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rileyt
rileyt asks:
Q:

What do you do about a 6 yr old who steals and lies about it

I have a 6 yr old who took some money out of my office at work. He showed it to a co-worker and when they asked him where he had gotten that much money he told them. They told him that he should fess up to me and give it back and he did. The prob is that a few days latter when i was putting his cloths away that i found alot more money hidden in his room and when i asked where it came from he said from the office that same day. He had fessed up to part but not all of what he had taken. And when i asked why he said he did not think i would find the rest of the money...What to do.... Greg
In Topics: Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Jul 6, 2011
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What the Expert Says:

On the bright side, you have a very honest young man on your hands who is willing to be honest at least some of the time.  This would be a much more complicated situation if he was attempting to lie about it.  It may be that he was just being impulsive.  He saw something he wanted and he took it.  At some point he realized it was wrong because he hid it, but then when confronted he was truthful.  Does he understand why it was wrong of him to take the money in the first place?  That would be an important conversation to have.  It would also be good to reframe the situation by asking him what it would be like him somebody took money from him and ask him how that would make him feel.  

His stealing from the office does need to have a consequence.  It may writing the office an apology note so he is forced to confront everybody in the environment.  it may be extra chores or it may be loss of a privilege, but it whatever it is it needs to be followed through.  Also set up a consequence for if any stealing happens in the future so that he is aware of what will happen if he makes this choice again.  

Once again, you did something very right along the way because of how up front your 6 year old was.  That is admirable and it is always good to point out the good along with the bad.  

Counselor, Dominic
Boys Town National Hotline
1-800-448-3000
A Resource for Parents
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Additional Answers (3)

Jaz_Bruce
Jaz_Bruce writes:
okay this is easy, i live with a 6 year old and its normalle behavoir really. just pull the friend card try to get really close to him like friends and tell him how its not cool to steal. first explain what stealing is cuz u may think he know but he really may not. if this dont work them scare him a little by telling him somebody stole all the money and now we cant aford cable or new toys (get creative) then he should most definently stop stealing cuz kids love there toys and what new ones everyday.
> 60 days ago

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JeanneBrockmyer
JeanneBrock... writes:
Greg: Young children often try out behaviors to see what a parent's reaction will be.  This may be the reason for stealing if it isn't habitual.  That makes it important for you to set a consequence.  Your son should give back the money if possible--did he take it from someone besides you? And he should lose an important privilege for a reasonable period of time.  It should be something he cares about.  For example, if he loves riding his bike, you could take that away for three days.  Just don't remove a privilege that makes other family members suffer too.  You should help him understand that stealing is simply wrong.  At age 6 he has a beginning capacity to understand moral values, just keep it simple.

Jeanne Brockmyer, Ph. D.  education.com expert clinical psychologist
> 60 days ago

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lala29
lala29 writes:
Our daughter is 8 and she did that when my husband had to take her to work with him. We saw that she had the "Gold" Dollars in her purse and we knew that the only one she should have was one. We asked her camly how did she get that many and she lied and then finally told us, she took them out of my husband's bosses desk.  My husband told his boss what had happened and then I took her in so she could say she was sorry.  We took her games away, her TV time away and grounded her.  This did work.
> 60 days ago

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