How to Tell If Your Teenager Is Telling the Truth

by Kathryn Hatter
Careful observation should tell you when your teen is being truthful.

Careful observation should tell you when your teen is being truthful.

When you look your teenager in the eye, you might not know for sure if she’s telling you the truth. While you might want to believe that she's trustworthy and honest, sometimes, the temptation to lie to avoid a consequence or gain a permission is so great that your teen might succumb. However, there are certain telltale signs that you can often observe in someone who is not telling the truth. You can look for these in your teen if you're uncertain as to whether she's being truthful or not.

Step 1

Check your adolescent’s eyes to get clues about truthfulness. If you have a hard time getting her to maintain eye contact with you or if she keeps blinking at an accelerated pace, she might not be telling the truth, notes social psychologist Matt Moody, with the Call Dr. Matt website. It’s also possible that your teen’s pupils will get larger due to increased tension and concentration, according to an article in the July/August 2004 issue of "Monitor on Psychology," a journal of the American Psychological Association.

Step 2

Observe how your teen answers questions for an idea as to whether he’s telling the truth. If he had a chance to anticipate your questions and prepare a story, he may launch right into his prepared response quickly because he’s ready. On the other hand, if he’s unprepared and you catch him off guard, he might pause and take longer to respond. Normal speech patterns and conversation suggest truthfulness.

Step 3

Watch your teenager’s body language to catch movements and actions that might indicate that she's lying. For example, she might nervously fidget or touch her nose, face or head her hand. She might fold her arms or cross her legs in movements of defensiveness. Your teen might also purse her lips, shrug her shoulders and smile less than she normally does, notes the Dr. Phil website.

Step 4

Pay attention to what your adolescent tells you to make sure that the facts align and make sense. If you notice a lack of logic, holes in his story or discrepancies, delve deeper to see if he’s being truthful. If he’s lying, his voice might have a higher or lower pitch than normal and he might try to change the subject, warns Matt Moody. You might also notice that your teen isn't using first-person pronouns if he's lying, as this can be an attempt to distance himself from a fabricated statement.

Step 5

Ask questions of your teen to see how she responds to your attempts at clarification. If she’s telling the truth, this shouldn’t bother or threaten her. If she’s lying, she might become verbally defensive and angry in response to your questions.

About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator and regular contributor to "Natural News." She is an accomplished gardener, seamstress, quilter, crocheter, painter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator and she enjoys technical and computer gadgets. Hatter's Internet publications specialize in natural health and she plans to continue her formal education in the health field, focusing on nursing.

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