My Kid Used My Credit Card!

Times are changing. Today’s kids have access to their parents’ credit cards and are using them to go on shopping sprees. Whether they’re booking a vacation or buying items online, this habit sets a dangerous precedent for the future.

If your child is using your credit card without permission, it’s best to take action now.

What Do I Do About My Kid Using My Credit Card?

Using a credit card is one thing, stealing is another. It’s important to learn whether or not your child stole your credit card. Chances are that your child didn’t quite understand how a credit card works when using it.

Young children typically don’t know the power of money, especially money via credit card. Before disciplining your child, analyze the situation. Does this behavior warrant punishment? Is your child stealing from you?

Explain “Asking Before Taking” to Younger Children

Experts agree that there’s’ a huge difference in motive when it comes to the age of a child taking their parents’ money. Young kids under age 6 don’t have a well-developed sense of wrong and right. They haven’t grown enough to think about others or about themselves.

If your younger child is taking your credit card, teach them to ask for what they want. As your child gets older, remind them to apologize for taking things without asking. Ultimately, your child should understand that taking your credit card without asking isn’t right.

Talking to Older Children About Taking Money

Children that are 9-years-old and older likely understand when they’re taking things without asking. As a result, parents should treat this action more seriously.

Parents shouldn’t think of their children as thieves, rather as having made a decision without thinking it through. Oftentimes, they’ll solve the problem of wanting something by taking money from their parents.

Rather than trying to hurt you, they’re likely just trying to get what they want. Children should understand they’ll never benefit by taking something that doesn’t belong to them. Have your child apologize and give them a fitting punishment.

Some parents discipline their children by giving the item back or giving them another consequence. If they still have the item, it’s best to take it away. For example, if your child uses your card to buy an app, delete the app from the phone and set purchasing restrictions.

If the money is gone completely or the item is non-refundable, have your child make amends to work it off. Require them to do chores around the house to earn the money back.

Tips to Avoid Your Kid Using Credit Cards

If your child uses your credit card, you may be able to get your money back. Oftentimes, they’ll be able to refund the money if you explain the situation. However, while some banks authorize this as fraud, others may not. Speak to your credit card company to learn about their policies.

Even if your child doesn’t physically take your credit card, they can still use it. Apps, sites, and other electronic devices frequently save our credit card information. If your child has access to any device with your credit card information, they may be using it.

In many situations, children don’t realize that they’re using real money when playing games. Avoid this kind of scenario by requiring a password when ordering anything. Likewise, you can restrict your child’s electronics use to games and devices that don’t require making purchases.

What to Do If Your Child Continues Using Your Card

If your child is unable to stop, further action is necessary. Get to the bottom of whatever it is that’s triggering your child’s persistence.

Even as you figure out how to improve this behavior, don’t make your child feel as though they’re a bad person. You know they’re a good person and this is why you are correcting their behavior. As you navigate this complicated situation, make sure your child knows you love them.

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