What if your child steals?
Theft is an extremely bad habit and a definite reason for punishment. And what about parents, if their own child steals?
A prank or a serious problem?
The scale of child theft may be different, they depend on many factors, including the age and upbringing of the child, his environment and so on. For example, unauthorized "borrowing" from parents without their knowledge can be regarded as a family trouble. And some popes and mothers do not pay attention to it at all, or even notice nothing, especially if the stolen sums are insignificant. In any case, the incidents remain within the family, so these difficulties can be solved, they do not entail serious consequences.
It is quite another matter if a child steals money from friends and classmates, and even more so from strangers, or steals goods in stores. In this case, the scale of the problem is significant or even catastrophic, especially if the amounts are impressive. First, the child can be caught in theft, which will ruin the reputation of a small thief, as well as his parents, especially if a large number of people find out about the incident.Secondly, large-scale theft, carried out by a teenager, can lead to serious punishment (usually in the form of a fine levied on the parents). In addition, a thief can be registered with the police, and this will leave a definite mark on his entire future life.
Why does a child steal?
The causes of child theft may be different:
- Not fully formed moral ideas and life principles. A small child may simply not know and do not understand that taking someone else's thing is regarded as theft and is a bad thing. In this case, it is senseless to blame the baby, because he is not aware of his guilt until he has mastered the basics of morality.
- Psychological dissatisfaction, a sense of their own failure. If the child feels unnecessary or lonely, he will look for ways to achieve emotional balance, and he can try to achieve it with money. For many children, finances are personified as an indicator of status in society, of some importance. So, being a "rich" teenager can gain credibility in school. He will also allow himself to buy sweets and toys, and they also give pleasure and a certain psychological satisfaction.
- The overwhelming desire to take possession of a thing.If a child liked a toy, then the idea of getting it can simply overshadow moral concepts and social taboos. Unfortunately, this happens often, both among children and among adolescents.
- Lack of wealth. If the family lives poorly, it is quite logical that the child will feel incomplete and disadvantaged, and he can also become an object of ridicule on the part of classmates. And in this case, he may well decide on theft, the main purpose of which is to be like everything or to be rich.
- The desire to make someone a gift. If a child wants to make someone nice or show his sympathy, but does not have the money to buy a gift, then he may well give someone else's stolen thing. But this reason, as a rule, follows from the first, because children who have moral concepts and are aware of theft are sure to come up with another way to please a loved one.
- Imitation of someone, for example, a friend, acquaintance or some negative hero of a comic strip, movie or cartoon.
- A child can steal something to get revenge on the owner of the item.
Guilty or not?
What if you suspect your child of stealing, but have not yet proven his guilt? First of all, do not blame him baselessly. First, sort out the situation and find out all the details. Moreover, even an obvious theft may not be a bad act, but a thoughtless or forced action, so analyze the incident so as not to offend anyone. Perhaps the child was forced, he argued, or simply considered the thing lost by someone.
If you fail to prove the guilt, it does not mean that you need to do nothing. On the contrary, start taking active, but veiled measures. For example, casually tell us about the case of theft (even if invented) and express your extremely negative opinion on this matter. Find some instructive film or program, conduct unobtrusive conversations about thefts and their consequences.
If you were able to prove guilt, then in this case you do not need to attack the child and speak rudely against him, this will cause aggression and protest and will only increase the desire to steal you in retaliation. And do not call the child a thief. By hanging such a label, you can unknowingly predetermine the further fate, because the child’s psyche is unstable and subject to any influence, especially from parents.
The main tasks of the father and mother are to remain calm, think soberly and act adequately. So calm down, exhale, understand that your child is not the only thief. Be prepared for careful, painstaking and challenging work.
How to prevent further theft?
Child theft is a serious and, unfortunately, an urgent problem. But what if she touched you?
Useful tips for parents:
- First of all, find out the reasons for what happened. Listen to the explanations of the child, try to understand it. But also explain that whatever the reasons, theft is extremely bad.
- So that the child does not feel poor and deprived, give him pocket money, as well as meet reasonable and reasonable needs. But at the same time the child must perform certain duties at home, like the rest of the family.
- Talk about the child's deed: ask about the causes of the deed, about feelings, emotions and experiences. Tell us what a person feels when he lost a thing; emphasize that she was dear to him. Let the child feel his guilt, understand that he has hurt someone, repent.If the item is still with him, then help correct the situation and return the stolen, of course, with an apology.
- Do not take the incident out of the family and do not remind the child of what happened at every opportunity, it can cause shame and aggression, because of which the guilty may withdraw into himself.
- Set clear boundaries of property and possession, so that the child understands that it is impossible to take other people's things.
- How to wean from theft with the help of a good example and simulation of the situation? You can try to teach your child a lesson and quietly take something important to him, for example, a toy or a piece of clothing. Next, return the stolen and ask the child about his emotions. Perhaps, if he realizes that the victims of the theft are painful and unpleasant, and briefly appear in their place, he will no longer steal.
- If the child believes in God, emphasize that stealing is a grave sin.
- Set a positive example: never take someone else's.
- Instill in the child the principles of morality and ethics, and from a very early age.
- Focus on the fact that money (especially strangers) - not an indicator of status.
- If a child steals constantly and does it thoughtlessly, perhaps he suffers from kleptomania. In this case, you need the help of a psychologist or even a psychiatrist.
Finally, you can wish all parents patience and prudence.
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