Stealing is the taking of things or being in possession of things that belong to someone else without their permission. Stealing is a common behavior in young children. Stealing is often more of an embarrassment to parents than an indication that a child is bad. Many parents who have caught their children stealing worry that their children are on the road to becoming hardened criminals. These parents should be relieved to know that the vast majority of children who occasionally steal grow up to be law abiding citizens. While stealing is often considered a normal or common behavior in young children, it must still be addressed and corrected.
Why Children Steal
Stealing habits differ from child to child.There may be many reasons for it.
Here are some things that parents can do to prevent and deal with stealing behaviors in their children.
Stealing is a common, normal behavior in pre-school-aged children. Under the age of six, most children have difficulty understanding the concept of private property. They are too young to understand that they don't have rights to property that belongs to someone else. Most pre-school aged children do not yet understand that stealing is wrong, it is usually not a good idea for parents to punish them for stealing. Instead, this is an excellent time for parents to begin teaching their children about ownership and the concept that stealing is wrong.
By the time children are about the age of six, they are beginning to better understand the concept of ownership. They are also beginning to understand that stealing is wrong. Once children begin to show an understanding of these concepts, parents should begin setting limits on stealing behaviors, and providing punishment when such behavior occurs.
There are many things that parents can do to prevent the onset of stealing behavior in their children.
Parents should make sure that their children know why stealing is wrong. Parents can point out that stealing means taking something that rightfully belongs to someone else.
While children are very young it is a good idea for parents to begin teaching their children what ownership means. Parents can explain that people have a right to their own property, and that it is wrong to take something that belongs to someone else. Parents can use examples, such as, "How would you feel if someone wanted your favorite stuffed animal and just decided to take it?" Parents can also use examples that occur in everyday life, such as by explaining to children how one pays for things at the store and borrows books from the library, by pointing out things in the home that belong to different people, what gifts are, etc.
Parents should teach their children how to get what they want without stealing. For example, parents can suggest that children ask for things they want, save up their money to buy the things they want, etc.
Parents should set a good example for their children by asking before they borrow things, by not taking things that don't belong to them, and by being open and honest.
Parents should make every effort to communicate effectively with their children. Children who are close to their parents are much more likely to take on their beliefs and values than children who don't have a close relationship with their parents.
Parents should make every attempt to praise their children for being honest. The more parents praise their children's honesty, the more likely they will continue to be honest in the future.
Now it is important how to deal with child who steals something. Here are some suggestions for it.
And finally, don’t bring up the subject again. Once the matter is settled, it’s not reasonable to try a child for the same crime more than once.
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