Sneaky behavior such as lying and stealing are some of the hardest issues for parents to deal with. When your child lies and sneaks around, it can feel like a betrayal and begins to feel like a moral issue. You start to question their character. You may start to dislike your child.

Let’s face it—many of us were guilty of some type of sneaking around when we were younger. We may have stolen cigarettes from our parents. Perhaps we lied about where we were going or who we were going to be with. We may have even thought we were justified at the time and came up with all kinds of reasons to explain our misbehavior.

Don’t Take Sneaky Behavior Personally and Stay Calm

These are the times when parents need to be able to step back, focus on the behavior, and not take it personally. Lying and sneaky behavior is not okay, but it doesn’t make your child a bad person. Instead, it means your child has a behavior problem that needs to be addressed.

Kids are not being sneaky to hurt you. They’re being sneaky to get what they want or to solve a problem that they have. Either way, being sneaky is not the right approach, and it’s your job to give consequences and to coach them to solve their problems the right way.

Stay calm and focused on the behavior. If calm, the situation will be much easier to deal with. Even if you feel as if it’s a personal betrayal, try to take the emotion out of the discussion with your child. Just be businesslike and objective and focus on the behavior and the consequences. Think about how a good boss would handle things—professional, calm, and honest.

Call Out Sneaky Behavior When It Happens

When you catch your child in a lie or doing something sneaky, tell them immediately. Remind them that the behavior is unacceptable and issue the consequence.

If you think your child has been lying to you and sneaking around but you don’t have the details or the full story, let them know your suspicions. Tell them that you’re going to follow up to get more information and that you will be monitoring their behavior more closely.

Have a Problem-Solving Conversation With Your Child

Later, when things are calm, you will need to have a conversation with your child about how to solve their problems without resorting to lying or sneaking. Give yourself time to prepare for this important discussion, and do it when you are calm and without getting emotional.

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A way to begin these problem-solving conversations is to have your child do some “homework” ahead of time. Ask them to think about their behavior and be prepared, either verbally or in writing, to let you know what they were thinking when they did this, what the problems were with the behavior, and how they might behave in this situation in the future. It’s always most helpful when these ideas come directly from your child.

Related content: The Surprising Reason for Bad Child Behavior

How to Handle Lying

It’s helpful to remember that kids don’t understand how hurtful lies can be. Their thinking is immature, and they generally lie without even considering how these lies affect others.

The truth is, kids know lying is wrong. But they lie anyway. And they usually lie because they just have a really poor way of solving problems. They lie to get out of a consequence because they think it’s their only option left.

If you look at lying as a problem-solving issue, and not a moral one, you can help your child develop strategies so they can stop lying in the future. Don’t spend all your energy stressing the right and wrong nature of lying. Conversations about right and wrong have a place, but the most effective approach is to focus the conversation about finding a better way to solve problems that don’t entail lying.

If your child’s lying seems to be getting worse or is particularly worrisome, there may be a need to reach out to others in their life to find out what’s really going on. Let your child know that you are concerned and suspicious of their behavior and that you will be keeping an eye on them.

They won’t like this, but you have to let them know that you care about them. Tell them they have to be truthful with you. You can even tell them that as a parent it’s your job to help them follow the rules in your home.

Related content: How to Deal with Lying in Children and Teens.

How to Handle Stealing

If your child’s sneaky behavior has hurt someone else, this needs to be addressed. Stealing is an example of one of these behaviors that hurts others. If you find that your child has stolen something, the consequences need to do the following:

  1. Address the misbehavior – stealing
  2. Make amends to the person who was hurt

For example, if your son is caught taking money from his sister, your conversation with your son should set a consequence for the stealing. He might lose all electronics privileges until he makes amends to his sister. Then, he must make amends to his sister by paying her back and then adding an additional gesture, like doing her chores for a week.

If your child sneaks money from your wallet, this is also stealing. You tell them that the behavior is unacceptable and that you will be watching your money much more closely.

If your child continues to steal from you, it’s time to try to find out what he is spending this money on. This may lead to uncovering other behaviors that will have to be addressed. There could be issues with drugs or alcohol.

