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Chronic lying - teenager

Community Member
A web of lies are starting to unfold from our teenage /step son, to the point that he posted on social media of so called 'abuse' from family members, which is of course a one of many lies. He had been keeping some major secrets (moving out of home) from us and extended but close family, so called 'friends' seemed to know all about it. As he is only in contact us via phone at the moment when we have casually confronted him about the lies, he still answered with lies and blamed his 'friends' for spreading the abuse allegations. We have the cold hard truth. He had been seeing a counsellor with a mental health plan in place, going to a good local school, thriving in sport and had a job. No idea where to start when he agrees to meet us in person to start to talk things through, only to be calm and diplomatic. Obviously he has suffered the trauma in the past of his parents divorce, but where to from here?
5 Replies 5

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hello Sashed

Welcome to Beyond Blue forums. It sounds like you have a lot on your plate at the moment. Very difficult for you I'd imagine.

I'm not a counsellor or therapist so can't give you any diagnosis. I can only relate my own experiences.

If your step son has a mental health plan in place then he is obviously going through some quite major issues at the moment. It's unfortunate that you see everything he says as lying. All I can suggest is having some very calm and open conversations with him. Have a mediator if necessary, or go to Relationships Australia. To be truly honest, if he is lying, there must be a reason for that. Something that's triggered this type of behaviour. Getting to the bottom of that may help to build better relations with him.

Relationships with anyone just don't happen, it takes everyones, time, effort and commitment. Perhaps that's the beginning for your all - to draw up a list of what you want out of the relationship, what the consequences will be if not agreed to. Everyone will need to agree to it of course.

Have you had a look at the Beyond Blue homepage? Do a google search for one or more of the following - depression, anxiety, bipolar, worried about someone.

Living with mental illness is not easy for anyone. Most of all the person who experiences it. I have PTSD, anxiety and depression. I have a loving husband who has supported me for 34 years or more. While I have other siblings, my support is from him, my doctor and psychologist. I tell very few friends about how I feel or what I've experienced. It's a lonely world for us at times.

If my mother and father were still alive, they would not believe the things that happened to me when i was 12. They too would say I was lying. It's truly inconceivable, but it's the truth.

Please let us know how you get on.

Kind regards


Community Member

Hi Sashed,

I sincerely feel for your situation, and hope that your relationship with your son improves.

Being a teenager myself, I can understand hiding stuff from my parents. Often I find it hard to speak to my parents about things, in this case, your stepson might be worried about talking to you regarding moving out, even afraid you might say 'No', in harsh reality is much easier to speak to friends about stuff such as that, in my opinion.

I know I lie when I find something embarrassing, or I've done something wrong. A lousy trait but in honesty everyone does it. Thought I wouldn't discount it, there may be something much more profound going on. I would keep communication lines open, even if it is just over the phone.

RE: "He had been seeing a counsellor with a mental health plan in place, going to a good local school, thriving in sport and had a job." Is he still seeing his counsellor? Do you have any contact with the school? What are his grades like?

As PamelaR said, to prepare for when he meets you, do some research on mental health.

I would ask him, what place suits him? I know I'm more likely to open up if I'm comfortable and know the person I'm tellings not judging (or at least feel like they're judging).

I wouldn't bring up the lies straight off. Personally, I would try and encourage him to speak to you guys again in person and bring it up on the second or third session if possible.

Otherwise, bring it up slowly. You have the right idea,"calm and diplomatic."

If he doesn't like the whole idea of meeting Face-to-Face encourage him to write a letter, whatever suits better.

I wish you the best of luck,

Keep us updated.

Feel free to ask questions as they pop up.


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Sashed

It's a really difficult situation and I feel for you. You sound furious.

Please keep an open mind when you speak with your step-son. I don't expect that you will want to hear this suggestion, but please keep in mind that it is very common for children reporting abuse to be disbelieved by their relatives, and for the family to join ranks against the child, in unwitting protection of an abuser. I'm not saying that's what has happened here - I don't know the situation - but I agree with Pamelas comment that something has prompted him to raise this. It might not be exactly the situation he has described, but it just might be related - maybe he has had a difficult experience at school, for example. It is excruciating to deal with this sort of issue, but it is essential to deal with it gently. C James' suggestions sound like a good approach to me.

Don't hesitate to get support for yourself if you don't already - it's a difficult time and a counsellor can sometimes help work through the issues and emotions in advance of any discussions with your son.

Hi everyone - been a while since I posted. But we are still dealing with the lying. Son lives at home and that situation was resolved last year. He now has a full time job. But barely contributes to the household day to day runnings when asked. I am tired, it is affecting my day to day life now. I work full time and run a business and I get really frustrated when he doesn't pull his weight around the house - especially when set a task unsupervised and completely ignores and does not even bother to start it.. I don't have time for that! I really don't.. Yelling, arguments and all that. There are other approaches yes.. But it seems to make no difference with him. HE won't help himself and doesn't see there is a problem..

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Sashed

Thanks for your feedback and letting us know how you are going.

I am glad your son is at home now and has a full time job.

You mention you are still dealing with the lying, do you feel he is lying about the issues when you first wrote or do you think you are dealing with different lies.?

He can sense how frustrated you are with his lack of co operation, alas many people his age react like that.

as he been expected to do chores from a young age or since he has a job is now expected to do chores?

Thanks for your update,