Teenagers lie. It’s not unusual to hear that your child has been up to no good, only to find out later that it wasn’t the case — just some tall tale they made up to get themselves out of trouble. But when they can’t stop lying, it becomes a compulsive lying in teenagers. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t worry; there are many ways to handle it effectively and stop your teen from being dishonest.
Is Your Teen A Compulsive Liar?
You may be wondering whether your child is having trouble telling the truth from fiction or if he has a disorder that causes chronic lying. If you suspect there’s a problem, the best thing you can do is talk with your doctor. You may want to bring your child along so that they can ask any questions they have and explain any problems they might be experiencing in school or at home.
Sometimes it’s difficult for children to tell parents about their issues, especially those related to substance abuse, so your doctor might be able to shed some light on what’s going on before you ask. If your child does have a compulsive lying disorder, treatment options are available to help them learn how to manage their condition.
Tips For Parents To Rebuild Their Relationship With A Compulsive Liar
Establishing trust in a relationship is difficult, but parents have a unique advantage regarding teenagers and their lies. After all, most teens lie to protect themselves from punishment or further humiliation — so how can you come back from that?
Here are some ways for parents to build trust after catching their teenager in a lie. Remember, they’re not going to appreciate being caught at first. But if you’re open about what happened and explain why lying isn’t an option anymore, they may be more willing to listen.
1. Speak to Your Child
Sit down with your child and talk through why they lied in that situation instead of immediately punishing them. Try to keep an open mind as they explain their reasoning (even if it doesn’t make sense). Let them know that you’re willing to work together on figuring out what caused these feelings so that these issues don’t crop up again.
2. Ask Some Questions
When someone has been consistently dishonest with us, we begin to question everything else they say — even when we know it’s true. Take a step back and remember specific times when your child wasn’t lying; maybe even share those instances with them. That way, they’ll see that you do believe them sometimes.
3. Give Them Space
You might need to take time away from each other before things start feeling natural again.
4. Try to be Friendly
Letting kids know that there are consequences for their actions might seem harsh, but it’s essential in building a healthy relationship with your children.
5. Be an Understanding Parent or Guardian
Make sure you understand why your child was tempted to tell a white lie before jumping into any kind of reprimand or punishment for doing so; chances are good there was something behind it other than pure deception.