Jump to content

Young children and stealing


  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_popsandpolly_*

Posted 11 November 2012 - 10:25 AM

Hi,


I am hoping for some advice or suggestions as we are at a complete loss as to how to manage my DD's behaviour.

She is the youngest child, 4 yrs old and very smart and on the ball. She has recently started to steal things. Initially it was taking things from her siblings and hiding them but we have had one instance of her taking something from a shop and another taking a toy from a drs office.

It is definetly a deliberate act as she knows to hide the item and is very sneaky about it.

On all occasions we have made her return the item and apologise once we found out, she has also been punished on the spot by missing out on a fun activity (one of which happended to be a birthday party that happened to be on the same day.

We have had talks about why it is the wrong thing to do and yet it continues, and we are just at a loss as to how to tackle things from here. We never have had this problem before with our other children who are older and are so embarrassed that this has become more now than just a once off.

So what would you do in this situation and how can we manage the problem moving forward?

#2 tothebeach

Posted 11 November 2012 - 10:30 AM

My just turned 4 child stole a chupachup from the shop last Friday - though he proudly showed it to me as we left and assured me that he would keep it till later and not eat it now.

We took it straight back and he apologised to the teller.  But he really didn't understand why it was wrong to take it - he just kept saying: 'but I wanted it'.  And then said:'next time, I'll ask the lady first'.  When I explained about needing to pay, he got downcast: 'But I don't have any money and I wanted it'.

We've decided that perhaps it's time to start introducing pocket money so that he gets the understanding that you need to pay for things.

I didn't feel the need to punish any more than I did but instead to reinforce that we don't take things that are not ours, whenever it's appropriate.

Edited by tothebeach, 11 November 2012 - 10:33 AM.


#3 Guest_popsandpolly_*

Posted 11 November 2012 - 10:33 AM

The problem we are having though is that she appears to know it is wrong as she goes to great lengths to hide what she has taken?

#4 AnnoyingAnt

Posted 11 November 2012 - 10:35 AM

Sounds like you are doing the right thing... just keep being consistent. The one thing you could probably point out to her is how she would feel if her things were stolen and that is what she is doing to someone else. Eventually it will click but she does need to understand that others see and think differently to her- this is called "theory of mind" and at 4 they are really just starting to understand this.

#5 EsmeLennox

Posted 11 November 2012 - 10:36 AM

A 4 year old is old enough to know that this is wrong, especially if it has been a repeated action. Tough one OP, I think you have to continue with consequences, but perhaps giving her pocket money and allowing her to buy items might help? If it continues I think I would consult a professional.

#6 AnnoyingAnt

Posted 11 November 2012 - 10:38 AM

She is hiding things because she knows you will be upset with you but does she really know this is wrong or the consequences to others (probably too much to expect from this age).

Oh and I forgot to mention I had  friend whose DD did similar things at this age... even when she visited our house.  Her mum learnt to always check pockets and bags before she left and return things with an apology (very smart, clever and cheek/fun girl too). After a while it just stopped.. Just thought I would let you know that it will stop and you will laugh about her "kept" tendencies when she grows up. :-)

Edited by LeSm, 11 November 2012 - 10:56 AM.


#7 --binda--

Posted 11 November 2012 - 10:52 AM

My 3.5 year old is a sneaky little thing at the shops, I need to watch her like a hawk.


At the chemist one day, I was paying for something, and had NFI that down near my ankles were freddo's.

We walked out of the chemist, and I noticed she was holding her "gina", asked her if she needed to go to the toilet, told my DH to take her, and she throws the chocolate into the pram!

Sneaky little bugger, the day before I noticed a freddo there too, but had nfi where it came from, so I made sure we took the freddo back to the shop, told her it was wrong, etc. Paid for the one from the day before, and left the other one there.

As far as I know, she hasn't done that again - but when we go somewhere, she's always sneaking rocks, and everything into the pram.

#8 mumofsky

Posted 11 November 2012 - 11:52 AM

You can usually find a natural consequence to most things. For me in that instance it might be that she isnt allowed to have treats at home if shes not going to wait until they are bought and paid for, and maybe that she has to hold your hand all of the time until you can trust her. Which might be a pain in the ass for you, but it may work.

