Dear Straight Talk: As a parent, I find your column very helpful. I have a situation I've not read about. Over the past two weeks, I kept asking my youngest about his homework assignment and he kept saying he had it handled. It turned out he had barely started it. He is a high school freshman. Can anyone explain why he would lie so profusely when the truth would surely come to light? He has no answer for me. Also, should I be on the lookout for more lies? — Confused and hurt in Davis, Calif.
Editor's Note: For elaboration on constructively handling a significant insult from your teen (such as being lied to), I am steering you to our recent column of OCT 10, 2012 which dealt with kids saying "F– you" to their parents. Though a more loaded insult, the basic solution is the same. While I've presented the bare bones of it here, that column has specific response examples and why this method works.
Today's column also makes me want to throw in another wake-up call about the benefits of starting middle and high school later. The schools that have moved start times back an hour prove it's a game changer in making adolescent stress more cope-able. Adolescent sleep cycles are biologically wired for 'later to bed, later to rise' (no, they are not just being lazy), yet most teens now start school before 8AM, earlier than most adults start work. Please see our column of MAR 21, 2012 for more on this extremely important issue.
Finding our columns: It's not a jungle in here. You can find columns easily three different ways: 1) click the live link if there is one; 2) find the column by date in our "Weekly Columns" archives; 3) use our Search by Topic list. For instance, the "F– you" column is under "Conflict in General" and "Obscenities & Language." The "sleep" column is under "Schools" and "Health," subcategory "Sleep." Pleasant reading! —Lauren
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