Student stealing snacks

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by AS1214, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. AS1214

    AS1214 New Member

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    Jan 11, 2017

    Hello! I am writing for suggestions about what to do with a first grade student who is stealing food from others' lunchboxes. This child eats a very wholesome, sugar free, gmo free diet, and was taking food items that her parents would never pack for her. ( Understandable! ; ) I teach in a k-4 classroom and the child did it for many months last year before getting caught. After speaking with the parent, she thought offering her some special treat may solve the problem. And it did until recently. It is reoccurring and today she even took cough drops and cough lollipops from our medication bin and put them all in her bag! The parents are asking for advice and I think this may need to be a topic raised with her pediatrician or a mental health professional. She also exhibits some perfectionist qualities. I wonder if she is developing a hoarding habit?
     
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  3. Backroads

    Backroads Connoisseur

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    Jan 11, 2017

    I'd have her evaluated. That's a strange new development.
     
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  4. shoreline02

    shoreline02 Comrade

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    Jan 11, 2017

    I once had a preschooler who was on a vegan diet and after the kids were done eating at the table she would get down on the floor as quickly as she could and try to eat as much of their food off the floor as she could.
     
  5. otterpop

    otterpop Fanatic

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    Jan 11, 2017

    When something like this happens, I just make an extra effort not to let the child have the opportunity to access these things. Perhaps you could have a lunch box area where all of the lunches go first thing in the morning, away from backpacks and supplies - then, the child is not able to access the lunches to sneak things.

    Also, regardless of this issue, I'd not recommend having cough drops within an area where students can get to them, as they are medicine.

    (ETA: When I say "something like this" I mean a student taking others' things, not just food. It's hard to know from your post whether this is an actual mental health issue, or a kid who just wishes they could eat junk food. When I was a kid, I always looked on with envy at the kids who had pudding or Twinkies in their lunches, while I just had PB&J. Hardly emotional abuse, haha, but as a kid you think, how come they get the good stuff and I dont?!)
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
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  6. Mr Magoo

    Mr Magoo Comrade

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    Jan 11, 2017

    That is sad

    When that kid becomes a adult, she will eat everything , except what the parents forced her to have.

    May even rub their noses in it her whole life.
     
  7. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Aficionado

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    Jan 12, 2017

    I think besides keeping the other kids' food out of her reach, there's not much else you can do. At least the parents are aware of the problem and hopefully will get her evaluated. Was the parent offering the treat at home or did you have to do it at school. The kid probably knows that she has to get as many treats as possible at school because once she gets home it's going to be a barren, treat-less wasteland!
    I remember seeing this behavior with a neighbor of ours when I was in elementary school. They wouldn't allow any sugar in the house so when the boy came to our house to play he would sneak into the pantry or cabinet in the garage looking for treats. The home was too restricted so the kid just went crazy when in a different environment.
     
  8. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Fanatic

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    Jan 12, 2017

    I had a student do this one year, and offering him the occasional treat seemed to help. I didn't supply one every day, but about once a week I would offer him a pudding cup or those fake cheese/cracker combos and that seemed to help curb his impulses (this was grade 1).

    By the time he was in grade 3 he was stealing from lunches consistently so the class' lunches had to be stored in an admin's office. Inconvenient for sure.
     
  9. Mr Magoo

    Mr Magoo Comrade

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    Jan 12, 2017


    Evaluated for what ?
    Sugar starvation ?

    I can image the questions.

    * So you are upset that there is zero sugar in your food ?

    You are unhappy eating fake sugar ?

    Perhaps you might like eating cardboard better ?

    o_O
     
  10. Backroads

    Backroads Connoisseur

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    Jan 12, 2017

    Um... she's starting to display hoarder tendencies. No one but you cares about the sugar in the equation here.
     
  11. Mr Magoo

    Mr Magoo Comrade

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    Jan 12, 2017

    If something is in scarce supply and you desire it, you will hoard it.

    It would be something if when this student grows up, you open the kitchen cabinets and look and there are hundreds of bags of sugar in the cabinets.

    Kind of like when I was a kid, one of my relatives. The parents would not let him turn on the heater when it was cold, only when it was freezing.

    So, when he grew up, at his house the heater was on , even in the summer. It was never ever turned off. (He would also have the A/C on at the same time)

    He would make sure his parents knew that , when they would visit.

    This was years and years ago, I am sure his parents and even him may not even be alive any more.
     
  12. Backroads

    Backroads Connoisseur

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    Jan 12, 2017

    This is about a first grader stealing other people's cough drops. Who should know stealing is wrong. Who should not be craving cough drops. I think this is more than a desire for sugar.
     
  13. Mr Magoo

    Mr Magoo Comrade

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    Jan 12, 2017

    I don't know

    But, it does remind me of when we took one of my relatives to the nursing home.

    He tells me about people who take their parents to the nursing home who are smokers.

    And the kids are non-smokers.

    And the kids tell the nursing home * 85 year old dad or mom are not to smoke.
    I know they smoked their whole life from when they were 15 years old until they are 85. But, they will not be supplied any tobacco at all in the nursing home.

    Guess what ?

    They just turned Mom and Dad into a thief, because they will steal tobacco etc from the other nursing home residents. ( That happens all the time)

    P.S.
    It would not shock me if Mom and/or Dad stop at MacDonald's before they get home and pig out , then go home and serve cauliflower and celery for supper.

    Then the kid goes to school and steals cough drops for sugar.

    Who's fault is that?
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017
  14. Backroads

    Backroads Connoisseur

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    Jan 12, 2017

    The thief is obviously at fault.

    No one held someone's hand to make them steal cigarettes or cough drops.
     
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  15. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Habitué

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    Jan 12, 2017

    @Backroads , I realized I Liked a few of your posts today. We must think alike
     
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  16. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jan 12, 2017

    I think that it's possible that some people with hoarding tendencies were previously denied the things that they ended up hoarding. In general, though, I think that's a pretty extreme and abnormal reaction and likely one that is present primarily in people who already have hoarding tendencies or related mental health issues.

    We didn't drink pop in my house when I was growing up. The occasional root beer or some raspberry ginger ale on special occasions was it. We never kept it around. When I was at friends' houses and they had pop, I usually opted for it when offered because it was special and different to me. As a grown-up, I enjoy pop but I don't hoard it. I'm perfectly content to drink water or iced tea or whatever other thing.

    Back to the OP's issue, I agree that the medicines should be locked up away from student access.That's a really big problem.

    Since the parents have already asked about bringing this up to the pediatrician, I think that you should just encourage them to continue down that track and to keep you aware of any developments. Whether this student has mental health issues or hoarding tendencies or whatever is not really your problem to resolve and the diagnosis of such conditions is well beyond your scope of practice.

    My advice is to keep tempting things and unsafe out of reach.
     
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  17. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Aficionado

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    Jan 13, 2017

    I think the fact that she stole cough drops could be a problem. What if she started stealing in other places besides school. Kids sometimes don't know the difference between medication and candy. It could be a dangerous situation.
     

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