Related content: Kids Stealing from Parents: What You Need to Know

Sneaking the Phone

If your child sneaks her phone at night and texts into the wee hours with her friend, there will be a natural consequence for her because she’ll be tired the next day. But remember, you control the phone. You’re paying the bills. And you can and should let your child know that she has broken the phone rules and won’t have the privilege of using it for a reasonable amount of time (depending on the age of your child and whether this is a one-time thing or a pattern of misbehavior).

Related content: How to Give Kids Consequences That Work

Sneaking Out at Night

If your child sneaks out at night, you need to reiterate your rules around his curfew and then consider the risk of the behavior. Is your 15-year-old son sneaking out to his friend’s house just to hang out? Or is your teenage girl taking off every night to go to her older boyfriend’s house where drugs and alcohol are present? Some behaviors and patterns of sneaky behavior are much more dangerous and risky than others and have to be dealt with more seriously.

When your child is calm and can talk about what he or she did, it’s useful to try to find out what the motivation was. Was it to be with a boyfriend or girlfriend? To get high? To have sex? Or just to hang out with a group of kids? 

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Reiterate to them that the sneaky behavior is not allowed and goes against your house rules. Your conversation needs to include a short and direct discussion of the risks and dangers of the behavior and your concern about your child’s safety.

The consequences and conversation should match the level of safety concern. For example, if your child was on her phone all night and it’s a first-time offense, taking away phone privileges for the weekend while she practices good behavior and goes to bed on time may be adequate. If your child is sneaking out of the house and it becomes a pattern, the consequences need to become more serious.

Have a Consistent Message About Sneaky Behavior

Tell your child that lying and other sneaky behaviors are not acceptable in your family. Explain that he needs to find better ways of problem-solving than sneaking around your rules. State your family’s values and your expectations for your child within the family. Remember, while sneaky behavior is normal for kids, it’s not okay. You can simply say:

“Lying is not a good way to solve your problems. We don’t allow this in our family.”

You child won’t like it when you confront sneaky behavior. They will initially resent being caught or being suspected of the behavior. And they definitely won’t like the uncomfortable conversations and consequences that follow. But that’s okay. By doing so you are doing your job as a parent. Just be calm, matter-of-fact, and clear about the misbehavior and the consequence. And then coach them to healthier ways of solving their problems.

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Janet Lehman, MSW, has worked with troubled children and teens for over 30 years. A veteran social worker, she specializes in child behavior issues — ranging from anger management and oppositional defiance to more serious criminal behavior in teens. She is co-creator of The Total Transformation® Program, The Complete Guide To Consequences™, Getting Through To Your Child™, and Two Parents One Plan™.

Comments (29)
  • Laidback Aunt

    I’m not sure where I went wrong with my niece who is almost 13, but here goes.

    Recently, I noticed my niece does a lot of things out of spite and lies about it, she’s a habitual liar. I usually address the lies and she says she understands. Also, she got into gaming and YouTube and she’s telling these people she’s pregnant. To keep her lie going, she eats a lot of food throughout the day. It’s gotten so bad sometimes the food won’t last the entire month so I go to bed hungry so her & my mom (who is waiting for her disability to start) can eat. I tried my best with my circumstances from navigating my senior year as a “parent” at 17 since my older sister abandoned her. I’m almost 29, I’m not sure where I went wrong but I’m on the verge of sending her over to stay with her bio mom, especially since now she’s stealing food, which I fear will turn into money, credit cards etc. I can’t live with someone who I can’t trust. Help!

