Just Part Of Growing Up

Your little one has just started kindergarten and is being exposed to all sorts of new exciting things. Children begin to notice toys, books, and other items their classmates have and realize they want these things, too.

One day you’re going through your child’s school bag and discover a bounty of other children’s belongings. Gasp! You’re the parent of thief! Relax. This is not altogether an uncommon stage of development for some 5- and 6-year-olds. However, you shouldn’t ignore what’s happening. It is a serious issue. What should you do?

Talk to them. They’re just little kids. They’re impulsive and don’t fully realize the implications of their actions—until you teach them right from wrong.

The best way to do that is with a calm but firm demeanor. Let your child know that when they take something that doesn’t belong to them, without permission, it is considered stealing. Explain to them that stealing is wrong and a serious offense. The child should return the item to its owner and apologize to them for taking it.

It may happen a few more times. When it does, your response needs to remain consistent. Children must be reminded that such actions are unacceptable, and be held accountable for what they’ve done. They must always apologize to those they’ve wronged, no matter how embarrassing or untimely it may be. Children will eventually begin to understand right from wrong. When they do, this behavior will come to an end.

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