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.

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