My child steals from stores and it’s causing extreme worry and embarrassment. He is only five and is extremely sneaky and he doesn’t realize it’s wrong even after countless times of me yelling at him. We will get home after the store and my son will pull out a little trinket , keychain or something similiar, I take him back to the store to return it. It’s happened three times. Recently he took a plastic kids ring. Which is stealing no matter what. My family, my mother more specifically says when it’s something like that to let it go and stop embarrassing myself. What would you do?

Dear Patrice,

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but at 5 years of age your son most certainly should realize by your reaction that stealing is wrong. I don’t care if he steals a pony or a pencil stealing is stealing and that is all there is to it.
The fact is at one time or another almost all children steal something from someone. Whether it is a stick of gum, toy, coins or trinket from a store children see it, want it and sometimes will take it.
The best approach is not to freak out but to have HIM return the item, tell him why it is wrong and explain that stealing is not acceptable behavior for anyone, a child or an adult.
Do not freak out, scream, yell or punish the child repeatedly. Children act on emotion and impulse so find out why your son feels the need to steal by asking him. Remember stealing is stealing regardless of the size of the item, and unless he prize is addressed and discussed it may be very difficult habit to break.

Good Luck & Huge Muther Hugs,

One Tough Muther

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