It always feels good for a parent to see their child develop. It excites you to have your child finally able to communicate and express their desires. At this stage, you are also likely to notice your child’s behavior. Some tendencies might be amusing, while other actions are alarming.
How do you react if you discover that your child stole something? Several questions might race through your mind. What might have prompted this behavior? Where did he learn to steal? You can even go to the extent of questioning your parenting skills.
In this article, we seek to let you know whether you should expect this behavior or not. We will also discuss some strategies you can employ to curb this vice.
Should You Be Worried When Your Child Steals?
Discipline is fundamental in the proper upbringing of a child. Any improper habit left uncorrected contributes to one’s character. For this reason, as a parent, you will get worried about your child stealing.
On the flipside, toddlers are unable to distinguish between what is theirs and what is not. You will thus notice your child picking an item and clinging to it without the owner’s consent. Unlike older children, toddlers steal things that attract them unintentionally. It is because their impulse control is poor. Whenever they want something, they get it.
You should, therefore, not be alarmed by this. With proper training and advancement in age, the baby will outgrow it.
Talk to Your Child
From the moment you catch him in the act of stealing or you discover it, you should disapprove of it. The child should know that his action is wrong and unacceptable. During this talk, you can draw your child to confide in you. Based on your initial reaction, the child will tell you why he did it or decline.
Your child, however, young needs to understand ethics. At this young age, you might not bombard the child with a lot of information on stealing. Even so, you can teach him little by little to respect other people’s property.
It is worth noting that the approach you use to address a toddler may be quite different. It calls for reasoning more with the child. You may employ practical scenarios to help the child know the gravity of their action.
For your child to understand you best, you need to practice parenting based on attachment. If your child is closer to you, they will best understand the lessons you give. It will also be easier for them to acknowledge their wrongs and overcome them.
Encourage the Child to Make Amends
Once the child has recognized their wrongdoing, he must make amends. He ought to return the stolen item to the rightful owner. The child will then learn that every action has a consequence and that he ought to correct his mistakes. An apology is also crucial.
Assess the Situation
It is crucial to remain vigilant in your child’s case. Make a resolve to assess his behavior, its frequency, and the triggers continually. You will thus be able to know whether the child has other underlying issues. It might be especially true if other misconducts accompany the stealing. Accordingly, you can seek professional help to get an earlier intervention.
Praise Your Child for Doing Right
As young as the child is, once he gets the lesson right, you need to appreciate that as a parent. He may bring you a missing item or anything. Instead of thanking him for being honest, you can be grateful for him returning the item. Being specific is better than generalization.
Remember that you don’t want to implant ideas in your child’s head. You can thus focus on praising the child in a manner that indicates he did what you anticipated.
At the age of your child, he may not understand what stealing is. You should, therefore, not take his behavior to heart. Instead, lovingly, let him know that he made a mistake that has consequences. It may take time for him to comprehend these lessons fully, but with time he will.
Take time to teach your child values and ethics continually. Do it in bits, but repetitively. You will surely reap positive results. Finally, every good deed demands an acknowledgment. Do this whenever your child does the right thing. All in all, be patient with your child and do not cast blames on your parenting skills.