You can usually find a natural consequence to most things. For me in that instance it might be that she isnt allowed to have treats at home if shes not going to wait until they are bought and paid for, and maybe that she has to hold your hand all of the time until you can trust her. Which might be a pain in the ass for you, but it may work.

#9 Soontobegran

Posted 11 November 2012 - 12:04 PM

I don't think that most 4 year olds have any idea of the consequences and I don't know that there always has to be a rational reason why they steal? I also don't believe they look at it as stealing but simply that it is something they want so they take it to satisfy that need or want.
Like MC I think I'd be exploring whether there is something troubling her that is making her act out?

I vaguely remember when this has happened with some of our kids, even if it was from each other I made them pick out their favourite item and I confiscated it for a certain time so they could see how it hurt to have something they really wanted taken away.

#10 Guest_popsandpolly_*

Posted 11 November 2012 - 02:46 PM

Thankyou so much for the suggestions and the reassurance that hopefully it is something she will grow out of.

As for possible causes for her behaviour, her two other siblings are very close and often exclude her, and she has quite a fiesty personality anyways so we are going through a showing off and acting out stage anyway. So this probably just all ties in. My DP runs a shop and we have talked a few times about how it would feel if someone stole from DP too.

I like the suggestion of the consequences being linked (we are doing something similar with the showing off behaviour) but will also have a chat with her to see if I can get any more info out that may help with the "why".


biggrin.gif




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Special Ticket Offer, Save $8!

The Essential Baby & Toddler Show is back this April! Save $8 off the door price for a limited time only!

Finding baby name inspiration in unusual places

Sometimes the greatest baby name ideas come from the most unexpected places, as these EB members show.

The case for inducing at 37 weeks

While we often think of pregnancy as a 40 week affair, experts agree that 37 weeks is actually “full term". So is there an argument for inducing all births at 37 weeks?

Does controlled crying really work?

Controlled-crying techniques may help some babies sleep through the night, but for many exhausted new parents, it's just a recipe for more tears all round.

How I taught my infant to use a toilet

As people become more aware of these benefits, I hope more parents will practice this method, so we can cut down on nappies and improve baby bonding.

'I thought it was impossible': Emily Symons pregnant at 45

Aussie actress Emily Symons has announced she is pregnant with her first baby.

Shallow water blackout kills fit, healthy dad

A little girl will grow up without her father after the fit and healthy 34-year-old passed away while doing something he had practised his whole life.

Afternoon naps may be bad for toddlers' sleep

You could be doing yourself a disservice by encouraging your toddler to have an afternoon nap, according to new research.

Best gifts for newborns, new mums and christenings

We've compiled a guide to some of the most popular presents for newborns and new mums, and for christenings and naming days.

Jaime King to be a mum again

Actress Jaime King is pregnant with her second child, giving 16-month-old James a sibling.

Nannies should receive government funding

The Abbott government should extend funding to nannies, and direct childcare payments to low and middle income families, a landmark study on childcare has found. 

Common skin irritations in newborns (and how to treat them)

As many as one in two newborn babies suffer from skin irritations in their first few weeks. So what are the most common rashes and irritations to look out for?

10 wall decals for the nursery or playroom

Wall decals are the answer to creating a beautiful nursery or children's space without lifting a paint brush, a spirit level or even a hammer.

Preschooler walks 2.4km home alone

Three-year-old Cain Trainor headed off home after his first day at a new preschool without telling anyone.

Video: Why mums get nothing done

In spite of being in an almost constant state of motion while looking after the kids and trying to keep things together at home, it can seem as though parents have managed to get nothing on the to-do list done by the end of the day.

The middle name game

The middle name is no longer an afterthought, and parents' inspiration comes from many places.

Have a baby or your money back - but there's a catch

A new IVF scheme offers couples the chance to fall pregnant and give birth - or get their money back. But there's more to it than you might think.

A rare glimpse inside the womb

A baby born still inside the amniotic sac gave US doctors a rare glimpse at life inside the womb.

