rileyt asks:

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



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
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