  • Aunt
    my nephew is 7 years old and he is bad. He lies like crazy, and when you see him actually do it he still says he didnt do it. He likes to pick on the younger ones and make it out to be their fault. He stabbed his school computerMore with scissors and swears he didn't even though the teacher saw him.He has talked to a therapist but Im pretty sure he made everything seem like nothings wrong. We have told him that he wouldn't be in trouble if he tells the truth. Well have constantly explain to him why what he does is wrong and tried praising him when he does the write thing but he acts so sorry in that moment and then does it again and i mean literally does it 10 min later. we have asked him multiple times why he does it and he either wont answer or says he doesn't know. We have been trying (going on now for over 7 months) everything we have found on the internet to deal with it but have yet to find anything.
  • JD
    My 11 year old step son has been a very big problem since moving in with his mom and sisters. He has lied to where it made me cry because I thought I was going crazy. the lies he told where indeed lies but he was crying saying he wasn'tMore lying to me. Then I got just got crushed at him for making me feel this way. He has continued to sneak everyday and lies about anything and everything he is questioned on. I put an alarm on his door so we know when it opens in the evening. He still figured a way to manipulate it. He sneaks in my sons room and plays video games on his tv. It is stressing my relationship with my fiancé her daughters and my son. My brother won't let him at his house because he sneaks there. At this point I am calling this stealing because it has continued and nothing we do helps. It just gets worse. I am at my wits end here I am 51 retired.
  • Concerned
    My 15 year old daughter is typically an great kid. She’s An active leader in her community, she makes good grades, she’s driven and knows exactly what she wants to do in life. Last year, when she was a freshman, she was caught at school making out with some boyMore she didn’t really know. Almost a year ago, she was dared to drink alcohol in school, getting so drunk that she passed out and threw up everywhere. This school year, she had seemed to be finding herself and making good choices. But then a little after 2 this morning, I get a call from the police. She had snuck out, taken her (unregistered, uninsured) truck, picked up a boy, and was driving around in a park that was closed for the night. When the police came up to them, they both lied, giving false names and ages. I don’t think she even had her permit with her. Turns out it was the third time she’s snuck out to meet him. I’m very scared that this behavior will escalate. So far there’s no alcohol, drugs, or sex involved, but what about next time? We’re very worried. Do you have any suggestions?
  • Anna Hister
    My daughter is 6 years old. And she is misbehaving in school. She constantly lies and steals. I call her on these actions but when I do she acts like she didn't do anything wrong. Or that I am suppose to just let her do it. I am really baffledMore and I do nor know what to do. I am really thinking of seeking professional help for her. Because this isn't right. I need help dealing with her.
  • Another Concerned Parent
    I have a 14 year old daughter that has had some issues in the past few years with lying, getting low grades and choosing the wrong friends while living with her mother. We decided, my daughter included, that it may be best for her to live with me soMore I can help get her back on track. Since then she went from Cs and Ds to being on the honor roll and in honors classes. We've made great progress. But the lying hasn't stopped. She has a phone, which was taken away because I caught her with a boy in her closet. Since then, we've busted her with "burner phones" that she received from friends. We have open conversations that the lying has to stop. The sneaking. She breaks down into tears and swears she will change each time. I'm to the point where I'm about to give her phone back because I'm tired of this nonsense. She is excelling at everything until it comes to this dang phone. Is that the right thing to do, to give her some freedom with the phone since everything else is going well?
    • Denise Rowden, Parent CoachEP Coach
      That's a great question. First, I think it may help to understand that long, open ended consequences usually aren't an effective way of holding a child accountable or addressing behavior. From what you've shared, it sounds like your daughter is willing to have conversations with you about her behavior. That'sMore what I would focus on - only I would try to have problem solving conversations with her, as explained in the article The Surprising Reason for Bad Child Behavior: “I Can’t Solve Problems”. As for holding her accountable, I would still use the phone as a consequence, only I would do it for shorter periods of time, no more than 3 days. I hope this helps!
  • Julianne
