Argh! Help! My mum caught me lying. I don't want to go into detail, because then everyone will know who I am, but the fact is that I was not lying to her - I was lying to a friend's parents. Now my mother says that she doesn't trust me and questions me about where I go. Sometimes, if I don't go to the exact place that I told her I was going, she gets angry. How do I convince her that I'm not lying to her? It's just that sometimes things happen: if we go to a friend's house, we might stop at McDonald's and then meet up with someone else to hang out with them for a bit. I can't phone my mother every second, right?
Truth and lies
Dear Truth and lies,
Put yourself in your mum's shoes. She wants to keep you safe, so if you lied once, there's a chance that you might lie again, right? If she doesn't know where you are - and you get into trouble - she can't help you.
So here's the clever bit: sit down with Mum and tell her that you understand her position. List all the reasons she has for being angry and not trusting you. Also be brutally honest about the circumstances surrounding the lie to your friend's parents.
Now tell your mum what you want - for her to trust you and for you to be able to have (safe) fun with your friends. And yes, this might include checking in with her every hour initially and then, once you've "earned" a bit of trust from that, perhaps once in a while when you're out. It may take weeks, even months, to earn your mum's trust, but it's worth the effort.
Email your problems to firstname.lastname@example.org, and watch for Alex's answers. And don't worry, you can remain anonymous.