Child Stealing

My 10 year old child has been caught stealing at school. The items stolen were fidgets (sensory toys that supposedly help with fidgeting). I got a call from the school and we had a meeting with the principal and teacher.


This was the third he was reprimanded by them. He was let off with a warning because he is an all around great kid otherwise.

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He has been grounded and reprimanded at home, just looking to see if anyone else has been through this and what other measures as a parent I can take.

I caught him trying to take a car from a dollar store once before this and thought my talk helped, apparently not. I am shocked and embarrassed for him but know he knows better! I feel like a failure as a parent.



63 thoughts on “Child Stealing

  1. I took my daughter to the police station requested a police officer to chat with her I did it when I knew they wouldn’t be busy. I know it seems tough but honestly it worked. But then again that was 16 yrs ago

    1. I did this. My son went through a phase for about 2-3 months and when nothing else was working I took him in. The cops were super nice and just had a friendly conversation with him and we haven’t had issues since.

  2. Most schools have a police officer assigned. Maybe they could have a talk with him? You aren’t a failure. The fact that you are reaching out says that you love and care about him.

    1. Our elementary had an rcmp assigned. They weren’t always there but you could contact them if needed. I know because I had to contact them once. But that is Sherwood Park.

  3. Try to find out why he is doing it. Is it from lack of self-control and need for immediate gratification, or is it in response to him feeling anxious as school or having some problems with other kids there who may be bullying him. Once you know the reason it’s easier to address the behaviour. Teach self-control, set out clear consequences, and follow through. If he wants something he can’t afford, teach him to plan, to do ‘jobs’ for extra money so he can save up. Next time he steals something, have him not only return it and apologize, but buy the ‘victim’ a gift using his own money. And no, you are not a failure. Many parents (myself included) have gone through similar experiences

  4. I was caught shoplifting a few times when I was young.. even after getting community service I didn’t learn my lesson. It wasn’t until I was caught shoplifting in junior high, in front of all of my classmates, from the store near my school did I stop. I had a week long in school suspension.
    Maybe take him to a police station and see if they will have a talk with him, maybe it will scare him enough.

    1. All of the “hard asses”
      Saying tough you can’t always get what you want ….duh
      I’m giving a reason .
      He’s stealing a toy that is all the rage right now .
      You can’t dive deeper into the poor kid or you can believe he’s a good kid that JUST WANTS A FIDGET SPINNER

    2. Who’s being a hard ass? It’s pretty obvious that the kid stole the darn thing BECAUSE HE WANTED IT. That still doesn’t make it okay to a go out and steal one. It also doesn’t mean that his parents should go out and get him one.

    3. Obviously he should be taught not to steal but in this instance being the odd man out can drive a kid to do things out of character .
      If you choose to dwell on the theft (which obviously isn’t ok)
      Vs the kid wanting to fit in with peers that’s up to you .
      But you nor I can tell the parent how to deal with the issue .
      I’m merely giving an opinion

      If my child goes too great lengths to steal a 5 dollar toy to fit into a silly fidget spinner group i see no harm in obliging.
      Rather him mingle with peers than sit reprimanded for stealing something which wasn’t a big deal in the first place .
      Remind the kid to ask the parent for things
      To explain why theyd like the toy
      They play little spin battles which probably felt crummy being an outsider watching .

      Lindsay Bridgeman how you choose to parent is entirely up to you .Sometimes your just adding fuelto the fire .

  5. Thank you for not being one of those parents that just look the other way. Him seeing you making an effort to correct his behavior will make a huge difference. Kids covet what they see and don’t have and while they may “know” what’s right and what’s wrong they don’t understand the seriousness behind it. Keep doing what your doing and addressing it and making him return the items and apologizing to those he hurts by the theft. Kids often learn by example and you sound like you are doing just fine setting the right example.
    Good Luck Parent!

  6. So while you should for sure address this with him, you should also know that it is a pretty common phase (and yes, usually, it is just a phase) for kids to go through. You’re doing fine, mom.

  7. my son was a little older when i noticed it I went to the local police station to ask their opinion i was very fortunate to get a awesome constable and his partner i was concerned and they showed compassion i know some people are going to think what i did net time was harsh but i do not regret it at all, he took his dads debit and credit cards one weekend and tried to use them but did not know what the cvs # was i was devastated i called the constable and they were on duty they knew the history etc. they asked if they could come by but only if i went along with whatever they decided i did they came to talk to him but he was being tough and difficult but they knew he was i good kid deep down so the constables looked at me andi knew omg what did i do one took him outside to the car the other explained he would be back in about 4hrs a changed child. scare and worried but i complied. He came home shoelaces in hand they sat hi in a cell for a few hours fingerprinted him and photographed him patted him down. he was abit angry at first but then i started to notice my boy was back more and more everyday. the constables checked in every so often too. Also we hung his fingerprints on the fridge for 6 months as a reminder as to what could have happened. today 6 years later he thanks me often for stepping up and being tough so he did not go down that path he even talks to younger kids we know when he sees them doing similar things i can not be more proud of the man he is today and i will always have love in my heart for edmonton EPS for helping a desperate mother

    1. i am sorry try a different office the officers i spoke to did not see it that way they had a good report with James as we saw them a few years ago and he thanked them

  8. with all due respect i woudl have smacked his ass lol. but thats me. yes i would make him return every single item in person, and apologise. he woudl also spend every friday afternoon for a month helping clean up around the school. at no pay

  9. The school should make it policy to banned fidget gadget distraction from classrooms. Im sure the teachers have issues with the gadget? Yup there are other kids taking or stealing the fidgets it common occurrence on school property!!! Not saying its okay to steal….So much gadgets being thrown at our kids nowadays it gets them into trouble. The ppl invented/ made it just sit back and laugh!!!!

