12 answers

Teen Compulsive Liar

How can I help my teen to stop lieing about EVERYTHING!!! It doesnt matter what it is about, she lies about it!! We give her time to think about what she is doing. tell her we really need the truth and lieing is unexceptable!! The consquences we have given already are, no phone, internet, or going to any friends house.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Hi J.,
I was reading this website the other day and they had a section in there about this.
http://www.byparents-forparents.com/teensandlying.html
Maybe it can help you.
Good luck,
M.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

My daughter had this problem, she is 15. I asked her why she lies, she said it is because I don't trust her. I had to show her the difference between trust and protecting her. ANYTHING she wanted to do, I told her no, because I couldnt trust that she would make the right decision. That included what food she ate, when she took a shower, what she wore. No radio (cant trust she will listen to right music) no tv, no phone, no pc, NOTHING!!! I did this for a whole week. When she realized that I did in fact trust her from the beginning, that I do what I do to protect her, because I care for her and love her, she stopped her lying. If this doesn't work for you, I pray that you find something that will work for you.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi J.,
I was reading this website the other day and they had a section in there about this.
http://www.byparents-forparents.com/teensandlying.html
Maybe it can help you.
Good luck,
M.

1 mom found this helpful

Try to catch her being good. This is tough, because she wants to be independent and yet she may not be ready for it. Next time she asks to do something, I would tell her she can't because you can't trust her. That way you know the consequence will mean something to her. Obviously the phone, internet, etc isnt working. I struggle as do many parents of teens. So first and foremost don't feel alone or as if you're doing something wrong. However talk to other parents to see if something is going on in school, or socially. Other kids may be involved. Finally I would let he know you unconditionally love her and she needs to know that lying has long term negative consequences. God Bless!

1 mom found this helpful

Advise for a young teen and advise for an older teen would be very different....

My oldest, strong willed daughter had a hard time with lying when she was younger... We were blessed that it came to a head in 4th grade when a teacher caught her in a lie... she had to appologize and the experience was memorable enough that it was a strong dose of medicine.

The first thing I would do is to pray. Pray that her lies would be found out when she is young. Natural consequences when young are much easier that when we are older and it affects things like jobs, etc.

We have told our kids that we will give them a gift of trust. And with that comes freedom. If however they break that trust, the reigns get tightened and they have to rebuild the trust before the freedome comes back. Forgiveness is granted right away, but trust has to be rebuilt.

Talk to your teen about times where you had trouble with lieing.... we all do. Watch for stories on the news, they are abundant, where people go in trouble for lieing. But more than that, look for people, stories, examples of people who are honest...we all need heros to aspire to.

1 mom found this helpful

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J.-
Have you considered taking your teen to counseling? I am not a professional and it is just my opinion as the mom of 19 & 11 yr old girls that have both been. Perhaps she needs someone to talk to about everyday adolescent problems and doesn't want to come to you or your husband.

K.

Hi J., you have quite a busy life there with 6 children. In my opinion, it seems that this daughter isn't getting enough personal attention, so she gets "any" attention she can by doing bad things. It works too, doesn't it. Try making special time just for her - create a hobby that the two of you can do together without interference from the other children. Get your husband to help more - if you have that many children then he is likely working day and night. Let him take the other 5 a few times per week and make time for the one girl who appears to really need you now.

Stop giving her things to lie about.

Lying is a hot button for lots of people, but we all do it all the time, a fact that is not lost on children. Do you really tell your mom that she's looking fat and old? Or gaunt and haggard? We don't mind what adults classify as 'social' lies, but the subtlety is lost on children -- they just see us lying: 'no, mom, you look fantastic, in fact I think you look younger and thinner than you did last year.' BS is used as flattery (indicating exactly how cozy our society really is with lying, we even have a 'good' version of this supposed evil) and to avoid negative consequences we hope to escape. Children pick up on this.

You may not be intending to condition her into lying more and more all the time, but it appears to have been your effect, anyhow. The best way to stop children from lying isn't to punish them (because lying is often done to avoid punishment, so more doesn't work -- they just understand that they need to become better liars, not to stop lying entirely), it is to believe them.

I am not saying you do this, but I watch parents baiting their children into lying all the time. Usually this is done by asking a question Mom already knows the answer to, for whatever purpose I will never understand... humilating the child, being superior? Whatever it is, it is dysfunctional and unhelpful. If you already know she wasn't at whoever's house she said she was spending the night at, say so -- don't say 'so, you were at whoever's house last night, were you?' That says to children 'lie to me.' The expectations of parents are very, very hard for children to withstand, and they will do exactly what you expect them to do, most of the time.

No matter how much you 'need' to know the truth about something, grilling her is the wrong way to find out. Wait. Ask in as neutral a way as you can. Tell her up front what you do know, without asking for her confirmation.

Essentially, behave in a trusting and trustworthy manner. For whatever reason (possibly nothing to do with your or home) she has come to see the truth as risky and lying as preferrable. Teach her that the truth is safe, and she'll find lying isn't worth the trouble.

Trust that she'll figure it out for herself. There is nothing you can install in a teen's head by yelling.

Hi J.,
It could be an attention thing, my eldest went through that for several years. He's gotten past it however he still gets backlashes from it, our trust with him is of course the biggest. When he finally did start telling the truth, we I hate to say didn't believe him.
Oh there were many talks, lots of crying some screaming, it was horribly frustrating for all of us. He lied because he could, because he had something to hide, and because he knew no other way. He spent a long time being grounded, extra chores, watching his brother be rewarded for good behavior. The kicker was when we left to go go-cart racing without him. All that time and all it took was a go-cart. Not serious but am at the same time.
I honestly don't have an answer, we still work out kinks, he goes through fazes where he is Mr. Dependable and Mr. Idunno my favorite is Mr. Whydoialwaysgetblamedforeverything.
Good Luck I wish you lots of patience and an answer.
God Bless
W.

I would explain to her all about 'crying Wolf!' It's going to happen once too often and then when she really needs help, no one will listen because she's become a liar and it's all a joke. Been there done that. I'm not saying my son was a full blown liar, but when he got in an accident a mile away from home and called home, I thought he was BSing me at first. I think he learned to play it straight from then on.
Also remember when you were your daughter's age. Didn't you fabricate things to stay out of trouble? I know I did.
Why not spell out areas when absolute truth is essential. Let her know you've been a teen yourself. Let her know that if she's falling behind in school, you'll find out, so she may as well be up front about it. There could be a solution to turn it around. But mostly jst let her know that it won't look good later on if she fudges her resume and the potential boss finds out. She'll go through a lot of lost jobs that way.

We had the same problem with my step daughter and I tell ya it is very frustrating. She did it with school work to doing it to get her own way between her father and mother. School stuff we just emailed all teachers each day and that part stopped. So far between parents well lets just say I am just sitting back waiting for it to start up again and she will be turning 15 this summer. Most of her lying habits she learned from her mother cause her mom tries it with her father to get her own way. It is pretty sad when a grown adult teaches their children these bad habits. As for Waya I hear ya on the "I don't know" I think if I got paid for every time I heard that I would be rich by now LOL Oh and "Why do i always get blamed for everything" I get from my 13 yr old son when I get on him for trying to get his 7yr old brother going. We as parents just need to keep on stressing to them the importance of telling the truth. Good Luck

Has she ever been lied to before? Was it ok? How did she feel? Could she trust that person next time? Did lying have any consequences when it was to her? Hmmmm, I wonder....

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