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JolynVance
JolynVance asks:
Q:

What consequences do I give my 8 year old for stealing and lying?

I appreciate the professional's answer given to acstump, but I want to ask for more details of what consequences we should give our 8 yr old. Our son has stolen money, but is obsessed with stealing candy and snacks. We have done everything we can think of. He just does not seem to care about any consequences of stealing and lying. It's like he thinks his desire to have sweets is more important than any punishment that he will have to take. Maybe he gets a thrill from stealing. We can't figure out what is going on in his mind.
We have made him give things back and say sorry to the owners. We have taken him to the police station to talk to a cop when he stole from a video store. We have made him talk to Walmart security manager when he stole from there. We have told his teacher to not be easy on him when he stole from he and she made him stay in from recess for a week. We have taken candy from him when he earned it from his Sunday school teacher and ate it in front of him to let him know how it feels to be the one that has been stolen from. We have tried spanking him, taking away his stuff, grounding him from all electronics, not let him have any free time to himself and have lectured him. Nothing has done any good.
We are now making him do hard labor cleaning last years leaves out of the rock bed. It is hard! He has to move all the rocks to clean the leaves
We are thinking a mock-arrest is the next step. Maybe being interrogated by the cops will get through to him?!
In Topics: Parenting / Our Family, Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Jun 11, 2013
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What the Expert Says:

Whenever our children demonstrate behaviors that we do not like, it helps to figure out what he gets out of doing it and why it continues.  To figure that out, it helps to ask yourself the 5 W's;  
Who, who is he stealing from, who is around when he steals?
What, what happens as a result of his stealing?
When, when does this happen, during the week, day time, night time, recess?
Where, where is this happening, only at school, in public, at home?
Why, why does he want these things, why is he taking them?

Analyzing this information carefully may give you some insight on what is going on.
Is he stealing snacks and/or candy because he doesn't have access to them at home?  If sugary treats are enticing him to this extent, you may want to talk to your pediatrician for some testing to see if there is a physical reason for this craving. Getting a handle on this behavior while he is young will be important his physical healt and to prevent more serious issue in the future.
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Additional Answers (3)

JULIA123UBE
JULIA123UBE writes:
Well i think you should just sit down with your child and talk to her or him and tell him or her "listen i don't want you stealing if you want something just ask me don't go steal''.Your question was answerd
> 60 days ago

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kgoose
kgoose writes:
I have an 8 year old too.

My first impression is that he needs your loving care and attention. You care enough to explain the consequences of his behavior. Maybe focus more on his good achievements and praise him for that.

One of the books that helps me, is a book I read by Jeannie St John Taylor, called Culture-Proof Kids: Building Character in Your Children.

I found it on amazon.

It is a Christian based book and proved to be really valuable to me.
> 60 days ago

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J's#1fan
J's#1fan writes:
Hi I would like to say i'm sorry that your family has to go through this. I'm sure it's frustrating!! In my opinion no amount of meds are gonna keep him from making these disrespectful choices. Medicate what needs to be medicated but other than that he knows what he is doing is wrong  and continues to keep doing it weather it be for thrill or attention its still a negative way to get either or. Don't forget that its disrespectful to you guys as parents as well. If i were in your position with my son i would ask if they would do a mock arrest with interrogation and let him stay the night in jail for 1-3 nights .... only because you have already tried everything!!Hopefully this will teach him this type of behavior has real concequences  !! No physical Contact with ppl who love him like family n friends,no freedom,no comfy bed to sleep in... he needs to know this is the path he's choosing and u as parents are trying everything in your power to keep him away from that lifestyle. I hope this works for him and for u guys as well... im not an expert its jus my opinion :) good luck!!
> 60 days ago

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