I'm sure it is very concerning to you that your son is stealing--especially since it has happened several times. You should definitely consider this a 'red flag' that he is feeling troubled about something and certainly NOT ignore it!
It is important for you to try and understand why he might be stealing. Here are a few questions to ask yourself (and him):
--Has he stolen before camp?
--Is he the only one stealing, or is he doing so with other kids?
--Is he angry with the kids from whom he is stealing? Being bullied by them? Another similar reason?
--Could he be stealing to seek attention?
--Is there any major change going on at home (new baby, divorce, money problems, medical problems)?
--Has any form of stealing been role-modeled for him by anyone he knows?
--Does he struggle with low self esteem or any other current emotional issues?
Once you have given some considered thought to these questions and their answers, perhaps it will help you understand why he is stealing. Depending upon what you discover, you might want to consider seeking professional advice if the stealing doesn't stop. When young children steal, it's important to address the underlying emotional reasons as quickly as possible so that they feel better and don't need to steal anymore, so it doesn't become a habit that continues into their older years.
Good Wishes and Great Parenting,
Dr Susan Bartell
JustAsk Expert www.drsusanbartell.com
NEW book “The Top 50 Questions Kids Ask”