Almost every child goes through that stage of lying and stealing something – which is a normal part of their growth and basically indicates that the cognitive abilities of the child are developing. Not to say that this is something to be celebrated, but yes, a major ‘behavioural problem’. This is not about morals but about maturity, and most problems of discipline can be easily resolved. Indeed, it is a very heartbreaking experience for parents to find their child lying and stealing. However, even after you find the truth, be careful to handle the situation wisely.
Why Do Children Lie?
Well, if you would pay attention, you would find that young folks have a very tough life, where they are constantly accused of carry out acts of damages to themselves, or to others. A subtle denial is hence the best answer. The child starts to learn how to manipulate the truth, and this cognitive ability is developed by the age of 3 or 4. Children tell maximum lies in the ages 6 and 10, and it decreases as they grow up and are aware and understand the consequences of lying.
Why Do Children Steal?
Children can steal under multiple contexts – something they want but cannot have, something they desire but parents refuse, they lack self control when they are in a situation where stealing is easy, or for the sheer trill of stealing especially if their friends do so. Stealing small coins, candies, cookies , stationary, etc are common things that young children begin to acquire without permission and then lie in denial. His life is simple, grab whatever is wanted, and then create a fictional story by lying.
What Can You Do As A Parent?
As a parent, you would be genuinely worried if you child has either or both these behavioural problems. Fairly understood, but what you need to remember is this is a part of growing up, and your focus must be on the problem, not on the child. Like said before, this is an issue of maturity, not of morality.
Refrain completely from physical and verbal attacks – If you are keen on serious verbal and physical retribution, the problem may only aggravate – and our child may never confide in you again. Instead, you need to follow an attitude of compassion and understanding. Always remember that you are not dealing with a criminal! Your child is of course guilty of the misconduct, but it does not mean you avoid the common sense of compassion. Try to understand the core problem instead of just trying to suppress the action with a strict warning. A heart felt “it hurt me to know you lied” has much higher impact than “ you say one more lie and I will cut on your allowances.”
Look to yourself – You must realize that your child learns everything from you. In fact, this is the reason why parents feel an overwhelming sense of failure to catch the child stealing. When anything such happens, always look into your life to find where the things lost its way. Ask yourself, do you lie? This type of honest introspection is vital to approach the problem. Think to yourself, do you think dishonesty is a necessary survival strategy of life.
If the father is not honest in his life, the young boy also takes it as okay to lie and steal. You need to avoid these things. You simply cannot instruct your child not to lie when you are not being exactly truthful. A simple “I am sick today” when you are not, or “ we are not home in the evening” when you are makes your child legitimates falsifying facts. The hypocrisy is too conspicuous to avert.
Have a clear talk – Communications gap is a major issue between parents and children. Almost every family has this problem nowadays owing to hectic and busy lifestyles. Address the concern with a genuine effort to bridge the gap. Talk in a friendly manner to help your child trust you with his personal problems. Mothers and fathers must not also forget the extreme need for privacy from young children. Boys and girls need their personal spaces because childhood is heavily complicated nowadays. Their world is hugely different from yours.
Teenage has relationship problems and other issues. Your child may be compelled to lie because she is sure that you will never understand her problems. Allow her that space of trust so that she does not have to pretend. This will not happen in a day. You have to be patient in restoring the love and trust.
Talk about consequences – Tell your child that he must not take something when it doesn’t belong to him, unless someone gives it to him. As him how would he feel if his friend took his favorite car home without even letting him know? Explain the child that instead of stealing and lying , he should have a word with his parents on what he needs.
Make him say “sorry” – Whenever a situation arises, make your child apologize and return the stuff incase he’s stolen. Never leave this unattended, always ask your child to say sorry.
Reward Honesty – Everytime your child tells you a truth, however bitter (“I broke the baby’s doll, by mistake)” acknowledge his honesty and reward him.
The vagaries of excess
A child may steal because he has become accustomed to the excesses of a materialistic life. Nowadays, money can buy almost anything. If your life is based solely on a competition to earn money as much as you can, the effects may show up as a disturbed childhood for your son. You need to follow an honest approach as always. First, understand the behavior of your child. The reasons can be several. He may be too attracted by a new phone or any other gadget.
Sometimes, the reason may be as innocent as a young boy trying to impress his girlfriend! Sometimes, the solution is just as simple as increasing the pocket money amount for your child. Always talk over the issue to estimate its full nature. Be responsible and friendly parents to present a perfect childhood.