    My 12 year old son was caught stealing a drink at a store at lunch during school hours and got caught and suspended from school. Now he did about right away what he did but this stealing and lying had gotten out of hand. The only improvement I have seenMore is he isn't denying his actions after he had been caught but he can't be trusted at home or in stores or other people houses and he lies and sneaks around all the time and his reason is always I dont know. I've always punished him in some way from just taking something away for a little time to very long grounding and more things taken away. I have talked so much with him about how it's wrong how he can choose better choices and warn him about getting charged by police and nothing seems to change anything. He doesnt have remorse at all when he returns the item to the store and I've made him pay it back and say sorry but if you came over and left a 20 dollar bill on the table and left for an hour he would take it and just doesn't care. I haven't given him a punishment really yet for this incident I wanted to make sure I was calm and thought things through rather then him come home and me yell how wrong he was stealing I want to approach this where he understands he was wrong doing this and the punishment is fair bug also teaches him something and I don't know what to do. He is suspended from school and has paid back the store and every Friday his class goes out for lunch (that's how he was at the store when he stole) and that privilege has been taken away from him by the school so really that punishment goes with the incident and I think it's a good punishment but it didn't come from me and I don't see how grounding him for a long time helps but for now he just has no internet access or computer and has been given books to read and a puzzle to keep him occupied until I'm ready to sit down with him and talk to him I just want to know what any of you think is a good punishment. I was thinking grounded until he returns to school and then things go back to normal but I want to come up with something for him to do that is related to what he did to help him see its wrong and teach him a better way of problem solving when he goes to the store next time and gets the urge to steal. Please please help he really is going down hill and will wind up going to jail if he doesn't stop but he just thinks about himself and no amount of telling him how it effects others cuz its wrong matters it's only about him and what he wants when he wants. The crappy thing is he even had money and could of bought what he stole. Like maybe taking his money could be a punishment but I can see that backfiring and come an excuse to steal cuz I took his money but he really shouldn't have it or go to stores without an adult. Please any advice is helpful. I have read every single article from you guys on all of this.
    • Rebecca Wolfenden, Parent Coach
      Stealing can be such a challenging and emotional behavior to address for most parents, and I’m glad that you’re here reaching out for support. Taking some time to think through how you want to address it, and making sure that you are calm when you do so, are veryMore effective steps for you to take right now, so that you avoid giving overly harsh punishments in the moment. Since it sounds like you have read our articles, you might also be familiar with our perspective that simply punishing kids does not lead to better behavior. This is because consequences by themselves do not teach kids what to do differently the next time they find themselves in a similar situation. In order for your son to learn how to handle his impulse to steal more appropriately, it’s also going to be useful to have a problem-solving conversation in which you discuss specific strategies he can implement the next time he is tempted to take things which do not belong to him. You can read more about how to structure this conversation in The Surprising Reason for Bad Child Behavior: “I Can’t Solve Problems”. Please be sure to write back and let us know how things are going for you and your family. Take care.
  • Concerned mother
    My son just turned 7 and he has always made up stories like "my teacher said..." to prove his points which at times are so far fetched we knew he wasn't telling the truth but didn't really think too much of it. Now recently he will be caught lying andMore still denies that his story wasn't true. It could be as small as it wasn't me that left the milk out to as big as bringing things home from school that don't belong to him. The most recent was a tablet I found in his bookbag so I gave him a chance to tell me the truth and even told him that I was writing a note to the school to get back to its owner and he swore he had no idea how it got in his back pack. The teacher received the note and said the principal would handle and to send the device back in with my son. Little did she know I already had with the note. So again had to ask my son what happened to the device... of course he told me he had no idea where it went. The following day I attended his class party and asked his teacher if he returned to her but he had not and told her that I did not put back in his bookbag so on a whim I went through his desk and it was there!! And even though he was caught lying to both his teacher and me he still denied that he had any idea how it got there. I had a conversation with him and told him that I'm on to him and that are consequences for lying and stealing once we find the owner and get a better idea of how this happened but he won't budge from his stories! Any additional advice?
    • Rebecca Wolfenden, Parent Coach
      Lying and stealing can be such challenging behaviors for parents to address, and I’m glad that you’re here reaching out for support. As outlined in the article above, it’s helpful when you are able to view these behaviors as faulty problem-solving techniques, not as a moral failing or aMore character flaw. Therefore, one aspect of changing this behavior will be to have a problem-solving conversation with him about what happened right before he decided to take the tablet, and other choices he could have made in that moment. You might find additional tips in Why is My Child Stealing and What Can I Do? Advice for Parents on Kids, Stealing and Shoplifting. I recognize what a tough situation this must be for you right now, and I hope that you will write back and let us know how things are going for you and your family. Take care.
  • Luv2bmom22

