How to Stop Children from Stealing Toys: 6 Steps - MakeSureHow
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There will be tears when your child takes the toy away from him.

No matter how well-behaved you think your child is, one day you're going to be completely shocked as she blatantly steals another child's toy. Young children don't always have impulse control or a sense that taking things from others is wrong. Sharing is something that we all have to learn, and it may take several lessons before it sinks in.


  1. 1
    Read books about sharing. This teaches him the concept in a setting that's not as emotionally charged as when he's just taken another child's toy. Check out books like "Mine, Mine, Mine" by Shelly Becker or "We Share Everything" by Robert N. Munsch. As you read, talk about how people feel when the characters aren't sharing.
  2. 2
    Back off for a few seconds when she steals a toy. Your initial reaction is going to be to jump into the fray and resolve the situation, but you also want children to learn how to work out their own problems. The other child might say, "Hey! I was using that!" or start crying, and your child can have a chance to fix the situation on her own. If she does, praise her for her actions by saying, "I saw that you took the other child's toy, but then you gave it back when you realized that wasn't nice. Good job."
  3. 3
    Act as mediator. Most likely, the two children won't work it out on their own. If this is the case, say, "Steven was playing with that toy. It isn't nice to steal toys from others. Please give it back." Guide his hand if necessary.
  4. 4
    Divert attention away from the desired toy. She might be on the verge of a tantrum because she didn't get the thing she wanted. Quickly interest her in something else to avoid a scene.
  5. 5
    Remind your little tyke frequently that stealing toys is not nice. Think about how often you need to remind yourself that chocolate is not one of the food groups. Children need even more reminders. Before any play dates, gently remind him that stealing toys from others isn't nice.
  6. 6
    Return any toys that make their way home with you. Finding a few toys in the pockets when doing the laundry is inevitable. When you find something that you know is not hers, ask where she got it, then make a point of returning it in front of her. If she's a bit older -- around age 3 -- you could even ask her to give it back to the friend with an apology. If she's still young, though, simply model this behavior.

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Categories: Education and Communications

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