Home > Teens > Teen Behavior and Discipline > Disciplining Teens > Should Teen Be Grounded for Lying to Parents?

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Should Teen Be Grounded for Lying to Parents?

Middle School Expert Advice from Connie Collins

Q: My 16-year-old daughter has been obsessed with getting her nose pierced. We told her she couldn't do it now and that we thought she should wait until she's 18 to make such choices. She went ahead and did it anyway, lying to us and to the man who pierced her nose -- she said she was 18. We grounded her indefinitely, until we feel that she has earned our trust again and that she has been punished both for lying and disobeying us. What do you think?

A: As parents we are often hurt and terribly disappointed when our children disobey us, and especially if they lie to us. I am not sure about what lie your daughter told, but I am assuming that she lied about where she was going when she went to have her nose pierced. She broke your trust.

Grounding, no matter how long, is usually not very effective and is sometimes very hard to enforce. First, I suggest you sit down with your daughter and state very firmly what your feelings are about her betrayal of your trust. Don't talk about the reasons you didn't want her to get her nose pierced. Next, impose some or all of these consequences, which might be somewhat more logical and natural. Say something like, "Because of the choices you made to disobey and lie to us, we, as parents, also have to make some choices about your behavior in our home. You will have to build back the trust you lost. You may not go to ... for a month. "(If she used a certain place or friend as her excuse to get out to do the piercing, mention this place or person.)

You can also say: "Although we cannot control what you do outside our home, we do set the rules in our home and you may not wear the nose stud when you're here or when you're with us." Be very firm on this. Don't let her sit down with the family for dinner unless she has removed the stud.

Keep focused on consequences for her making the choice not to follow your rules. Don't think of it as punishment. You don't need revenge -- you need to be able to trust her as part of your family. It's her responsibility now to rebuild that trust.

More on: Expert Advice

Connie Collins, professional school counselor, worked for 35 years in public education as a teacher and counselor at the middle school and secondary levels. Collins worked daily with the parents of the students in her various schools, and has facilitated several parenting groups.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.


10 Best Creative Apps for Kids
Looking for apps that foster creativity? Check out these top-rated art and music apps for kids.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

A New Intergalactic Reading Adventure!
Get your reluctant reader hooked on an irresistible new story, Galactic Hot Dogs! Join the Book 1 reading marathon, and get behind-the-scenes tidbits on the official Galactic Hot Dogs blog. Also, print this cool Galactic Hot Dogs reading log to keep your bookworm excited about reading!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks