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Why does my son pick up others' belongings?

Q: My 8 years old son has a habit of picking and lifting things from here and there. He picks up anything that attracts him like a tag from a cloth shop or nuts from a departmental store. Even in the school, he just lifts things he likes, without asking anyone. Many a times, we have asked him not to do so, but this hasn't changed his habit. I don't send my son to anybody's house alone for the fear that he would lift any article and this would embarrass us. Is his habit normal or does this signify some behavioural problem?

A:It is not ‘normal’ for an 8 year old, to pick up things that belong to others. You should be able to reason with him. He must realize that we live in a world where private property is a fact. It is not like living in a Pacific island and picking up fruits or fish. You must explain to him that one can admire something without owning it. It may be somewhat difficult for him to grasp in a consumption-dominated world, but you will have to persist. If you are unable to handle the situation, seek the help of a counselor.

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