Marked by adolescence, teenage children feel the need for more freedom and independence from their parents. The temptations and peer pressure can affect their behavior. All these may prompt your teen to lie, especially when the parents are too controlling.
However, teens’ behavior is also greatly influenced by the type of parenting they receive. Therefore, it is important to talk to your child and make them comfortable to open up while maintaining authority as parents.
In this post, we will let you know about teens lying, including the signs and ways to deal with it.
What Are The Signs Of A Lying Teenager?
The signs of lying are quite obvious, and it does not require an expert to spot a lying teenager. Some signs that can help you know if your child is lying include (1) (2):
- Gaze aversion: The classic sign of lying is not making eye contact. You may notice that whenever your teens lie, they look away from you or keep looking towards the ground. Avoiding eye contact makes anyone feel less guilty about their wrongdoings or dishonest behaviors.
- Non-congruent gestures: While it may be easy to control the words coming out of the mouth, children cannot always control their body language. Most of the time, your teen may make certain non-congruent gestures, such as unusual animated hand movements, shoulder shrugging, or head shaking, when lying.
- Facial expressions: The microexpressions, such as a sudden flash of guilt or fear in their faces, cannot be hidden whenever they lie. Some people are also proficient in detecting such microexpressions to spot a guilty or a lying person.
- Rapid blinking: Unusual frequent blinking may be a sign your teen is lying. Blinking while talking or lying is also one of the common signs. People tend to blink while lying to avoid feeling stressed or guilty.
- Voice tone: Talking in a high-pitched voice is another classic behavior of a lying teen. You may notice your children using an unusually loud or shrill voice every time they lie.
Note: Children manifesting such behavior may not necessarily indicate them lying. People also tend to show such signs when they wish to conceal their emotions or when they want to avoid interaction, especially in the case of introverts.
What Are The Consequences For A Lying Teenager?
Lying can become a problematic behavior with consequences that your teen may fail to understand. These can include:
- If your teen is lying all the time, it is more likely to become a habit. Those who develop a habit of lying utilize it whenever they need things done or want to have things their way.
- A teen with the behavior of frequent lying can lose friends upon getting caught. Your child may most likely be sad or stressed from the lying and guilt, besides losing a relationship.
- A lying teen with other behavioral issues, such as short temperament, and aggressiveness can develop psychological problems in the long run.
- If your teen continues to lie, it can ultimately become a behavior of compulsive lying. It is a disorder where people tend to lie as a habit, irrespective of the situation, without feeling any remorse or regret.
How To Deal With A Lying Teenager?
You may try parenting methods to discipline your teen and deal with their lying (3).
- Calm approach: Try a calmer approach towards your child’s risky behaviors, including lying. Instead of Punishing them, use your parenting skills and start a healthy and calm conversation. This may cause them to open up about the truth.
- Reason behind the lie: Most of the time, teens lying might stem from someone or something they are protecting. It can be someone they are covering up for or something they have done and are afraid to get caught. You should find out the root of their lies and use your problem-solving skills to help and educate them accordingly, instead of scolding or threatening about punishing them.
- External influence: There can be times that you find your otherwise good and well mannered teen, involving in risky behaviors. Here, you may consider external influences, such as friends or people your teen may be spending too much time with lately. You need to distance your children from them.
- Strengthening of relationship: Yet another situation that puts your parenting skills to test. Parenting involves establishing an honest relationship with your teens to make them comfortable enough to share their happiness and worries with you. This can be done with regular conversations to help your teen feel more at ease with you.
Your teen’s frequent lying can be frustrating at times. But as parents, you need to stay calm and be mindful of your teen’s behavior, as lying may not necessarily be due to their need for freedom or typical teenage problems. It may also indicate underlying depression or other mental health issues. Hence, you need to establish a strong relationship with your children by maintaining good communication with them.