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How to stop DS from stealing

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#1 Mumma Mash

Posted 27 November 2012 - 11:07 AM

DS has gotten into a bad habit of stealing toys! Whether its a toy from the drs surgery, the dentist, library, DDs prep room, friends homes, cousins home, shops etc..
I try very hard to watch him as he usually stuffs the bigger cars under his shirt, but the little hot wheels he puts in his pocket.
He is 4.
He will often come home with toys from kindy in his bag, and he comes home from DD's prep class with toys, the teacher lets him and he returns them a few days later which she is fine with.
I have 4 kids, soon to be 5 so I do struggle to remember to check his bag at pick up time, or watch him when the bell rings when we collect DD. on the times I do, I make a deal out of it and get him to return and say sorry etc.. The toys from the shop we always walk back into and get him to return it and say sorry, he's never brought home a toy from the shop, we've always caught him out there.
But just last night (from kindy) he brought home all these felt pictures from a felt game, rolled up in his sheet, and a 7cm long skeleton .. Lol
We always return the toys to kindy/school, but I am just over the embarrassment.
How can I fix this? He isn't stealing to hurt, but he is just fascinated in cars and trucks all the time.

#2 Freddie'sMum

Posted 27 November 2012 - 11:12 AM

I would make it into a game OP.

"Hey Jack - we are leaving Kindy / the doctors / friends house now.  Let's put all the toys back so you can play with them the next time you are here.  Can you help Mummy put them all away??"

I don't think at the tender age of 4 he is aware of "stealing" - he is probably thinking "I love this and want to bring it home with me" biggrin.gif

#3 JustBeige

Posted 27 November 2012 - 12:23 PM

I would also ask the Kindy teachers to do the same as PP suggested.   Do a lets clean up thing and get him to show how neat and (empty) his stuff is.   Also empty pockets full of sand(?) which will catch any other miscellaneous things he has stuffed in there.

tbh, I know its hard but I think you do need to remind yourself to get him to empty/strip every single time you leave someplace.   If he complains, just keep telling him, that until he stops taking things that dont belong to him - ie: mummy has paid money for etc,  - then he has to keep emptying pockets / bags / shoes etc.
I would think you would be less embarrased doing this than taking stuff back.

It also sounds like he isnt grasping the concept of "not belonging to him".   So you may want to look at teaching him the difference between sharing things and not touching because they dont belong to him things.

#4 Let_it_Rain

Posted 27 November 2012 - 12:45 PM

My DS is a bit younger (3) but is currently obsessed with pockets so I was constantly finding things from daycare in them when I went to do the washing.

Now when I pick him up I just ask him to check his pockets and make sure he puts all the toys away.

He wasn't stealing so much as forgetting he had put stuff in them.

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