You asked

My child is starting to become dishonest. How do I handle the problem?

Dealing with children who are dishonest can be one of the most difficult behaviour problems that a parent has to deal with. However, it is important to realise that even though their behaviour is wrong it doesn’t mean that they are a bad person.
 
Rather than feeling that it is a reflection on parenting skills, mums need to address the problem, tell their youngster the consequences and help them learn how to deal with it.
 
Follow these steps to help you handle dishonesty effectively.
 
Stay calm and reserved
 
To avoid screaming matches, address the problem with a calm and level head. It is important that you understand that your child’s sneaky behaviour is not a deliberate intention to hurt you.
 
Communication is key
 
Lying and sneaking around can be a sign that your little one is trying to get themselves out of a difficult situation, such as a bad grade or school report. Teaching them how to handle situations differently will go a long way in preventing them from sneaking around in the future. Always be open with them so they know they can come to you with their problems. 
 
Be consistent
 
Always be consistent when discipling your youngster about their lying habit. Make sure your child knows that you will not tolerate dishonesty and always be clear with them about what you regard as acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.
 
Point it out as soon as it happens
 
As soon as you catch your child being sneaky or dishonest you need to point it out. However, if you just suspect misbehaviour you need to make them aware of your suspicions. Tell them that you will be looking into it further and that you will be monitoring their behaviour.
 
If their dishonesty affects other people
 
If your little one’s behaviour is affecting other people you need to address the problem and ensure they make amends with the person they have hurt.
 
The most effective way to stop your child from lying is to set a good example. Avoid telling lies, even small white ones, and don’t exhibit sneaky behaviour. Your children look up to you to set a good example.
 

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