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Teenage daughter lying

Question:

I recently caught my 18-year-old daughter in a lie. She took something out of my room without permission and was going to let her younger siblings take the blame. When it became clear to me that she was the one who took the item, I confronted her. She lied straight to my face; she had hidden the item in her book bag. What punishment should she receive for willfully lying and allowing someone else to take the blame? This is not the first time I have caught her lying to me.

 

Answer:

Lying can become a habit if it is not addressed. In your daughter’s case, there are multiple behaviors that need to be addressed: stealing, lying and shirking responsibility.  

Specifically address each one by issuing a consequence for each infraction. Try to make the consequence fit the individual behavior. For instance, as a result of stealing, your room is off-limits to her for a set amount of time. She can even lose a few of her own personal items. She needs to learn that lying breaks trust between her and others. 

Have her prove that she is telling the truth – even when you know she is – for a week or two. Have her call and check more frequently when she is out. Have her show you that her homework is completed every night even when you know it is finished. Check her backpack every day when she comes home from school so you can look for items that do not belong to her.  

Lastly, because she has tried to place blame on her siblings, have her pay restitution to them by apologizing – either verbally or in writing – and doing their chores around the house for a week or two.

 

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