When Your Child Steals - for Parents of Fifth Grade Children
Come on, admit it: You've taken something that doesn't belong to you, even if you have to dig deep into your own childhood to remember – a candy bar at the convenience shore, a friend's toy, change from your mom's purse. Yet it shocks you nevertheless when you discover your own child stealing. Here's how to keep calm and handle it without envisioning mug shots in your child's future.
What You Need to Know
Communicating about money is important to address:
- the positive and negative emotions it brings out of people
- differences in values and attitudes toward spending and saving
- differences in financial goals
- potential money problems and how to overcome them
- identification of personal values
How You Can Help
When you discover your child stealing:
- Stay calm, and resist the inclination to treat your child like a common criminal – keep the phone on the hook, and your fingers away from the 9 and 1 digits for now.
- Try thinking in children's, rather than adult's, terms in attempt to determine why your child might have taken something that did not belong to him. Remembering your own experiences as a child might help you come up with possible answers.
- Once you have all the facts and are certain of your ability to remain calm enough for discussion, use this as an opportunity to address personal and family values regarding money, dealing with the matter:
Take turns with your child answering the following questions:
- On what would you spend an extra $20? An extra $2000?
- What would you do if you witnessed one of your friends shoplifting?
- What would you do if you found a wallet on the sidewalk with money and I.D. Inside? Or no I.D. Inside?
- What would you do if your best friend's birthday is coming up, but you don't have enough money for a present?
- What would you do if a cashier charged you too much? Too little?
For more on this topic, please see the full article:
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