SAPS 163 – Does your teen lie? Maybe. Probably. More than likely! What to do about ‘The Pinocchio Syndrome’

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Posted by: Sue Atkins

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In This Week’s Episode :

 

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Children are exposed to all sorts of situations, people, teachers & of course, other children, and all these experiences will challenge them and may affect the way they think & feel about themselves. 🤔

They need the tools 🧰 to handle whatever life throws at them, whether it’s in the classroom or out in the playground.

They need techniques & strategies to handle unkind words when someone says something mean or is unkind 😢 to them.

They need to learn my ‘Airplane Technique ✈️ so those things just fly over their head without damaging their confidence or self esteem.

We need to teach them emotional resilience that helps them deal with the ups and downs of everyday life.

But how do we do that? 🤷‍♀‍

By building good mental habits.🧠

 

One of these habits is by learning to have ‘An Attitude of Gratitude’ 🙏

Lots of studies have shown that gratitude significantly increases mental well-being and contentment with life. 👌

It allows us to put things in perspective.

An attitude of gratitude means making it a habit to regularly express thankfulness and appreciation in all parts of life, for both the big and small things alike.

 

It creates a feeling of wellbeing, appreciation, contentment & a feeling of abundance. If kids concentrate on what they have, they feel happier & more confident. 🥰

 

Kids can bounce back from setbacks because they are grateful for a loving family, a delicious dinner and their dog who loves them 🐶

They see the bigger picture & learn to focus on that. 🖼

And the great thing is that the more they go through this process the more resilient they become 💪

 

Just imagine strengthening this mental muscle at an early age in your child 😊

 

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‘The Can-Do Kid’s Journal –  Discover your Confidence Superpower!’ 🦸🏾‍♂‍ where ‘The Toothbrush Technique‘ is a daily habit ✨✨✨

 

Every week I get really positive messages 💌from parents from all over the world, telling me how their children are learning to ‘process’ difficult days in a different way.

How a very small & simple change in their ‘perspective’ has led to happier kids and increased resilience that’s noticed by teachers 🧑🏼‍🏫grandparents & brothers & sisters.

Like all the best habits – it’s simple, easy and has been designed to be done in just a few minutes a day. 📒✍️💕

For just a few minutes ‘The Can-Do Kid’s Journal –  Discover your Confidence Superpower!’ 🦸‍♀‍ will impact your child’s positive mental health for years to come.

This is a beautifully made and fully illustrated daily journal aimed at children aged 7 to 13 years 👫

Kids and parents tell me it’s a real pleasure to use & they really look forward to writing ✏️ in it every day 📒

 

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#MAGICMOMENT MONDAY

I was coming out of my hotel room on holiday recently as a taxi driver was proudly finishing off waxing his black Mercedes carrier. It gleamed in the hot sun & I admired his hard work. He gave a wide and genuinely surprised smile, delighted with my compliments of having noticed the pride he had in keeping his black vehicle spotless despite the rain of Tropical Storm Karen.

We exchanged a simple few minutes chatting & I felt the warmth of connection & it struck me that life is full of ‘Magical Moments’ if we take the time to notice them, share them & celebrate them.

There are magical moments in every day. We just have to take the time to notice them ~ Sue Atkins

I see so many negative posts around social media about bringing up children. How hard it is, how tiring & demanding it is & how motherhood is a battle that needs to be endured or fortified with coffee, wine or gin.

It IS challenging. It is demanding. It is exhausting.

I know I’ve brought up 2 children.

But, it is also magical, special, inspiring, life enhancing, joyful & the thing I am most proud of.

I thought it would be nice to hear your small, little magical moments that have brought joy to you around your family on a Monday. What better way to start the week – feeling grateful?

What are the things that made you smile, the simple moments of connection or pride, from riding a bike to learning to read. The sound of their giggles, the warmth of their hugs. The funny things they say – to the challenges they overcome.

I hope my #MagicMomentMonday will make you think what your magic moments might be, and appreciate them all the more when another comes your way.

Parenting is a journey to be enjoyed not a challenge to be endured.

I hope this simple idea will help you to become a more positive parent in some small way, that will make a big difference in your family life.

It would be lovely to see what makes you happy & what unites us, connects us, and brings us together around funny, special or unusual moments.

