What to Do When Your Child is Stealing

Written by Anthony Kane

What to Do When Your Child is Stealing

By Anthony Kane, MD

Introduction: My Child,repparttar Thief

One ofrepparttar 143218 more common problems that we as parents encounter, but that nobody likes to talk about, is what to do when your child steals. There are a number of different reasons a child steals and a number of different ways to handlerepparttar 143219 problem.

Young children do not steal. Children belowrepparttar 143220 age of four or five do not have a concept of ownership. They do not understand that it is wrong to take things that belong to others.

Byrepparttar 143221 time a child enters elementary school, he should know that stealing is wrong. Often children at this age take things because they lack self-control.

A preteen or teen may steal forrepparttar 143222 thrill of it or because that is what friends are doing. He may be trying to gain a feeling of control over his life or to fill an emotional void.

Whateverrepparttar 143223 reason a child is stealing,repparttar 143224 parents need to approachrepparttar 143225 problem with wisdom. Ifrepparttar 143226 parents just react according to their natural inclination, their response will almost certainly be wrong and destructive.

Why a Child Steals

1-Child Can't Control Himself

Younger children have difficulty with self-control. A child may take something although he knows that stealing is wrong simply because he can't help himself. You have to give your childrepparttar 143227 ability to get what he wants in an honest way. Also, you must try to minimizerepparttar 143228 temptation.

2-Child's Basic Needs are Not Being Met

Children are completely dependent on their parents for all of their needs. A child who feels that his needs are not being met will eventually takerepparttar 143229 matter into his own hands. The easiest way for a child to do this is to take what he needs.

What a person needs is subjective. Even though a parent may not feel that a child should have something, it might be a real need forrepparttar 143230 child. For example, ifrepparttar 143231 child's school friends have pocket money, then your child could have a need for pocket money. He will feel a lack if he doesn't have it, even if you provide him with everything that he wants. This type of child may be tempted to steal money just so he has money like everybody else.

3-Child Needs More Attention

Probablyrepparttar 143232 most common reason that children steal is that they feel an emotional lack in their lives. A child who does not have his emotional needs met, feels empty inside. He may take things in an attempt to fillrepparttar 143233 void. Often children who steal are lonely or having trouble in school or with friends. They lackrepparttar 143234 tools orrepparttar 143235 opportunity to express their feelings.

Many children do not getrepparttar 143236 attention they need. Such a child may feel unloved or thatrepparttar 143237 parents are not interested in him. This may or may not be true. As I explain in How to Improve Your Child's Behavior, how your child perceives your attention is more important thanrepparttar 143238 amount of attention that you give. These children may translate their emotional needs into material desires. Stealing is their way for these children to express their discontent and to seek gratification.

4-Child Needs to Have Control Over His Life

Children are acutely aware of their vulnerability. They lack control over their lives. Some children have difficulty with this. Ifrepparttar 143239 child has trouble feeling dependant, he may steal to gain a sense of control or to rebel.

5-Peer Pressure

Older children are pulled after what their friends do. Ifrepparttar 143240 child is with a group of children that feel stealing is exciting,repparttar 143241 child may steal to be part ofrepparttar 143242 group. Sometimes, a child may steal to show bravery to friends. If your child has fallen into a group of bad friends there are some very concrete things you can do to addressrepparttar 143243 problem. Seerepparttar 143244 article What to Do When Your Teen Chooses Bad Friends.

What to Do When You Suspect Your Child is Stealing

1-Stay Calm

Don't overreact. When a child steals it does not mean that he is a thief or is headed for a life of crime. It is really no different than any of mistake that your child makes.

2-Do not Take it Personally

Children steal to get attention. If your child is stealing from you and you take it as a personal attack you are reinforcingrepparttar 143245 reasonrepparttar 143246 child stole.

3-Do Not Accuse or Confront Your Child

This point must be stressed. You must catch your child inrepparttar 143247 act so thatrepparttar 143248 situation speaks for itself.

The Seven Keys to Child Obedience

Written by Anthony Kane

The Seven Keys to Child Obedience

by Anthony Kane, MD

Learning obedience is an important part of child development. This isrepparttar tool that allows you as parents to train your child. Through obedience your child will learn self-control and develop other positive character traits that he will need as an adult. However, obedience cannot be forced uponrepparttar 143217 child. Parents who simply command their children will foster resentment, which will eventually lead to rebellion. In fact, some researchers feel that poor parenting techniques contribute torepparttar 143218 development of oppositional defiant disorder in some children. Although you can punish a child for not obeying, this will not foster any long-term obedience. Whenrepparttar 143219 child reaches his teen years and becomes more independent, punishment will only serve to destroyrepparttar 143220 already faltering parent child relationship.

Our goal then is not to force our children to obey us, but to get them to want to obey us. This willingness to obey will only come about ifrepparttar 143221 parent's commands are based upon seven principles.

1-Loving Concern forrepparttar 143222 Child

A child knows quickly whether a parent's demands are forrepparttar 143223 sake ofrepparttar 143224 child or forrepparttar 143225 personal convenience ofrepparttar 143226 parent. Ifrepparttar 143227 parent's primary motive for giving orders is to make his own life easier, thenrepparttar 143228 child learns to place his own interests first, also. If you want to be successful in raising your child, then your reason for giving orders must be forrepparttar 143229 benefit of your child. When your child senses that your demands are for his sake, he will much more readily obey you. He knows that it is for his own good. He will know that any demands made of him, no matter how unpleasant, come from a genuine concern for his welfare.

2-Sincere Respect forrepparttar 143230 Child

Parents must respect their children. This is a concept that is not well practiced by our society. Western society focuses on possessions. Somehow inrepparttar 143231 back of many parents' minds their children are counted among those possessions. We must remember that our children are not objects, but people. As people, they are deserving of respect. We must remember to give respect to our child torepparttar 143232 same degree we would like others to respect us.


Very often our children do things that bother us. This is usually unintentional on their part and is just a reflection of their immaturity. However, if we show our children that we are annoyed they will begin to resent us. This resentment feeds their desire to rebel against our wishes. One of our goals as parents must be to try to keep our negative emotions in check.

4-Speak Softly

Nothing gains a child's cooperation more than a gentle tone of voice. Speaking softly helps us to control our negative emotions, especially anger. A soft voice soothes and is more likely to be met with cooperation. It creates a relaxed atmosphere and is reassuring to children.

When we speak in a soft voice it also conveys strength. We show our children that we are in control ofrepparttar 143233 situation and not merely reacting to it. Ifrepparttar 143234 only step you take is to controlrepparttar 143235 volume of your voice, particularly in stressful situations, that alone will foster better child compliance. You will find that everything around you goes more smoothly.

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