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If a child steals…”


What feelings does a parent knowing that their child is stealing? Shock. Anger. Confusion. Fear.

Someone, of course, does not philosophizing, whipping child and will count on this educational process is completed. But most parents will face a daunting question, decide which without the help of a psychologist, very hard. How would do in a similar situation? To scold or talk? What words to choose?

One of many causes of treatment parents in the psychological center are child stealing, and cheating. Because these problems are so-called “shameful” problems missed and I hate to say it. Parents are often embarrassed to talk about this subject, it is not easy to tell the psychologist that the child has committed “terrible” offense stole the money or appropriated someone else’s thing. And of course this child’s behavior is perceived by the family as evidence of his incorrigible immorality.

Already from the age of three the child begins to develop self-awareness, and thus to form ideas about what is “mine” and “theirs.” So nobody in their right mind would call a thief two-three-year-old, who took without asking anyone’s thing. But the older the child, the more likely that his act would be regarded as an attempt to misappropriate, in other words — as “theft”.

The age of the child in such situation is conclusive evidence of awareness of the committed, although it is not always true. In life there are known cases, when children are seven or eight years didn’t realize that by adopting someone’s thing, they violate the generally accepted norms, but sometimes, I have five children, committing theft, well aware that doing bad. As it happens, five-year-old boy who, feeling great sympathy to his peers, gave her all of my mother’s gold jewelry. The boy believed that these ornaments also belong to him as his mother. The questions arise: Who can be called a thief? Why a child steals?

Analyzing the behavior of children, the following are common causes of theft:

1. A strong desire to own any thing contrary to his conscience. This can happen to a child of any age. In this case, he understands that he’s doing something wrong, but the temptation is so big that he can’t resist. Such thefts are committed by many people at least once in their life, but they usually don’t tell anyone, even close friends. Similar situations have consequences and rarely repeated.

2. Serious psychological dissatisfaction of the child. The fact that they steal most of seven children, says that at this age children are especially conscious of how they are moving away from their parents. If they do not find real friends, you feel abandoned and useless. Perhaps that is why children, stealing money, or give them away to friends, or buy candy for the entire class. Moreover, that child away from their parents, but parents are especially picky children at this age. In early adolescence the child may also feel more alone because of the increased shyness, sensitivity, and desire for independence. At any age one of the reasons of theft – unmet need for love and affection.

3. Reaction to trauma. The most serious cause for concern gives a child, who regularly steals money or items belonging to his family or close friends of the family. Most thefts of this kind are committed by teenagers and younger students, though the origins of such behavior can be in early childhood. Trauma can be a humiliating punishment for such an act in the past, or the divorce of parents, as in both cases, there may be emotional coldness between relatives or the child of such a family often feels that he did not love.

4. Method of self-affirmation. Theft may be a way of self-affirmation, that is also a proof of poverty of the child. He, therefore, wants to draw attention to themselves, to win the favor of someone else (different treats or beautiful things). For example, a small child who stole money and nakopivshii them candy, distributes them to other children, to buy their love, friendship, good attitude. A child increases one’s own importance or trying to attract the attention of others the only possible, in his opinion, by the way. Because not finding the support and understanding in the family, the child begins to steal outside the family. One gets the feeling that the child is doing it out of spite busy and unhappy parents (showing emotional coldness) or revenge wealthier peers (jealousy and envy).

5. The lack of development of moral views and will. Is guilty of the errors of education. Specifically, uncoordinated actions of parents: one parent resolves to do something and the other denies; the situation where everything is possible: the child is guided only by their desires, not considered the interests of others; the double standards used by adults when parents say one thing but act completely different; inconsistent parenting; in one case a child condemned for the act, and at other times on the same situation of adults close my eyes.

Some children easily steal other people’s toys, ate without permission of candy their friends, and even, not knowing that violate any rules of conduct. With the lack of understanding of negative evaluation thievery connected with the situation when a child steals money from a desire to make a gift to someone from the adults. Usually it happens to children whose parents did not explain what is someone else’s property and that you cannot take other people’s stuff.

Psychological assistance to the child. As you can see, the causes of children committing these offences lie in the field of emotional distress and similar in many respects. Therefore, great attention should be paid to parent the child, as often it is the “root problems”. But given the fact that parents come to couples therapy when they themselves have “all the means of education tried”, the situation requires a qualified psychological support to the child. Consequently, the corrective work must be intended to help the little man to form such personality traits that will help him refrain from stealing or cheating. They, in all probability, must be the opposite of what motivates him to commit the offence. The development of social norms, moral development of the child occurs under the influence of others — first the parents and then peers. It all depends on the scale of the proposed values.

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