What do I do with a teen who steals, lies, cheats?

Posted on Posted in Behaviour

Here is what I know. ALL behaviour is done for a response. We got to work to get paid. We shower so people will stand near us. We smile to make friends. We yell to be heard. We steal, lie, cheat, etc to be noticed.

What else is going on? These are not isolated, one time incidents. Grounding, taking things away nor violence has ever solved anything. Kids (and adults) need boundaries and consequences (both positive and negative). AND we need to be reminded of them often. When we drive we see speed limit signs all over the place. We are constantly reminded of how to be safe on the road.

What constant reminders are you giving your daughter to be safe in her world? Children are looking for guidelines. They are looking to be heard, to be seen and to be loved. Our job is to put them in our safe box and their job it to push the sides until they collapse. The strength of a good parent is to know when to expand the box and when to fortify the walls.

Margaret, talk to your daughter. Really talk to her. It may take a few days or weeks, but you have to talk to her. If she won’t talk to you, set her up with an aunt or family friend that she can talk to.  13 is such a fragile age, hormones, thoughts, feelings, they all come rushing in.  If you always remember that you are the parent and she is the child everything will be fine. Love her and more importantly love yourself enough to do what you know in your heart to be right. Love her.


Speak in soft tones. Do not raise your voice no matter what. When she does something you do not approve of say “we do not “lie” in this family. To be a part of this family you will not lie. Do you understand?” There is no more discussion. You are the parent you stated the fact, now you move on. Do not get into a discussion, do not explain it, it is a fact, your family does not lie. (now of course you have to make sure that you are truthful all the time with her as well)

FOOD- make sure you family is well nourished. If you are all eating a lot of C.R.A.P. (Caffeine, Refined sugars, Additives, Preservatives) then you will be dealing with a lot of crap throughout the day. The body requires nourishment to sustain optimal health and body functions.

SYSTEMS – systems are crucial to the happy survival of any family. Food systems, money systems, communication systems, all of it. Watch this blog for practical tips on setting up systems in your home.

FAMILY TIME – families must set at least 30 mins a day to connect, the family unit is THE MOST important unit of anyone’s life. It is surely worth 30 mins a day.


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