Does Your Teen Lie To You? 3 Tips for Confronting Your Teen about a Lie – Without Damaging Your Relationship

Share Article

You know your teen is twisting the truth, but do you know how to confront him without doing serious damage to your relationship? Peter Sheras, Ph.D., author of 'I CanÂ?t Believe You Went Through My Stuff,' reveals smart strategies for confronting teens about the all-to-common lie.

You know your teen was nowhere near the library after school. But when you ask, she looks you right in the eye — and lies! Calling her bluff is risky. She may feel humiliated, become angry and go to even greater lengths to keep aspects of her life a secret.

How can you deal with your teen's deception without damaging your relationship?

“Most adolescents lie to their parents not to be dishonest but simply to be able to do what they want to do or to demonstrate their growing independence,” says Peter Sheras, Ph.D., author of I Can't Believe You Went Through My Stuff ( “This can cause a great deal of worry and aggravation, but with some smart strategies, you can be the parent your adolescent needs you to be.”

The father of two twenty-somethings, Sheras is a licensed clinical psychologist who has spent more than twenty-five years counseling adolescents and their families. He is a professor in the Curry Programs in Clinical and School Psychology at the University of Virginia Curry School of Education and has his own private practice.

Here Sheras reveals two suggestions for successfully confronting your teen when they twist the truth:

1. Convey your concern. Be willing to listen and express your wish to be helpful. You might say, “I know you didn't sleep over at Alison's last night. I know it's sometimes hard to talk about what's happening, but I would very much like to know what's going on.”

2. Avoid immediate accusations or making a moral point. If you say, “It really disappoints me that you were so irresponsible and you lied to me,” your child will decide you've already made up your mind and you won't hear anything further from him. If you share your concern and listen to what they felt- what lead them to lie- they can believe you want to listen.

Approaching your teen in this manner will not only strengthen your relationship, but also develop a mutual trust that will survive the troubling breach of truth.

Get the FREE report 5 Ways to Rebuild Trust between You and Your Teen at

I Can't Believe You Went Through My Stuff: How to Give Your Teens the Privacy They Crave and the Guidance They Need



ISBN: 0-7432-5215-2



Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Peter Sheras, Ph.D.