Understanding and Responding to Lying and Stealing in Children and Adolescents

Delivered by

Christina Enright


Format options

In Person | Online

Duration options

3 hrs | 4 hrs


This training can be adapted to a diverse range of contexts, and further bespoke elements can be added on request.

Content Summary: 

Children and adolescents can present with complex behaviours such as lying and stealing that can be challenging for carers and professionals to know how to respond to.

This course focuses in on such behaviours to help anyone supporting children who may struggle with these. Though this training we will explore and develop an understanding of the possible underlying drivers of lying and stealing behaviour, particularly in relation to vulnerable children.

The trainer will cover ways that adults can respond to help the child to feel understood whilst avoiding undue or toxic shame, and at the same time to help the child to begin to learn to reflect on their thoughts, feelings and motives that often underlie such behaviour. Understanding this will help the child to begin to move away from behaving in this way.

Learning Outcomes

As a result of completing this training participants can learn about:

  • The research on the development of morality in children and adolescents
  • The link between child-parent attachment and the development of morality in children
  • Exploring our own cognitive and emotional responses to lying and stealing in children
  • What may influence lying and stealing behaviour in children
  • The role of shame in a child’s response to being called out or corrected
  • How carers and professionals can respond to a child who presents with lying and/or stealing behaviour to help the child to feel safe enough to begin to reflect on their behaviour and to learn how to understand and cope with the challenging situations which may trigger these behaviours

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Bespoke Training

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Training delivered by

Christina Enright

RN, BSc Psychology, Dip in Family Therapy, MA Child Psychotherapy, Dip Clinical Supervision.

Over the past 17 years, Christina has worked as a psychotherapist with children, adolescents, birth parents, foster carers and adoptive parents. This followed on from 20 years working as a nurse in the NHS. Her experience includes the development of a multidisciplinary clinical service for families experiencing trauma and attachment problems who were reluctant to engage with main-stream social care and mental health services. From 2015-2017 Christina provided trauma consultancy to the clinical team developing a children’s service within the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) in the UK.

She also delivers training on child development, trauma and attachment both within the NHS and other education and social care systems across the UK and Ireland.  Her special interest is in early childhood development and the impact of trauma on a child’s developing capacities, functioning and behaviour. From her experience working with children who have endured developmental trauma characterised by neglect and abuse, she has found it necessary to use a comprehensive integrated approach in order to address the multiple complexities which such children present with.

Christina returned to live in Ireland in 2016 and currently works as a Developmental Trauma and Attachment specialist providing training, assessment and clinical interventions on behalf of Tusla Child and Family Agency and in independent practice with birth and adoptive families.