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Q:

My child is 4 yrs old and he is taking nursery toys and bring home and hide toys at home.when I catch his stealing he starts crying.what can I do?

My child is 4 yrs old and he is taking nursery toys and bring home and hide toys at home.when I catch his stealing he starts crying.i tried alot by telling him in friendly way,i told him tht stealing is not gud  and it will effect him.now I m very tired of it.he always say I wont do it next time but he is still doing it.kindly guide me what can I do?
In Topics: Discipline and behavior challenges, Communicating with my child (The tough talks)
> 60 days ago

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Expert

LouiseSattler
Mar 22, 2012
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What the Expert Says:

Hello and thank you for writing to JustAsk!

It seems that your four year old is not quite making the connection that what he is doing is wrong AND he needs to make amends.  He knows it is wrong, as he is hiding it from you. (Although he may not fully grasp WHY it is wrong) However, he doesn't really get much of a consequence that let's him know that the nursery center would be disappointed and miss their toys for others to share, too.

I would recommend that he immediately bring back the toy, be asked to talk and apologize to his caregiver and then repeat in front of both you and the caregiver exactly what he thinks was wrong about his behavior and why he shouldn't do it again.  

Most importantly, reinforce his good behavior such as on the days when he leaves the toys at nursery care or when he shares his toys with others.

Here is an article that may help you, too: http://www.parents.com/toddlers-preschoolers/discipline/tips/child-lying-stealing-how-to-stop-it/

Also, you may find some other information to help you here: http://www.kidlutions.com

Good luck!

Louise Sattler, Psychologist

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Additional Answers (7)

123xxx
123xxx writes:
do not let your child to steal any more ,punish him as possible as you can ,because today he is stealing toys but when he grown up he might be stealing valuable thing,more than today you will get  problem later.
> 60 days ago

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myfriend
myfriend writes:
I have the same problem..
> 60 days ago

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nicesyours
nicesyours writes:
Let him tell you he was thinking, careful analysis of the children was wrong to let him know what went wrong,hope can help you.
> 60 days ago

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aliyahalley
aliyahalley writes:
My sister had that problem and the answer to that Question talk to him and make sure that he does not hide those toys anymore beacuse if he dosen't you might get him 1 of those toys that he wanted if he asked then stealing. And if he keeps it up he won't get anything/

               Love always,
          Aaliyah Alley :)    Happy 2 help
> 60 days ago

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chuckiecheeze
chuckiecheeze writes:
He's most likely playing on your wo-is-me complex. only because you allow it. he's young and programable (for lack of a better term) Try removing what he loves best. ie... toys ,tv time.ect ect. and if all else fails. whip his backside each and everytime he continues this. .He will get the message.
> 60 days ago

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babyone
babyone writes:
well u should say that something bad will happen if he keeps doing that,and that when kids act bad they have to go to this place were u dont wont to be
> 60 days ago

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Sherylkay
Sherylkay writes:
with my own experience.. I had a child that would take toys from the daycare. the first time I found a toy in his pocket I asked him about it. "he told me it was cool and he wanted.. I went on saying that is stealing and stealing is wrong. My husband and I also took him back to the daycare and made him give the toy back. The second time he was caught we, took a toy out of his room and gave  it to the daycare.. he did not like sharing his toys with other kids.. We, told him every time you steal from the daycare I will take a toy to the daycare and all the kids will play with it.. He threw a fit about it and eventually quit taking toys out of the daycare and finally understood the concept of stealing.. Thanks. Omaha Ne.
> 60 days ago

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