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alfredo
alfredo asks:
Q:

my 4 year old like to take things from class

My son is a very smart boy, is my only one and yes i thinks i baby him a lot, but this pass week he is been taking littler things from school, like candy, car, girls bracelets... The director all ready send me a note, saying not to worry for now she is not going to make a big deal but it is a big deal for me!! i talk to my son but i don't think he gets it, what can i do? :(
In Topics: Kindergarten readiness
> 60 days ago

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kat_eden
kat_eden , Parent writes:
Hello! I know how shocking it can be when your child takes something that doesn't belong to him. But don't worry, I agree with the school director that this is probably not an indication that he's on his way to a life of crime! I think it's really common for little kids to occasionally take things that don't belong to them. The key is for your son to learn early that stealing is not ok.

I think it's important for you to talk to your son about his behavior to help him understand why it's wrong to steal. You can say to him "Imagine if you took [insert favorite toy here] to school and someone took it home and you didn't have it any more. How would you feel?" or "Imagine if you went to use your favorite toy at school and it wasn't there because someone else took it home with them even though it didn't belong to them". Help him talk about what it would be like to have things get stolen from him. Make sure he connects the dots that when he takes things, he's making other people feel that way.

It's also a good idea for him to take responsibility for his actions by returning the stolen items. If you have anything he's "stolen" now, make sure that he personally returns it to the school or to the person it belongs to. He should apologize to the person saying something simple like "I'm sorry I took your XYZ."

When my son was about your son's age, he "stole" a toy airplane from a toy shop. I don't even think he meant to steal it, he was just holding it in his hand and walked out with it and I didn't notice he still had it until we were in the parking lot. I walked back in with him and made him give it back to the cashier and say "I took this without paying for it and I'm sorry". I held his hand the whole time and gave him a big hug after. It wasn't easy for him but as far as I know he's never taken anything else that didn't belong to him.

If the behavior continues or gets worse, then it might be time to check in with your pediatrician or a child psychologist who can help you figure out why your son feels the need to take things that don't belong to him so that you can help him stop.  But for now I think just supportively helping him through this stage will take care of the problem.

Good luck!

Kat
> 60 days ago

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sdaffen
sdaffen writes:
I think maybe is a game for him to take some little thing from is class.Some how little kids like to stolling thing in their class.Just try to talk to him so he can undrestand.
Thankyou
> 60 days ago

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rkaiulani
rkaiulani writes:
Hi Alfredo,
I think that this is very common at this age. At 4 years old children don't yet fully understand the concept of something belonging to one person or another. Here is a column by a child psychologist about young children and stealing. Hope this helps!

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