Grandma and Grandpa didn’t know you smoked. You couldn’t tell Aunt Marie you threw out the casserole she made. You didn’t want to go to that birthday party, so you pretended you were sick.
Young children most often view situations and reactions to them as black or white, bad or good, wrong or right.
Discernment is more difficult for teens. Most think of themselves as honest and don’t want to lie, but sometimes they are confused. Teens see and hear lies being told all around them, probably every day. On television, in movies, and in real life. And when lies don’t seem to do any measurable harm, it’s easy for teens to enter a gray, muddy area. There they may not be able to determine when a lie or withholding of the truth is just plain wrong.
They may think lying is sometimes necessary. When is a lie necessary? Only to save a life—or simply to spare someone’s feelings?
|Cynthia's newest book,|
6 DATES TO DISASTER,
You or I may have years of experience in avoiding a direct answer that would hurt someone’s feelings. We may answer with a compliment about something else in order to save a relationship. Teens may not have practiced this art. And it is an art of deception, if we’re honest with ourselves.
Of all things important to teens, relationships are way up high on the list. And that’s the point we can use to guide them regarding their honesty.
Just as brutal honesty can sometimes damage relationships, dishonesty is certain to ruin them. Dishonesty with parents, teachers, friends, employers, coworkers. Teens may not consider how a lie about the car, schoolwork, tardiness, keeping a date, or numerous other seemingly small lies can affect the trust they receive from others in the future. And the future of relationships they need, whether they recognize their importance now or not.
To start a conversation with your teen about honesty, something fun to do is to take an honesty quiz such as this
Christian Teen Honesty Quiz: How Truthful Are You?
The introduction states that about 83% of teens believe that moral truth depends on a particular situation. As a family member of a teen, how do you feel about honesty and what do you expect from your teen? Now is the time to talk about it.
Interesting survey statistics about teens lying, cheating, and stealing can be found in
5 Things to Do When You Know Your Teen Is Lying on Crosswalk.com.
Statistics particular to academic dishonesty can be found in Teen Dishonesty at TeenHelp.com.https://www.teenhelp.com/teen-issues/teen-dishonesty/
The third book of my Bird Face series, 6 Dates to Disaster, tackles the subject of dishonesty in school and withholding truth from parents.
When the main character’s family faces financial hardship, she must find a way to earn money to fly to Alaska to see her surrogate grandmother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s. Wendy has only a few months to acquire enough money for her fare. What seems like the perfect opportunity to achieve her goal presents itself, but she handles the situation badly and risks permanent damage to her relationships and her future.
Learn more about Cynthia and all of her books at her author page at WriteIntegrity.com