Hello fellow parents! If you’ve ever found yourself wondering why your child or teen sometimes chooses to be a bit, well…, selective with the truth, you’re not alone. I recently had a session with a parent and this topic filled our time quickly. Let’s walk into the intriguing world of honesty – or the lack thereof – and explore the reasons behind the selective sharing of information.

Risk Management 101 – Fear of Consequences:

Picture this: your teenager missed curfew, and you’re asking for an explanation. Ever notice the hesitation? It’s not that they don’t trust you; it’s more about navigating potential fallout. Children and teens might selectively share details of a situation to avoid what they perceive as the “parental storm.” This “Fear of Consequences” is experienced in children, teens, young adults, adults…It is experienced at all ages and stages of life.

Self-Image Maintenance – The Edit:

Childhood and Adolescence is a transformation story with the main character under constant editing and evolution (isn’t development awesome, for real). It is human nature to want to present the best version of ourselves, even if it means bending the truth a bit. This editing phase will continue as a person figures out who they want to be in this world and how the feedback from their world works for them.

The Diplomatic Approach – Protection of Relationships:

As parents, we cherish the family bond. Children and teens do too, but sometimes they want to keep the peace. The truth might stir up emotions, so they navigate carefully. It’s like diplomatic negotiations within the family – choosing battles wisely to maintain harmony. Come on, we adults do this as well….all of the time.

Emotional Armor – Coping Mechanism:

Children and teenagers face a rollercoaster of emotions, and sometimes a little storytelling serves as their emotional armor. Whether it’s stress, peer pressure, or insecurities, they might spin a tale to cope. It’s not deception; it’s a way of navigating the tumultuous sea of life.

The Peer Dance – Social Expectations:

Children and teenagers are working on and/or are highly attuned to the social dance, and sometimes their stories align with what their peers are sharing. It’s not about rebellion or disrespect; it’s about fitting in. They might be selective to match the rhythm of the social scene.

So, navigating the truth maze and understanding the reasons behind selective honesty sheds light on the intricate dynamics of being a person. It’s not defiance; it’s a quest for identity, coping, independence, and finding a place in the world. Please remember to reserve judgment and come to a place of understanding as we are on this journey of life together. Stay patient, keep those lines of communication open, and embrace the adventure of parenting!

With love,

Dr. Marnee