I’m SO sorry this didn’t post on Wednesday. Chalk it up to general flakiness :)
So here’s Wednesday’s post on Friday:

I just love (and really appreciate) when you guys send me articles that help us navigate our sometimes rocky adventure. MOAT mom Carrie sent this to me yesterday. I thought it was very interesting. It also made me appreciate a certain teen in our house, who despite many (and I’m talking many) challenges walks a fairly consistent road in the honesty area – at least on the big stuff.  When I pressed him the other day in an effort to get to the bottom of a fairly important situation, he told me:

“Mom… I’ve never lied to you on big things. I admit I’ve done it on little things like keeping the change from Starbucks, but I never tell you anything but the truth when you ask me point blank.”

We’ve watched this kid stand up in tough situations and spill the beans. We’ve even done behind the scenes checking just to make sure. Here’s to hoping we can stay on top of it and foster an environment that welcomes the truth. Even though I can almost hear Jack Nicholson growling at me, “You can’t handle the truth!” Somedays I sure don’t want to.

Thanks for walking the road with me.



Knowing why teens lie will help you get to the truth.  

By Kim Painter, USA TODAY

Updated Feb 28, 2011

Honestly? If you have a teenager, you have a liar in the house.

That is, you are living with a human being. We all lie. But even savvy parents may blanch at the news that 80% of high school students in a new survey admitted to lying to their parents about something “significant” in the past year. The finding is in line with past reports and is not the most shocking thing in the survey: After all, 59% of the 43,000 teens surveyed by the Josephson Institute of Ethics said they’d cheated on a test, and 27% said they’d stolen from a store.

But it is a reminder that parenting teens sometimes requires separating fact from fiction — and harmless fibs from dangerous deceptions.

“Kids don’t tell their parents everything, and I certainly remember lying to my parents once or twice,” says Michael Josephson, president of the ethics institute. “The real question is whether kids know the line between ‘I did my homework,’ or ‘I cleaned my room,’ and a more serious situation.”

Even kids who know better lie sometimes about things parents consider very important, says Jennifer Powell-Lunder, a psychologist in Katonah, N.Y. She and fellow psychologist Barbara Greenberg are co-authors of a new book called Teenage as a Second Language.

In fact, Powell-Lunder says, the more important something is to you, the more likely teens may be to lie when they don’t meet your expectations. Some kids lie about bad grades while others lie about drunken parties or dangerous driving, but the underlying reason is often the same, she says: “The biggest reason teens lie is that they don’t want to disappoint their parents. They really care what you think.”

At a recent book-signing, she says, a teen boy confessed: “Of course we lie. My parents think I’m a good kid, and I don’t want that image to change.”

Among other reasons teens lie:

To protect their friends. If a friend is in trouble, with substance abuse, depression or other problems, “they have this faulty belief that they can handle it on their own,” Powell-Lunder says.

•To do things you would forbid. “The more the child wants to do something, like go to a party they are not supposed to be at, the more ornate and elaborate the lie will be,” says Ellen Rittberg, an attorney in Roslyn, N.Y., and author of the book 35 Things Your Teens Won’t Tell You, So I Will.

•To avoid consequences. No kid wants to get punished.

But, Powell-Lunder says, kids who know exactly what the consequences will be (for instance, the car keys will be taken away if they get a speeding ticket) may be less likely to lie than kids who face unknown consequences.

The unknown is scarier, she says.

Here are some ways to minimize lying and build honesty with your teen:

•Model honesty. Don’t lie in front of them, to them or on their behalf (even if, for example, lying about their age gets them a discount at an amusement park or movie).

•Don’t let them lie to others. Josephson says his 12-year-old daughter is still upset six months after he reneged on allowing her a Facebook account once he learned she’d have to claim to be 13. “I decided it was better for me to break that promise than to endorse the lie,” he says.

•Keep their confidences. A child who sees her every utterance posted on your Facebook page or hears you sharing her secrets with your friends won’t want to tell you much of anything.

•Keep your cool. When your teen does tell you something upsetting, listen and discuss it calmly. You will learn more than the parent who starts screaming. If you must, Powell-Lunder says, “walk away calmly … and then go scream.”

A teen’s view

Want honest kids? Be honest parents.

That’s one piece of advice from Andrew Arredondo, 16, a junior at St. Genevieve High School in Panorama City, Calif.

“My dad has always been honest and upfront with me about everything,” Andrew says. So, he says, if he ever had anything upsetting to confess, “I would be able to tell him, because I know he would understand and he wouldn’t judge me.”

That doesn’t mean that the hard-working student and athlete has never told a lie. Once, he says, he let his dad believe he was elsewhere when he was out with a girl he wasn’t supposed to see.

“When he did find out, not from me, and confronted me about it, I felt terrible … I thought he might start wondering what else I was lying about,” Andrew says. He and his dad worked it out, he says, but “lying made it a bigger deal than it needed to be.”

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