Your teenager is lying to you

One of the most interesting things that really stuck with me since reading Nurtureshock several years ago was the research on just how much teenagers (even the good ones) lie to their parents.  With my oldest being 15, I definitely see this all the time now.  It is certainly frustrating, but I actually deal with it better (at least on an emotional level for me) knowing that this is totally typical behavior.  That said, it’s still not entirely clear to me what I should be doing when I catch my son lying to me or how to better dissaude it in the future.  Thus, I really enjoyed this Washington Post piece on the matter:

 Does your teen lie? Maybe. Probably. More than likely. Research suggeststhat on at least one important matter last year, you were not told the truth by your teen. (In this small study, 82 percent of teens admitted to lying to their parents in the previous year.) But the bigger question, the one that troubles us in that white-hot moment of anger is: what are we going to do about it? …

Yet, teen behavior is confounding, because while almost all teens said they valued honesty, nearly as many reported lying to their parents about significant matters. And many social scientists believe that respondents under-report their own undesirable behavior…

But teens lie for another important reason. Teens lie for privacy, they lie not just because they will be punished for what they are doing but because they simply do not want us, their parents, to know. Teens lie to preserve or establish their autonomy. It is their way of saying, “My social life is my own.” “What I do with my body is my own.” “How I spend my time is my own.” I remember that delicious feeling of realizing sometime in high school that I had my own life, that I had a whole world that my parents knew nothing about and that I would lie to protect that privacy. I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t realize that my kids must sometimes feel the same.

Yet the question that remains for most parents is how to minimize or eliminate any lying and what to do when you find that your teen has not been honest…

Nancy Darling, a professor at Oberlin College who has studied teens and lying, suggests that one of the ways to raise trustworthy kids is to trust them, she explains, “…feeling trusted seems to inspire kids to behave in ways that will maintain parental trust. Good kids are trusted. The more they’re trusted, the more they try to live up to that trust, and the more trustworthy they become.”

Her research further shows that being willing to battle with your teen, having a climate in your home where teens feel that they can disagree with individual rules, though not with your authority to make those rules, is a parent’s best chance for discovering the truth…

Our teens should never doubt our disappointment in the lying. The best message to convey is that the infraction might have been overlooked or a milder punishment put into place had they not lied. The message they should hear? “Had you just missed curfew, I might have been lenient, understanding or even forgiving. But that time you are going to spend grounded at home? That’s for lying.”

Okay, on the bright side, sounds to me like I’m pretty much doing everything right from my side.  On the downside, I still catch David lying to me.  I guess I can take solace in the belief that he’d be lying to me even more?

This is the link to the scientific paper that predicted the disappearance of all snow from the planet due to climate change

 

 

 

—-

Sorry, couldn’t resist.  Got the idea from a PS prof friend on FB.  Was amusing to see people not get it.

Actually, meanwhile, this:

Yep, that’s Sen. James Inhofe, Republican from Oklahoma, throwing a snowball to prove that global warming isn’t really happening.

“We keep hearing that 2014 has been the warmest year on record,” Inhofe said. “So I ask the chair,” — referring to Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) — “Do you know what this is? It’s a snowball, from just outside here. So it’s very, very cold out… very unseasonable.” He then lobbed said snowball to a page and lapsed into deep silence, a smile across his face.

Inhofe, by the way, isn’t some random nut off the street. He’s currently chair of the Senate’s Environment and Public Works committee. You want Congress to do something about global warming? For the next two years, at least, any bill would have to go through him.

Ouch, the stupid!!  And in a US Senator!  Man, if that doesn’t make you despair for our nation, I don’t know what does.

%d bloggers like this: