Eight Ways to Tell if Your Child Lying

Have you struggled to believe your child would actually lie to you? Were you like me, always surprised when you caught your son in a lie? When you discovered your daughter’s dishonesty did it shock you? I never wanted to believe mine would lie to me. Like most parents, I wanted to believe the best, until she proved otherwise. And it hurt every time I caught her in a lie. It felt like a knife in the heart.

listening3Is there a way to tell if you’re being lied to? What can you look for? Here is a list of eight things:

1. Repeating your question. When asked, “What did you do at Jimmy’s house today?” If they repeat it, “What did I do at Jimmy’s house today?” then it’s a signal they’re stalling while they’re try to come up with an answer.

2. Reacting too strongly – way over the top – when being confronted about whether or not they are telling the truth.

3. Looking to the left (your right) means they’re probably making up their answer, according to specialist Nguyen Tam at viewzone.com.

4. Looking too intently into your eyes, as though trying to prove something, but it comes across insincere. The behavior is unusual.

5. Wearing sunglasses to conceal that they’re looking down at the ground, not at you, trying to cover up  feelings of guilt.

6. Changing the subject, or at least trying to.

7. Delayed or inconsistent facial expressions or reactions that don’t match their words. Like when you receive a gift you don’t really like  but you say, “Wow. Thank you so much.” Then a few seconds later you remember to smile. Truth is simultaneous with appropriate facial responses.

8. Body language. Someone who isn’t telling the truth usually won’t use their hands, instead they fold them across their chest. They may also repeatedly touch their mouth and nose. Sometimes they put objects between themselves and you – a glass, a coffee cup, a pile of books, a laptop.

A few of these require close observation. But if it’s important enough, you can learn. If your son or daughter is an addict, it will be very difficult. Don’t be too hard on yourself. To continue in their abuse they had to become excellent liars. They had to perfect this skill. Some of these techniques are even used by the police, so they’re pretty reliable. Do an internet search if you want to learn more.

As parents, we can do our very best and still be fooled. God may be the only one who knows the truth. He is the source of all Truth for He IS Truth. Make peace with not always being able to know and entrust your child into His hands.”

These are some great Scripture verses that speak of lies and truth:

“Do not lie to each other . . . (Colossians 3:9).”

“You have not lied to men but to God (Acts 5:4).”

“Surely you desire truth in the inner parts. . .  (Psalm 51:6)”

“Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free (John 8:32).”

“”I am the way and the truth and the life (John 14:6).”


Need some hope? This book, The Secret Life of a Fool by Andrew Palau, tells the personal story of a young man (son of well-known evangelist, Luis Palau) who succeeded in lying to his parents many times, but God eventually got his attention and changed his life.


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