UPDATE Teenage Son Lied About an Accident.

Updated on August 07, 2013
D.D. asks from Goodyear, AZ
18 answers

Our 15 1/2 son lied about an accident that happened with the quad for three days and confessed to dad last night. I am deeply bothered by the lie, straight to our face. He lied even after we asked with great concern for his health or possibility of an injury. This child is normally a “do things right” kind of guy. He called my bother to help him and they both lied to me and his dad.
Prior to the confession we noticed that there was damage to the front end, something we didn't notice before. We asked our son to show us the sight of the accident, he did. Once we got home we showed him the damage, he said that it has always been there. After the confession he shared that he took us to the wrong sight and he was the one who caused the damage.
As of yesterday we have shared with our son that we don't trust Uncle as far as we can throw him. We will not encourage or allow any outings with him. (Uncle is moving out of state in a few months) We shared with our son that how can we trust you with a vehicle if you can’t own up to an accident with a quad. Our son is supposed to be getting his DL in September. I am seriously thinking about not allowing this and only allowing the permit for another 6 months.
Do you think this consequence of not having his DL this September is too harsh?
SIDE NOTE: Another whirl wind change in him that is causing confusion is that he has played football since 4th grade, now in 10th. He says he is going to go play soccer this year, doesn’t want to do football anymore. WHAT? You have practiced all summer long, participated in fundraisers and have an opportunity for a new position to run with the ball. Something he has wanted for a long time. I don’t understand this change in our son. HE decided all this last night, makes me wonder if he hit his head a little harder than he is admitting.

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Some more info our son currently has a permit, in Sept he will have a provisional DL.
He shared with dad, not ME. Dad is going to talk to him and share that as parents he can not keep this from his wife, me mom. That the three of us need to talk about it. Until then I am very disappointed and cant share why.

Featured Answers



answers from Cleveland on

Could he have been drinking, and that was how or why uncle got invovled? Also experimenting w alcohol might explain the change in sports/friends.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers


answers from St. Louis on

I am just going to go out on a limb here, it is normal procedure to ask for accident reconstruction? You need to know every detail? You are making it easier to lie than tell the truth, that is why he is lying. Sure if he gets caught in the lie it is more drama but the chance of no drama appears to be worth a lie.

Well and it sounds like part of the drama would have been you insulting 'his' Uncle that perhaps he doesn't like hearing.

Why does it matter than he changed his mind about sports? My daughter was a top goalie, she had scouts watching her her sophomore year, quit her junior year because she wanted to do student government and didn't want her grades to suffer. She is a normal kid, graduated, went to college graduated, has a job now. Can't see the harm in her decision beyond she didn't get as big of a scholarship as she would have. Then again if we had made her continue she probably wouldn't have got any scholarships because without her heart in the sport she wouldn't be good, pulling her in that many directions her grades would have suffered...

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I think the grilling attitude you showed made him not want to tell the whole true. If he is a do right teen, then the anticipation of failing you was to great, and he turned to someone that has more experience in the matter.

Since he is not prone to lying, he sucked at it, and you knew it.

I would say your disappointed in him for lying about it. Your glad no one is hurt, and you need to do better in the future.
I wouldnt ban him from his Uncle but I would tell the Uncle that next time dont help your kids lie. Since he is moving away, nothing further would be needed.

He is 16 and he will suddenly change his mind 5 to 10 more times before he is 17. Be prepared. Doesnt mean he is crazy or head injured. Just means he is a teenager.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

In terms of the lying, let the punishment fit the crime. If trust has been breached, revoke your trust until a later date.

As for the football thing; the teenage years are a time to experiment and find out what you like, and what you don't. It's better to let him try out new things now than when he's 40 and suffering some sort of mid life crisis and the "woulda coulda shoulda's".

When I was a teen I changed activities like other people change clothing. Always looking for the right fit and glad for the experience.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

1. Remember, we aren't raising kids to stay kids, we're raising them to be responsible adults. You and Dad need to explain to him the importance of reporting an accident immediately. Why, as adults, must we report a vehicle accident? For insurance purposes. For medical purposes. To respect the property of the property owner.

I do think that you should hold off on his license. Explain that you need him to prove to you and Dad that he is responsible enough to communicate honestly, regardless the situation. Right now, you can't trust that he would tell you if he rear-ended someone. Hit and run is against the law. What if another person were involved?

