Family Magazine

Why Do Older Children and Teens Lie to Their Parents?

By Upliftingfam @upliftingfam

ID-10054136Parents it is very important that you have a continuous relationship with their child as they are growing up so that when your child becomes a teenager, you will know them well enough to determine when they aren’t telling you the truth.  Kids will tell you a story if they think that they can get away with it.  I have always told my kids that I will always find out when they aren’t being truthful and that I will finding out what the truth is.  As a parent, always give them the opportunity to tell you the truth or come clean.

Why Do Children Lie to Their Parents?

Most children lie to their parents for a variety of reasons.  I know when my child lies to me, it makes me feel as if I didn’t teach them not to lie as a child or that I did something wrong in the way that I raised them when they were younger.  However, kids will be kids and they will do what they want at some point in their life and chances are your older child will probably lie to you know matter how well you raised them.  It is normal for you, as a parent, to feel frustrated, angry, and disappointed with your child when you catch them lying to you.  Most older children and teenagers will lie to you for a variety of reasons but there are 4 main reasons why most children will tell a lie.

Reason #1: Disappointment

My middle child decided that he would hide his report card behind his dresser because he knew that I would be disappointed with his grades.  When he decided to hide his report card behind his dresser, he didn’t realize that his sister went to the same school and would also get a report card around the same that that he should get one.  When his sister brought home her report card and I didn’t see one from him, I began questioning him where his report card was.  He said, “The teacher hasn’t given it to him yet.”  So I decided to call the school and ask them about his report card and verify his story.  The school advised me that they teachers already gave the kids their report card so I informed them that I haven’t seen his report card yet. I asked the school if they could fax me a copy.  After I received the fax from the school, I determined the reason why he decided to lie to me, he had a few grades on his report card that was much lower than he was capable of doing.  When I asked him why he lied to me, he said, “he didn’t think that I would find out”.  I know that he knew that I would be disappointed and punish him for his grades.  So he hid his report card in attempt to keep me from being disappointed with him.  However, he didn’t realize that now I was disappointed with him over his grades and the fact that he just lied to me.  If your child feels that they aren’t living up to your expectations, then they may find a reason to lie to you about their actions.  Sometimes as a parent, we need to step back and determine if our expectations are too high.  Ask your child if your expectations are reasonable?  Listen to their response, they may give you valuable information to the underlying issue.  If the expectations are reasonable  then you should stick to the punishment for the crime.

Reason #2: Communication

Most children feel as if they already know what your answer will be before they even come to you and ask you a question.  They base their decisions on previous experiences and conversations so they think that the answer from their parents will be the same as before.  Some children would rather lie to you; instead, of coming to you so that the two of your can discuss what they want.   In fact, your child may feel as if you never listen to them or take into consideration their opinion on the situation.  Parents need to focus on creating open lines of communication with their tweens and teens.  This will teach your child that they can come to you and talk openly and honestly about all of their situations, including, situations that might make you uncomfortable as a parent.

Reason #3: Testing Boundaries

Some children are easier to raise than others, which can leave a parent frustrated and unsure on how to handle the situation, especially, if you have a child that seems to constantly want to test the boundaries that you have set up for them.  They will push and push to determine what they can get away with before they are caught.  It is important that if your child oversteps a boundary that you follow through with the defined or proper punishment.  If you don’t follow through, then you will imply to  your child that they can get away with it and your child will use it to their advantage.  (Ack, I know I am guilty in this department and need to work on this)

Reason #4: Developmentally Delayed

As children begin growing up and developing their own individuality, they may begin to make their own decisions that don’t match their parents expectations.  During early adolescents, they begin separating from their parents and this is the stage in their life when they begin feeling presure from their peers.  Peer pressure usually tends to make them make decisions that go against everything that their parents have taught them as younger children.  Most teenagers think that they know what is best for them at the time and don’t remember that their parents have often been in the same situation or a similar one and know what they are talking about when they tell their child to avoid a certain situation.  Most teenagers are thinking of their own independence and trying to figure out who they are, so they sometimes make the wrong choices and don’t intentionally mean to lie to their parents.  Instead, they are making their own decisions and wanting their own voice to be heard.

When Should I Seek Additional Help With My Child’s Lying

If your older child or teenager is caught lying to you, try to determine why they are lying to you in the first place.  Use the reasons above to help you determine the reason why your child choose to lie to you; instead, of coming to you for guidance or to discuss the situation.  Remember that all children are different and respond to situations and peer pressure differently.  The reasons that I listed above are a guideline for parents.  However, if your child has consistent problems with lying, you may need to seek the help from your child’s health care provider, counselor, or psychiatrist

Parents, what has lie has your child told you?  How did you catch them lying?

Please share your story to help others.


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