Promote an environment of honest communication. This is easier said than done. You need to first lay down the rules with your children about what the consequences of lying and stealing are. This should be done in two ways. First, explain what the immediate consequences are in the household. Does it mean a time out, does it mean that they will be grounded, what are the immediate consequences for this behavior. Then after setting that groundwork, you need to explain what the effect of stealing and lying have on somebody in the bigger picture and why you need to create a rule about it in your home. Talk about how they would feel if they had something stolen from them or if somebody lied to them. Then talk about what happens to adults who steal and lie in society and the consequences of making these choices. Tell them it is important to avoid developing these habits at a young age so that they can stop them.
Also provide a good role model for your children and make sure you act in the way you want them to act. Children learn from their parents and you can be avery positive influence. If the stealing and lying continue even after trying various parenting methods, it may be worthwhile to consult an expert in your area. Many times communities have parenting resources including classes or support groups. May be worth looking into. To find these resources or to problem solve, give our hotline a call. We are happy to help. The number is available 24 hours a day!
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I would sit him/her down and have a talk about why they lied about it and then ask them what do they believe should happen if one of their friends lied to their parent and then no matter what their answer was to that question I would ground them for a few days and then extend the grounding if the lying continues further. It depends on the severity of the lie. Hope this helped in some way. This is how I do it with my 4 kids.
It would help to know what age child you are talking about, and what topics are being lied about, and what is being hidden. Lying can be a frustrating problem. Usually children lie to either stay or get out of trouble--at least that's what they think. It's very important that there be a consequence for lying that is more negative than what the child thinks he or she was avoiding. The magnitude of the consequence should be related to the magnitude of the lie. Removing privileges might be a good bet. Keep in mind that children imitate what they see others doing so it might be helpful to think about where a child is seeing someone else be untruthful. For hiding, it really depends on what the child is hiding and whether it is something dangerous or just something annoying (like hiding a toy that belongs to a sibling). Write back with more specifics.
Jeanne H. Brockmyer, Ph. D. education.com expert clinical psychologist