He arrives home with a new video game. You know he didn’t have the money to buy it.
After asking questions, you learn that he and his friends have taken things from stores on more than one occasion.
You are not the first parent to discover this hard truth. Groups of children can encourage each other to steal. “It’s no big deal,” they tell each other. “Anyway, we won’t get caught.”
Well, stealing is a big deal. And if you suspect your child has taken anything that does not belong to him, you need to make sure he knows just how big a deal it is.
You can do this a way that will teach your child a lesson he’ll never forget:
- Let him know that what he did was stealing, plain and simple. Then say, “In our family, we do not steal.”
- Take your child back to the store. Have him speak with the security guard or with the owner. Insist that he own up to what he did—and apologize. He should return the item to the store owner and say that he will pay for it.
- Expect him to use his own money to pay for the item. If necessary, have him do extra chores to earn the money.
He will be embarrassed, and that’s good. By seeing how your family handles stealing, he may avoid this kind of peer pressure in the future.
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