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 DrFeral

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 DrFeral

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




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Exclusive Black Friday Sale!

Get over 40% off selected products, including prams, baby carriers, cloth nappies, sleeping bags and much more! 24 hours only, on May 6 - register now for your special code.

Kelly Clarkson shares first photos of son

Kelly Clarkson has shown off the first photos of her son, Remington Alexander Blackstock.

5 childbirth myths that need to be busted

Birth is an unpredictable, mysterious process that intrigues us all, and there is a lot of misinformation out there.

Mum of three fatally shot by toddler while driving

A US mother has been shot by her toddler while driving on a highway in Wisconsin.

All you need is one minute to work out

The seven-minute-work out is old news. Research shows the effectiveness of going hell-for-leather for just one minute.

Pregnant women needed to join diabetes study

Pregnant woman in country Australia will help Adelaide researchers figure out why cases of type 1 diabetes have doubled over the past two decades.

Just announced: the Mountain Buggy Unirider

It's the perfect solution to combat those toddler meltdowns when they no longer want to be in a pram but can't walk long distances.

Authorities euthanise dog that fatally bit a newborn baby

A pit bull mix that fatally bit a 3-day-old infant last week has been euthanised, authorities said.

The push for Medicare to fund lactation consultants

While meeting with a lactation consultant can make an enormous difference to a new mother, it's not a service that is available through the public health system.

Why it's perfectly natural to dislike other people's children

Members of a popular forum are fiercely debating whether it is acceptable to dislike a friend's child.

Woman gives birth on plane, names baby after airline

A pregnant woman who unexpectedly gave birth on a flight has named her new baby after the airline, Jetstar.

Heartwarming photos show the joy of adoption after foster care

Children living in foster care can feel like their future is less than clear. But that uncertainty disappears the day they are adopted by their "forever family" 

'Oh my god, it's a baby!' Mum shocked to give birth

When the cramps started to kick in, Klara Dollan just assumed a painful period was starting.

Mum's Facebook plea: 'Help me find my daughter's father'

Kerryn has a unusual present planned for daughter Imi's 13th birthday celebrations - she hopes to be able to be able to give the soon-to-be the teenager her first ever photo of her dad.

Is it possible for your house to be too clean?

Our houses are cleaner than ever before. But how clean is too clean? Could a sterile home be putting your family's health at risk?

Millions of Monkeys: puzzles that grow with your toddler

Here's a puzzle that grows with them; the Puzzle Grow Pack by Millions of Monkeys.

Baby names from Britpop

If you grew up in the 90s you might want to look to the genre of Britpop music for baby name inspiration.

What to eat and drink when you have gastro

When you catch a bug that causes acute infectious gastroenteritis (gastro), your stomach and intestinal tract become inflamed, causing diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping and pain. The last thing you probably feel like doing is eating.

'To this day, I owe her my life'

Would I have survived if I hadn't crossed that street?

Why baby Sonny needs you to vaccinate your children

Caitlin is a firm believer in the importance of immunisation to protect children from harmful and deadly diseases.

Five-year-old's photo captures beauty of motherhood

There is no make-up or special outfits and hairdos, but the five-year-old boy who took this picture captured the essence of motherhood as well as any professional photographer.

Babies know whether you are naughty or nice

Studies have shown that infants in the first months of life try to avoid dealing with social wrongdoers - for example, sharing less with them and helping them less - and they expect others to, too.

 
Advertisement
 

Top 5 Articles

Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

The babies who are one in 70 million

Bethani Webb was excited to find out she was pregnant, but the first time mum did not realise she was carrying four babies not one.

Exclusive Black Friday Sale!

Get over 40% off selected products, including prams, baby carriers, cloth nappies, sleeping bags and much more! 24 hours only, on May 6 - register now for your special code.

Cafe offers breastfeeding mums a free cup of tea

A Sydney cafe is offering breastfeeding mums free cups of tea in a bid to show support for the right of women to nurse their babies wherever they choose.

To snip or not to snip? When the decision is not clear cut

Jamie Oliver, who considered a vasectomy, is to be a father again. A fellow dad reflects on his own decision 11 years ago

Doctors stunned by rare twins born almost six weeks apart

To everyone's surprise, Kristen Miller "kept doing better each day", keeping her second baby safe.

Baby book ideas for modern parents

Before my son was born I was given a lovely baby book full of blank pages waiting to be filled with weights and heights and first words.

The adorable smile of a baby seeing his mum clearly for the first time

There is no doubt seeing their child smile for the first time is an unforgettable moment for parents everywhere.

Mum tells how toddler 'nearly hung himself' in cot mishap

When Alison Johnson put her 18-month-old Caleb down for a nap, she had no reason to believe her son was in any danger.

Babies are still switched at birth? Yes, it can happen

All my panic and tears aside, my biggest question looking back is about the kind of security measures used in the maternity ward.

Doctors slammed for taking selfie with newborn

Everyone who visits a mum in hospital in the days following childbirth wants to get a photo with the new baby.

ergoPouch Twosie Sleepsuit for winter breastfeeding

Finally, there's a way to keep warm while breastfeeding through winter.

Health check: How long does sex 'normally' last?

What to do with this information? My advice would be to try not to think about it during the throes of passion.

When breastfeeding sucks: fixing common problems

From niplash to tight boobs, biting to milk supply issues, Pinky McKay looks at common breastfeeding issues and how to solve them.

10 things I've learnt in my first six months with twins

Six months on we're all still alive, and the more we get to know each other the easier the days become.

Mum's loving kiss leaves baby fighting for life

Kirsty Carrington thought nothing of giving her newborn son a kiss, little did she know it would leave the baby fighting for life.

When doing chores is your new 'me time'

After children, 'me time' looks a little different.

Get going: 14 travel strollers for families on the move

A stroller can make or break travelling with a baby or toddler. Here are 15 great single travel stroller options.

10 ways toddlers are terrific

It always pays to remind yourself of how terrific toddlers can be - they're little like this for such a short time

 

ENTER NOW

Do your kids love bananas?

This is the comp for you! We have $800 worth of Myer gift cards and boxes of Australian Bananas to be won. Entry is simple: just post a pic of your little one enjoying a banana in the comments of the FB post to enter.

 
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.