Whether from your own purse or a shop, it can be frightening to suddenly realise that your youngster has stolen something.


If you are unsure about what to do, the following tips will, hopefully, help you out: 


1. Understand why they stole in the first place

Before you issue any punishments or consequences, you need to know why they stole the item in the first place. From not understanding what they did to bullying to lack of self-control, there are a number of reasons your little one might have robbed something.


2. Never allow your child keep what they stole

It is important your child is not allowed keep what he or she stole so make sure they give it back or repay the victim if it is impossible to give what was stolen back. Whatever you decide to do make sure your child doesn’t benefit from stealing.


3. Give them consequences

Along with giving back what they stole, it is important they understand that there are consequences for their actions. No screen-time, pocket money or playing with friends for a period of time will help them understand that what they did was wrong and discourage them from doing it again.



4. What should you do if they deny it?

Unless you have proof or caught them red-handed you can’t punish your child if they deny the act. This is because they will start to feel like you don’t trust them or, in fact, knowing that you believe them capable of stealing they might just go ahead and do it anyway.


5. What should you do if they continue to steal?

If your youngster continues to steal it is important that you don’t call them a bad person or let them think they are bad. Try to understand the situation before you make any rash judgements; sit down with them and try to discover why they keep doing it. They need to believe they can stop stealing so be positive by saying: “I know you are a good person and I believe you can stop.” If your child feels that you have a lower opinion of them they will struggle to believe they can stop.  


Seek guidance from the school or your GP if the problem escalates.