Reasons for stealing are:

  • Peer pressure
  • Low self-esteem
  • To gain attention
  • To make friends

Table of contents:


Sometimes kids tell lies or take things that don’t belong to them, which isn’t okay. 

It’s more likely to happen with boys than girls, especially between ages 5 and 8. 

Usually, it’s just a phase that they’ll grow out of, but sometimes it can mean something more serious.

If not paid attention to the child, these habits may become a problem in the future and the child might get used to stealing.

There are severe consequences in the UAE for stealing and they are extremely strict about the laws. Find out about the stealing punishments in UAE.

Understanding Lying Behavior in Children According to Age Groups:

Ages 0-3: 

At this stage, children don’t lie on purpose. They’re just learning about language and the world. 

Sometimes they might say things that aren’t true without realizing it, or to avoid getting in trouble.

Ages 3-7: 

During these years, children have big imaginations. They might make up stories or say things that aren’t true because they love pretending and playing make-believe. 

It’s not really about lying, it’s more about having fun.

Ages 6-12: 

By this age, children know what lying is, but they might still do it sometimes.

 They understand right from wrong, but they might test the rules to see what they can get away with. 

They might have reasons for lying, but following rules becomes more important as they grow.

Reasons for Lying:

Reasons Children Might Lie:

Parents Expect Too Much:

When parents ask for too much, kids might lie to avoid disappointing them.

Grades aren’t good:

Children might lie about their grades if they think their parents expect better.

Hard to Explain:

Sometimes kids can’t explain why they did something wrong, so they lie instead.

Not Consistent Rules:

If kids don’t get the same punishment every time they do something wrong, they might lie because they think they won’t get caught.

Want Attention:

Children might lie to get attention or rewards from their parents if they feel ignored.

When should you be worried about your child’s lying?

If your child is experiencing any of these situations, it’s important to speak with their healthcare provider and take the situation seriously:

  • Your child lies and also displays other concerning behaviors like setting things on fire, being unkind to people or animals, having trouble sleeping, or being excessively active, it could indicate more serious psychological issues.
  • If your child lies and struggles to make friends or participate in group activities, they might have low self-esteem or be feeling down.
  • Your child lies to manipulate others without showing any remorse, this behavior should be addressed with a healthcare provider.
Understanding Stealing Behavior in Children According to Age Groups:

Ages 0-3: 

Children in this age range may take things without realizing it’s wrong. They haven’t fully grasped the concept of ownership and may become possessive of their belongings.

Ages 3-7: 

During these years, children begin to understand the concept of ownership but may still take things if they want them badly enough, without considering their value. 

They’re learning to respect others’ belongings but may not fully grasp the consequences of taking something.

Ages 9 and Beyond: 

By age 9, children should understand that stealing is wrong and should respect the possessions of others. They should have developed a sense of empathy and morality regarding property.

Reasons for stealing

The following are the reasons for stealing:

Peer Pressure and Social Acceptance:

Children might steal to fit in with their peers and feel accepted by their social circle.

Low Self-Esteem:

Those with low self-esteem may resort to stealing as a way to boost their confidence or gain attention from others.

Friendship and Social Dynamics:

Children who lack friends may steal in an attempt to gain popularity or buy friendship by offering stolen items.

When should you be worried about your child’s stealing?

Consult with a Healthcare Provider when:

  • An older child who steals without feeling remorse or guilt.
  • A child who consistently engages in stealing behavior.
  • If the child exhibits other behavioral issues alongside stealing.


Why do people steal?

People steal for various reasons such as economic necessity, thrill-seeking, emotional or physical voids, jealousy, low self-esteem, or peer pressure.

What is the behavior of stealing?

Stealing behavior is the act of taking something that belongs to someone else without their consent and without any intention of giving it back.

What are the after-effects of stealing?

Stealing can damage relationships by eroding trust, especially when it involves taking from family, friends, or roommates.

What trauma results in stealing?

Stealing may occur in children who have experienced early childhood trauma, abuse, or neglect.

Which type of stealing is most common?

The most common form of stealing is larceny, which involves taking someone else’s property without their permission and with the intent to keep it permanently.

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