I’d love to hear your stories on my Facebook Page is https://b-m.facebook.com/SueAtkinsTheParentingExpert/


 

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Don’t Stew – Ask Sue Parenting Q & A

Q. Dear Sue, my 15 year old daughter Roshni has started staying out later than we would like and has started telling lies about small things but I’m really worried she’ll start lying about the big things too. What do we do about it? Rachita Laghari from Nottingham
A.

Listen to Sue Discuss the Answer on her Podcast.

Why teenagers lie – and what to do about it.

https://sueatkinsparentingcoach.com/2019/09/why-teenagers-lie-and-what-to-do-about-it/

 

My Advice

It’s the truth: Teenagers lie. In fact, research by Nancy Darling, an expert on teens and lying, shows that close to 96 percent of adolescents lie to their parents. In another study, 82 percent of high school and college students admitted to lying to their parents in the previous year. Either way, teen lying is more common than many adults might think.

In addition, parents aren’t always good at recognising when their teens are lying. And when they do discover a lie, they don’t have effective strategies for how to deal with a lying teenager. Thus, they may respond with anger and punishment. As a result, they drive their kids further away.

Hence, a more successful approach involves establishing a baseline of honest, open parent-teen communication.

Work at staying CONNECTED

Your teenager is experiencing mental, physical and emotional changes that require adjustments on her part and yours. The rate of a teenager’s growth is second only to that seen in infancy, according to Child Health Explanation. Some traits and characteristics of teens have been explored in order to understand why your teenager acts the way she does.

Teens test boundaries, they test themselves – they are searching for their identity and will probably challenge your values, what you stand for and what you say.

Keep the lines of communication open – don’t withdraw – look for simple ways to connect – over a car drive, a meal, a family outing, without nagging, moaning or bossying them around – build bridges not walls between you.

Keep the bigger picture – kids pretend you are uncool and that they don’t want to spent time with you but a lot of it is bravado

There are so many stresses on teens these days from exam pressure, social pressure, social media and FOMO – that teens need you just as much but not in the same way.

Step Back – press your pause button – know when you step in and step back.

Chat, listen, don’t lecture – and find things to do together that are fun – we watched Top Gear, went to watch Chelsea FC and ate a bowl of Chilli regularly together that their Dad cooked ( his signature only dish!)  – we also played the odd board game.

So why do teenagers lie more than any other age group?

In part, this may be due to changes in the brain. As the adolescent brain matures, emotional regulation and impulse control improve. Therefore, risk-taking behaviours decrease. And lying qualifies as a risk-taking behaviour.

Three Types of Teen Lying

Nancy Darling, PhD, professor and chair of the psychology department at Oberlin College, has researched teen lying for more than 20 years. Hence, she has studied some 10,000 young people between the ages of 10 and 24. And her team has done research in countries including the United States, Chile, the Philippines, Italy, Sweden, and Uganda.

 

Dr. Darling and her team have identified three basic types of teen lying:

Lying by avoidance: This strategy involves steering parents away from topics that teens don’t want to talk about. Therefore, teens distract their parents from conversations that might force them to reveal information that they don’t want to share.

Lying by omission: When teens lie by omission, they leave out key pieces of information that they know would be important to their parents. But leaving out unimportant information that parents wouldn’t much care about doesn’t qualify as a lie.

Lying by commission: This is the most basic form of lying: intentionally making statements or telling stories that are not true. Darling says that this type of lying is more rare than the others. However, outright lies have the most negative impact on parent-child relationships.

So why do teenagers lie even though they value honesty?

 Here are some of the reasons:

To get out of trouble

In order to do something, they’re not allowed to or that is dangerous

Because they believe their parents’ rules are unfair

They think what they want to do is harmless

As a way to protect others’ feelings

Maintaining privacy

Most important—to establish their independence and autonomy

Kids don’t see danger  & teens crave the ability to make their own decisions and choices.

But is important to understand not only why do teenagers lie, but also what they lie about, which could include:

The things they spend their money on

Who their friends are

Drinking or substance use

What activities they do

Whether a party is supervised or not

Having romantic relationships

If their homework is done.

Some of these lies may be trivial. But others can endanger a teenager’s health and safety.

Keep ‘Talking & Teaching’ and stay connected – that will build trust between you.

Hope that helps 🙂

Sue

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