For Dating Teens Lying Can Be Dangerous
We all tell little white lies. We never think that a white lie can turn into a potentially dangerous one. This is exactly what can happen to teens. Many tend to lie about their age or their experience when trying to get the attention of dating partner.
You might think what's the big deal if a teen lies about their age. Let me give you an example. Let’s say a 14 y.o. girl tells an guy that she’s actually 17 y.o. And the guy is actually a 20 y.o. adult. You can see where I'm going with this. With both girls and boys reaching puberty at younger ages it may be difficult to tell judge a teen's true age. With older guys, they have more experience and perhaps, greater expectations for their dating partners. And girls who lie about their ages can be find themselves in a tricky situation. Not all older dating partners will verify the age of the love interest, which could end in a legal situation.
You might be wondering the reason a teen would lie about their age or their experience. A common reason is to get the attention of the older guy or girl. Teens tend to think in the presen or about the here and now. They don't think about the implications of their lies because they don't think that anything bad will ever happen to them. They don’t have the experience or the foresight to think though the consequences. Keep in mind that not all teens will lie about their age or experiences.
When You Find Out Your Teen’s Friend Is Lying
As a parent, you find it easier to handle your own kid's lies. But what do you when you find out that your kid's friend is lying? And not only lying, but their lies put them in potentially dangerous situations.
Since it isn't your kid, you might be hesitant to get involved. However, as an adult you have an ethical and moral obligation to protect children - all children. Imagine if something happened to the child and you had prior knowledge and could have prevented the situation. Or, imagine if a parent had information about your kid and didn’t tell you. You do the right thing even if it’s uncomfortable.
Get involved in situations that deal with dangerous, harmful and illegal activity such as drugs, alcohol and kids dating adults.
If you're wondering how to start a conversation with another parent, I have tips. Schedule a time to meet. When you talk about a situation, stick to the facts. Leave out emotions, speculations and opinions. For example, I had an adult male reach out to me asking about the age of one of my kids' friends. I explained that the friend was a minor child and he should not contact or accept any contact from this minor child. When I chatted with the parents I explained the situation and what I said to the man. If you have specific information then share it (names, dates). And you let the parents handle the situation from there.
Blanca Cobb is a WFMY News 2 Contributing Editor, body language expert and keynote speaker/trainer who covers nonverbal communication, psychology and behavior. Follow her @blancacobb. The opinions expressed in this article are exclusively hers.
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