What Do You Do When Your Child Steals?

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There are times when we think that we know our children very well, when we actually do not. We are so caught up in our own lives that we tend to neglect the fact that our children also have their own worries and problems too. In fact, our children even as teenagers still need our guidance and care to help them cope with whatever problems they may have. When we are confronted with the fact that our own flesh and blood lies and steals the emotions can become overwhelming that they all come reeling in right after the other. The only way to survive this is to find the strength to deal with it so that our child will change before it is too late.

Why A Child Steals

There are many reasons for a child to steal and the parents will have to take some sort of blame for the crime committed. Here are a few reasons for a child to steal:

Basic Needs Are Not Met

Children are dependent on their parents for their needs. When a child feels that his parent is unable to provide for his needs, he will take matters into his own hands, by stealing. Remember, what may be a real ‘need’ for your child, may not be the same to you.

Lacks Attention

When children feel that they do not get the attention they deserve, they will try to fill in the void. Sometimes, all you need is to hug your child, shower him with kisses, be interested with his activities and spend some time with him to ensure that his emotional needs are met.

when a child steals

Peer Pressure

When friends steal, your child may be encouraged to do so too in order to be accepted among his peers. Being interested in your child’s life includes knowing his friends and family background.

What To Do If You Catch Your Child Red Handed

In the event that you catch your child red handed, you must choose your words carefully and use them cautiously. Never imply that your child is bad, but highlight the fact that stealing is bad. Avoid name calling him as it will remain in his mind forever and affect him. It is important to stay calm without having to overreact. Do not take it personally as well as it will only affect you and make it more difficult for you to handle the situation.

If your child stole from an establishment and the owner has reported the incident to the police and has taken legal action based on the item that was stolen, support your child and help him survive the consequences. In severe cases, it is best that your child pays the consequences of his actions with proper guidance as it will help him mature and become a better individual.

After the incident you will want to know why your child committed the crime he did. Once you have figured it out, help him get what he needs the right way. If he needs attention from you, give it. If he wants to belong to a group of friends, help him find the right type of friends to belong to. Just continue to trust your child and let him see you as a model of honesty. Stealing is indeed a common problem and when stealing is done by older children, the consequences are severe. Nevertheless, it is something that can be corrected so our children must never be condemned by it. We can always help them make the right decisions after, in order to correct the wrong ones committed.

Valerie Howards is a mother and freelance writer specializing in child development and crimes committed by children. She regularly writes articles for legal websites such as www.bailbondsdirect.com and other child development websites.

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