boy stealing

Dear Karly,

I have a guy in my class who always steals stuff from me. What can I do?

Stolen, 9

Hi Stolen,

You feel violated and betrayed, like you can’t trust anyone anymore. You might be furious at him for taking your things.

But wait- how do you know that it’s him? Did you give him the benefit of the doubt? It may be someone else. Before placing the blame on him, make sure you verify that he is definitely the thief.

If you’ve caught him or can prove that it was him, tell an adult you trust right away. You don’t know what the other kid is going through. Little kids steal from poor impulse control. As they get older, they should be able to stop. If your classmate is still stealing, he may have things going on in his life that make it hard for him to control himself. An adult can get him the help he needs.

Meanwhile brainstorm with the adult to find solutions. You can approach your classmate and let him know that you know about it; you can show him that stealing brings on consequences. You can tell his parents or your teacher to make sure it won’t happen again.

And always remember: Before blaming anyone, give them the benefit of the doubt!




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