“What to do when your child starts Taking or Stealing what isn’t theirs”
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TAKING OR STEALING.
Stealing, or is it?
Children under the age of five have no concept on what belongs to who or why a person owns something instead of it being everyone’s.
It is the parents who are obsessed by ownership, and what are yours and theirs.
Toddlers are fortunate enough not to have reached this stage in life yet.
Sure toddlers pick things and play with them and even take them but, they do this with no malicious intention at all.
As we know only too well, everything belongs to toddlers, apparently, unless someone tells them differently.
We can start teaching our toddlers not to just pick things up and assume they are theirs at a very early age.
With this teaching, you need to make sure that if your toddler has claimed ownership on something, that they are reminded of the rules and made to take the item back and apologize.
Prevent The Problem…
Make rules …
We must make it easy for our toddlers to communicate with us when they want something, and how to ask for it. We need to make a rule about taking things without asking.
Solving The Problem…
Explain The Right Way To Get Things…
Young toddlers don’t have a clue as to why they cant have things when they want them.
Teach your toddler “You must always ask me if you are allowed to have something before you pick it up, and if I say yes then you are to hold it until we have paid for it”.
Explain What Stealing Means…
Your toddler needs to know the difference between borrowing things and stealing them, your toddler also needs to know that punishment comes with stealing.
We need to make sure toddlers understand that stealing is taking something without asking for permission and borrowing is having the permission to have something.
The Punishment For Stealing…
If your toddler steals an item from anywhere, go with them and return it, once home speak with your toddler about the rules of stealing and make sure they understand they cant keep stolen things.
A great idea is to have them give one of their toys, one regularly played with to you.
Tell them you don’t approve of stealing and because they took something that didn’t belong to them, they now have to give up something that does belong to them. You can always use the toy as a reward at a later date as a reward for doing the right thing.
No Reminders Or Labeling…
There is no good in reminding your toddler of the wrong they did at all.
Reminders will only help keep that sort of behavior fresh in the mind, and not let them concentrate on the behavior you are trying to promote.
As far as labeling your toddler as a thief, this will do more harm due to the fact that your toddler will act out this part. It’s like telling someone they are stupid all the time, if that person hears it all the time they too will start to believe it to be true sooner or later.
Know The Answer Before You Question…
If you suspect your toddler has stolen something, the last thing you should do is ask them if they have, asking will only promote lying due to knowing the consequences.
You must not be afraid to searching your toddler if you think he has an item stuck in his pocket.
If something is found, be sure to enforce the consequences.
Article contributed by Theresea Hughes, creator of
http://free-toddlers-activity-and-discipline-guide.com a site dedicated to providing parenting resource articles for toddlers activity & child discipline with positive parenting tips, free kids games, recipes, arts & crafts, including articles about potty training, temper tantrums, kids sleep problems, parent tips for fussy eaters, including free child development toddlers activity and toddlers discipline parenting resources.
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