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 NotThatKindofDocto

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 NotThatKindofDocto

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

 

Show us your DUPLO creations to win!

We love to see the cool creations kids build when they play with LEGO DUPLO. Enter and share a picture of your childs creation for a chance to WIN 1 of 10 LEGO DUPLO prize packs worth over $100 each.

Jammy, Hula Hoop, Rage: Reddit reveals most unusual baby names

A recent Reddit thread has revealed some of the more creative names in the world.

Woman awakens from coma, learns she gave birth

A US woman awakened this week from a four-month-long coma that doctors had feared would be permanent and learned that she had given birth to a baby boy, according to her family.

'Give us a break': mum sent shocking letter over Facebook baby pics

Posting a lot of baby photos doesn't make you a bad person. It may make your Facebook feed a little irritating, but it doesn't make you a bad person.

In defense of the dads who do so much

It's time to shift the focus off what dads aren’t doing and shine it on what they are.

The modern cloth nappies too cute to cover up

If you're only just joining the modern cloth nappy movement, or would like to spruce up your collection, we have to introduce you to Designer Bums.

How breastfeeding can affect your libido

When you’ve just had a baby, having sex isn’t usually top priority. In fact, for a lot of women it rates about as appealing as changing another dirty nappy.

Should pregnant women be allowed to use 'parent and child' car parking spots?

Is it acceptable to use these car parking spots when pregnant? How many of us would admit to doing it?

Healthy baby from sperm taken 48 hours after a man died

Fertility doctors have described their "most extraordinary case" - creating a healthy baby from sperm taken 48 hours after a man had died.

Anti-vaccination mum's seven children contract whooping cough

A Canadian woman who had declined to have her children immunised against pertussis, better known as whooping cough, has changed her position now that all seven of her children have come down with the disease.

How pregnancy probiotics can help you and your baby

New research suggests that taking specific pregnancy probiotics could be the answer to a range of common pregnancy side effects.

Childcare is a big problem, but there's more to it

Let’s keep talking about these issues and not allow them to be put into a neat little box that’s labelled ‘Fix childcare and everything is solved’.

Pink's awesome response to body-shaming trolls

When trolls felt the need to comment on 35-year-old singer-songwriter Pink's weight, her answer was an awesome ode to body love.

Fertility clinic offers egg donors $5000

A national chain of fertility clinics is offering egg donors a $5000 payment to cover their expenses, a first for Australia which is raising concerns the money could act as an inducement.

Baby boy abandoned in India amid fresh surrogacy concerns

Australian officials could do nothing to stop an Australian couple from abandoning their baby son, born through surrogacy in India, after they decided they did not want to bring him to Australia.

Herd immunity and community responsibility: how free-riders can make kids suffer

Individual choice works for haircuts and handbags, but not for preventing infectious diseases that kill kids.

Photographer captures 'unexpected beauty' of birth

If there is one thing Leilani Rogers knows about childbirth, it is that no two deliveries are ever the same.

Expectations vs the reality of making a toddler's clothes

Note to self: less sewing, more life. Not the party dress, but the party. The toddler, as usual, has it all figured out.

Mum meets 'dead' daughter 49 years after birth

In 1965, Zella Jackson-Price was told her premature baby girl had died shortly after birth.

Sign up to our 30 days of #PlayIQ challenge

Sign up to receive 30 amazing tips and ideas for play with baby during the month of April and submit a picture or tip on our social wall for a chance to win an amazing Fisher-Price prize pack.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Sign up to our 30 days of #PlayIQ challenge

Sign up to receive 30 amazing tips and ideas for play with baby during the month of April and submit a picture or tip on our social wall for a chance to win an amazing Fisher-Price prize pack.

Tips for flying with a baby

Travelling with kids requires a whole other set of skills - ones that I have learned through (sometimes unfortunate) trial and error.

How to stay calm in an emergency

I’m not expecting you to be as calm as you might be right now. What I mean is that if your panic levels are through the roof during a stressful situation, let’s bring them down to just under the ceiling.

Toddler gets 'drunk' after cranberry juice mix-up

A toddler was taken to hospital after a waitress served her sangria instead of cranberry juice at a US restaurant.

Show us your toddlers LEGO DUPLO creations

We love to see the cool creations kids build when they play with LEGO DUPLO. Enter and share a picture of your childs creation for a chance to WIN 1 of 10 LEGO DUPLO prize packs worth over $100 each.

We need to stop using this word when we talk about childbirth

Is it shaming to point out that women are often being let down in birth?

The certificate helping parents deal with pregnancy loss

For some people, this certificate will offer a sense of validation that their child was acknowledged as being here and now gone, and will help them with life post-loss.

The phenomenon of phantom pregnancy kicks

'Phantom pregnancy kicks’ are encountered by many mums months - or even years - after their pregnancy is over.

The health insurance advice you can't afford to ignore

There's one simple switch that could save you hundreds of dollars a year in private health insurance.

4D scans show how smoking affects babies still in the womb

The harmful effects of smoking during pregnancy on unborn babies may be seen in tiny movements in their faces using 4D ultrasound scans, research has found.

The most dangerous toddler food trends

Pete Evans' paleo cookbook for kids caused a storm, but there are plenty of other unsafe food trends for babies and toddlers.

Infection killed new mum of twins

Modern medicine could not save 19-year-old Sophie Burgess who died 48 hours after giving birth to twins in the UK.

How to babyproof your job interview

Once upon a time, I was a fan of job interviews. That all changed after I'd switched careers, had a baby and decided to spend the first year at home with her.

Grieving families give warnings after toddler deaths

Two Queensland families are grieving the loss of their toddler sons after the boys drowned in separate incidents last week.

Man faces jail after giving woman abortion pill smoothie

A Norwegian man is facing jail after putting abortion pills in his ex-girlfriend's smoothie, causing her to have a miscarriage.

'He's a blessing': family of baby born without eyes

Jordy Jackson was born without eyes. He has anophthalmia, which affects one in every 100,000 babies born.

Super fit model Sarah Stage defends her pregnancy body

Model Sarah Stage has defended her pregnancy body after critics claimed her slim figure at eight-and-a-half months pregnant wasn't "normal".

Why I post breastfeeding photos online

I love to take pictures of my children. In some of the pictures, my younger son is nursing.

The day I broke my baby

There are things I wish I didn't know. I wish I didn't know that companies make tiny braces, small enough to hold necks no bigger than a wrist.

Geeky baby gear

If your family is more into Star Wars, gaming and the periodic table than most, you might want to check out these geek-chic baby items.

Grandbabies: the babies born looking old

Not a day under 65 and a lifetime of struggle! That's the look of these newborns, who look adorably older than their real age. Social networking site Reddit recently featured user submissions of adorable grandbabies, here are our favourites.

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.

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.

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.

 

SIGN UP NOW!

Win a year's worth of toys

Receive a daily email from Essential Baby for just the month of April with great play tips and ideas, then submit your baby at play photos to our Playwall, Instagram or Twitter for your chance to win.

 
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.