If you’re the parent of a child who has stolen something, you’re probably wondering how this could have come about. After all, you’ve taught your child better than that and provided them with almost anything they have wanted and everything they have needed. In spite of all that, plenty of parents find themselves in the situation of having a child who steals not knowing what to do about it. There’s no doubt that dealing with a child who steals is very frustrating, but the good news is that there’s help and hope.
Why do Children Steal?
Believe it or not, it’s normal for children to steal. In many cases, younger children really can’t distinguish right from wrong — they simply see an item they want. But in children over 7 or 8 years old, stealing could indicate a more serious problem. By this age, children should be able to understand the basic difference between right and wrong, and why they shouldn’t take something that doesn’t belong to them. There are a number of problems that could cause a child to steal. An evaluation by a doctor can discover these problems and put you on the path to dealing with them.
Dealing with Stealing
When you’re dealing with a child who steals, provide them with encouragement to do the right things in life and explain the troubles that can come with the wrong behavior. Sometimes, explaining the consequences of a child’s actions can be all it takes to remedy the problem.
It’s important not to lose your temper and to remain calm, even when it’s difficult. Just remind yourself that you’re the most important role model your children have. They learn from watching you, your reactions, and the ways you deal with situations.