Many sins, like stealing, lying and defiance, can be dealt with at a very early age and can save parents a lot of grief in later years.
Many parents choose not to address these issues at a young age, when they are easier to spot and kids are easier to punish. When a child’s age reaches the double digits, he gets a lot better at stealing, lying and throwing fits when they get caught. This all makes correction much more difficult. So don’t wait until then.
It can be much more difficult to catch your child lying or stealing as she gets older, because they get better at these covert skills. If these sins are not caught early, the child will be very surprised when he or she is punished for them when they are older, causing unhealthy feelings of uncertainty and instability.
When you catch your children lying or stealing, give them consequences that are immediate and affect them in a way that causes regret in their hearts for what they did.
Let’s say little Tommy is caught telling a lie about cleaning his room. I suggest you have him clean his room and do some extra cleaning around the house. How much extra would depend on his age, but enough to make him think twice before lying again. Then repeat this consistently. Children need to know that they will get caught and punished every time they sin so they will resolve in their hearts and minds to sin no more.
This will cause them to respect you and lead to a great relationship for the long term.