What parent should do if they catch their children stealing

Tenzin Pema    22 Apr 2019    2336

As parents we all have seen children take things that do not belong to them. It isn't uncommon to see kids take these things as they still lack the clear understanding of how stealing can affect the other person. Whether it is pocket change, toys or food, if it is not dealt with immediately it can have dire effects as they grow older.  There are a multitude of reasons why children might steal, and it is paramount that the parents realize why to properly address the conflict. 

The most common reasons for stealing I have seen from my experience as a nanny and as a mother is that the child steals because he/she lacks attention from their parents, peer pressure to think that stealing is "cool," or because of jealousy.  It is important for the parents to distinguish the cause. The most effective method is to enforce disciplinary action as soon as possible.

Some methods I have used include"

  1. Teach children the importance of Honesty - Talk to your children about honesty as often as possible.Try to give a less serious consequence and praise them whenever they are honest about any misdeeds they might have done. Children who do not feel comfortable talking to their parents about anything can lead to more serious behavioral issues in the future. It is important to create an environment where a child feels free to talk about anything and everything. 
  2. Teach children to respect the properties of others - When children are young they might have trouble realizing between what is right and what is wrong. Parents should always teach their children ethical values and to respect others. Create rules about taking care of their own toys and to always ask to borrow anything. 
  3. Return stolen items- If you do catch your child stealing, it is vital that you make the child return the item and apologize to the victim. The embarrasment and regretful feeling your child will have can dismay them from committing the act again