All Mixed Up at ccMixter

Friday, October 27, 2006


I found out, in a surreptitious way, that my teenager is lying to me. Because my method of discovery is surreptitious, I cannot tell her I know that she is lying to me. The thing she lied about is not a major thing in and of itself -- but the fact that she lied to me is very disturbing. Furthermore, when I tried talking to her about the subject about which she lied, she continued to lie to me even though I gave her ample opportunity to tell me the truth.

Most people do not think there is anything unusual about a teenager lying to a parent. While that is not acceptable behavior or expected behavior(especially for certain prize teenagers), it is not unsurprising that a teenager will lie to his or her parent. By temperament, my teenager is reticent, withholding and not terribly articulate. She does not like talking to me when she is eating even though meal time is one of the few times we are together as a family. She does not like talking to me on the phone when I check in with her at the end of the school day. She does not even seem to like talking much to me when I go in her room, sit on her bed, and chat with her. She is a shut-down master. As a result, I have little true knowledge of what is going on in her life.

I do know that my teenager is in a safe school/social environment and believe she is not engaging in dangerous or excessive behaviors (certainly not the kind of behaviors I was engaged in when I was her age). I also recognize her need to individuate and all that entails. Nevertheless, knowing that she lied to my face is an alarm I need to listen to. I'm just not sure how to respond.

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