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
Colin, 19, Los Angeles: I resolved on my 18th birthday to tell no more lies. Honestly, it wasn’t that difficult. Up till then, about 85 percent of my lies were to my parents, the remaining 15 percent to teachers and authority figures. (I never found any reason to deceive my peers.) Virtually ALL my deception related to schoolwork. Your son probably fears either retaliation and/or the shame of letting you down. Needless to say, these fears outweigh consequences for lying. Make it clear that he can be comfortable being honest with you — is this currently the case? — and that failure is OK, but lying isn’t.
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