When grade school aged children steal, it often is due to lack of self control and this can still be controlled with parental advice and discipline. But when high school children steal, the results are usually more uncontrollable. Often, children of high school age, tend to make it a hobby and even carry the habit into adulthood.
Why Do Children Steal?
Children's needs are not met - There will be times when children feel that their needs are not being met by their parents, they tend to take matters into their own hands. Our needs are subjective, so when parents' feels that their child wants something unnecessary and their child feels differently, the child will try to get what he or she wants by stealing.
Amount of attention needed - Even if parents provide their children with all the material needs they feel necessary to make their children comfortable and happy, sometimes attention and personal care is needed instead. As a result, children misbehave and steal to get the attention they need.
Peer Pressure - Children love to experiment and quench their curiosity. This is often a problem in groups of friends who experiment with stealing. With all the excitement and desire to fit in, a child will steal to prove that he or she is brave, to show these friends that he or she belongs in the group. This is most crucial because your child must know how to choose the right friends.
What Do You Do When Your Child Steals?
The first reaction you will have when you suspect your child of stealing is to become angry and immediately confront him or her. This is something you must learn to avoid because you are not 100% certain if it is true. If stealing is done at home, you must be sure to catch your child in the act before jumping to conclusions. Never allow your feelings to dominate you and make matters worse.
Children need to know the difference between right and wrong. A firm but loving reminder of the consequences is always healthy, but never give your child the feeling that he or she cannot be trusted. If they do something wrong, they must learn to correct it. They must understand that even stealing can hurt others and it will not only affect their lives but the lives of others as well. The fact is, there is no excuse for stealing, but your child is innocent until proven guilty and once there is evidence, your child must learn responsibility such as returning whatever was stolen, owning up and apologizing. But don't condemn your child as it will only make matters worse and lead him or her into stealing again.
Teenagers Who Have a Habit of Stealing
When children grow up with the habit of stealing and parents fail to control it, the outcome can be disastrous and disappointing as they will end up being a threat to the community. Teenagers who steal have to pay the consequences with the law and this is a serious matter that must be acted upon quickly. Based on the severity of the crime they committed, their age and state the crime was committed in, they can be detained and imprisoned with large bails that will affect their lives completely.
Valerie Howards is a freelance writer and mother who specialize in theft and other criminal cases. She regularly contributes articles to a number of law firms and Bail Bonds Direct websites.