Lying is an integral part of human development and it cannot be done away with. Somewhere someone right now is lying to his/her boss, teacher, parents, friends, etc. But does it mean lying is ok and we should just move on with life? Definitely no. There should be a line drawn somewhere so that we as human beings chose to do what’s right and not what right for just us. That being said, we must know why do teenagers lie and how should parents handle their lying teenagers. Teenage is that period of one’s life where the person learns various lessons and starts to develop maturity. So, it is imperative that our teenagers get all the important lesson the right way.
A small research was done on 226 high school students and 261 college students in America. 82% of the students admitted having lied to their parents in 2014. The rest 18% were not exactly truth-tellers, they might not have wanted to share the truth in the research. The point being, teenagers lie, they probably lie the most during their teenage.
So why do teenagers lie?
- To get out of trouble (obviously),
- They think parents impose unreasonable restrictions and that the only way through is lying.
- To protect other people’s feelings.
- They just want some part of their life to remain private.
- The list goes on…Teens lie a lot, even though they will always believe in honesty.
Parents always want to know everything about their kids but they fear the damage their relationship could take when they confront their children or scold them. Teenagers are not mature adults who understand the argument and try to make sense, they just lash out.
So how should parents proceed?
DEFINITELY NOT THIS WAY!
First, let me tell you an anecdote. When I was in class 11, one of my friends wanted a smartphone badly. His parents had already refused to buy him a smartphone. He somehow managed to collect enough money to buy a second-hand smartphone, Nokia 5233 to be precise. I was bewildered after knowing that he bought a smartphone without his parents’ knowledge. The first thought that came to my mind was, “Where do you keep it at home and how do charge and use it?” To which he replied, “I charge it from the USB port of my CPU because that is at the back of my desk where hardly anyone suspects.”
That year, I also got a new Nokia 5233, gifted to me by my Father. Now, one must wonder how did I persuade my father to buy me a smartphone and my friend couldn’t?
The simple answer would be, TRUST.
I share a pretty good amount of my personal life with my parents. Yes, I have lied a lot, but I never let the trust fade away. They know I haven’t touched alcohol yet, neither have I smoked a cigarette in my life. They also know that I sometimes drive my motorbike at more than 100 kmph. I not only tell them the good things that I have done, but I also slip in the bad things when they are in a good mood. Instead of getting scolded, I end up listening to a valuable lecture.
I was not like this from the beginning, it was my parents who carefully taught me the important lessons. They became my friends and started showing their trust in me, which in turn encouraged me to feel safe around them and share things with them which other children generally like to hide.
In stark contrast, my friend who bought a second-hand smartphone without his parents’ knowledge, used to lie to his parents a lot and get caught too. This one time his father caught him bunking the school, sometimes he was caught bunking the tuition too. His father was a strict parent and he stopped trusting him, thinking he would never allow him to have some fun. So, most of the time he used to lie to his parents about his whereabouts, and started bunking classes.
Moral of the story
If you worry about your relationship with your child taking a hit, then don’t scold them for every time they lie to you. Start building the trust, so that they can live up to that trust and start telling the truth. If you always doubt your children, keep interrogating them, they will get irritated and afraid.
If you don’t want to buy them a smartphone at a young age, there are hundreds of polite/friendly ways to make them see your point. But, scolding them will only force them to think that you are against their happiness, that you’ll never understand their needs, and they should just buy a smartphone and keep it a secret.
Befriend your children and build trust
If a teenager can’t trust his/her parents, there are high chances of them getting into some trouble and not letting you know until it’s too late. For instance, if a child sneaks out of the house at night, goes on a drive with his friends. God forbid, if they met with an accident, or their vehicle breaks down in the middle of nowhere, then the child will try every number on his cellphone but yours. But at that time, he will be needing his parents’ help more than ever. Yes, they snuck out, it’s their fault in the first place. But if parents have maintained an environment where even dropping a spoon would attract a lecture, then the child will never call for help.
A friendly environment at home minimizes the possibility of lying. My friend that bought a smartphone behind his parents’ back had a bad track record of trust. He was caught bunking the school and smoking. At the same time, his parents were also deadly strict, he would get a beating for not obeying them. Its hard to know who started this, whether the chicken came first or the egg. But one thing always translates into the other.
Think your child is bunking the coaching? How about a home tuition?
Stay one step ahead of your cunning teen and beat them at their own game. get a Qriyo home tuition for academics and never worry about them bunking and loss of studies. Just head to our home tuition website or download the India’s first managed home tuition app to request a demo class now.
Comment on your thoughts on why do teenagers lie. I’m sure you must have a lot of fun moments when you caught your children’s lies, share them with us.