September 03, 2019
If children come home from school and colors, toys or some other objects that do not belong to them are found inside their backpacks don´t be alarmed just explain that what has been done is wrong and should not be repeated
When children are between 3 and 5 years old, it is not clear what things are theirs and what things are not. Therefore, it is parents’ work to delimit the actions of their children and teach them that it is not right to take what does not belong to us and warn them that if such action is repeated, they will be punished
For example, return stolen objects to friends and apologize. At home, you should say that if they do the same again, they will lose privileges (take away things or activities they like for a couple of days). It is important that you never use physical punishment
From 6 years old and up, children acquire a clear notion of ownership and, therefore, they are already aware of what they do. At this age, you can start talking about thefts. Point out that it’s not right and tell them that if they need something they can ask mom or dad. Never overlook this fault. Never call thief to children, even if they have stolen more than once since that label will not help them correct themselves. Instead you could say “you would not like it if you are considered as a thief”.
Lic. Antonella Galli
Psychologist at Clínica Ricardo Palma