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KansasTherapist, LSCSW
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 566
Experience:  17 years experience with depression, abuse, and borderline.
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How do I get me teenager to stop lying?

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How do I get me teenager to stop lying?

KansasTherapist : Hello
KansasTherapist : You ask a tough question. Lying is a behavior that starts out of fear of punishment or desire to get our own way. As it continues, it becomes a habit with little to no though to how it effects our relationships with others. It is definitely a habit that can be broken but only by the person who does the lying if they are motivated. It seems that discussions and punishment have not been motivations in this case. One thing to try is when you think your child is lying to ask them to take some time and think about what the truth is. They can come back to talk about the issue when they can be honest.


I'm not sure when he is lying. He tells me that he is doing all his homework and school work. Then I get an email from his teacher that he has a D in a class. I ask him about it, he says he has talked to the teacher and has it all worked out. I email her and find out that he has not talked to her. He goes to see the teacher the next morning and tells her he lied to me. That he has been having computer troubles and has seen the IT person. The teacher cks on this answer only to find out it is another lie. He has not spoken to the IT person at all. After the 1st lie, I put him on restriction not allowing him to go to the football game on Friday night. What do I do now that he is still lying....and he knows his teacher and I are communicating??

KansasTherapist : So this is not an ongoing problem but mainly about this school sttuation?
KansasTherapist : Perhaps it would help to sit down with your son and his teacher to talk face to face about the issues. Let him know that if a third party, like the IT guy, is brought up, that person will also have to be brought into the conversation. Try to get to the bottom of the reason he isn't doing his work. Is the class too hard for him? Does he not understand what he needs to be doing? Make a plan for how he's going to complete his work and have an ongoing consequence, like being restricted, until the teacher and you know the work is done and turned in.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It is an ongoing problem but mostly about school work. We go through this every year and he is a senior now. I have spoken to several of his teachers and not one has even hinted that he is not capable of the of doing the work. He will even acknowledge that he can do the work just doesn't. He wants to go to Auburn University next fall but with the grades he has going I dont know that he will get in.

At his age, some times you have to just stand back and let them sink or swim. I also have a son who is a senior and we've had our times when he wasn't working up to his ability. Rather than you taking responsibility for his grades, put that on his shoulders. I would let him know that while you're concerned that he won't get into the college he wants, he is the only one who can do anything about it. He may not make it into Auburn and have to accept a less selective school. Sooner or later he has to face the facts.
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