    I have an 11 year-old son. He does not have his own phone and I have not allowed him to have any social media accounts. To be honest they scare me and I don't want to open him up to the online world. All of his friends have phones of course and online accounts, but that doesn't make a difference to me. Last night I just found out he has an instagram account, a snapfish account and Musicily account....all without my knowledge since Nov. of 2016. 

    Previous to this, we've talked about when he does want an app of any kind, he needs to ask me about it, I need to look at it and if I approve he can have it. I KNOW there are a lot of parents out there that feel letting your child have an online presence is no big deal. To me, I believe 11 is too young to have that. But now he went behind my back and did this....I don't want to be so restrictive that he feels like he has to lie to me. How would you handle this?

    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
      Luv2bmom22 It can be so difficult when you discover that your child has been lying and going behind your back to break your rules.  While you are right that there are many parents who allow their child to be online at this age, there are also a lot of parentsMore who do not.  In the end, you are allowed to set rules which reflect your family’s boundaries and values.  If you do not feel comfortable with your son having social media accounts or an online presence at this point, you can set and enforce that rule.  At this point, I recommend having a https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/the-surprising-reason-for-bad-child-behavior-i-cant-solve-problems/ with your son about his actions, and what he can do to follow the rules moving forward.  You might find additional helpful information to help you move forward in https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/your-childs-secret-life-online-7-ways-to-manage-it-as-a-parent/.  I recognize how challenging this situation must be for you, and I wish you all the best moving forward.  Take care.
  • Mum3
    My 7year old is constantly telling lie both big & small we've constantly discussed trust with her & by breaking it the consequences but it doesn't seem to deter her. She also frequently sneaks food, I'm constantly finding food wrappers in her room from food she has snuck. More Help I'm at a loss & nothing to date is helping
    • Ali_48
      Rule no. 1. Never ever show them you are upset or concerned! You must develop a calm and friendly relationship. Reassure them that they are good but what they did isn't what good people do. As this article explains, their way of thinking is immature. We must remember how ourMore own parents raised us and not make the same mistakes. A lot of the mistakes come from panic and just copying our own parents bad parenting skills! Almost like a bad culture! You will realise that things always get worse when you are not calm. So you must always remain calm and never ever let them feel like a bad person.. but explain that these habits will make them a bad person. And also it's a sign that you must spend more time with them. A lot of families have the child spending more time with one parent than the other. This should be balanced. Hope this helps!
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
      Mum3 Lying is such a troubling issue for many families, so you are not alone in dealing with this type of behavior with your daughter.  Although it’s normal to be upset when you discover that your child has lied to you, it helps to view lying as a faulty problem-solvingMore skill rather than as a character issue or a moral failing.  You might find it helpful to stage a “lying intervention” with your daughter, as outlined in https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/how-to-deal-with-lying-in-children-and-teens/.  Please be sure to check back with us, and let us know how things are going for you and your family.  Take care.
  • SmithC
    My son is 16 and we got him a car. Told him he could drive to school and work part time as long as his grades were good. His grades stink. Plus, he lied about going to work the other day and was hanging out at the mall instead. SchoolMore comes first...we've already said he has to ride the bus until his grades come back up. What about work? Should we make him totally quit the job until he gets back on track? He's very argumentative lately, smokes cigarettes he gets from older friends and says he cannot wait to move out as soon as he's 18. (how he will support himself, I have no idea) Thoughts? Advice?
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport


      This is a common question we receive from many parents of

      teens, so you are not alone.  Although I hear how important school and

      your son’s education is, we do not recommend making kids quit part-time

      jobs.  This is because work can be a really positive experience for kids,

      and another avenue for him to learn skills and values like accountability, team

      work, time management, and so on.  In addition, making him quit his job is

      more likely to cause feelings of resentment toward you, rather than remorse or

      motivation to change.  Taking away his car if he is showing that he is not

      able to follow your rules around its use, as well as earning it back by meeting

      his responsibilities, makes sense. Please let us know if you have any

      additional questions.  Take care.