2. I would give a week and then ask him about football again. It might be some temporary drama that he's dealing with that needs to blow over. Don't ask or talk about it. Just wait. If he still feels the same way next week, sign him up for soccer and accept that he's just not interested in football anymore.

ETA: Oh, and regarding Uncle? No contact with your son. Honestly, I think Dad needs to punch him in the face. But that's setting a bad example for a teen boy, so let's not do that.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

when you say "quad" are you talking about an ATV / 4 wheeler?

I guess I would dig into WHY he lied, first.

I don't necessarily disagree with not letting him get his driver's license in September... but you will have to put a concrete 'when' on the back of that. WHAT, specifically, does he have to do in order to get his license? Otherwise you are just going to have him frustrated.

He needs to pay for the ENTIRE damage to the quad. If he does not get a job, then he needs to get a job to pay for the damage to the vehicle and any property damage / landscaping of the accident site.

It also sounds like you are concerned that you are seeing personality changes in your son (lying, wanting to change sports)... that can either signal that your boy is growing up and trying to assert his "I know better than my parents" independence, or there could be something else going on.... has he changed friends? Does he have a girlfriend? Those things can cause marked personality changes in teenagers.

However, both of these things (wanting to establish an identity that is different than the one you've had up until now AND asserting an "I know better" attitude) are actually developmentally on target for his age. He just isn't going about it in the right way. It's your job to TEACH him how to handle all the grown up stuff... so instead of coming at him from a "WHAT" perspective.... try to approach him with an "I'd like to understand" perspective.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Yes, he should be punished for lying. However, it seems you haven't created a culture that encourages the truth. That's on you. I think it's ridiculous to take his DL away. It's even MORE ridiculous to keep him from his uncle. Forgiove me for being harsh, but that's just stupid.

Changing his mind on sports does not matter. People change their minds. It probably didn't seem worth it to him anymore, let it go.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I don't know what a quad is so that was confusing.

After reading this I figured out he was driving with his permit and uncle was with him. Son had an accident and they concocted a story to make it not son's fault? He lied that the damage had always been there? It's his vehicle or someone else's he was borrowing?

If uncle helped him lie then uncle feels empathy for him in trying to tell you what happened. Perhaps you are too hard on him if adults side with him in a situation like this.

I don't know what kind of son he is, if he's a normal kid or a great kid. If he's a good kid then perhaps he should go ahead and get his drivers license. If he doesn't have a vehicle anymore or his is wrecked then he has to live with that.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

I wouldn't let him get his driver's license.
Not for now at least.

He does not have to play football.

You all need to be able to chat with him.
Nurture a relationship with him, so that he feels he can tell you/Dad, anything.
When I was a kid driving, I dented my Dad's car. I told him right away. Why? Because I could. We had a very good rapport.
But with my Mom, well, we were not close at all. She did not know me. Just wanted me to be what she thought I should be.
And I could not talk to her nor tell her anything.
And she was very judgmental.

No matter what, a Teen needs to know that they can tell their parent, things. About anything. Good or bad.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boise on

I hate to be lied to, it's a huge pet peeve of mine. However, I've learned with my teens (now adults) to put the lie in one of two boxes. A lie that is for their benefit, meaning they say they are going to be at Lisa's house, but really spent the night with their boyfriend, or a lie that is to preserve themselves, one that happens out of fear, one that is illogical, and happens because they fear disappointing someone.

Your son's was fear based. He didn't do this to get his way, he got scared. I'd start with wanting to know why he felt he couldn't come to you, cause an accident, is an accident. Sure maybe there was something he could have done to prevent it, maybe not. Who knows.

The good news is that he did come to you. He did tell the truth, the logical side finally kicked in. Yay! Now, talk with why his lie was wrong: injuries that could be worse then they appear, lying can get you into more trouble, ect,..

As for the license. I'm no help, mine had to wait till they were 18. I've seen one to many accidents involving teens, and it just wasn't worth it to me. The statistics don't lie.

The uncle? Well did you ask why? Is this something he is in the habit of doing? Hell, maybe he panicked when he saw your son's panic. I can't say what I'd do here without knowing him.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Kids lie for different reasons.

