, and either taking away the phone, social events, computer and game use. It is my hope that she will soon realize that lying is too inconvenient for her as she keeps getting caught and loosing her most prize possesions as a result. Consistancy is the best way for me. I would love to hear some one else's strategies, at this point mine is working to a point, but after a while I am sure it will loose it's edge as does everything else with her. Hope this helps some.

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