      • SmithC
        RebeccaW_ParentalSupport Thanks for that. Seems me and my husband need to be on the same page about this. I don't want to make him quit the job either, but my husband wants to take everything away until the grades come up significantly. How can I get him to keep hisMore location services on his phone so I can see where he is? It's just little things like that over & over again... I already have time constraints set up on his phone so that he can't text his friends during school hours etc. I want to believe him when he says he's going to be somewhere but recently he has lied so I feel disrespected and hesitant to let him do what he wants to do.
  • sara
    last week  I caught my teen age(17 years and 11 months old)  daughter naked with her karate instructor who is 15 years older then her also naked,they were both in my daughters car , that I own.My daughter have been lying for months that she was staying late after karateMore class and saying she was doing extra practice.Last week I kept calling when she didnot answer the phone I went to the karate place to find her naked like this. i took her phone away and apparently she was meeting another guy in the same parking lot in her car also at different times.She is now denying that she ever slept with any one of these two gyus and it was a one time thing., it was a mistake and she will never do it again. she also said to put a tracking device  on her car and track her phone so i will know what is going on, she loves her car and does not want to give it away.the thing that really concerns me she says that both guys are very nice and will never hurt her.also now my trust is completaly shattered and I dont know how to handle it.she said she will be 18 soon and she is over it so i should get over it.
  • Bostacy0227
    Hello my daughter is 14 she has a problem with lying to me and dad..she lies to everyone saying she is older than she really is...She just recently ranaway the cops found her...i have tried in counseling at house and outside but she just lies to them....She is sexual activeMore she is doing drugs and also she is talking to older men i dont know..sje has gotten in car w strangers...i need advice
    • PleaseCare
      Bostacy0227 I was one of these troubled teens, there were a lot of family issues, i didn't understand what i was doing, i wanted to socialize and party, be the popular kid. Your child will continue to do this with or without your consent, Therapy never worked for me, copsMore made me angry, and i grew to resent my mom if she ever yelled at me, or acted out at me by attacking me or start screaming and just being overall angry. What really got me was when she was sad, not angry, but scared for my life, she came to me crying one day after all we had gone through, she attacked me ( i never attacked her) she sent me to a rehab, i resented her more for it. The important thing is to ask her what she wants to be when she's older and show her how she can get there, show her how much you love her, take her to a dinner, no arguing, no talking about bad stuff she does, just be with her alone together. Don't force her to go anywhere, ask her what she wants. On the way home bring her somewhere she likes, talk to her there, especially if its at a nice nature path, something beautiful but calm. Tell her how much you love her, how much she means to you and that you will no matter what be there for her. Do this without anger, resentment, show her your sadness, get on your knees and beg her, so she doesn't end up in a bad situation, show her what the drugs do to her brain, (Put holes in the brain) show her what you know and have researched. That is your pride and joy, show her a life she is happy with and how she can get there, you are her guidance. Please don't make the mistakes my mom did with me, i have since forgiven her, i grew out of the drugs partying sex etc now i'm just a very reserved young adult. Show her you love her, and talk to her about how special she is to you and why you care so much for her.
    • Darlene EP


      Your daughter’s behavior sounds

      very risky and concerning. In Megan Devine’s article https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/how-dare-you-lie-to-me-how-to-deal-with-a-lying-teen/, she talks about the

      difference between telling lies to get attention or to avoid disappointing you,

      and lying to cover up unsafe or risky behaviors. It sounds like your daughter’s

      behavior has  crossed the line into a potentially dangerous and unsafe

      territory. I am glad to hear you have reached out to local supports. That is

      what we would recommend. I would continue to work with them and make them aware

      when you know your daughter is not being truthful. I would also utilize your

      local authorities when you have found out your daughter has been speaking with

      adult men inappropriately, or getting into cars with strangers. Let them be a

      resource for you. In a calm time you can call them or go to the police station

      and see how they can be a support for you. I know this is not easy to be

      dealing with. Thank you for reaching out to us. Please let us know if we can be

      of any further help.