They do not want t disappoint their parents.

They are afraid of the consequences.

They honestly do not think it is a big deal.

They feel like it is not something that can be fixed.

My husband used to lie to his parents because they made such a big deal out of his mistakes. "I told you you would srcew this up." "You always make a mess of things." " We cannot trust you to do this right."..

In my moms home she told us as young children. "I want you to always tell me the truth. If you tell me the truth, no matter what it is, you have done, I will not be mad at you. I may be disappointed or my feelings may be hurt, but I will not be mad at you." "I am sure we can figure out how to solve any accident, any problem, any situation. But I need to know the truth."

But, "If you lie to me, it will be a long, long time until I will be able to trust you again."

My mom stuck by this even to this day.. I have never lied to her, but I have had to give her a heads up.. "You are not going to like this but, her is what happened."

Your son is a teen, In just a few years he will be away at school. You all need to decide what is is it he needs to learn from this?

Personally, I hate lying. I would want to know why he would lie in the first place and not just fess up that he screwed up. I would need to know he could trust me enough to just tell the truth.

I also would let him know, that real adults do not lie. They admit their mistakes, accidents and poor choices. They are mature enough to take responsibility and ownership of it. (make sure you and your husband admit your mistakes, mess ups and poor choices so he can see it is just better to get it over with).

Then ask him what he thinks his punishment should be and consider his answer.

Natural consequences would be that he needs to pay for the repairs. Also let him know you all are really disappointed and he will need to really prove to you that he is not going to lie to you all again. He has lost your trust, so when you interrogate him about anything in the future, he is going to have to suck it up, while you all question him. He may have to check in more often, you may have to join him in some of his activities.. Even if he gets his license, it will be a longer time till you all will be able to allow him to drive on his own or even borrow the car..

The Football situation is totally his choice.
Again in a calm conversation (not at the same time as a conversation about punishment for the lie) find out exactly why he no longer wants to play football. Really listen to his reasons and again, allow him to be totally honest.

Maybe he is dreading the practices in the heat? Maybe he is realizing he is not the best player and that others are super gung ho and he has lost his passion. Maybe it is the length of the season.

Where we live Football is a huge deal. The coaches expect 100% commitment and will not accept any less, but it is a huge commitment. The guys miss out on a lot of other school activities and social activities from now until December. Then they start right up on Baseball and Soccer and Lacrosse. Football is not a lifelong sport for most people.. It is a high school sport and never again.. Remind him, if he quits, there is a possibility, he will never have the opportunity to play this sport again..

But also remember, this really is his choice. He will have to accept its finality.

Hang in there mom. I know you are really disappointed by his lies. But this is a great opportunity to move from the way you deal with a child to how you deal with a young man. Your relationship is changing.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Wichita Falls on

You could postpone his DL ....or turn it into a teachable moment. Have him use the DL for your convenience, like chores or errands he could run, or community service, such as Meals-On-Wheels, and only that for the next six months. Lying hurts the relationship, the family, and the community. He needs to build all those back up. Not have his DL just means nothing changes, doesn't seem like he's taking responsibility for his actions.

Moving from football to soccer is not that big of a deal, he's probably been thinking it over for a while just didn't tell you. But put together, these actions mean he's not communicating with you.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

In our home, lying is a non-negotiable offense.

Should you let him get his license? Sure with the understanding that having a license doesn't equal him having a car to drive. (It's what my loving mother told me when I got my license. It was the truth and I appreciate it now but didn't much back then.)

As for the change in sports, it's his life and his decisions. My son quit football too, ruined his chances of going away to college on a scholarship and any other great thing that may have come from him playing the game beyone highschool.

Long story short he is in college and loving every minute of it. He does commute instead of living on campus and did receive an academic scholarship for his mathematical prowess.

It's your son's life and he gets to choose. It's your job to help him for as long as he is under your safety umbrella. I know you have invested much time and energy and effort into football but find out from him why he wants to make the switch and then let him but also give him your thoughts on the matter.

He's been 6 years into a sport which is over 1/3 of his life time. He may have lost his passion for the game or something else may be going on but talk to him about it.

