View Full Version : teen daughter making up stories
01-20-2005, 10:10 AM
Hi there. I have a 14 year old daughter who does not lie to me, but I've come across several incidents as well as emails/letters that have her making up stories or exaggerating events. I've discussed this with her about a year ago when it blew up in her face with a friend. I want to make sure that I respond appropriately. I can be very harsh and I need some guidance on why she might feel the need to make her life seem more exciting and outright make up events and activities she's involved in. She seems to have a great self esteem and for the most part makes good decisions, is responsible, and gets decent grades.
01-20-2005, 05:01 PM
Take the low-keyed approach, and discuss the lying with her in a non-judgemental way, as if you were chatting about how her lack of stetching before running might hurt her.
First, tell her how her truthfullness with you means so much to you, that being able to rely on what she says makes you feel so close to her and proud of her. Then, ask her how she would feel if a good friend of hers lied to her. Next, ask if she worries that the "exaggerations" might blow up her friendships. Finally, let her know that her type of fibbing is pretty common among kids her age, but that she might want to chat about it with a counselor in case she wants to try and get control of it before it hurts her.
If she refuses help, just give her a hug and say, "Thanks for listening." If you back off, she'll likely mull over your words and possibly make changes when she's ready.
01-21-2005, 09:04 AM
I talked with my daughter yesterday when she got home from school. The discussion went well, and while I was not as low key as perhaps you recommended, there was no anger or accusations. I just asked a lot of questions like "how did she want to be defined; if someone were to describe her what would she like to hear them say, etc. and then what/how she thought some of the tall tale telling would hurt the person she wants to be.
She is the oldest of 6 children. Husband is active duty, so goodbyes and new starts are a theme for our family. We are living in a rather affluent are and many of her friends are able to spend money and their families have things that we can't afford.
I was able to discuss with her the feeling of not fitting in, which I am assuming is par for the course for this age, but is so intesified for my daughter right now as she has not been able to find her place here yet.
We talked about self worth and much of our religious beliefs helped play a part throughout our conversation. I'd like to think a light bulb went on, but from what I've read, it is sometimes two steps forward one or two back for a while.
I guess the most difficult thing I am asked to do is watch my children hurt from things I can't bandage up or take away. It's my hope that her fibbing doesn't become a crutch. I need to be able to provide her with other coping mechanisms.
Do you have any suggestions that I can guide her towards?
01-21-2005, 02:07 PM
It sounds as if you've done a wonderful job with your daughter on this. Nicely done!
Yes, the fibbing now makes sense given the new information you provided. The fact that she was able to chat with you likely means that you are on your way to seeing her gain control of that.
And, yes, the hardest thing we will ever do as parents is to stand by helplessly at times and watch our kids get hurt. But be sure to understand that there is an upside to getting hurt.
I firmly believe that what doesn't kill us, makes us stronger. I believe that for kids as well. So many kids over the years told me that not having all of the material things their friends had was a blessing for them, not a curse. Yes, they feel deprived as kids, but as young adults they typically feel stronger and more self-reliant in having worked for the things they have, even if they have less than another.
The key is to stay close to your daughter and allow her to express her frustration about not being as rich as her peers. Just listening and hugging is all she'll likely need. To not chastise or preach at her when she complains, but rather be supportive and acknowledge that it is tough to feel deprived. If she can pour that out to you, then she, on her own, will then start to get a better perspective about the ups and downs of material wealth. She will gradually learn that the greatest treasure of all cannot be bought: the love of a family. And that love is most clear when it is not buried in the clutter of excess material possessions. It shines brightest in the darkest moments.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.1 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.