My 7 year old has begun to steal.

Emilie - posted on 10/18/2009 ( 7 moms have responded )

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I have never had a problem with him before with stealing. Maybe it is the kids that is in our neighborhood, but he was at his fathers house, and his father told me that my son has been banned from one of his neighbors house because he was caught stealing from her. I have told him I was mad and not to do it again, but now I have caught him a few times, stealing from me and from the store and anywhere that he sees something that he wants, I just can't get him to understand how wrong it is and how disappointed I am in him.

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Allison - posted on 10/18/2009

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My son was about seven or eight when he went through this stage. He had stolen from stores, school, friends, me, and his grandparents. Not only did he steal he would lie so he would not get caught. I tried making him return things and talk to the security people at stores, apologize in person and letter, I grounded him, took things away, did pocket checks, did not allow him to leave my sight in public, I even banded him from stores, all trying to get him to understand. Then came the last resort, one day he had ten dollars in the pocket of his pants. First he took it from his friend which I knew didn't have ten dollars ever, then he said he took it from me which was not possible cause I counted every penny. He stuck to his story but I knew he had went in his grandma's purse and taken probably on his way to or from school. So I called the cops! Yup, I explained the situation and they sent an officer who questioned him and told him what would happen the next time and what happens if this continues. He ended up fessing up to me and the cop. I love my son dearly but I was not going to continue having him steal. I am not a theif and was not going to have him be one either. This does sound extreme but I had tried everything else and well needless to say it has not happened again. He now knows if he wants to steal go for it but I will not condone it I will see him pay the price if he chooses to steal. ( though the cops cannot do anything really at his age, he does not know that) I am definitely not saying call the police unless you have tried all others things. I also think that in the long run my son will know that I will not allow certain behaviors and hopefully this will help as he reaches the oh so wonderful teen years. Good luck to you

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Lisa - posted on 10/20/2009

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My son took a pen from the store when he was 2ish, not really a big deal, cuz they always have pens on the counters to write out your checks... but i remember; he thought that he was the coolest for taking it..... so I made him take it back to the store, hand it to the check out lady, and tell her that he was very sorry.... he never tried anything like that again.

Emilie - posted on 10/18/2009

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wow, One time I was at the mall with my son, I was at a concession stand buying a snack, I had my back turned for maybe 1 min. and he was gone, next thing I knew the security guard was bringing him to me, he had been caught getting change out of the fountain. They didn't do anything of course, but he did have to go put it all back.

Karen - posted on 10/18/2009

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I can reply to this with honest heart. My 6 yr old grandson was just caught trying to steal some mints from a store. He has taken things from my sisters house. He has taken things out of my home. I find things in his pockets. And when he brings toys from school he says his friend gave it to him.Some kids view things as wow my mom would never buy me those things, or that is just so cool i want this. Sit down at there level and explain how important things might be to someone and ask if he would want his favorite toy taken from him by a friend. Then I would continue to monitor his behavior. If it were to continue then I would start taking his favorite things away from him one at a time. If it gets real bad therapy might be in order for underlying issues. just a thought hope it helps.

Emilie - posted on 10/18/2009

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Quoting Tonya:

I had a problem with my oldest daughter at that age. When I asked her why she did it, all she said is because she wanted it or didn't know why. I made her return the stolen property time after time and apologize. I told her consequences are a natural part of learning and growing, and she had them(community service type stuff) Sometimes children are compulsive and just don't understand why they do those things, or they are striving for attention. However, my daughter was diagnosed with ADHD shortly after her 2nd incident which may have had some play in it. These are also hard times for many parents to provide "extras" for their kids, so maybe the little guy is afraid he's going to miss out? I hope this was helpful!


My son does have ADHD, but he is not on medication for it. I have seen other kids in the neighborhood stealing also. I think he is learning it from them which makes it harder because I am sure he is probaly thinking why does he get punished when the other kids don't.

Tonya - posted on 10/18/2009

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I had a problem with my oldest daughter at that age. When I asked her why she did it, all she said is because she wanted it or didn't know why. I made her return the stolen property time after time and apologize. I told her consequences are a natural part of learning and growing, and she had them(community service type stuff) Sometimes children are compulsive and just don't understand why they do those things, or they are striving for attention. However, my daughter was diagnosed with ADHD shortly after her 2nd incident which may have had some play in it. These are also hard times for many parents to provide "extras" for their kids, so maybe the little guy is afraid he's going to miss out? I hope this was helpful!

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