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“My five and half year old has recently started stealing money out of my purse. its not a small amout, he has taken large noted out of my purse with out asking. He has recently started prep, but other than that there have been no changes that could make him start acting out. I┬áhave tried time outs, and confiscating toys from him and he doesnt seem to care. im running out of ideas and would love some feedback in regards to what i might do in this situation” What do you do about stealing?

Posted by Anon, 13/05/13

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  • One of my foster daughters has severe kleptomana. When she steals from the shop we go and pay for it when she’ can’t pay herself; we go together to the shop, she will have to write a sorry letter, and she will have to do a job/multiple jobs to make up for the money I had to pay (kind of community service idea). Idem when she steals from home, when she can’t return the item or the money she has to pay back or has to work for it and I expect a sorry letter as well.
    We try to refrain from anger as any strong reaction is reinforcing. Stay neutral and switch on your warmth again when restoration has occurred.
    It can be helpful to do a triple P positive parenting course and when the problem persists seek professional help.


  • This just recently happened to a friend of mine. Her five year old stole the rent money out of mums purse and took it to school. Luckily one of the teachers found out. My friend took him for a trip to the police station for a talking to and a bit of an eye opener.


  • put your bag out of reach don’t give him the chance to get it, if it was something else like a toy from friends houses or school make them return it. good luck


  • I agree with what one of the other mums have said, contact the police – they will have a chat with him, my aunty did this for her son and it worked a treat.


  • My daughter went through a similar thing :( It was extremely hard but by explaining each time that what she was doing was wrong, she eventually grew out of it and moved on to other things ;)


  • Put your purse/handbag up high where he can’t get to it. Do you know what he’s doing with the money he’s stealing? I would imagine that if he’s buying things with it, that you’d notice anything new in his room, and you’d like to think that shop-keepers would be suspicious of little kids spending money on their own. Is there a chance that some kids at school are bullying him, and pressuring him to supply them with money? I’d want to get to the reason behind why he’s stealing, before I went down the track of threatening him with police and the like.


  • Put your bag and purse out of his way… take him to the police … maybe ring them first and let them in on what you want to achieve… they are good with children


  • have you had any success?


  • You could try the shock tactic of telling him stealing is against the law and you wouldn’t like to have to take him down to the police station. And then drive down to the police station if it keeps up.


  • Have you managed to stop him stealing?


  • How is he going now?


  • Whatever you do you need to put a quick stop to it before he gets himself into trouble elsewhere with stealing. Ask him how would he like it if you started stealing his toys?


  • Tell him you will take him to the police because stealing is illegal. It works for my boy!


  • Hide the purse well and ask him what he needs the money for. Tell him that stealing later in life can lead to being in trouble with the police.


  • Need to really talk with your five and half year old


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