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  1. #1
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    Default 8 year old stole something - punishment/consequence?

    What do you think is an appropriate punishment for the following scenario.

    Your 8 year old child goes to a therapy appointment and is allowed to play with the therapist's toys at the end of the session while you chat to the therapist.

    Late that night (bed time) you find a toy in the house that you know is not his and recognise it from the therapist's office.

    Apart from talking to your child about it to explain what they did was wrong and not acceptable, what kind of punishment would you consider appropriate? Would you perhaps make them call the therapist to apologise? Note that said child will be returning to the therapist in a fortnight and knows them quite well after seeing them for numerous sessions the previous year.

    The child in this instance is my boy, and although he has ASD this does not give him a free pass to get away with stealing. I have yet to discuss properly with DH as he was up really early for work and I won't see/talk to him until later today.

    WWYD?

  2. #2
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    For me it would depend on if he had done something like this before. If it was a first, I’d ask him why he took it, put the toy away and at the next appointment make him return it and apologise to the therapist.

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  4. #3
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    First of all, stealing is age-typical behaviour. Not that every kid does it, but it tends to happen a lot around this age. We went through this with DD (but in her case it was worse - money!). I've seen/experienced it when teaching that age group too.

    We had started to suspect DD had stolen some money from us, but when caught it was as she stole (a significant amount) from her cousin. So we made her 1. Return the money, 2. Write a letter apologising, 3. Use her own savings to buy something nice as a 'sorry' present for her cousin, and 4. give the money, letter and present to her cousin in person along with a spoken apology. She also admitted to the money she stole from us and returned it.

    #3 & #4 had the biggest impact on DD. It was very hard for her to face her cousin and apologise, we decided to make it sooner rather than later so it didn't build up to ridiculous anxiety levels as just a few days was enough.

    We also made sure to talk to her to really nut out why she was stealing and how we could help her to feel like she didn't need to steal.

    In your case, as there is less 'value' to the item, I think the written and face to face apology would be enough. Maybe he could make a nice card or drawing, something that takes time. Unless the item has been damaged, in which case I would make him pay/contribute to replacing it. Plus, talk to him about why he wanted to keep the item for himself so you can support him in not doing it again.

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  6. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by SheWarrior View Post
    For me it would depend on if he had done something like this before. If it was a first, I’d ask him why he took it, put the toy away and at the next appointment make him return it and apologise to the therapist.
    no experience with this yet as ds is only 3, but what @SheWarrior has stated seems reasonable. assuming it’s a first time transgression, i would definitely have a talk with him (you and your dh) and ask why he took it and outline how serious stealing is etc. then he’d be expected to return the toy next appointment with an apology for the therapist.

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    It sounds as though it's his first time Degrassi, so I think it might be just a learning lesson chat for him as he is old enough to understand consequences and the understanding that you can't take something that doesn't belong to you. I would chat about examples like if you or his Dad were to do the same thing and the owner found out, it would be likely the Police might be involved. I know if it were one of mine, the thought of having to take it back would bring shame and embarrassment, so telling him that as a consequence in itself might be a good deterrent?

    But on that note, he does have to see this Therapist regularly I am assuming, and I worry that if you get DS to turn up with the toy etc and make a fuss, he might be reluctant to go back to the Therapist for future appointments.
    If you do want to go down that route (as in getting DS to hand the toy back and/or apologise) perhaps ring the Therapist yourself in advance to give her a head's up.

    And lastly, Stretched is right, it is age typical behaviour so my kids around a similar age have taken coins out of my purse for Tuckshop and one took a toy from a Museum shop once (she was 3) so we walked her in with it to return an apologise and it worked a treat, she never did it again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SheWarrior View Post
    For me it would depend on if he had done something like this before. If it was a first, I’d ask him why he took it, put the toy away and at the next appointment make him return it and apologise to the therapist.
    This. I'd probably not wait though and get it done sooner than later.

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    Thanks for the replies so far ladies - really helps to have your input

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    I have asd kids. For me I wouldn’t make my kid apologise. It would cause anxiety.
    I would definitely tell the therapist so they can either advise you or speak to your child about it.

    They do see things so differently and while I agree asd is no free pass they do so many things without being able to understand if it’s right or wrong.

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    Hard one as im thinking if it turns into too big of a deal your child may not want to see the therapist any more or may feel uncomfortable and then wont be getting whats needed out of the sessions.

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  17. #10
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    I would suggest phoning the therapist and organising a time to return the toy ASAP. I think striking while the iron is hot and returning sooner will be a more effective lesson, plus it will also mean it has been dealt with and he can attend his next appointment anxiety free.

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