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Your teen needs to feel a freedom to come to you in every situation. It doesn't mean they are granted immunity over any bad thing they do if they just tell you the truth about it.

It means that the consequences of lying about it are so much more severe that it makes them not want to lie. They also learn the value of coming clean.

Building this kind of open, truthful environment into your home and your relationship puts you on the road towards a great, wholesome relationship with your young person.

There will always be bumps along the way, but at least you know there is a legitimate relationship, because there is honesty between you.

If you suspect your young person is lying, don't constantly accuse them of lying. If you have caught them in an occasional lie, don't assume everything is a lie. You might question it in your mind, but don't always vocalize it.

If they have committed to tell you the truth, then grant them that trust. Make them prove to you that they really are telling you the truth.

If you think your teen is lying and sneaking around, what you need to do is get enough facts to back up what you really think. Then still don't say the "L" word, but sit your young person down when you have enough facts.

How To Confront
Say something like this, "Johnny, remember how I've taught you the value of telling the truth? Remember how I've told you Satan is the father of lies? Remember how I've told you that no matter what you've done, you can come to me and tell me the truth?

Now if you were to be completely truthful about this situation, is there anything else you would want to tell me?"

Instead of accusing them of lying, give them a chance to come clean and to empty their heart. It is good for their soul and for their heart. It is better for forgiveness and for your relationship.

If they respond by saying, "No," say, "Now, Johnny, think about sitting right in front of the throne of God and having God ask you—is there anything else? It doesn't matter what the consequences are or even what you've done.

At this moment, what matters is that you are being truthful about this. Is there anything else you want to say?"

Then wait in silence for their response.

You then have a choice. You can say, "Okay, I trust you and believe you," if you don't have any evidence to the opposite.

If you do, you might show them a little bit of that evidence, but not all of it and say, "Johnny, so-and-so told me that you were here at this time. And you said you were at this other place.

Are you sure you are being completely truthful? Is there anything else you can remember at all?"

What you're doing is showing them you know a little bit more than they thought you knew. So now they don't know how much you do know. That might provoke them to be honest. If not, show a little bit more of the cards in your hand.

Tell them a little more of what you know and give them the chance to be truthful. You don't want to ever come out and say, "You lied about this and this."

Keep giving them chances to come clean. If they still refuse all the way through the process, show them your complete hand. Hopefully, at that point they will break and say, "I'm sorry I lied to you."

Once they have confessed, don't get mad and say, "Well, you stupid kid! What did you lie to me for?" Talk about it.

"Why did you feel like you had to lie to me?" Give them some consequences for lying, but more importantly, talk through it. Don't just talk about the thing they did, but talk about the lying issue as well.

Let them know they compounded the issue by lying about the whole situation.

A Life Of Integrity
You need to have a trustworthy relationship, one where you can count on the fact that your young person always tells you the truth.

Make a big point about the lying issue, teaching them the importance of truthfulness, integrity, and being completely above board.

Young people do not learn about truthfulness and integrity by talking about it one time. Start when they are young—or now, wherever they are at—and begin to share from the Scriptures the importance and value of living a life of total integrity without any lies.

As you begin to plant seeds and principles into their heart, they are going to begin to value telling the truth on their own. They will do it not because Mom and Dad told them to or because they might get into trouble if they don't, but because they know it is right and they will be blessed for it.

Source: The Rescue Manual For Parents by Ron Luce.
Excerpt permission granted by Albury Publishing

Author Biography

Ron Luce
Web site: Ron Luce
 
Ron Luce was the co-founder's and president of Teen Mania Ministries from 1986-2015. Ron and his wife Katie dreamed to raise up young people who would change the world.
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