Lying 16 year old DS

(16 Posts)
doorornottodoor Thu 15-Apr-21 23:52:24

Specifically around phone/laptop usage. We take electronics off him at night.

So far since Christmas he has hidden an old phone under his mattress , sneaked an old laptop in, handed a calculator/old phone in instead of his actual phone. So basically barefaced lying on at least 4 occasions and has just done it again tonight. 🤯

Stressful times as GCSE year and he’s struggled massively in lockdown with motivation/becoming withdrawn. He’s back at school this week thank God! It’s been hard for him (he was worried after doing so little in lockdown) but he seems to be doing a bit better.

It’s the lying that gets me. I just told him I’m disappointed and that I’ll need to think of consequences. Reduce his data/confiscate his electronics for part of the weekend. Unfortunately he needs his laptop to study.

Any advice? Thanks.

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frostymornings Fri 16-Apr-21 00:01:21

To be honest, at 16 I'd just let him have it, unless you have a specific reason not to. My DS is 17 now and has been allowed his devices in his room for a couple of years now, no specific ground rules but he knows that if there's a change in his behaviour, or his College work is suffering, we'll have a discussion about putting rules in place.
If you have genuine concerns about not trusting him to behave appropriately then that's another issues I guess.

FinallyFluid Fri 16-Apr-21 00:05:59

Choose your battles carefully, is this one worth winning at the expense of a greater relationship when things are really tricky when they are 18/19 and really think they have arrived in the world of grown ups ?? and you truly need them to confide in you ?

FinallyFluid Fri 16-Apr-21 00:12:01

My DS heading for 20, shock tells me a lot more than some of my equal age group friends, they went to the pub when lock down lifted, they came back here and I fed them, stuck my head outside and said wood in the shed light the fire, they went back to the pub when one of the rest could join them, he told me (tipsy) when he came home that one of his friends said he was lucky that his mum was so laid back, he said one of his friends said F*ck that , she always listens.

Choose your battles carefully.

FancySomeChips Fri 16-Apr-21 00:12:47

At 16 he should have greater autonomy over his mobile phone! He isn’t 11.

AnnaFiveTowns Fri 16-Apr-21 00:16:00

Sorry, another one who thinks you're being overbearing. He's 16, choose your battles; let him have his phone.

doorornottodoor Fri 16-Apr-21 00:16:01

Thanks both. Yes good points which is why I didn’t go crazy. It’s the lying really. He’s terrible at self moderating and we just need to get through the next 6 weeks then all his GCSE assessments will be done.

He would spend all day in his bed on his laptop/phone if we let him (sometimes he does the odd day at weekends). He does appear to be working hard (on schoolwork) at the moment at least....

I did empathise with him about the strain he was under, pointed out he could just have asked for extra time rather than lie.

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OppsUpsSide Fri 16-Apr-21 00:17:57

I wouldn’t implement that kind of consequence for lying, I would talk to him about the actual impact of lying in any relationship. (Had to have this same conversation with DD this week!)

doorornottodoor Fri 16-Apr-21 00:20:20

Keeping communication open is key. It’s a fine line though as he really will do nothing else! Just trying to guide him a bit still. He’s only just turned 16 and having spent all this time in lockdown is still a “young 16” in many ways as hasn’t (been able to) have had much independence.

I do take on board what you’re saying though. Thanks. Oh and he’s not my eldest but we didn’t have the sneaky behaviour from my older one!

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doorornottodoor Fri 16-Apr-21 00:22:05


I wouldn’t implement that kind of consequence for lying, I would talk to him about the actual impact of lying in any relationship. (Had to have this same conversation with DD this week!)

Yes good idea. It’s late and I was tired so it was just “lying is bad” rather than why. Good point!

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doorornottodoor Fri 16-Apr-21 00:27:56

@FinallyFluid we definitely have that with our oldest and pre lockdown our house was the one that his friends would come to. I want to be the one he confides in but I’m also not interested in being “cool mum” for my own sake - I think sometimes to be a good parent you have to make unpopular decisions.

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FinallyFluid Fri 16-Apr-21 00:31:40

It is a balance, you will find it, good luck.

doorornottodoor Fri 16-Apr-21 00:47:25


It is a balance, you will find it, good luck.

Thank you ❤️ Everything feels twice as hard at the moment!

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GreenFish5 Fri 16-Apr-21 02:16:36

To be frank at 16 he shouldn’t be having to ‘ask’ for more time on his phone.

He is old enough to move out, join the army or be a father. He needs to be learning how to self regulate rather than having his devices taken away by an overbearing parent.

You need to pick your battles- I’d apologise to him tomorrow and start treating him like the young adult that he is. I suspect you will then find he has no need to lie to you.

GreenFish5 Fri 16-Apr-21 11:54:26

A strategy that we use with DS2 (15) is that he has to earn his electronics time through doing his study and revision. So long as he completes the revision time agreed, he can have his phone if he wants.

We give him two targets for revision- if he completes the lower amount, he gets to have his phone as much as he wants until bedtime but then has to hand it over. If he does the higher amount, he gets to keep it overnight.

This works well in two ways- it motivates him to revise as he wants his screen time and also makes him feel like he's in control when really we are!

For example, on weekdays after school at the moment he has to do 2 hours of revision or 3 hours if he wants overnight access. For weekends, he is expected to do 4 hours or 6 hours a day.

This may work with your DS, OP.

paralysedbyinertia Fri 16-Apr-21 12:11:26

I have a dd who is nearly 16. I agree that you need to let him self regulate with regard to phone/electronics use at this age. Tbh, I think it's almost inevitable that teenagers who are excessively micromanaged will end up lying to some extent, because, if they perceive you as unreasonable, they tend to lose trust in your judgement.

Don't punish him. Talk to him about the impact of lying on your relationship (e.g. that it makes you less inclined to trust him in future) and tell him how you'd like him to approach things instead if he feels that your expectations are not reasonable (e.g. he could ask for more time, negotiate more independence etc.) Let him know that you'll give him a fair hearing and be open to changing your position.

A lot of dd's friends lie to their parents regularly because they believe that the parents are so convinced of their own rightness that there is simply no point in trying to negotiate - so they just go behind their parents' backs to do things instead. DD has told me that she doesn't feel the need to lie to me because she knows we can have an open-minded discussion about stuff, that I will change my stance if she can put up a good argument and that she trusts that I'll have a really valid reason if the answer is still "no".

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