Parent's Resource Center

When Children Steal:

By Ron Huxley, LMFT

Children steal things because they want something they can't have, don't understand property rights, or are angry at someone. Here are some helpful tips on what to do when your child steals.

1. Do show your disappointment but don't shame or ridicule your child.

2. Talk with your child about what caused him to steal the object and why it is wrong to steal.

3. Encourage your child to return the item and apologize for their actions. If the stolen item was destroyed or eaten, require your child to pay for the item.

4. Use stories to discuss right and wrong behavior.

5. Help your child find appropriate ways to fill their needs without stealing.


Parent's Resource Center
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Revised: November 14, 2006