Hello, we have put many of your child training techniques to work, but recently we have run into a snag. Four of our children, ages 6 – 11, have been helping themselves to our pantry for snacks between meals or even after dinner.

They eat well at their meals, usually eating meat, potatoes, veggie, with dessert only once in a while. I may have some candies higher up for their Mom and I to enjoy, but somehow, they manage to get to them. When I ask about it, they say they don’t know anything, or blame their siblings. They know it is a sin to steal and lie, but we have had to punish all the kids with no dessert or candies. It doesn’t seem to work. I am pretty sure who the main culprit is, but I get angry when I see empty candy wrappers lying around, and don’t want to blurt out “Liar!” What can my wife and I do to nip this problem now before it becomes worse. We want the stealing and lying to stop! Please let us know what we are missing in this area of child training. We value your opinion.

Michael answers:
Get a hidden camera that comes on when the beam is interrupted. They are used to photograph animals and can be purchased for less than $100.00. Install it secretly and wait for the lying thief to appear.

First, get each one to sign a statement that they will not steal sweets. If one of them steals, wait for a week to see if the others will as well. Them come down on them with a charge of theft and be prepared to show your evidence. Three good spankings will be in order, plus one year with no sweets.