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What should I do to stop my child from stealing money?

Q: I have 2 sons aged 8 and 4 years. My elder son studies in class-III. We have given both of them a money saver, to which we contribute some money every week, this is to inculcate the value of money in the kids. They enjoy all facilities, which children of their age should get. Of late we have noticed that my elder son has started taking out money from his saving box to buy pencils, stickers, chips, etc. from his school shop, and when we noticed these things in his bag he said that he got it as a return gift from his classmates. But later he admitted to taking out money to buy things for himself. He is loving and very naughty and wants things his way only. Please advise how to handle this and steps to do away with his habit of stealing?

A:I am a little surprised to find you using the phrase habit of stealing for an 8 year old who has taken money out from a box that he was told was meant for him and to which he had access. Please avoid thinking like this. Even though you say that they have everything a child of his age should get, he obviously wanted some more things. If you really want the money saved, you should put it in a bank. If you want them to be using it now and then, that is what he has done. He could have asked you, of course, but he probably thought you would refuse. It is better to clearly spell out all the rules (and make them reasonable) and help the children to abide by them. Parents should spend time with the children, and not only at mealtimes. For instance you could all be in the same room, each doing different things and there could be an unhurried conversation going. This is the way family values are communicated, not always with direct loud statements about right and wrong.

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