when a teenager can’t be trusted

by gurumommy on June 7, 2011

in from the desk of

This article by NY Times Motherlode writer Lisa Belkin quoting everyone’s favorite parenting expert, Wendy Mogel (author most recently of ‘Blessings of a B-minus’) should be read by all parents, whether you have a teenager or not!  Lisa’s question about ‘how to trust your child again after they have lied to you?’  is answered by Wendy as follows:  ‘Teenagers react to accusations of lying, sneaking or general slimy behavior with indignation. It’s an attempt to level the moral playing field and induce shame. Just like your young child shouts “It’s not fair!” teens tell you that the relationship is shattered…forever…and ever. They’re hoping the drama, the morality play, will distract you from ferreting out a real problem or real danger.So when the lie emerges ask yourself: Is my child lying because she fears telling me the truth? Is she lying because she knows I’d rather believe her deception than confront her with her genuinely reckless choices? Or is it an experimental floater lie, a gentle truthiness, to see how much she can get away with? And when she reacts to your probing with outrage consider her a creative tactician.’


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