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What should I do about a 9 and and 8 year old repeatedly stealing from a store?

I caught my 2 oldest boys (9 and 8) stealing at Wal-Mart about a month ago. My husband and I grounded them (no toys, tv, etc.) and even went so far as to take them down to the police station to talk with an officer about what happens to thieves. We thought we had handled the issue well enough to scare them away from stealing.

We have since caught one of them stealing money from the other's piggy bank and the other one just stole a candy from the store again tonight. My husband and I are at a total loss as to what to do now.

Any suggestions?

Answer Question

Asked by EmilyKorinne at 10:15 PM on Mar. 4, 2010 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (24)
  • MAKE THEM SIT OUTSIDE OF THE STORE WITH A SIGN!!!! stating wat they did every1 that goes into that store will see them and they will be mortified...

    Answer by mommy16love at 10:20 PM on Mar. 4, 2010

  • ask the store if they have some sort of community service type work they can do to make up for them being little thieves. I'm sure they will allow you to watch them pick up garbage for 15 minutes or something

    Answer by shay1130 at 10:22 PM on Mar. 4, 2010

  • i ahve done the police thing also only lasts so long....what seemed to work for me was bring the kid back to the store to return item alos keeping up with the can be sneaky. xtra chores and when my sd and dd did this i made them help dh stack wood and bring in wood they hated that..last summer my sd and dd stole money from my purse i was livid and hurt and the money was for the lake that day. so what i did was still took kids to the lake ( i have 4 ) and the 2 had to sit there and watch other kids play i did let them go and spash water on themselfs to cool down but no playing and no looking for frogs or playground. they never did that again..they were misrable..tough love i guess...kinda like see what happens when u do this..stealing = no fun. its hard at this age trying to see how far they can go.. best of luck mama..

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:23 PM on Mar. 4, 2010

  • Next time, they steal from the store-
    Take them to the store Manager, confess & return, plus grouding when home.

    Answer by whyme48 at 10:24 PM on Mar. 4, 2010

  • i have to agree to all above............all good ideas to me.

    Answer by tabbys4 at 10:24 PM on Mar. 4, 2010

  • also make them apologize and you could tell the manager in can ask the manager to not take it so lightly and instead of saying "oh, its okay" be more stern and say "don't ever do this at my store again or your not welcome back"..something scary...heehee.

    Answer by shay1130 at 10:25 PM on Mar. 4, 2010

  • I think you need to look at what might be the motivation behind stealing things. There is some sort of need behind their actions.. Are the boys impulsive, do they act without thinking about consequences, etc.? Do they have any other behavior issues? How do they behave at school? I would want to consider what else might be going on. The act of stealing might be a symptom of other issues.

    Answer by Lisahi at 10:26 PM on Mar. 4, 2010

  • I caught my girls steeling one time, with a group of others. My husband called the store manager and we took them up there, made them return what they'd stolen and face the store manager. The lecture they got from the manager had both in tears before we left. Never had an issue again.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:37 PM on Mar. 4, 2010

  • We already did the taking it back and apologizing thing when they were 4 and stole for the first time. They are both ADHD but don't seem to be having problems in any other area (friends, school, etc). Grandpa asked if they had a friend at school that could be influencing them - I plan on talking to the teachers and making them aware of the situation.

    Answer by EmilyKorinne at 10:42 PM on Mar. 4, 2010

  • along with some of these, you could have them write formal apologies to the store and store manager as well as you and your DH. you could also have them write essays about why stealing is bad, its effect on the store's business and its effects on others around - or write what about what they learned from going to the police station the last time the stole. i would definately be consistent with the groundings and such. i would take away their privledges and definately not get them anything new. i think it is defintely good to talk to their teachers as well. maybe have them talk to the school counselor?

    Answer by aly38914290 at 11:15 PM on Mar. 4, 2010

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