You see your child take a candy bar from the store and put it in her packet. You notice your daughter put her friend's Barbie under her jacket as she leaves the playgroup. You find a video game in your son's closet, that doesn't belong to him. Why change? The impact on your child's reputation and honesty is just too great.
Now what is a parent to do?
I think these solutions can help:
1. Start by assessing your daily honesty example. The best way our kids learn honesty is by observing our own behavior and expectations.
2. Don't accuse your child of stealing or label her as a thief. This never solve anything, but rather your child may lie to avoid punishment. Try to deal with a problem together. A good example of your reaction may be:"Mar, i was upset to find a video game in your closet, that doesn't belong to you. So what are we going to do about this shoplifting?"
3. Boost honesty and review why steeling is wrong. Young children often have difficulty grasping the difference between borrow and taking., so you want to explain the concepts.
Interesting fact: in a survey of over 20000 middle school and high school students, 47 percent of all respondents admitted having stolen something from the store.