Parenting Advice to Curb the Habit of Stealing in Kids

Good Parenting

Strictly make your child understand that stealing is wrong and you would not forgive it.

Your child is obedient, friendly, does good in the school, puts dishes in the sink and you wonder why does your child steals?

Having sticky fingers is not so unusual in kids of 5 to 6 year old. Generally children of 5 to 6 years begin to develop conscience at that stage and at times they find it tough to resist their temptation to steal something that they want. However stealing is not always an impulsive decision. Important to note is that as parents you should not panic.

Many children steal because they think that there is nothing wrong about it. Some steal because they want to get attention.

The question now arises is what you should do as parents when you find out that your child has sticky fingers. You need to first find out that whether it has happened for the first time or your child has a pattern of stealing.

Strictly make your child understand that stealing is wrong and you would not forgive it. Even if your son steals a candy from a shop, make him return it. In case, if he has already eaten it, take him to the shop and make him apologize. Going to the shopkeeper might be embarrassing for the child but this would send a clear message to the child that it is an unforgivable act.

Don’t engage in punishing your child physically. This would only worsen the situation. As a parent, you need to be patient and talk to your child gently and yet firmly that you won’t allow it. Screaming or slapping your child won’t solve the problem. You need to figure out the root cause and nip it in the bud.

Parenting advice: Consider it an opportunity

Instead of considering stealing as a problem, take it as an opportunity to teach your child about right and wrong. You can take it as a possibility to instill the good family values of honesty and integrity in your child.

If your child steals just to fit in with the peers or overcome inferiority complex, you can provide a solution like giving allowance to the child for doing some simple household chores.

Most importantly, watch your own behavior. Do what you preach. For instance, if you are mistakenly given more items in less money at a store, return the items to the store owner in the presence of the child. Watching parents perform such actions go a long way in teaching kids about moral values.

Spend quality time with your child, take him/her to a good children’ motivational movie. Or watch an inspirational video with your child. Reading good books that teach about good values and watching a motivating video daily with your child will go a long way in building good character, instilling family values in kids, gain self-esteem and strengthen your child’s development.

If stealing still persists, you can take the help of a counselor or a therapist.

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Parenting Advice – Help Your Child Deal with School Refusal

“As much as 28% of school aged children in America refuse school at some point during their education. School refusal behavior is as common among boys as girls. While any child aged 5–17 may refuse to attend school, most youths who refuse are 10–13 years old. Peaks in school refusal behavior are also seen at times of transition such as 5–6 and 14–15 years as children enter new schools.”

                                 – NYU CHILD STUDY CENTER 

Does your child often wake up with a headache, sore throat or stomachache especially during school tests or after weekends and holidays?

Then these may be the symptoms of school refusal – a condition when a child develops school phobia or fear of attending school.

Instill Positive Discipline

Parents can play a crucial role in inspiring children to deal with school phobia

A school-goer may refuse the school to avoid anxiety or depression caused by school-related objects or situations; to escape academic performance situations including test-taking or oral presentations; or  to seek pleasure in activities outside school.

Parenting Help: How to Instill Positive Discipline

Parents can play a crucial role in inspiring children to deal with school phobia. First of all, encourage your child to attend school regularly as missing school elevates anxiety rather than alleviating it.

The following tips can help:

  • Increase the exposure to school slowly and gradually in small degrees. Make sure he feels comfortable every time he attends school. Eventually, he starts realizing that there is nothing to fear about the school.
  • Understand the feelings and fears that is keeping your child far from the school and find ways to help her get rid of them. For example, if your child skips school due to inferiority complex, boost her confidence and help her realize that she is no less important than others.
  • Highlight the positive aspects of attending school such as making new friends, playing the favorite game, learning an interesting subject, and becoming successful.
  • Meet with your child’s teacher or school guidance counselor to induce positivity and wisdom in children.
  • Encourage the hobbies and interests your child find fun and solace in. It not only keeps the child engaged but also builds his self-confidence.
  • Establish a support system for your child within family and friend-circle. It allows the child to discuss her problems and reasons of anxiety hence helping you find an effective way to deal with the same.