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How to Punish a Child Who Has Lied About School Work

by Kathryn Hatter

Children usually have ongoing homework and schoolwork requirements that keep them busily learning school curriculum. Some children may encounter difficulties or struggles with schoolwork, which can lead to dishonest behavior. If your child lies about schoolwork, it’s necessary to instill responsibility and ethical values to discourage lying about work accomplished. By working cooperatively with teachers and school administrators, you can help your child approach schoolwork positively.

Discuss the dishonesty with your child after you discover it, suggests social worker Janet Lehman, with the Empowering Parents website. You might say, “I just realized that you told me you were all done with your schoolwork when you had an assignment. Your teacher tells me that you never handed in your report, so you received a failing grade on it. I feel really disappointed about this.”

Inform your child that lying about schoolwork isn’t acceptable because it doesn’t get the work done -- which hurts your child -- and it destroys trust -- which hurts relationships.

Ask your child he's having a problem with schoolwork or learning the curriculum. Find out if your child is struggling to understand concepts, perhaps falling behind. If you find that your child is experiencing problems, reassure your child that you will help him resolve the issues.

Tell your child that because he lied about his schoolwork, it will be necessary for you to communicate clearly with his teacher for a while to make sure he gets his work done. Explain that you need to communicate this way because you can’t know for sure that he’s telling the truth, due to his lie.

Explain consequences for future lying if your child lies about schoolwork again. You might say, “I really hope this doesn’t happen again. If it does, you will need to miss your next sports practice.”

Talk with your child’s teachers to discuss the schoolwork issues, suggests the Parenting.org website. If your child needs extra help, discuss this with the teacher to solve the problem. Because of the dishonesty, ask the teacher to communicate schoolwork assignments with you -- via email or a notebook in your child’s backpack. When your child hands in schoolwork, ask the teacher to verify that your child completed and submitted it.

Monitor your child’s conduct to ensure honesty. Check the teacher’s notes about schoolwork, ensuring that your child completes every assignment.

Give your child a chance to earn back the trust after he shows you some trustworthy conduct. Forgiveness and earning back trust helps your child learn from mistakes, states the Scholastic website. If your child completes schoolwork without problems and demonstrates honesty, tell your child that you are proud of his behavior and you can see that he’s really trying. Discontinue the communication with the teacher regarding schoolwork to give your child a chance to manage the schoolwork again.

About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.

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