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How do I handle my 8-year old daughter who keeps stealing? What could cause it?

My youngest daughter has been caught taking items from her friends at school on a couple of occasions and last week I figured out (and she admitted) that she took $20 from her sister's piggy bank. What could cause her to do this? Two years ago my purse and hers was stolen from our car and on Valentine's day our house was robbed.

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Asked by Anonymous at 11:12 AM on Jul. 2, 2008 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Answers (6)
  • Wow, stealing at 8 years old? I took something once from a store when I was about 5 or 6 I was a package of stickers I really wanted. My mom found out in the car and drove back to the store and had me hand deliver them back to the manager. His name was supposedly "Mr. Steal", lol. He had a talk with me about it and from that point on, I never stole! If she's not listening to you, see if she'll listen to someone maybe grandpa? My kids listen to their Grandpa like he is the best thing on earth!

    Answer by ReneeK3 at 11:17 AM on Jul. 2, 2008

  • maybe she sees that those who stole from you arent receiving a punishment and that people can steal and get away with it - i think you need to talk to her about how hard it is to find people who are petty theifs and it is still WRONG whether they get caught immediately or not - and if she does it again she needs to get in trouble for doing it -
    i think its just a thing kids do to test their boundaries (i remember doing this a couple of times and when i got caught my parents told me what kind of trouble i could get into - i stopped)
    if need be - and she continues to do this after punnishments - i would see if you can get her in to talk to a police officer about what problems this causes to who looses the item, who steals the item, and what hapens to people who get caught!

    Answer by vakatia at 11:54 AM on Jul. 2, 2008

  • i caught my eight year old step daugther taking tokens from alittle girl that had them on the ground while playing a game me and her father talked to her about it and asked her how would she feel and she was punished from her things for two days and we talked about the next time we would take something she loves and say some one most have taken it for a day or so and then give it back so she would know how it felt but when you give it back you have to talk to them about it again to make sure its understood

    Answer by concernedmom300 at 1:20 PM on Jul. 4, 2008

  • I don't really have much advice for you, but my ex stepdaughter was a thief. She stole things from my God daughter repeatedly, and has stolen many things from me. My grandmothers jewelry, my engagement ring, digital camera, etc. Her father always made excuses for her or he would lie to cover for her. Please make sure you get on to her for what she is doing and no matter how long it takes, make sure she knows it is wrong, and lead her in the right direction.

    Answer by TiffanyNTrista at 5:26 PM on Jul. 5, 2008

  • I told my daughter what happenes to people when they steal. That the cops are called and you are put in the back seat and that they take you to jail sounds harsh I know but I am not going to lie to her and tell her something else. We were in Frys one time and 2 lil girls when in there and 2 cops were talking to them they were trying to steal candy my daughter seen the cops talking to the lil girls and how scared the lil girls were. I told her see thats why you should always pay for things and never just take stuff cause its hurts peoples feelings and gets you in trouble

    Answer by maof2princesses at 12:31 AM on Jul. 14, 2008

  • One needs to understand if the child is feeling inadequate or insecure, and these are steps to gain attention and recognition.
    In any case, you should sit down with the child, ask him the reasons, and also discuss plans for compensating. He needs to understand that if he has stolen something, firstly you as parents do not approve of the act. Secondly, he would need to return the items either in kind or in cash, and his own allowances would be used to repay. He would also need to apologise to the person from whom he has stolen.
    This becomes a fine balancing act for the parent. In case the problem persists, take the help of a professional counsellor

    Answer by friends4me at 1:32 PM on Nov. 2, 2008

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