Lying and stealing have become a common habit amongst school kids, especially teenagers; but they are extremely inappropriate behaviours and should be checked immediately to prevent further damages.
Some kids have severe forms of these behaviours, which actually indicate serious psychological problem, but in most cases it’s simply a common behavioural problem that can be tackled will some smart techniques. These habits are seen more commonly in boys than girls, and more prevalent in ages 5 to 8 years. If you find a child cheating, it is important to first analyse the child’s age and stage of development.
Kids below 3 years age would never lie or cheat on purpose; they might be just experimenting with language and amazing facts they are just seeing. However, by 6 or 7, a child understands what cheating is and also the moral wrongness of these habits. Here are some ways of handling a child who has the habit of cheating –
Set a Good Example
This is very important; unless you are perfect you cannot expect your child to inherit the qualities. Kids after 5 years start noticing every detail their parents follow; do you follow a complete honest path? Be aware of the moral ethics you are teaching your kids unknowingly; always verbal preaching are not needed as they will pick up habits from you just by following your acts.
Do not Overlook the Habit
Once your child starts cheating, you will definitely start getting complains from school, teachers and may be even neighbourhood as these habits do not stay hidden for long. Don’t overlook them or pretend as if nothing has happened. Face it and talk to your child; do not abuse, beat or get violent that would make the situation worse. Be patient and simply ask that why he had done it and how he did it? Listen to his answers and explain him the impacts.
Give the Right Rules for Life
Make sure you are not overstressing your child – this would make him even more impulsive for cheating and winning every time anyhow. The society is already there to create the “ultra” competitive atmosphere but parents need to counteract the humble message at home that winning is not the first and last point. The person needs to be honest and put the best efforts; if hard work and sincerity is there, winning is bound to fall in place.
Lessen your Expectations
The act of cheating comes in a child once the expectations start soaring high in household. The comparisons, competitions, urge to get the best, rat race and harsh feeling amongst classmates. Once you make the kid understand the priority and significance of being honest than coming first in the class, automatically he would restrain himself from the negative habits and try to deliver his best abilities.
Nurture the Good Habits
The best option is to distract the child from bad habits; often the child is too small to understand logic and philosophical explanations. In that case move their mind and attention towards constructive habits like stamp collecting, gardening, scrap book making, and such creative things that would make him feel good, foster love and also learn many things. May be he would withdraw himself from the habit of cheating eventually.
There are multiple situations that might give rise to such problems in kids. If any of these solutions do not apply to your child then it is important to consult a counsellor.