My Ten-Year-Old Is Stealing

Dear Sara,

My ten-year-old son has been stealing. I am finding things in his room that he could not possibly buy on his own. I found things under his bed when I was cleaning and looked further and found more. I haven’t confronted him yet or told his father because I think he would be furious. These are mostly electronic things and I don’t know where they came from. This is so out of character for my son that I wouldn’t have believed it if someone else had told me. How should I handle it?

Dear Molly,

If your son has been stealing, he will eventually get caught and his father would be more than furious. You need to confide in your husband and talk to your son as soon as possible. He needs to return what he can and apologize at the store he stole from. If he has to go through this process he may learn a lesson. He should also have some sort of consequence at home, like doing extra chores or if he gets an allowance being made to donate it to a worthy cause. If he learns a lesson from this it will be to his benefit. If he tries to steal again, he may need to talk to a professional who deals with this sort of problem.

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