lying thread spin of on control
Nicksmom said "I think you and DH would have a more relaxed, honest girl, if you had a more relaxed approach. If you continue to smother her with all the things she CAN'T do/have/play with/wear, etc....she will continue to be deceitful." and I have to say I agree, and just recently learned this lesson.
DH and I are very big on raising kids who do not take everything for granted and always stress most things are privileges, not expectations. This applies most to SD as she is the oldest and asking to do the most. We would base most answers to the "can I do _______" question on grades, behavior, if we thought it appropriate, safe, etc.
We also worry a lot about SD growing up to fast, and that many of the things girls seem to want to do now are way past what we think should be happening. If you combine this with the fact we don't want SD to be overindulged it seemed like there was pretty much always a reason to say no to whatever was requested.
Recently we learned SD had been sneaking and lying about something. Then we learned about something else. Then one more. Suddenly we had a rebel on our hands. We talked at length to SD, and then between ourselves. To sum it up, we decided we were controlling too many things and making too many things a privilege. Not meaning a sleepover is an expectation, but that it's not a huge deal and even if SD did something wrong Tuesday it didn't mean she shouldn't have a friend over Friday. We figured out we needed to pick one consequence for the 'wrong' and stop with that. Saying no to the sleepover also was overkill. We thought we were making the point that privileges needed to be earned, but we were also making it too hard to earn them. We figured we would try giving in on more of the easy things to counterbalance those we just couldn't say no to. So yes to the heavier eyeliner. Yes to a boyfriend. Yes to more sleepovers and friends over. Now she doesn't bug about dying her hair because the eyeliner made her feel older. She can "go out" with boys at school (ah, 8th grade love!) which makes her feel equal to her peers so she doesn't do something drastic to find another way to be. The boyfriend and other friends can hang out at out house and we don't have to worry about them being out. We've picked our battles and relaxed a little. We've realized teenage girls are going to be self centered, but over all her expectations are not over the top. All in all she's a good kid, and maybe we weren't giving her enough chance to prove it.
We spend so much time grooming and teaching and training our kids. We have to give them some time to show off what they have learned . . . and some time to fail. It's how they learn to get back on the horse.