Have you ever told a little white lie? You know, those minor lies we tell others out of politeness. We’ve all been there. We’ve either told them or been the recipients of them. But did you ever get caught?
Years ago, our middle son was hanging out at his best friend’s home. But later that night, he missed curfew. Like any mother, I started making calls. After many failed attempts, his older brother hinted to me that I should check out this party. That night, I became every teenager’s fear. Yes, I found my son at the party and took him home.
I thought about his punishment and then my husband gave me an idea. He didn’t get grounded. We didn’t take anything away. But since he wasn’t where he said he’d be, I told him that the following weekend we were going to hang out together. And I mean together. If I got up at 6:00 a.m., he got up at 6:00 a.m. If I went to the store, he went to the store. If I took a walk, he took a walk. Oh, it became a very interesting weekend. Surprisingly, he did it. To me and everyone else, it was hilarious. To him, I’m sure he wasn’t too happy. To this day, he has never forgotten our bonding weekend together because of his dishonesty.
Teens lie or tell half-truths for many different reasons. They lie to get out of something they don’t want to do, to cover their tracks, to protect their friends, exaggerate truths to make them look bigger, or just to fit in with their peers. We all know that lying is not a good thing and if it’s not dealt with early, it can lead to a lifetime integrity issues.
As parents and grandparents, we need to be able to discern between truth and deception. It’s difficult. All of us want to trust our teens! All of us want to believe what they tell us. But you have this gut feeling that something isn’t adding up.
How do you know if your teen daughter is lying or telling the truth?
- She will get defensive when you tell her you’re going to check-up on her story. If she is telling the truth, she will gladly provide information about her story. She might be insulted, but not defensive.
- She won’t look at you the same way as if she were telling you the truth. Be aware of how you communicate with your teen daughter. Does she avoid eye contact? Is she trying too hard to convince you? Is she looking at you for a long period without blinking?
- Check out her body language. Looking down, fidgeting, long pauses in answering questions, touching her face and mouth. These are not solid proof actions, but a few things that people do when they lie.
- Does she avoid details or change her story?
The Lord detests lying lips but he delights in people who are trustworthy.
~ Proverbs 12:22
Harsh punishment may lead to more lying. Give her an opportunity to regain your trust. You might want to try what I did with my son and spend a quality weekend together. I guarantee it; she’ll never forget it.
Terry Squires is a veteran author and creator of many gift products for teens and adults. She is the author/creator of the bestselling TodaysGirls.com series of twelve mysteries and a journal for teen girls. She also authored the Communicate Christ series, God’s Stories-My First Thoughts, Bible Stories for Bedtime and now introduces the ONE Impact Bible Bible published by Zondervan.
In addition to a busy writing schedule, Terry speaks nationally and mentors thousands of teen girls on her online ministry, TodaysGirls.com. She is a BSN graduate of Valparaiso University and is a RN. Terry lives in Nashville, Tennessee and is married to Ted Squires. Together, they have four grown sons, three grandsons, and a boston terrier named, Reagan.
Learn more about the talented author Terry Squires