Therapy and Counseling Center
for teens & adults in Newton, Sparta, Vernon
and Sussex County New Jersey
MA, LPC, NCC
973 . 300 . 5338
A big issue in many families is a lack of trust.
Adolescents don't trust parents because they believe their parents don't really listen to them, don't believe them, are critical, or punish unfairly.
Parents don't trust their teens because they sometimes catch them acting suspiciously or lying.
It helps to understand why teens lie. They know their parents don't want them to lie, but they also feel that if they've done something wrong and tell the truth, their explanations will be dismissed or not believed and they are still likely to be punished.
Since the punishment, from a teen's point of view, is often not much worse if they're caught in a lie, they have little to lose by trying to get away with it.
As a parent, don't be naively trusting; common sense should always prevail. Most teens will occasionally lie, even when there's no good reason. But, also, be careful about crossing the line of violating your child's rights.
For example, there are some occasions when searching your teen's room without permission might be necessary, but looking through their things without good cause can result in the loss of their trust. Mutual respect and open communication can increase trust. Routinely invading your teen's privacy is an almost guaranteed way to lose it.