How can I teach my 8 yr old son that lying, cheating and stealing is not okay?
My 8 yr old son has been caught stealing and lying. He also has a very difficult time sharing, like sharing the school equipment / balls at recess. He has a good heart, just keeps making bad choices. He is very apologetic when he gets caught, and I feel he is remorseful. But then he does it again...whether it is lying, cheating or stealing. He has consequences when he makes a bad choice, and has to return the items when he steals. The situation is very embarrassing. I really need help, I am at my wits end.
The only thing that I have found that works on the lying issue is giving the child more of a vocabulary and stressing precision of language "I'm starving" should be replaced with "I'm hungry". Exaggeration is the most common thing that leads to lies (yes I know that bold faced lies and exaggerating are different but children do not put things into levels like that). Also having worse punishments for lying makes it clear that it is unacceptable. My daughter is more likely to tell the truth because she gets double punishment if she lies, but if she tells me before I find out on my own it is likely a reduced punishment. If may be harder at first to reinforce especially where he is getting older, but your school councilor is also a valuable resource.