How do I teach my kids not to touch or take something that does not belong to them?

Melynda - posted on 04/30/2013 ( 4 moms have responded )

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They are 5 and 7. My 7 year old especially EVERY DAY will take and touch something that does not belong to him or me and will get mad at ME when I have him put it back. No punishment has worked , he does not get it. They both don't. He also has ADHD if that matters. Any suggestions??

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It's because there is no visual boundary. Your house is attached to the garage he is taking things from, so in his mind, all of this stuff is part of his "house" and thus owned by the people living there.

I would have him ask your boyfriend's sister if it is okay for him to use certain equipment in the garage. If he's putting it back, she shouldn't mind. If she says no, buy him his own equipment so that he has no reason to use her's.

When he asks for ice cream, explain why people shouldn't eat junk food like that. It has no nutritional value, filled with harmful fats, chemicals, preservatives, etc. He shouldn't really want it after you tell him how disgusting it is and what it will do to his body, but if he does, and if you are okay with him putting it into his body, just tell him to ask the boyfriend's sister if he can have one. If he want's it bad enough, he will ask her, but he will probably not bother.

If he continues to take things, when you catch him with the things he shouldn't have, walk with him to boyfriend's sister and have him return the item. This allows him to see that you are not the only one making the rule, and you are not just doing it to be mean.

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Melynda - posted on 05/01/2013

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Thanks!! We move this weekend so that's why I wanted to get it under control. Its going to be much worse if he starts touching and taking things of non- family members in our new apartment building.

And its more of the fact that he doesn't seem to care when he does it that bothers me. He acts like he is entitled to whatever whenever he wants. And I have no idea I am not like that and I do not spoil my kids. At all.

But thanks for the advice.

Melynda - posted on 05/01/2013

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No, its not my stuff or each others. that would not bother me as much, it is items that do not belong to me. We live in an apartment attached to my boyfriends sisters house, so they have a garage and there's vehicles and other such items in the yard. My son constantly goes into the garage and takes toys or sports gear to play with like its no big deal. He doesn't steal things he puts them back but its just the fact that he seems to not get the fact that he shouldn't touch what is not his. They also have a deep freezer on there porch. He has gone into that a couple times as well asking me for popsicle/ice creams in it when I tell him no that's not ours he gets pissed and tells me I am mean. Like why does he not get that we cant just take what we want when we want it. I am so annoyed and exhausted by having to constantly repeat myself and never any changes. I have talked to professionals about it, they say its part of his impulse. To me its more than that. . . .

Dove - posted on 04/30/2013

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I don't know anything about ADHD except that maybe their 'impulse control' is lacking, but they should still at least understand that it is wrong. Personally... I'd be seeking further evaluation if they can't grasp that taking things that don't belong to them is wrong.

Is it just your stuff or each others stuff that they are messing with? Cuz all my kids do that with my things and their sibling's belongings. Not because they don't know it upsets the owner of the item, but.... the things are RIGHT there and it's temptation at its finest.

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