Helping Children Who Steal and Lie with the Montessori Approach

Lying and stealing are a cause of concern for more parents than you may think. These actions may be deviations from a healthy behavior, but they’re still perfectly normal actions for a child to indulge in—especially as they explore the range of societal behaviors during the early years of their development.

From a Montessori perspective, repeated stealing and lying aren’t normal behaviors for a child. Children have a conscience, and if that isn’t overriding the temporary benefits of lying and stealing, the child needs a parent’s help.

What Does The Montessori Approach Say About Dealing With Children That Lie And Steal?

According to the Montessori approach, a child’s environment affects and supports their human tendencies such as work, exploration, and communication. This means that they can develop positive qualities to become focused, organized, compassionate, and productive when surrounded by other children in a Montessori classroom.

The classroom enables children to mature by focusing on positive behaviors. This can be done by removing distractions and temptations that fuel bad behaviors or refocusing their attention on activities that instill positive characteristics.

How Can You Help Children Who Steal And Lie?

Here are a few practical tips you can use.

  • If your child is stealing, you can give them a positive role or a job to remedy the situation in a non-accusatory manner.
  • If your child is lying, you can gently call them out on it by immediately pointing out how they can rectify it. For instance, if your child has stolen their sister’s toys, you can say, “Your sister’s doll isn’t in the basket, can you help me look for it?” The proposed activity can encourage a positive reaction from your child.

In both of these instances, you’re refraining from reprimanding, humiliating, and punishing the child. This is because rubbing their mistakes won’t likely lead to a solution as the child already knows that they shouldn’t lie or steal, but they’re doing it anyway. The key is to balance security and contentment in your child’s life so they can refrain from stealing, cheating, and lying.

  • If you caught your child lying or stealing, you could also help them get busy in a positive activity immediately —such as organizing the closet. You can then gently broach the topic of stealing or lying while they’re immersed in the activity to get the truth out of them.
  • It’s best to discuss why you dislike lying or stealing with your child instead of punishing them. The child already knows what they’re doing is wrong, and the anxiety of punishment is what makes them deny the bad behavior or point fingers at others in the first place.

If you want your child to shed negative behaviors like stealing and lying in a safe and nurturing environment, get in touch with Centerra Ranch Montessori School.

Our award-winning Montessori school in Katy, TX, helps students balance their social and emotional development and academic development.

Our infant care and Montessori preschool has also waived the registration fee for fall admissions on enrollments made before 15th September 2020. Connect with us online or call us at 281-693-CRMS (2767) for more information.

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