Your five year old is definitely old enough to know he should not be taking things without asking or paying for them. In other words he is old enough to know that stealing is not acceptable. If you are like many parents who have arrived home to find there little one had taken something that does not belong to him, utilize these good parenting guidelines as help for child stealing.
1. Although you may very well know your child has stolen, do not lose your temper and immediately begin accusing him. Instead, ask him how he managed to pay for that or who gave it to him. Give him a chance to be honest. Most kids at this age are honest when they are asked directly about a situation.
2. Once you have established that he has stolen, calmly put across your disapproval. State that stealing is hurtful to himself, his parents and the people he is stealing from. Give an example of how he would feel if someone stole his favorite toy or his pet.
3. Let the first offense go with a warning but if it happens again you need to put down a punishment. Good parenting requires that you communicate this rule to your child and ensure that they understand that next time they will be punished.
4. Another rather tough but necessary good parenting guidelines for help with child stealing is to hold your child responsible for his actions by having him return the item and apologize. This can be a rather stressful task so do it together with your child and offer support. This task alone will make quite an impact and is often enough to make your child never want to take anything again without asking.
Stealing once or twice as a young child is quite common but good parenting skills for handling child stealing requires that you handle the situation calmly, immediately and seriously. Do not just assume that because it is common that it will just pass on it's own. Make sure your child knows the rules of punishment and that he is made to return the item and apologize with your help. If stealing happens often talk to your doctor to see if there could be an underlying problem.