I gave up dancing after being in it for nearly 12 years. I was just tired of the rehearsing and practicing and actual doing it. LOL.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dover on

First, I am assuming he was allowed to be on the quad when and where he was. The accident/crash is exactly that...an accident. May have him help with the cost of repair though.

The lie however is a much bigger deal to me as it is a violation of trust. Lies to cover lies (showing you the wrong site, etc) was to protect the first lie so it's understandable but still not acceptable. The lying is what he would be grounded for. What that grounding looked like would depend on the child (what works for one doesn't for another and only you know what would work best). Extending his supervised driving/permit time because you can't trust him may be reasonable (not for the accident but for the lies) but then you have to give him opportunities to regain your trust (which you need to do anyway). But he did tell you the truth on his own.

Did you already not trust the uncle or is that new because of this incident? If it has always been this way then you are not surprised. If this is only due to this incident, consider they were looking out for your son and trying to give him a chance to work it out and come clean himself (he MAY have told him "if you don't tell them by Sunday, I will"). The one good thing here is that he helped your son (not with the lying but with the crash). Talk to the uncle and thank him for being there for your son but remind him that helping him lie is not helping him.

As for the soccer vs football, completely his call. He may have been thinking about it for some time. Talk to your son about it.

If you think he hit his head, get him checked out (better safe than sorry). I know people that have had severe head trauma and weren't the same personality as before their accidents....could explain some of the issues (including the lies).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Focus on the lies and why he felt the need to do that. He's not a good liar which is why he's so terrible at it. So he added another lie and then another, if I understand you correctly, by denying the damage and then taking you to the wrong site. It's probably good to point out that it just gets worse and worse if you tell lies.

The part of the brain that predicts consequences is not fully developed until age 25 or so, so keep that in mind. So whatever decision he made that caused the accident, and the decision to lie, are frustrating but typical.

Getting the uncle involved was understandable on your son's part, but totally ridiculous on the uncle's part. Helping a teen lie to his parents is a really bone-head stunt. I say that they don't do anything together at all, unless it's a family event and everyone is present. But teen and uncle do not go off into another room. Not a good pairing.

Move forward. I have no idea why a 15.5 year old would be getting a license in September. Will he be 16 then? Or are you talking about a learner's permit?? I would say that 6 months is an eternity in the life of a teen. I would postpone it for 3 months. That's far enough off that he'll be punished, but close enough that it doesn't completely feel like forever. That 3 months is based on him telling the truth about everything - where he is, who he's with, what he's doing. If he lies again, add a month. If he disrespects you (not just disagreeing, but being obnoxious), add another month.

My brother did stuff like that, and my mother did not want to let him get his license. I convinced her to let him get his license but then withhold the car every time he mouthed off. It worked great because the punishment was immediate - something he wanted NOW - vs. something long term like "you can't get your license until I decide you're mature." If their reward is too far off or too hard to achieve, they give up and rebel and it can be a bigger headache.

Since your son is not normally like this, I'd suggest using this incident as a teaching moment. Get him to express why he lied and what he thought he could accomplish, and what he's afraid of. Next, use the episode with the uncle as a lesson in choosing friends of good character. Say that Uncle has a judgment problem too, and you want more for your son. Then set up a pact whereby, if he's in a difficult situation with people he cannot trust, that he should call you and you will come immediately, no questions asked and no punishment. For example, if he's with kids who start to do something they shouldn't, or are drinking, or are bullying someone or harassing girls, or whatever, that you will come get him and not punish him. If he's been drinking, he needs to call you rather than make it worse by driving or accepting a ride from someone else who's been drinking. If someone has drugs, you will come get your son. Leave it alone about how you'll report his friends to the police - just leave it that his safety is key. If he's somewhere he wasn't supposed to be, but he's in trouble, he needs to know he can call you rather than get severely punished for being there to begin with. Believe me, he won't do it twice.

Finally, let him know that he can learn from this and earn your trust by being truthful. You are his parents and your love him, and you expect to guide him. You expect that he will make mistakes. But he can mitigate those mistakes by involving you sooner and in a truthful fashion. Once he starts driving, I can guarantee you that he will have some sort of accident - most kids do. The idea is to get him to minimize the chance of that, to get him to report it immediately, and to be first concerned with everyone's safety and later with the vehicle.

