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How do I stop my child taking toys from school?

My son has been caught taking toys from school. He says the kids loaned them to him but now he is being accused of stealing. He does have the items in question.

How do I punish my son for this WITHOUT having him being branded a thief but still teach him not to do it again?

We have taught both of our kids not to steal and I know they all go through it at some stage. Can anyone give me any advice?

My son is 8, old enough to know...

5 Parent's Answers

Best Answer!
5 stars 1 out of 1 people found this helpful
The best option is to give back the items and tell him not to take any toys given to him at school by other children, whether offered or not.

My kids have gone through the same thing where other kids would give them toys and then claim they were stolen. We made the school aware and all the children were spoken to about it. Neither of my children were branded as thieves and it stopped the issue completely.

It's an opportunity to teach about social etiquette and the dark side of social exchanges. It is a difficult area to explain but teaching them how to determine if someone is honestly giving a gift or trying to stir trouble and how to handle it without causing offense or getting into trouble will give them tools for the future. They may not understand completely but eventually, they will cotton on and get the hang of social problems!
Why kids steal and how they learn to steal objects they like? This is the root cause. Kids follow their friends and elders. Because your kids are going to they must have learned to steal from their friends. My advice is to be friend of your kids. Once your in the circle they will start following you. When kids start going to school their friends circle is what they think about. Sometimes they just go to school for their friends. They wear dresses for friends and make hairstyles which their friends like. So be part of their friends circle and then show them what's good and what's bad.
My kid is not that age yet but I remember being in that exact same position as an 11 year old and I remember that the way my mother handled it was a turning point in that matter, I use to bring things from every where I go and the important thing that adults don't really get is for a kid stealing might not be understood the way it should, so in order for him to understand, it is important to be more intimidating when explaining the topic, it should not be the same level as discussing not eating ones veggies or not cleaning ones room, the tone should be different and more serious, My mother did that the right way she saw that an 11 year old should be old enough to understand the consequences of stealing and she forced me to give back the object I took.
There are several ways to stop. One among them is to help your child to let this understand, to differentiate between his/her toys and someone's toy. Other is to give your child his/her favorite toy.
My kid is two years old and he often likes to play with others toys. Being parents our strategy is to not let him others' toys. We ask them gently, Joshua where are your toys. He starts finding his toys. I often take one or two toys in my bag too. Once he discovers his toys he plays with them.
To help your child stop taking toys from school, here are a few suggestions:

1. Teach empathy and sharing: Talk to your child about the importance of sharing and how it can make others feel happy. Encourage them to think about how their classmates might feel when they take their toys.

2. Set clear expectations: Communicate your expectations to your child regarding taking toys from school. Let them know what behavior is acceptable and what is not. Ensure they understand the consequences of taking toys without permission.

3. Explore alternatives: Encourage your child to find alternative ways to play at school, such as engaging in group activities or using toys provided by the school. Help them understand that they have access to a variety of toys and games without taking them from others.

4. Encourage open communication: Create a safe and open environment where your child feels comfortable discussing their feelings and experiences. Ask them about their day at school and if there is a reason they feel the need to take toys.

5. Discuss consequences: Talk to your child about the consequences of their actions. Help them understand how taking toys from school can negatively impact others and themselves. Discuss alternative solutions to resolve conflicts or fulfill their desire for play.

6. Collaborate with teachers: Communicate with your child's teacher about the issue. Discuss strategies they can implement in the classroom to discourage toy-taking behavior. Consistency between home and school can reinforce the message.

7. Reinforce positive behavior: Praise and reward your child when they exhibit appropriate behavior at school. For example, if they come home without taking any toys, acknowledge their self-control and reinforce the positive action.

Remember, each child is unique, and it may take time for them to understand and adjust their behavior. Stay patient, consistent, and supportive throughout the process, and celebrate their progress along the way.
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