What is Your Teen Hiding?

How can you tell if you’re teen is concealing things from you? When you ask your teenager as he comes in one night- Where have you been?- do you really know if they are telling you the truth? Spotting a lie can be hard for anyone, not just parents. But in a parent-child relationship, you are at some advantage because of the type of relationship that can be fostered between parent and adolescent.  Catching ExtremesSaying too much or saying too little, can both be subtle hints of a lie. If you ask- Where have you been?- and your teenager quickly answers with an elaborate story of the night, going through the entire evening in detail, he may be concealing what really happened. The same goes if your teen replies vaguely in a few words. Any kind of extreme in the way your teenager is behaving can be a sign of concealment. A False NaturalIt may be particularly difficult to spot a lie if your teen does not plan his lies or excuses at all. If your teen opts to go with the flow and answers with what may seem appropriate to them as they go along, these replies may appear “natural.” Teenagers using this ‘method’ may become so accustomed to it that speaking with you becomes some sort of “act.” The problem occurs if your adolescent gets used to talking with you like this, and whatever you are familiar with as your teenager’s normal behavior is false to start with. 

Catching Your Teen Out of Character

 This type of concealment is not like a lie your teen may use from time to time to get you off his back for coming home past curfew. This serious concealment may be used to cover up serious substance abuse or issues such as eating disorders. But no matter how talented an actor your teen may be, they can’t be in character all the time. It’s up to you to catch the times they do slip up, may it be with his words or his actions. If some aspects of his life are suddenly suffering (like school or a prime activity) even while he seems to be keeping up appearances at home, then be alert for any clues or details that may lead you to the real deal. For example, if your teen makes excuses for you picking him up somewhere or your dropping by, then you may tend to wonder what’s up.

If you would like to know more about therapeutic boarding school and other residential programs for troubled teens, please contact a family counselor at Zion Educational Systems for guidance.  To get started click the button below!

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