Why Do Children Steal?

Learn about children who steal from Dr. Kimberly Williams in this Howcast video.

Transcript

So of course if a child or adolescent steals parents are very worried. Their first inclination is, oh my goodness, my child's a juvenile delinquent. Of course this is rarely the case, but stealing of, is something that we do need to be concerned about. Young children are often intrigued by an object that they see in a store and they may take it. As children get older they do recognize that stealing is wrong. They may do it because there's something that they want that they can't have, or to be equal in the eyes of their peers. When parents recognize that their child has stolen something there are some key factors that they should remember. First of all the child should return the object. Two, there needs to be a discussion about the consequences of their negative actions. And three, the child should never benefit from the theft in any type of way. If parents recognize that stealing is something that is ongoing it could be the sign of a larger issue, such as an impulse control issue, or some type of anxiety. Consistent patterns of stealing in children should be evaluated by a clinical professional. These are just a few of the factors that are important when we're considering stealing in children.

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