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Cambria
Cambria asks:
Q:

My 4 year old keeps stealing candy.

For about 6 months now my 4 year old daughter has been stealing candy late at night while the rest of us are in bed. She knows it's wrong cause we've had plenty of talks about it. I've told her that people go to jail for stealing and even though she seemed concerned about it, the next night she did it again. I've gotten to the point where I've started putting soap in her mouth every time she does it, but that doesn't seem to be working either. How do I get her to stop?
In Topics: Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Jan 26, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

It is very dangerous when young children roam the house when the rest of the family is asleep.  Sometimes kids are actually “sleep walking” when this happens.  There are situations where children have been hurt or started fires while everyone is sleeping.  Some very bold children will unlock their house doors and walk out side, which is very frightening.  You might want to talk with your child’s pediatrician for more information or if you believe she could be walking in her sleep.

If your daughter is not sleep walking, then make sure that the candy is kept out of her sight and reach.  Keep it locked in a cupboard or in your own bedroom if necessary.  Candy should be an occasional treat for a 4 year-old, not something which should be kept out in the open or easily accessible for her to get.  Keep other treats available to her such as fruit, crackers, cheese sticks and granola bars.  If she knows there is no candy in the house, the waking up at night may stop.  

Best wishes to you and your family,

Boys Town National Hotline
1-800-448-3000
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