Ask Lulu: How Do You Deal With A Child Who Thieves?

This week our agony aunt, Lulu Luckock, advises a parent on dealing with a thieving child…

Dear Lulu,

How do you deal with children who are stealing….?

It’s sweets (not his) and mini packets of biscuits etc . All denial… until he can’t deny because I find the wrappers hidden under his bed or in his clothes or somewhere. The latest has been £7 .. I know it’s not his but he won’t tell the truth. He said he found it under his bed. Which again, I know it’s not true. I reckon it’s mine or Marcs but i have no idea and I’m worried he’s taken it from a friends house.

He knows it’s wrong to steal and he also knows that he will get into less trouble if he tells the truth straight away.

It’s one of our house mantras.

However, the cycle continues and I’m at my wit’s end.

I know locking everything away doesn’t solve anything either because then I’ll find he’ll steal from a shop or something.  I know that this is probably a right of passage of some kind and most children do it.. but I have NO idea on how to stop him doing it.

Every time it happens he promises he won’t do it again.. and then I tidy his room or something and find incriminating evidence. Grrrr..


Dear Charlotte,

Not an easy one and infuriating for you that he finds it impossible to tell you the truth.

I think he may well be seeking your undivided attention.

Often when we’re doing something that we know is completely wrong is like a cry for help. We kind of do it hoping to be caught out and get into trouble.

Perhaps something is going on in his life that you know nothing about because he’s finding it impossible to talk about?

My suggestion would be to take him on a lengthy outing, just the two of you together on your own.

Do something that you both enjoy and find the time to talk and share stuff that’s going on in both your lives.

Tell him something special and grown-up and open the door to a safe place to talk without fear or pressure.

See what comes out, I think you may well be surprised. 

I do hope this helps.


Lulu x


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