Step Set a Consequence That Enforces Honesty and Ethics

Beware: Confronting kids with their deceptions long after the fact ("Your teacher last year said you had cheated" or "Remember when you lied to me about your chores last month?") is useless. For consequences to be effective in curbing bad attitudes, they must be enforced immediately and fit the crime. I always think the best consequences are ones that also right the kid's wrong. With that said, here are some consequences that help kids tune up their moral attitudes, face their wrongdoing, as well as learn that manipulation is not acceptable:

"If you take something, you will return it to the owner with an apology."

"If you break something, you will pay for it out of your earned money." "If you are dishonest, you owe the person a sincere apology as an admission of your wrongdoing." "If you got out of a responsibility through deception [such as practice or a chore], you owe that time by doing that practice or chore."

Don't expect your manipulator to immediately get the connection between the enforced consequence and the moral message you're trying to instill. He will in time. Right now, a manipulator needs to recognize that any time he commits an ethical infraction (such as a dishonest, manipulative act), he must make face his wrong and try to make things right. If he doesn't get it at first, he will eventually because you will continue to hold him accountable.

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