Posted by: Sprite | 2007/05/24

Toddler that steals

Hi. I have two sons, aged 7 and 5. The eldest started primary school this year. The problem is my youngest son. About two months ago the nursery school he is in, complained that he steals the other kids food from their rug sacks.
I started packing lunch for him (even though they do serve sandwiches at the school during break time).
As punishment we took away his TV and movie privileages, and we had a good long talk with him.

I’m a working mom, my kids have always been in nursery schools (from the age 3 months). When my eldest started primary school, we took the youngest out of his nursery school and moved him to a new nursery school.

After the sandwich insident, everything was fine for a couple of weeks, but this morning the teacher called me. She caught him stealing money from the school’s money box! Problem is, he know what he’s doing is wrong. According to the teacher he did appologise…
Even though my husband and I lead very busy lives, we always try to put our family first. We don't allow excessive TV, we eat dinner together as a family in the dining room, we talk to our kids and encourage them to tell us about how their day at school was.
I didn’t think we were doing too bad...

What could be the problem?
Was it the change to the new school (we never had complaints from the old school)?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Is he perhaps trying to get expelled from that school, an returned to the previous school which perhaps he prefers ? It is surey significan that there were no such problems at the previous school, and that this just started after the transfer

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Our users say:
Posted by: Tina | 2007/05/25

Hi Sprite - I had a problem with my son and stealing when he was 5-6. He used to rummage around in drawers at homes of the family and slip this or that into his pocket. Once he stole a chocolate from the shop and hid in the back of the car to eat it where he popped his head up with a mouth full of chocolate knew what he'd done it. On that occasion I took him back to the shop - explained to the shop assistance with him standing by me and then paid for the chocolate. Anyway this did'nt help and he carried on until he stole an item of jewellery from my sister. I knew I had to do something drastic so, on my way home I stopped at the police station and explained to the cops my situation. Well they told m e to bring him in and said I must wait in the car. I did this and about 10 minutes later he came out sobbing. The policeman had a chat with him and showed him what happens to people who steal - the cells. He never stole again and still remembers the incident today - he's now 25. Its a harsh thing to do I know and, you know, my heart still hurts when I think about it or write about it like this - I'll never forget my poor little boy walking down the path sobbing his heart out - but I was so so worried that he would get into serious trouble one day because of stealing so this is the option which I took whether it be right or wrong.

Reply to Tina
Posted by: problem- solver | 2007/05/24

Often kids do this for attention. There is something that is happening with him . it might even be abuse of some kind. Keep in mind that abusers are very tricky and might be warning your child not to tell so this is the only way he knows how, He knows its bad to steal but its bringing attention please do not ignore this until you have spoken to a counsellor or therapist.

Reply to problem- solver
Posted by: Echelle | 2007/05/24

Maybe he saw another kid do it and when he did it he got caught? Ask him why he's doing it.

Reply to Echelle
Posted by: Sprite | 2007/05/24

Thanks for the reply. Although I don't see why he would think that.
Going back to the previous school was never even in a discussion. It was never mentioned as an option.
And if we ask him if he likes school, he says yes. He likes his teacher (and it does seem asif they get along). He never cries when I drop him off, he has friends there...

Should I take him to a thearapist?

Reply to Sprite

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