doug_kess asks:

How can I get my 14 year old son to stop lying so much?

my son is 14 he's never been in alot of trouble but recently weve noticed him lieing about both big and little subjucts besides the usuall homework type stuff...last week there was a situation where he was being bullied however when the truth came out the other boy was sticking up for another boy my son was picking on so i grounded him and had him writing sentences about lieing and bullieing we were out running arronds and called home he said he had 300 yet when we got home he'd only done 100ish he said he did nt want us to think he was just screwing around yet of course that was only obvious im afraid that grounding[ has just become oh-well im already grounded]... had the sentence experiance not happened he was going to be let off restriction (he did'nt know that though) and then of corse theres the other stuff you homework type things but im looking for other thoughts im just about out of them
In Topics: Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago



Boys Town National Hotline
Mar 5, 2008
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What the Expert Says:

Teenagers and younger children often have difficulty telling the truth.  They usually are attempting to avoid conflict, punishment, or embarrassment.  This may also mean that they do not tell you the whole story in order to avoid information that may get them in trouble.  It is often easier for them to tell a lie than to admit responsibility for their behavior.

Something to keep in mind when talking to your son is to keep your questioning neutral, don€™t make accusations or interrogate him as this can back him into a corner and he may resort to lying in order to avoid punishment. Set him up for success to tell the truth by not trying to trap him in a lie.

Next time you question your son and he tells you how it was someone else€™s fault, try to get him to reflect on what he may have done wrong or how he could respond differently in the future.  This approach becomes more of a teaching approach rather than a punishing one.

As a parent, role model apologizing for your mistakes and admitting faults.  This helps them to see that it is OK to make mistakes and that it is often easier to just to €œown up€" than lie or make excuses.

Often parents want to confront their children right away. Sometimes it is helpful to wait until you've thought through how to best address your suspicions.

€œGrounding€" may not be as effective as a natural consequence like having your child make amends for their behavior, i.e. make the punishment fit the crime. Grounding for an extended period of time can lead a child to give up, because they have nothing else to lose. You may also want to let your son know that the consequence will be much less if he is honest about what he did wrong.

Dealing with lies from your child can be very frustrating and damaging to the relationship. It is great that you are looking for ways to help your son!

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