What can you do to prevent your teen from becoming a liar -- not to mention ending up on a Most Wanted list?
Virginia Pelley: Kari Ferrell promised friends she could get them backstage at music festivals, a perk of her concert production company job. She told others she was pregnant, some that she had a psycho-stalker ex, and some that she was dying of cancer. None of it was true.
Known as the "hipster grifter," Ferrell landed on the Salt Lake City Police Department's Most Wanted list at just 22 years old, with five warrants for forgery, retail theft, and passing $60,000 in bad checks before she turned herself in earlier this month.
Certainly, Ferrell's is an extreme case. But what should you do if you discover your teen has been lying? Betsy Brown Braun, child development and behavior specialist and author of Just Tell Me What to Say, offers this advice:
Check the stress level.
"Teens are under huge amounts of pressure. When there is lying, it's not uncommon that it's to avoid responsibility. You have to look at your situation. Does he have too much going on in his life? Parents have to look at the big picture instead of just the lying."
Get kids moving.
"If your kids have gotten to 14 years old and they're not involved in something, where have you been? Kids who are active have a strong sense of themselves" -- and don't need to lie or steal to fill a void.
"Spend time with your kids. It's the most potent medicine to give your child or any human being. That's how you build relationships."
"Nobody is 100 percent honest," Brown Braun says. "But I think that once most kids gain life experience, they know what will happen when they lie -- it will bite them in the butt."