Teen behavioural treatment in Canada and elsewhere can be essential to help adolescents develop proper emotional and mental health. Parents and guardians may also turn to professional help like this if they catch their teen lying or displaying other negative symptoms.
Factors like their inhibition or insecurity could be the cause of your teen’s lying tendencies. However, lying to you could also indicate problematic communication habits on your end. Having said that, though, when you observe your teen lying, especially when discussing an important issue, take note of it. Even without proof, you at least know at the minimum that your teen is not certain about what they say. Are you searching for teen behavioural treatment in Canada? Reach out to Venture Academy today by calling 866.762.2211 or contacting our team online.
What Are the Signs of Lying in Teens?
1. Changing the Topic When Put on the Spot
Offering irrelevant information or changing the topic of the conversation is a teen lying sign that’s easy to observe. If they can’t come up with a lie or manipulate the truth quickly enough, they may try evading your direct questions with an off-topic response.
2. Higher Than Normal Vocal Pitch
It’s been scientifically proven that a person’s tone of voice goes up, especially toward the end of a sentence, when discussing something which causes anxiety, fear, or insecurity. This includes the possibility of telling a lie and feeling uncomfortable with the deception.
3. Lack of Natural Silence or Faster Than Usual Talking
When a teenager speaks quickly and incessantly in response to a direct question and fast-talking is not a typical communication trait of theirs, your child may be trying too hard to convince you. They may think that if they spoke slower or paused for silence, you might catch the holes in their story.
4. Long Lag Time Between Your Questions and Their Responses
If you ask your teenager an easy-to-remember, factually oriented question such as whether they went to a friend’s house after school and they take a long time answering, they may be trying to come up with what they feel is the correct answer. They may also be manipulating the truth instead of telling you everything.
5. No Eye Contact and Certain Eye Movements
In many Western societies, avoiding natural eye contact when speaking can be interpreted as avoiding responsibility, dishonesty, or evasiveness. In addition, both eyes looking straight down can be discerned as feeling negative emotions such as discouragement or guilt, and eyes looking down but to one side can be interpreted as feeling negative but not dealing with the experience.
6. Physical Distance and Barriers
When you communicate with your teenager on an important issue, observe whether or not they cross their arms or legs, turn their body sideways from you, hold an object in front of their chest to shield themselves from you, or step behind a piece of furniture to establish a physical barrier. These non-verbal cues may not signify lying, but at the minimum, they suggest emotional distance and less than complete openness.
7. Stuttering, Especially When It’s Not Present in Normal Speech
When a person suddenly stutters when being put on a spot, the speech impediment could be due to defensiveness, nervousness, or self-consciousness. It could also include the possibility of lying.
How Do Teen Lying Behaviours Develop?
Now that you’ve gone over the typical signs of lying in teens and know how to tell if someone is lying to you, it may be worth looking into how lying behaviours develop. You may also want to figure out if your teen is lying only about some things or if their lying behaviour is compulsive.
Compulsive teen lying involves consistent and ongoing lies. Teens lie compulsively to control what their parents and guardians know about their lives. Teens might frequently lie because they’re afraid their parents or guardians would be disappointed or angry if they knew the truth. They may lie to hide being bullied, getting social anxiety, feeling social isolation, or having poor grades. In addition, they may develop a habit of lying to cover up inappropriate behaviour, such as maintaining a substance use disorder (SUD) or self-harm tendencies.
Teens may also compulsively lie to create a false image of who they are, although this type of lying occurs more often with peers rather than parents or guardians. Compulsive lying is not a mental health diagnosis. However, it can be a symptom of various teen mental health disorders. Some teenagers even reinforce lying behaviours to the point that they become unaware that they are even telling lies. Lying, in these cases, becomes a tactic used to manipulate the world to enable them to experience the least amount of friction from others.
When Should You Consider Teen Behavioural Treatment?
If you know how to tell if someone is lying, and you catch them telling lies and confront them about it, it’s often not going to change anything. Your teen may brush off the confrontation and continue lying. On top of this, there is no failsafe way to recognise when your teen isn’t telling the truth or is omitting important facts—in many cases, you may only catch lies hours or days after they were mentioned.
While most typical teenagers are likely to be sporadically untruthful, consistent dishonesty should not be the norm. Compulsive lying could be a symptom of anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder (BPD), low self-esteem, narcissistic personality disorder, or sociopathy. It may be advantageous to consult with a mental health professional to rule out a deeper reason for your teen’s habitual dishonesty. You may consider a specific teen behavioural treatment program if your teen is diagnosed with a mental health condition.
Ready To Learn More About Venture Academy’s Options for Teen Behavioural Treatment?
Needing a bit of help sometimes does not make you a bad parent–caring enough to seek help when it’s required makes you a great parent. If you’re looking for teen behavioural treatment in Canada, contact Venture Academy today. Reach out to our team online or call 866.762.2211.