How to handle your child with sticky fingers
As a parent, you suffer a sense of betrayal when your child steals from you.
It is hurting and disappointing to know that the one you brought into the world steals from you and other people.
Such parents also fear that they may steal in public and be punished by outsiders if their negative behaviour is not nipped in the bud on time.
And even though children tend to play pranks sometimes, a good parent will not shake off the feeling of having failed when it becomes obvious that their child steals and moves things that doesn’t belong to them.
For Mr. Jerry Idam, it wasn’t a pleasant experience when neighbours started reporting his 10 year old son to him. He would go play in their homes and come back home with their toys. On many occasions, he had disciplined him on taking what doesn’t belong to him but it would stop for a while and he moves on to other unsuspecting victims.
His son also steals from his friends at school and brings home their pencils. He doesn’t spare the rod when it comes to punishing his son who steals.
Mr. Idam also gets his son to give back the things he has stolen. Doing this is hard for him especially in their neighbourhood, but he knows that encouraging and helping him to return stolen items teaches him not only that stealing is wrong, but also that wrongs must be made right.
He also identifies what triggers his son to steal. He buys him gifts occasionally. Rewarding him with his own toys and teaching him to be content with what he has has helped. This way, he won’t be longing for other children’s things whenever he is in their midst.
He also teaches his son what ownership means as a way of preventing him from stealing. “ I teach him to ask for permission before playing with the toys of his siblings or his friends and to give it back when he is done. This has made him aware of accountability and ownership.