When A Child Steals

StealsSuddenly confronting the fact that your child has been stealing is a painful shock for parents. In such situations, parents needs to act with sensitivity to understand the reason behind their child’s behavior and then take action.

  • Most young children cannot differentiate between mine and yours. when they want something, they don’t think about whom it belong to, they may just walk off with it. This is the time for parents to instill basic values like honesty in the child and explain right from wrong.

  • If you come to know that your child is stealing, then do not react instantly. Take your child aside and have an intimate talk with him. Don’t frighten him with your anger but encourage him to tell you the reason behind his actions.

  • There are many reasons why children steal. Perhaps you do not give him enough pocket money. Perhaps he is under peer pressure and may steal in order to keep up with his richer friends. It could not that he wants something desperately and you may have refused it. In rare cases, the child could be suffering from a disorder called kleptomania and could require professional help.

  • Once you determine the reason, decide on the appropriate course of action. Explain your economic reality to him. Your child must realize that you don’t deny things simply for the pleasure of it. There are things such as income and expenditure and every desire cannot be fulfilled every time. If he is stealing money simply to blow it on eating out, computer games, etc. then explain to him that he can still have the pleasure but within limits.

  • If you feel that his pocket money is genuinely inadequate, you can consider increasing it. Show him how to budget this money so that he does not fall short. Explain to him that if he needs money, he should not be afraid to ask you but stealing is simply unacceptable.

  • You can discipline your child. But not by raging at him, beating him or making him feel ashamed and guilty. Make it clear that you are condemning his behavior, not him. Make sure he understands that what he has done is wrong but he can correct it and make amends for it. This realization must come from inside him.

Give your child the self-confidence to not feel inferior to his richer friends. Instill in him the self-discipline to control his wants and desires. Sow in him a strong sense of right and wrong and give him the courage to accept his mistakes and not repeat them.

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