janmelnick asks:

Why does my 5 year old grandson steal and how can I stop him?

My 5 year old grandson steals.  He knows it is wrong, and knows he has done wrong.  I read that this is about poor self control.  How do I stop this from happening and what is a fair punishment?  My daughter was the same and this became a problem throughout her teen and adult life.
In Topics: Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago



Boys Town National Hotline
May 29, 2013
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What the Expert Says:

Whether your grandson has poor self control or if he is acting out to gain attention,  there are some ways to teach to the problem that may help.  It sounds like you have addressed the issue with him in the past. Often times it is helpful to ask the child why he did it, this can help you to understand the intent behind his actions. Some parents will practice with a child how to stop or freeze and think about what they are doing.  Make a game of it and have him grab something that isn't his and he has to freeze and ask before taking it. Another important part of breaking the behavior is making sure he earns a consequence for taking something that isn't his.  Consequences could be that you "take" something that belongs to your grandson, or to make him do something (chore, etc) to pay it back. Consistenly addressing it, practicing the appropriate behavior, and praising honesty when it occurs are key in helping curb a child's impulsive behavior.


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