🤱"My Kid Lied To Me..."

(5 Minute Read) POV: you found the secret recipe to dealing with teenagers sneaking out.

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As I lay in bed one Saturday night, a nagging feeling gnawed at my conscience. My "mom alarm" was going off, and I couldn't shake the sense that something wasn't quite right. My 17-year-old daughter, August, had shared her plans for the evening, reassuring me she was out enjoying dinner with her boyfriend. Yet, despite her assurances, an unsettling sense of unease lingered in the air. 

Pushing my doubts aside, I scolded myself for even considering that she might not be doing what she said. After all, I thought, doubting her honesty felt like a failure on my part as a mother. Nonetheless, the uneasiness persisted, urging me to investigate further.

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With a hesitant hand, I reached for my phone and opened the Life360 app. As the map loaded, my suspicions were confirmed. August's icon was nowhere near a sushi restaurant; instead, it hovered in a seemingly random neighborhood, far from any dining establishments.

My heart raced as I dialed her number, my voice strained with apprehension. "Hey," I began, trying to steady my nerves, "what are you doing?" I asked, struggling to keep the frustration at bay. Her response came as a casual reassurance, but each word only intensified my mounting disbelief. But before we continue this conversation, go support the sponsor we love today, here’s a quick ad for them.

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The discrepancy between her words and the reality before me threatened to unleash a storm of emotions. “Hey Mom, I’m just outside of the sushi restaurant, I’ll be home soon.” How could she lie so effortlessly? At that moment, I felt like I had failed as a parent. All my years of teaching morality and right from wrong seemed to crumble as she blatantly lied to my face. “August, I can see where you are.” 

As August's voice trembled with fear and uncertainty, apologizing for her actions, I was left speechless. In that moment, I wanted to respond with wisdom and compassion, to be the gentle parent who imparts valuable life lessons. But the truth was, I was as lost and confused as she was. It wasn't until years later that my own seeds of maturity took root, allowing me to see the role I had unwittingly played in pushing her into a corner. By already knowing the truth, I had inadvertently set her up to lie.

If you've ever found yourself in a similar situation, you understand the conflicting emotions that come with it. As parents, we walk a fine line between wanting to protect our children and needing to trust them. But what I've come to realize is that sometimes, our actions can unintentionally erode that trust.

After years of parenting, teaching, and consulting with parents, I've learned a valuable lesson that I want to pass along: Stop setting your child up to lie. Don't ask your child a question you already know the answer to. It's a simple principle, yet one that is often overlooked in the heat of the moment. Instead of allowing them to lie, state what you know and move forward with a solution. Take it as an opportunity to build a better path forward. Reflecting on my own journey as a parent, I realized that I had to make changes to better navigate teenage deception and rebuild trust with my daughter, August.

*Please give a gentle round of applause too…*

This is Parenting

By: Leslie Hannans

This is Parenting: Demystifying parenthood is a fresh, new take on an old tradition, Parenting! For centuries, parents have engaged in a long tradition of parenting, based on how we learned. But, have we questioned our parenting techniques? Have we thought critically about what our actions can do to harm our children? This is exactly what This Is Parenting explores. We will dive into behavior modification, origins of modern parenting, skill acquisition, and more!

Here are two examples of what I did differently the next time…like months later, after a lot of growth on my part:

1. Open Communication: Instead of confronting August with accusations, I initiated a calm and open conversation. I acknowledged what I knew about her whereabouts and expressed my concerns without judgment. By creating a safe space for dialogue, I encouraged August to share her perspective and feelings, fostering mutual understanding and trust.

2. Collaborative Problem-Solving: Rather than dictating a solution or resorting to punitive measures, I involved August in finding a resolution together. We brainstormed ideas to address the underlying issues that led to her deception, such as communication breakdowns or peer pressure. Through collaborative problem-solving, we developed strategies to prevent similar situations in the future and strengthen our bond as parent and child.

Navigating teenage deception requires patience, empathy, and a willingness to learn from our mistakes. By refraining from setting our children up to lie, fostering open communication, and embracing collaborative problem-solving, we can build trust and understanding in our parent-child relationships. Remember, our children are not defined by their mistakes, and they are not our mistakes either. They are individuals on their own journey of growth and self-discovery, and it's our role as parents to support and guide them along the way.

As a certified consultant, Ashley Radzat empowers both teens and their parents to navigate life's challenges with confidence and resilience. Reach out at www.radzatconsulting.com for more information.


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