  • pilot_luke

    my kid is going on 16, for the past few years I have been trying to break his addiction to video games. years ago it started with sneaking things he knows he is not allowed to have. problem is he is terrible at sneaking cause he always gets caught. I have done everything to stop this. grounding, taking away items you name it. the playing games is impossible to break. I removed systems and put away but he finds away to sneak them to play. I have 2 other girls so it's not fair for them to never have access. my next step is a psychiatrist for him. you mention consequences but I have no options left other than military school, school for boys or paddle his ass which is illegal nowadays. he has pushed me to the edge where the paddling is near. even his door has been removed from his room a few days ago. today he broke in a locked closet and hooked up the game system, left the console where he was playing then denied he had it. I can't take it anymore. what can I do????

    even been contemplating putting up camera's in the house.

    • Marissa EP


      I am sorry to hear about the struggles you are having with

      your son. You are not alone, as we speak with parents daily who are

      experiencing similar challenging behaviors. Does your son have the opportunity

      to earn time daily on his video games? By taking away all your son’s meaningful

      privileges, including the games, it also can remove any motivation he has to change

      his behavior, and kids often resort to more extreme measures, like the

      sneaking, in order to have time on his games. Sara Bean, one of our Empowering

      Parents authors, has a great article about how to https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/does-my-child-have-a-video-game-addiction-how-to-set-limits-around-video-game-use/. We would strongly discourage any sort of

      physical intervention or paddle, as it does not help to teach better choices.

      Along that line, we also wouldn’t recommend taking his door off the hinges, as

      teens need their privacy, as long as there isn’t any safety concerns involved. And

      you already know that your son is taking the games out of the locked closet, so

      cameras seem like an unnecessary step. Worst

      case scenario is you may just end up removing the games from your home

      altogether to remove the temptation. I hope you find the video game article

      helpful, and your family is able to come to a resolution around this issue.

      Best of luck!

  • boxerchix
    This just started this year,but she has been hanging with the friends, this one friend has already got her in trouble at school. I tell my daughter tht she needs to choice another friend. Well recently she started lying more,stealing, and not to long ago her and her friends gotMore caught with alcohol at school. They got suspension and also aep, for 6 weeks. I have talked to her and she still continues to lie to my face. Also found out she at fb. She put horrible things on there, once again. I confronted her about it and she lied to me again. She keeps blaming her friend. But I told her tht she knows wrong from right. I am hard on her, I don't allow bf, phone, fb, any social media. But it never fails tht she starts to do it behind my back, go to my room when I'm at school and get the device and hinds it from me. I told her tht she can't use her adhd as a excuse because she knows wht she is doing. I'm already planning for counseling. Also if I set down to talk to her again about what happened, she will still lie to me. It's just lie after lie after lies.
  • SherriBrost
    my child has snuck food behind our backs, lied about it, and he sneaks stuff into his room.and recently found a knife in his room cause he likes to take out the batteries in his toys, i have taken his tv away and toys away and he is not allowedMore out of his room, this isnt the first time witih the lying and taking the food but he still does it,  my bf thinks i am being easy, since i went in to read to him,  this is not his biological child,  i think he is doing this out of attention, cause he has never done this stuff before, but he thinks other, or my son wont tell my bf the truth on why he did something and he tells me why he did it or take it. how can we make this work. my bf is working hard in being his dad but it seems my son doesnt see it that way
    • DeniseR_ParentalSupport


      Blended families can offer some unique challenges. It can be

      tough to know what role a stepparent should play. We have several articles that

      offer some useful tips for the possible issues a blended family may face. Two

      in particular you may find helpful are https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/my-blended-family-wont-blend-help-part-i-how-you-and-your-spouse-can-get-on-the-same-page/ & https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/blended-family-the-5-secrets-of-effective-stepparenting/. As much as possible, you

      want to be the one who’s taking the lead when disciplining your son. It’s also

      going to be more effective if you don’t take everything away as this usually

      has the opposite effect on behavior. Janet Lehman does offer some useful tips

      for addressing lying in the above article, such as having problem solving

      conversations with your son about the choices he has made. Help him figure out

      what he could be doing differently in the future. I hope this helps. Be sure to

      check back if you have any further questions. Take care.

  • Ab
    Have two daughters who continue to sneak everything from food, cell phones, and other electronic devices. I don't think I should have to hide any of these things, no means no. When I give them punishment ( chores , hiding things) they say okay , or end up finding themMore unbeknownst to me until I find them stuffed in a pillow case or something! I am so angry!
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