Battered mum forced to write to her attacker ex in jail

Three years ago Jason Hughes viciously attacked his ex-partner. Now she has to write to him three times a year.

Woman pleads not guilty to ultrasound scam

A West Australian woman will fight allegations that she scammed expectant mums by selling them fake ultrasound pictures of babies.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Brain damaged mum receives compensation

A Sydney mother who suffered brain damage when she was hit by a car while pushing her newborn baby in a pram has reached a confidential out-of-court settlement with the driver's insurance company.

Indigenous midwives break down the barriers

A culturally sensitive midwifery service has gained the trust and respect of Aboriginal women.

The Katering Show's next big delivery

Most mums-to-be plan to take things easy and perhaps have a little break from work as the birth of their baby draws near. Not Kate McCartney.

53 creative pregnancy announcements

Announcing that you're expecting can be a time to express your creativity, sense of humour and imagination. Check out how other parents and parents-to-be have broken the news to friends and family.

Why I have mixed feelings about Cindy Crawford's leaked photo

Last week an un-retouched photo of model Cindy Crawford surfaced, showing the 48-year-old mother-of -two posing in underwear.

How to create a Peppa Pig pancake

Thought your toddler could not love pancakes any more than they already do? How about if the breakfast treat came in the shape of every two-year-old's favourite cartoon character?

'It's a little life, not a little loss': pregnancy after miscarriage

I thought I was never going to be able to have a successful pregnancy. I decided that I wasn't going to form an emotional attachment with this baby.

Bonds Baby Search 2015: what you need to know

February 18 marks the start of one of the most prolific annual baby competitions in Australia: the Bonds Baby Search. And this year is going to be more special than ever.

Who will manage your Facebook account when you're gone?

This is not something that people like to talk about, but Facebook has announced that it will grant users more control over what happens to their pages after they die.

Struggling mum of four wins $188 million

Mother of four Marie Holmes was financially struggling after quitting her jobs at Walmart and McDonald's in order to care for her children.

Pregnant obese women a 'relatively new problem', coroner hears

A first-time mother whose daughter died hours after her frightening birth insists she was never told of the risks of being obese and pregnant.

'I'm angry as hell': the story behind mum's passionate vaccination plea

She has labelled parents who do not vaccinate their children "misinformed imbeciles" - and for that, she makes no apologies.

IKEA hacks for the nursery and kids' rooms

Are you one of those that know the whole IKEA catalogue by heart? Love their stuff but want to personalise it? Here's some inspiration to help you realise the potential of IKEA furniture and fittings.

8 different kinds of tantrums

I never thought I’d say this, but for a brief moment last week, Kim Kardashian and I had something in common: both our kids had public tantrums.

Polycystic ovary syndrome: symptoms, treatment and your fertility

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common female hormonal condition, affecting roughly one in 12 Australian women.

What's the best position for giving birth?

If doing it on your back is out, what's the best position for labour and birth?

Wife forgives snake catcher husband for car surprise

With Valentine's Day coming up, Nat Gilbert could be forgiven for thinking her husband might be planning a surprise for her.

Kids who meet milestones at their own pace

We usually only hear the success stories: tales of the two-year-old who’s talking, running and completely toilet trained. But other stories need to be told too.

Ruby shines as Bonds Baby

Sarah Kiss has a word of advice for proud mums and dads who are keen to enter their babies in this year's Bonds Baby Search Competition - just have fun.

Why dads should go to sleep school

If your family needs to go to sleep school, go with them. You are part of that family and you are part of the solution.

36 baby names inspired by food and drinks

A French court may have ruled out Nutella as a baby name, but that doesn't have to stop you from taking inspiration from the supermarket (or bottle shop). See what parents in the US have chosen for their delicious little ones.

Clever breastfeeding products

Check out this range of products designed to help make your breastfeeding journey more enjoyable, manageable and convenient.

 

Win a KitchenAid Mixer

Let's celebrate 300,000 fans on Facebook

To celebrate, and to thank our amazing fans, we?re giving away a KitchenAid Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.