  10. He’s a kid. He will be tempted. Don’t be mad and angered, be firm and reassuring that this is unacceptable. He will learn. Mama, you caring shows you are anything but a failure. You’d be a failure if you turned a blind eye to it.

  11. Any chance this was at JHP? My son has had several fidgets taken from his desk. Having said that, my son has also had issues with this behaviour recently and he is the same age. I do think part of it is an issue with pushing boundaries.

    I now have daily email communication with his teacher. If he had a good day then he gets lots of praise but I don’t “reward” him. I want him to understand that this is standard expected behaviour and not a special day. If he has a day where he misbehaved, deserves consequences etc, then he is “grounded” for the rest of that night. That means he is only allowed to clean or read (he is not a book lover). The next day is a fresh start and an opportunity to do better. If he continues negative behaviour on an ongoing basis then he gets very bored and his reading improves dramatically. I initially started by grounding him for multiple days or a week, but he somehow got into his head that since he was already grounded then this gave him the justification to misbehave for the full length of his grounding since he was already in trouble.

    For anything severe that does require longer consequences, I add several restrictions. He isn’t completely grounded but for example, I may not allow him to play outside after school. Or no treats. I will not withhold treats from my daughter if my son has misbehaved. She may still get a slurpee and he will not. No tv at all (we don’t watch tv but if your son does then that may work). This way it doesn’t mean he can’t have any freedom. These restrictions are open ended and have to be earned. He earns back these extra luxuries by consistently showing that he has changed his behaviour. Not just a day or two of good behaviour but at least a week. I will still praise him every day for the improvement but that doesn’t get him off the hook. It has to be an ongoing change. If there is a regression in this behaviour then he loses these luxuries and again has to earn them back after an extended period of time. I did have the school resource officer (retired police officer) sit down and talk to him as well.

    The thing that made the most impact that I did recently after lots of previous attempts, is I sat him down in a casual heart to heart. Not a sit down formal talk but a laying in bed while we pet the dog type of setting. I stopped talking to him about behaviour and started talking to him about respect. I explained to him that we are a team and we will help each other. My job as a mom is to make sure he grows up to be a good man and a good human. And that needs to start now. As he grows, if he isn’t kind and compassionate then I am not doing a good job. When he is a grown up he might have a spouse or children or a boss. If he isn’t learning to be respectful now then he won’t know how to be respectful when he’s an adult and life will be much harder for him. I told him how I see him he so kind and compassionate in so many ways. He is truly compassionate towards the homeless, animals, and special needs. I used that as an example of how I want him to treat the people he sees regularly. Additionally, I explained that I am not a perfect mother and he is not a perfect kid. There are many things we both can do better at. That I will try harder and get advice from others. If he does his part and I do my part then together we’ll both be better people. It was honest and it took the sole blame away from him and I think he felt comforted knowing it is something we will do together. I asked him if he loves me and doesn’t see me as a bad person even if I make poor choices or am not perfect. He said yes that he loves me a lot. I told him I love him even when he makes poor choices and isn’t perfect and I don’t think he is a bad kid. It used to sound so corny to me when I heard people say or saw online articles about telling a kid he is being bad. I thought it was crap. Until my son recently told me he was a bad kid. Even when I told him he wasn’t bad but that he made a poor choice, he argued with me and insisted he was bad. I have never said to him “you are a bad kid” but I have said “why are you being so bad”. That really hit me and is one of the things I now take responsibility for and am consciously changing. I apologized to him. I like to think that meant something to him. When I do see or hear of him mistreating someone, I ask “Do you think that is respectful?” Sometimes that is enough for him to reflect and tell me “No”. Sometimes I have to add “Then why do you think it’s okay?” I can still show my disapproval without telling him he is being bad.

    Also, check if he is being instructed or encouraged to do these things by his friends. My son does things that his friends tell him to do. So he’s the one who gets in trouble. It doesn’t make him less responsible for what he has done but it does make me aware of another concern that I need to work on with him.

    My daughter is older and used to be very tolerant when she was younger. Now she is much less so and they antagonize each other. I’ve really had to sit down with her too and explain that she can complain and tattle to me about what he is doing but I have to now point out her role in their arguments and how she could have better handled the situation. They act like they hate each other but when needed, they are very protective of each other. He idolizes her even though they are both oblivious to it

    Each child is different and something that works for one child won’t necessarily work for another. When you find something that works, the likelihood of it working forever is slim. I have spent years now trying to come up with new ideas on how to help him. Things would work for a month and then stop working so I would find something else. Sometimes I can go back to something I have tried before. My goal has changed from “fixing him so he stops acting that way” to now realizing it is an ongoing process and that it probably always will be. Whether because of age, development, or influences from other people.

  12. Sounds like he is acting out, has their been any changes recently at home. Their is a problem try to get to the bottom of it. Maybe he needs more,then just a warning

  13. Are you paying attention to him? Does he feel neglected? Maybe he sees all his friends get money for chores and buy cool stuff and he has asked about chores but you fall through on the reward…. Is he being bullied? Maybe he was coerced into it.


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