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Norman M.
Norman M., Researcher, Lecturer and Psychotherapist
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 2568
Experience:  ADHP(NC), ECP and UKCP Registered.
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My son is now 10 years old and there were times previously

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My son is now 10 years old and there were times previously that he took money from purse and denied it. Later in time it came out that he did take it. Yesterday was one of those day, where money went missing from my purse, I never just asked him alone I asked both him and his elder brother, not putting too much strain on him but he kept saying NO. he said he did that in the pass but not doing it, and said I can even look under his bed etc. He has a cake sale today, and his Dad was dropping off the treats. He said he was going to ask his Dad for some money, and when I asked his Dad whether he gave him money, he said he offered Devon money and he said no I gave him R20. It's driving me crazy as he looks me in the face and cannot tell me the truth. I await your response.!
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: General
Expert:  Norman M. replied 6 years ago.

Hello, and thanks for visiting JA.

Boys of his age are rather liable to push things to see what happens, and what they really need are firm boundaries. Being ‘soft’ just makes you easier to manipulate, and anger just teaches them to be angry when they in turn are faced with a difficult situation


He is quite old enough to know about actions and consequences.

We humans only indulge in behaviour that bring reward of some kind. Only when that reward (whatever it might be) disappears, or the consequences of our behaviour promise to be unpleasant do we consider changing what we do. Therefore he needs to be given reason to change.

He also needs to understand that any continuation of stealing or deception will have unpleasant consequences. They need to be spelled out to him very clearly, with clear emphasis on the fact that they will apply immediately should he lie to you or steal again – even once.

Here is the clue to sorting things out. When you are faced with non-co-operation – give him choices, and make sure he understands the consequences of his choice – and always follow through. If you don’t he’ll just get confused. Please make sure though that all his small successes are praised and occasionally rewarded.

Choices are not always about punishment - they can be offered in advance.

"We can go to the park today, but only if you promise not to shout at Jane. Now, would you like to do that or would you rather stay at home?"

Make it clear what you expect "When we go to see your best friend Andy today, I expect you behave properly. If that is not going to happen, may be we should just call and say we are not coming."

When it does come to punishment, try to make sure that it is something that will have an impact "To your room, and no TV today at all." And make sure you vary it otherwise it becomes stale, and therefore more or less ignored.

Ask him too, what he is prepared to do to change his behaviour in future – tell him to research what might help him what help he feels he needs, and even consider a ‘contract’ between you. In other words, involve him in him own change, with a prospect of a small reward for success.

Never, never be blaming or accusatory. Stick to facts, tell him how you feel about his behaviour, and make sure he understands that while you love him, his bad behaviour Is hurtful and will not be accepted.

I’m going to suggest that you get a copy of the book “How to talk so teens will listen, and how to listen so teens will talk” Not only will it help you turn things around round it is also a good read!

Best wishes, NormanM

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