Why do children steal

When parents notice that their beloved child, who seems to be in need of nothing, slowly drags mom’s money from her purse, they usually panic. Meanwhile, according to experts, child stealing is a very common family problem.

Child theft is a frequent phenomenon, but carefully concealed as alcoholism and other “shameful” family secrets. In the minds of most adults firmly soldered two mythologies: the child is an innocent angel, and stealing – a sign of the criminal world, for normal people alien. When a child is caught stealing, the parents usually feel completely confused. One at that, go into hysterics, going either shoot themselves, or to pin their crimes on their hapless child. others prefer to pretend that nothing happened, because how to react is unclear.

Experts believe that the only correct response to the theft does not exist: it depends on the reasons why a child steals. There are three main causes of child stealing. The first is a children’s impulsivity. The child may steal simply because it’s very easy, and to resist the temptation, on the contrary, it is difficult. The second reason is the difficulty in communicating with parents. Some children think that parents pay little attention. When they steal their things or take that money, it is a symbolic act of unification with the parents, who began to move away. The third reason is the desire to assert themselves. Some children start to steal, not to feel their inferiority, to convince themselves and others in their cunning, agility, courage. You cannot but feel like the Most common cause of theft is a children’s impulsivity. All young children have a hard time controlling their desires. If five-year-old child wants to take a cake lying on the table, the only thing that can stop him is the fear of punishment. If he was confident that no one would notice, it is useless to demand from him the existence of “consciousness”. Even if he knows that you can’t take someone else’s, he will accidentally take your favorite thing.

Arbitrary behavior, subordinate to the internal social norms, usually formed to 6-7 years. But some children with these difficulties. Usually these children are more mobile and excitable, it is difficult not only to control his desire, but just to sit quietly in class and listen attentively to the teacher. The cause of impulsivity can be a serious psychological disorder (e.g., mental retardation), and peculiarities of temperament (increased activity), and temporary neurotic reaction to any trauma (parental divorce, moving, starting school). Impulsive stealing (“couldn’t resist”, “wanted”) is sometimes confused with kleptomania. It is a mental illness which, unlike ordinary theft is extremely rare. According to us statistics among adults thieves, kleptomaniacs be about 5%, and even then about half of them are malingerers. Among children cases of kleptomania single. Impulsive children must be strictly controlled and to teach responsibility. Child. even impulsive, never commit the act, which will immediately be punished. Therefore, we cannot pretend that nothing happened, but needless to inflate the incident to the scale of universal catastrophe. If a child took something from their peers, or in foster care, the procedure itself clarify the circumstances of the theft (with the participation of victims and their parents), apologize and return the stolen quite painful. Unpleasant memory that will remain with the child from such proceedings, will help him next time to resist the temptation.

The child’s attempts to restore the lost relationship with my parents quite often become a cause of theft. When parents are too absorbed in their own problems, the child feels alone and abandoned. It begins to seem that the parents are paying less attention than other children. or that its not love, or that is unfair to him. And then he can take mom out of the bag the money or any thing, but always in such a way that the loss is easily detected. Money itself the child does not really need. He unconsciously seeks to attract the attention of parents, even if it is anger, indignation and punishment. When you are punished, it is still better than when you did not notice.

Of those children. with the help of thievery achieve the attention of parents, noisy scandals and severe punishment only convince of the correctness of their chosen strategy. In such cases, psychologists advise to ignore the fact that theft or to treat it as an ordinary event.

It is sometimes useful instead of scandal to praise your child for any progress or to make a gift, which he had long dreamed of. Even if, in response to your generosity, the child does not confess to the theft, he will remember the feeling of shame and awkwardness. How to raise a thug Sometimes parents are pushing kids to steal their unconscious attitudes.

Sometimes the child begins to steal from “class” considerations, envying those who are better off children and seeking revenge “rich”. It is possible, for example, if such “class hatred” and he cultivated in the family. Generally the parents soon lose control of the young “Superman”. The child is convinced of their impunity and begins to believe that the laws are not for him. But sooner or later it comes into the view of law enforcement.


The simplest measure to prevent child theft is to not to provoke him. For example, not to throw money around the apartment, and keep out of reach of the child. Maybe this place is not easy to find, but in many cases such measures quite enough. In addition to money, sometimes the problem starts with things. Very often, even in the most affluent families of the children do not have personal things that is not able to freely dispose of things, including to give, to spoil and destroy. And therefore not responsible for them. In this situation, the child is not aware of the difference between “my” and “our”. He can take things out of the house, not taking them for sale or giving as a theft. It is important to clearly define for the child the boundary between his own things and shared that he has the right to use, but has no right to dispose of. Many parents are frightened by the idea that some things should be passed on to the baby in “absolute” property.

They think that thus they will lose an effective lever of control over the child – for example, the ability to take away his bike, if he will finish the quarter with triples. But it is the absence of the child’s experience of owning property provokes theft. Effective way to prevent theft is also the allocation of child allowance. Own money perceived by the children with great responsibility. As a rule, even seven year old children regularly dispose of given them the money is very reasonable, and nine years with them to save for major purchases, which testifies to the successful overcoming of his impulsiveness. Therefore, from the significant sums spent on the child. is part of the issue at hand. This saves not only money, but also nerves.

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