Learning that your child is stealing can be one of the most devastating experiences. While older kids might steal owing to peer pressure, younger ones might be doing it without even realizing that it is wrong.
5 Reasons For Why Do Kids Steal?
Kids tend to steal from their parents, siblings, friends, relatives or do shop lifting for various reasons. If your kid is doing the same, it could be as a result of any of the following:
1. Not Having Self-Control:
Your child may not have control over his actions and could just steal whatever he sees in front of him.
2. Longing For An Expensive Item:
When your kid yearns for something very expensive, which he might feel that you may not be able to afford, he may tend to steal or shoplift.
3. Peer Pressure:
Your kid may be in the wrong company at school or in neighbourhood where he comes in contact with others. He might have a friend who loves stealing things from others and this pressure can kindle the stealing behavior in children too.
[ Read: How To Discipline Your Child ]
4. To Gain Attention:
When your kid feels that he is not getting enough attention from his teacher or you, he might feel the need to do something like stealing to get your attention.
5. For Fun:
Your kid may steal without knowing that this activity is wrong. He may take things which are not useful for him, only to have some fun.
10 Ways On How To Stop Your Child From Stealing?
As a parent, you need to stay calm and act in a responsible way while dealing with this issue. Harsh punishment for kids stealing or venting out your anger will not be of any help.
Here are a few ways through which you can deal with the stealing problem that your kid is facing:
1. Never Accuse Your Child:
Unless you have seen your kid steal or have heard about it from someone whom you absolutely trust, do not accuse your kid of the same.
Sometimes your kid could be a victim of false accusations or a misunderstanding.
2. Say Clearly That He Or She Has Done A Wrong Thing:
Kids have to know that the act of stealing is not acceptable.
You must tell them that this action of theirs is a wrong one and it could have them land in prison.
3. Keep Your Cool:
Do not raise your voice, use a cane or jab at your kid at any point of time.
You need to make your kid realize his wrong move, without forcing him to say that he will not steal again, just out of fear.
4. Ask Your Kid To Mend The Wrong:
If your kid accepts that he was stealing, tell him to apologize to the person from whom he stole. Offer a small gift to that person to mend the hard feelings.
This can be a humiliating experience for your kid, which would help him stay away from stealing once for all.
5. Forgive Your Kid:
Though this is a painful issue for you to face as a parent, you need to convey it to your child that you still love him and have forgiven him.
You can give your kid a hug and a kiss which will help them refrain from doing it again, if he has done it for gaining attention.
6. Find Out The Root Cause:
If you wish to stop your child from stealing you must look at the root cause which triggered this action.
If your kid is in the wrong company, talk with his teacher and make sure he is not in contact with that friend.
7. Stay Attached To Your Kid:
Switch off your mobile phones and laptops for some time and have a heart to heart time with your kids.
This will help you get attached to your kids and offer them enough love.
This would help your kid to stop the practice of stealing and discuss about their needs to you.
8. Do Not Tempt Them Into Stealing:
When you have learnt that your kid is stealing, make sure that you don’t offer the opportunity of tempting him to do it again.
Lock your safe, do not give direct access to money and have very small amounts in purses or handbags.
9. Teach Ownership:
Teach your kids to know about the rightful ownership.
When you have two or more kids at home, do not have “all toys for all” policy.
Teach your kids to ask permission to play with a toy of his brother or sister and give it back after playing.
10. Praise Your Kid’s Honesty:
If your kid is speaking the truth, appreciate him for doing so.
If your kid found your lost wallet, appreciate his efforts. Convey your message that your kid did just what was expected of him.
Whether it is stealing candy or an expensive gadget, you need to make it very clear to your kid that stealing is unacceptable. As a parent, you can put a stop to this behavior immediately before it gets overboard.
Incorporate these tips and let us know if you have more ideas to share on how to stop your child from stealing.
source: Mom Conjuction