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JolynVance
JolynVance asks:
Q:

What consequences should I be giving my 8 year old for stealing and lying on a daily basis?

I appreciate the professional's answer given to acstump, but I want to ask for more details of what consequences we should give our 8 yr old. Our son has stolen money, but is obsessed with stealing candy and snacks. We have done everything we can think of. He just does not seem to care about any consequences of stealing and lying. It's like he thinks his desire to have sweets is more important than any punishment that he will have to take. Maybe he gets a thrill from stealing. We can't figure out what is going on in his mind.
We have made him give things back and say sorry to the owners. We have taken him to the police station to talk to a cop when he stole from a video store. We have made him talk to Walmart security manager when he stole from there. We have told his teacher to not be easy on him when he stole from he and she made him stay in from recess for a week. We have taken candy from him when he earned it from his Sunday school teacher and ate it in front of him to let him know how it feels to be the one that has been stolen from. We have tried spanking him, taking away his stuff, grounding him from all electronics, not let him have any free time to himself and have lectured him. Nothing has done any good.
We are now making him do hard labor cleaning last years leaves out of the rock bed. It is hard! He has to move all the rocks to clean the leaves
We are thinking a mock-arrest is the next step. Maybe being interrogated by the cops will get through to him?!
In Topics: Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Jun 11, 2013
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What the Expert Says:

Whenever our children demonstrate behaviors that we do not like, it helps to figure out what he gets out of doing it and why it continues.  To figure that out, it helps to ask yourself the 5 W's;  
Who, who is he stealing from, who is around when he steals?
What, what happens as a result of his stealing?
When, when does this happen, during the week, day time, night time, recess?
Where, where is this happening, only at school, in public, at home?
Why, why does he want these things, why is he taking them?

Analyzing this information carefully may give you some insight on what is going on.
Is he stealing snacks and/or candy because he doesn't have access to them at home?  If sugary treats are enticing him to this extent, you may want to talk to your pediatrician for some testing to see if there is a physical reason for this craving. Getting a handle on this behavior while he is young will be important his physical healt and to prevent more serious issue in the future.
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Additional Answers (3)

vickibyrd
vickibyrd writes:
You son may actually have a medical condition or deficiency where he NEEDS the sweet. Get a check up and check for a pre-diabetic condition. These people need sweets to stay energized. If he is overweight it is most likely a clear indicator. If not, take him anyway.
 
He may also have a mental deficiency called kleptomania. Please contact the school psychologist for the initial discussion and please take him to a pediatric psych doctor (MD) for additional counseling.
Don't let this child linger into a state of rejection.

His self esteem is probably already depleted so whatever you are doing is useless to him. It is not that he does not care. It is because he has no other outlet to releive him of this type of behavior. Put him on a team of some sort where people have to depend on him (scouts, or athletic team) so he can get some social ajustment. Also, set a good example on how to deal with dissapointment as it must always stay adult like. Good luck.
> 60 days ago

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5under10
5under10 writes:
I am have the identical problem but he is stealing from his teachers desk and other students. no matter what we do he doesnt seem to care he would rather just take the punishment.  i would love to have an answer to your question if anone knows what we could do.
> 60 days ago

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TeacherandParent
TeacherandP... writes:
Shoplifting and stealing can be an addiction - they can get a thrill from it. And if that's the case no punishment will get him to stop. Check out some websites like shoplifters anonymous and child shoplifting. You can't punish away an addiction. You can connect your don and your family to others who have had the same problem and have risen above it.
> 60 days ago

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