Finally, if you have any concern really that he hit his head, have him evaluated. Head injuries and delayed effects of concussions are a huge issue among teens. Don't fool around with it. And don't mention the costs of this to him - you don't want him hiding things from you because there's an expense involved.

I have no idea why you care about the football/soccer thing. It's nothing. He's either sick of it, or he's tired of getting beaten up on the field, or he wants to get with a new bunch of kids. I think you're probably just worried because it's a second thing that seems out of character. Leave it alone. He wants to make his own decision. Who cares? If he has any obligations to the football team, things he promised to do, he should fulfill them. If he thinks he can make a soccer team, great. It's not unusual at all for someone who's done an activity for 6 years to be sick of it and want to try something else. There is no reason he needs to continue, and branching out to try something new is something parents should encourage.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Yes, I DO think it would be TOO HARSH NOT to allow him to get his DL. He is a teen and even the BEST kids falter at this age. I would focus on the fact that he DID come clean and thank him for that. Don't just focus on what he did wrong. Make a big deal about what he did right.

I think a natural consequence to his action would be that he could not go out in the car with anyone but you or his Dad until license time. If he is a good enough driver then I would let him get his license.

Natural consequences are important, but Overly strict consequences can backfire.

Once he has his license you can enforce rules. For starter I wouldn't let him have his own car too quickly. When my boys were that age we had them sign a Contract for Safe Driving with rules and consequences before they got their licenses. I would be glad to copy and paste that to you if you are interested and would like to send me a private message.

15 is a tough age. You might avoid lecturing and try to ask questions. What is appealing about soccer? Are you okay with giving up all that you put into football? Do you have friends on the soccer team? What has changed for you? He might surprise you with his answers. Keep the communication lines open. Coming down constantly on teens just gives them an excuse to button up and avoid communication. On the other hand, you must stay aware and impose reasonable rules/consequences. You are doing the right thing by asking other mom's our opinions. Hearing from other Mom's always helped me. You will know what sounds right for your family.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

The fact that he did confess to one of his parents is a good thing and a big deal. Am I reading correctly that you're bothered he went to Dad instead of you? Or to Dad instead of both you and Dad?

I wouldn't hold it against him, to be honest because he did tell one of you and that's what is important.

You also have to consider that your son figured out (yes it took three days) that it was better to tell the truth than continue to lie or cover it up or he'd get in more trouble. He's still the good son. He did the right thing in the end. You have to give him some credit for that

For keeping it secret/lying for three days I might put off the license for one month per each day he lied. That will make an impression, and I don't think it's too harsh. You're not putting it aside for a year or even for six months. It will give him some time to practice his driving.

I would probably revoke quad privileges for a good six months. Mark it on the calendar... all of it... so that you don't lose track.

As for football versus soccer... not for nothing, Mom, but your son is the one who has to play. It should be something he wants to play. Help him weigh the options and see what his reasoning is. Talk it through with him but in the end it has to be his choice. If you're thinking that football might help him with college scholarships, let him know that. He may decide after a season or two of soccer that he prefers football but isn't he old enough as a sophomore in high school to decide that he wants to try playing soccer over football? I would bet he's been thinking about this for a while and that it's not a "whirl wind change in him." It's a change in a choice that you're used to and comfortable with but it's not a change in him. He's clearly not as invested as you are because no matter what he has to enjoy what he's playing.

It sounds to me that you're hurt he's not sharing his thoughts with you as much as you're used to. Think about it... he didn't share his confession about the accident with you, but with dad. He didn't share his thoughts on soccer and football with you until he had made the decision himself (which he had a right to do). I read a lot of hurt in your words.

Or do you really believe he injured himself so badly that he now has a personality change and can't make good decisions at all? That he's not been raised well enough to make good choices even if they might take a while rather than making them immediately? That he CAN'T make decisions without you?



answers from Houston on

I'm surprised by some of the answers on here. Of course you punish him for the lie. This isn't "I did my homework" when he really didn't. This lie was a whopper and it could have had serious consequences. He didn't want to get in trouble so he lied and got your brother involved as well. Not good! I would delay the DL for a while.

Your trust has been violated. The kid screwed up big time.

As for football, I would wait a couple of days after everyone has calmed down and discuss this with him. If he doesn't want to play football, then it is his decision.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions