What Should Parents Do When their Child Steals? | About Islam
Home > Ask About Parenting > Young Hearts & Minds > What Should Parents Do When their Child Steals?

What Should Parents Do When their Child Steals?

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Oct 03, 2018

Question

Let’s say someone steals money from their parent. Is the parent required to go to the authorities and report the crime? Or is it fine for the child to repent and pay the money back?

Counselor

Answer


What Should Parents Do When their Child Steals?

In this counseling answer:

“In the case of a child stealing money from their parents, repercussions should follow and should be tailored around the child’s age. Consequences such as taking something away from them, repaying the money they stole, doing extra chores, and repenting to Allah. Repenting to Allah is not part of a punishment, however, it is part of educating a child to be mindful and fearful of Allah and their actions. When a child seeks to please Allah and understands the blessings in following Allah’s commands, the stealing should insha’Allah stop.”


As salamu alaykum,

Thank you for writing to us. Regarding a child stealing money from their parents, it is haram. The parents may want to respond by discussing with the child how it is haram to steal. They may wish to explain how the parent loses trust in the child and it how makes the parent sad to think their child would steal.

The child should be taught about what the Qur’an says about stealing and how Allah swt hates a thief

“As for the thief, the male and the female, amputate their hands in recompense for what they earned [i.e. committed] as a deterrent [punishment] from Allah. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.” (Quran 5:38).

The child should also be taught about Allah’s forgiveness and mercy reflected in the following ayat

“But whosoever repents after his crime and does righteous good deeds (by obeying Allah), then verily, Allah will pardon him (accept his repentance). Verily, Allah is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Quran 5:39).


Check out this counseling video


Legalities

As you live in the US, parents are not required to go to the authorities and report that their child stole money from them. The parents do have that option, but most parents do not do that. There are no laws stating that a parent has to go to the authorities and report when their child steals money from them. In some circumstances however a parent may have to report the theft.

A case would be when it involves fraud such as a child who steals a credit card and runs up large bills and the parent does not know it was the child who stole the card. In this case, the parent may find out the card was stolen or missing and report it to the authorities.

When this happens a police report is filed. If it turns out that the child is found to be guilty, or the child admits they took the card (stole the money) then the parents would have to inform the police that it was their child who committed the crime. In these cases depending upon the state and the age of the child, it may be up to the parents if they will press charges. Parents usually do not.

Consequences

In the case of a child stealing money from their parents, repercussions should follow and should be tailored around the child’s age. Consequences such as taking something away from them, repaying the money they stole, doing extra chores, and repenting to Allah. Repenting to Allah is not part of a punishment, however, it is part of educating a child to be mindful and fearful of Allah and their actions. When a child seeks to please Allah and understands the blessings in following Allah’s commands, the stealing should insha’Allah stop.

By providing discipline after a wrongdoing such as stealing money from parents as well as sitting the child down and explaining why stealing is wrong and how it displeases Allah, is a lesson the child needs to learn.

We wish you the best, you are in our prayers

Salam

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

Read more:

Spending on Parents from the Money I Stole from Them: Valid?

Our Daughter Steals From Us




About Aisha Mohammad

Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word poetry projects.

find out more!