to make my 4 year old return his stolen goods?

(57 Posts)
OorWullie Sat 28-Jun-14 12:46:54

5yo DS and I were in our local shop earlier, he had a bit of a hissy fit because I wouldn't buy him a kinder egg, I asked him to put it back- which he did, and he chose some crisps instead (fine).

Got home and he said "I don't have anything in my pocket", obviously this alerted me, I went into his pocket and pulled out the kinder egg.

I spoke to him about stealing being wrong, and that when I say no it's not ok to take it anyway. Obviously he has not been allowed to keep the kinder egg but I'm not sure whether I should make him take it back and say sorry to one of the girls working (i know them as i also work there) or if i should just explain next time i am in and pay for it.

Part of me thinks it will make it more "real" if DS has to face this himself and part of me thinks its a bit pointless as he has probably forgotten about it already.

WandaDoff Sat 28-Jun-14 12:49:01

I think that sounds like a good idea, let the assistant know what you are planning to do though.

WashingFanatic Sat 28-Jun-14 12:50:47

I would make him take it back and apologise at age 5. I think I would with my 4 year old, they're old enough to know right from wrong.

WooWooOwl Sat 28-Jun-14 12:51:17

He's five, he won't have forgotten about it completely. I would absolutely make him take it back and say sorry. You make it sound as if this only happened this morning, so of course he won't have forgotten!

He is old enough to know right from wrong, and stealing is something that is so wrong you need to get that message across loud and clear.

Marylou62 Sat 28-Jun-14 12:51:39

I did this when my DS 'stole' a train from the ELC. They were very good about it and he says he remembers it and has never taken anything again! He was 4 too.

RachelWatts Sat 28-Jun-14 12:52:09

I agree you need to explain to the assistant before you take him in.

There's nothing worse than telling your child off for taking something without asking and marching him over to give it back and apologise, and the person he's supposed to be saying sorry to just smiles and says "That's all right pet. You have it if you want it"

Leviticus Sat 28-Jun-14 12:52:12

Yes make him go back!

SquigglySquid Sat 28-Jun-14 12:52:50

Make him return it. He's a 5 year old boy, not a puppy. He'll remember it when you remind him why he's doing it. wink

That really is the effective punishment, to make kids own up to their mistakes like that and apologize to a disappointed clerk. Even if you don't tell them what's going on, I don't think they'll be too upset, small children taking things isn't an uncommon thing.

BrianTheMole Sat 28-Jun-14 12:53:38

I would make him go back. Warn the shop first.

WorraLiberty Sat 28-Jun-14 12:55:04

The fact you think he might have forgotten about it already, tells me you should definitely make him take it back and apologise.

Happydaysatlast Sat 28-Jun-14 12:56:21

Yep take raffles back and make him
Apologise. grin

WashingFanatic Sat 28-Jun-14 12:58:30

I once walked out of the Works with a big book-boxset balancing on the top of the pram (about £20 worth). Actually got about ten minutes away before I even realised.

Ds1 (5 at the time) said to the assistant when we got back to pay 'I've told her and told her not to steal things!' shock No idea where he got that from!

Germgirl Sat 28-Jun-14 13:00:08

I nicked a toy from Mac Market (remember them?!) when I was 5. My mum discovered it when I got home & took me back to the shop & made me apologise.
I was mortified, I still remember it now & I've never nicked another thing (apart from photocopying paper & elastic bands from work!)
I think you should take him back & have a word with the assistant before asking him to give it back & apologise.

SquigglySquid Sat 28-Jun-14 13:00:48

Ds1 (5 at the time) said to the assistant when we got back to pay 'I've told her and told her not to steal things!' shock No idea where he got that from!

grin! Oh dear. That must made it look like a regular occurrence. I've accidentally walked out of the store with items so many times, I've begun to wonder how people get caught shop lifting. Yes, I always return them/pay for them once I realize what happened.

OorWullie Sat 28-Jun-14 13:04:09

Ahaha Washing I did that in Asda with carrots once, I actually got home (14 miles on a bus) before i realised they were in the hood of the pram blush.

I'll give the shop a ring and ask that they give him a wee telling off when we go up and he gives it back, as you say it wont do any good if whoever is on says "Never mind just keep it".

It was only a few hours ago but he has a very short attention span, I suppose it's better to do something that makes him remember for good though!

Flexibilityiskey Sat 28-Jun-14 13:05:11

I agree with making him take it back. Warning the shop first is a good idea. DSis made DN bring back 50p he'd taken from my house at about the same age. The trouble was she didn't warn me. I opened the door to find my DN hysterical on the doorstep, and immediately thought something terrible had happened so gave him a cuddle, and started trying to calm him down. It was only after a few seconds Dsis came up behind and told me why he was there, and I had to put my stern face on. He did learn his lesson though. grin

When I was 5 I stole some cherries from a display outside a shop. I was marched in by my mum to say sorry and get a telling off from the Greengrocer. I am 58 now and still remember how ashamed I was.

Mrsjayy Sat 28-Jun-14 14:00:03

Yes do it dont march him or anything but take it back to the shop dd once stole a packet of those winders I hate them sticky and she never finished them itook her back said dd must have forgotten to put this back when I told her to, she did say sorry the shop keeper said oh that's okand she didnt do it again

BlackeyedSusan Sat 28-Jun-14 14:05:01

better now when they are young htan when they try it on as a teenager.

I have prevented a tweenager/young teen from shop lifting a five pence loolly with a stern look and asking whether they are going to pay for it. better to get them youngish than have the police ringing because they have been caught older.

I remember seeing a police officer marching a young women out of the ASda. it freaked me out... I could never bare the shame, so am extra careful of putting things on the pushcahir hood, or under a child. by accident.

TruJay Sat 28-Jun-14 14:16:11

Really good advice so far. Obviously had he been 2 or just turned 3 i wouldn't make him take it back and would have just explained it all at home and taken it away.

but at 5 i think it is an age where taking the egg back will really ingrain "stealing is wrong" in his mind. Good idea to call the shop first. I would then explain that stealing is bad blah blah but then praise him for doing the right thing and returning the egg.

To be honest the fact he said "I don't have anything in my pocket" says to me that he was already feeling ashamed/upset at having taken it and was looking for a way out and regretting what he'd done.

MrsWinnibago Sat 28-Jun-14 14:26:53

My DD did this also at age 4. She took some beads....just loose ones from a little display box.

I took her back with them, showed them to the assistant and explained DD had wanted them and been tempted....the woman was lovely and said "Ooh you can have one of them for being a good girl and fetching them back!"

And DD learned a lesson.

Mrsjayy Sat 28-Jun-14 14:32:15

I was trying to wean dd off her dummy so didnt take it with us she tried to pinch one from boots I caught her fiddiling with the cardboard backing as I was in the queue I was mortified

WyrdByrd Sat 28-Jun-14 14:34:39

Call ahead, then take him back to return it & apologise.

My DD did something similar at that she and got frogmarched back to return the item - it never happened again so it would appear she got the message.

AnnField Sat 28-Jun-14 14:39:36

I stole a small toy from nursery when I was around that age. My dad made me take it back and apologise. I'm 30 now and still remember it!

ICanSeeTheSun Sat 28-Jun-14 14:40:43

I remember stealing a ring pop when I was around 5, not only did my mum make me take it back she also deducted 50p from my pocket money.

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