Most people will likely lie at some point during their teen years. It is a stage of life where we form our personalities and move away from our close familial relationships to forge new connections with a larger social group. However, when a teen lies persistently, it can uproot and complicate an entire household’s ecosystem.
Catching compulsive lying and working to correct this type of behaviour when it first occurs can be essential for the wellbeing of both your family and your teen. At Venture Academy, our intervention program and behaviour treatment may be the right course of action for your teen to stop compulsive lying.
What Are Some Signs That Your Teen Is Lying?
Several signs may indicate that your teen is lying to you. It is important to remember that these are not typical for every young person and are most worrying when there is a sudden change in your child’s demeanor. But if you notice some of these troubling communication differences, that may indicate that something is affecting your teen, and it may be time to intervene by getting them the help they need.
Some verbal and physical signs to watch for include:
- Notice when your teen breaks eye-contact if they are put on the spot. This can be a sign that a young person is being evasive.
- If your teen answers questions very quickly in a practised or prescribed manner, that may indicate teen lying.
- Listen for your teen’s voice pitch to change to a higher or faster quality or struggles with their speech pattern.
- Is your teen nowhere to be found during previously agreed-upon obligations? This can be a sign that they are creating a physical distance to avoid taking responsibility.
- If your teen answers direct questions by changing the topic, this can be a sign that they are intentionally evading or obfuscating the information they are offering.
- Changes in a routine that are unaccounted for. For example, a young person who previously practised sports or music is suddenly absent from practice or exhibits changes in academic performance.
Again, these signs are dependent on observing changes in your teen that seem out-of-character from their normal conduct. Getting ahead of compulsive lying can keep your teen from hurting their relationships or chances to do good in their community.
Why Is Your Teen Lying?
Teen lying is common in many aspects of their lives. Perhaps it is as insignificant as not finishing homework or something as serious as drug or alcohol use. The following are some of the deeper reasons for teen lying:
- To make friends or keep friends- Teens may exaggerate their abilities or experience to seem cool when they are forging new friendships. Alternatively, they may also alter the details of a situation to protect a friend from getting into trouble.
- To avoid embarrassing situations or consequences – The teen years are rife with embarrassment as young people are discovering how to act like an adult. Teen lying may cover up events that your teen would like to avoid or forget.
- To simply have a secret – As teens break away from the family unit, they will try different ways to establish their autonomy, including compulsive lying.
- To avoid revealing their feelings – It can be hard to process our feelings, and many complex new feelings appear during the teen years due to changes in hormones, changes in social life, or deeper mental health issues that can appear during this time of life. This is a crucial reason that identifying and seeking help can be necessary if a teen’s attitudes drastically change.
Compulsive lying is an action that can affect your teen negatively as they grow. It can affect a teen’s chances of finding employment, getting into good schools, and making friends and connections in the world if they lie persistently. Early and effective intervention can be critical but remember to model steady honesty when seeking help for your teen, as they look to you for correction out in the world. Do not conspire to catch them in a lie. Instead, steer them to the help they need at Venture Academy.
Correct Persistent Teen Lying with Our Help
It can be frightening when you feel your child slipping away, but it is possible to course-correct compulsive teen lying. With Venture Academy’s 30-day assessment and intervention program and behaviour treatment, your teen can get a reload on their communication styles so that you can get back to working together as a family with less worry.
If you are still feeling unsure, take our interactive child behaviour test and call 866.762.2211. It only takes about five minutes of your time and may assist you in your evaluation process as you consider the best steps to help your teen end their compulsive lying.