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How do I make sure that my son does not lie?

Q: My 6 years old son has started telling lies for every simple thing. He puts a cell in the cart while we go for shopping and refuses to admit that he has put it there without my knowledge, later after asking many times, he admits. He steals a toy from a friends place and confesses as soon as he reaches home. He changes the heat settings of the room and then refuses to admit that he has done it, but later admits. These are some examples of the lies he told and this started since two weeks. He never used to lie earlier. I am scared and worried at his behaviour. Please advise. I am a single parent, but give him ample time. He is good in all other aspects, but at times acts a bit too maturely for his age. Recently, we have shifted from India to US and he has liked the place and has adjusted well here. I keep telling him that I do not tolerate lies and punish him for telling lies like no TV, no dinner etc but do not harm him physically. Please advise me what to do in this situation.

A:I think you are right in withholding treats or rewards, rather than punishing the child physically. It is likely that your child has problems adjusting to the US without owning up is a sign that he is not happy. In the US, there are many people who will know how to help him and you although he may not show it. His picking up little things reflects his feeling of insecurity. Try and talk to Indian friends and see if they can help you. If the child joins a childcare centre, he may have friends and not be so lonely.

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