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Contemporary Parenting Questions


Last updated on 08/19/08

Is my child stealing?

Kids of all ages — from preschoolers to teens — can be tempted to steal for different reasons. Whatever the reason for stealing might be, parents need to find out the root of the behavior and address other underlying problems that may surface. Although ordinary acts of theft or shoplifting are deliberate, some people who steal may have kleptomania. With this disorder, a person fails to resist impulses to steal even if the object is of little value.

In the Jewish Community

Although stealing is an act explicitly prohibited by the Torah it most definitely occurs in the Jewish Community. Kleptomania is a disorder that attacks non-Jews and Jews alike, regardless of moral sensitivities. Like many other mental disorders, one with Kleptomania is simply not in control of his or her actions. Sadly, there are some Jews without Kleptomania that steal. The Jewish community must recognize that it is not perfect and many kids and teenagers choose the wrong path. With an increase in awareness, parents and educators will be aware of the growing trend and will have the ability to take action before it becomes a problem.

Use the following links to educate yourself about stealing in children and how to identify if your child has a problem. Learn how to talk to your child about stealing use even before it is a problem, and what to do if your child has already stolen. Find out where you can go for help.

Frequently Asked Links:

Why do kids steal and what can I do about it? more

At what age should stealing be considered unacceptable?

How can I speak to my child about the dangers of stealing?

What should I do if I catch my child stealing? more

When should stealing become a concern?

Why do some teen shoplift?

What is Kleptomania?

What are some of the symptoms of Kleptomania?

What causes Kleptomania?

How can Kleptomania be treated?

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National Association for Shoplifting Prevention
The NASP works with law enforcement, retailers, and the courts, providing rehabilitation programs and support services to people who shoplift.

Youth Crime Watch of America
Youth Crime Watch of America is a youth-led movement to create a crime-free, drug-free environment in schools and neighborhoods.

National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC)
NCPC is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to prevent crime and build safer, more caring communities.

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