Children are naturally curious. They tend to touch, bring and even keep things that they don’t own. However, this assertiveness stops at a certain age and that is when a child realizes his personal boundaries and will come to understand the right values. However, for some children, such situation may not be as expected.
Some kids just couldn’t stop taking things that don’t belong to them. They keep getting things that don’t belong to them without any reason at all. It may sound queer, but it really happens and it is a mental health issue. This condition is called Kleptomania.
What is Kleptomania?
Kleptomania in kids is an impulse-control condition, specifically the compulsive stealing act. This disorder is characterized by having that compelling urge to steal. The child couldn’t control that desire no matter how much he or she tries to resist it. In this kind of disorder, stealing becomes a natural and automatic act.
Children with kleptomania find the stealing act pleasurable, and they also experience that extreme satisfaction. However, despite the triumphant sentiment, they also sense the feeling of guilt and shame. That is why kleptomaniacs keep their condition a big secret.
Causes of Kleptomania in Kids
Just like any other disorder, kleptomania has its root reasons. Included in the causes are biological, psychological and environmental factors.
It’s all in the head.
Risky behavior comes in when the neurotransmitter availability decreased. It regulates person’s mood and emotions. This condition causes dopamine levels to increase, and this leads to pleasures which then encourages stealing.
The symbol of stealing.
For a child with kleptomania, the stolen object is a symbol of something. A child also has his or her wishes or desires materialistically. Stealing that thing he or she can’t have will give him that special satisfaction.
One way of coping with loss.
Being denied to so many things or losing something can also lead to kleptomania in children. Stealing an object can give them that sense of relief and forget about the pain for a while.
Treatment for Kleptomania in Children
Treating kleptomania requires the help of both psychologist and the child’s parents. Typically, parents will feel ashamed, angry and saddened when they discover that their kid is a kleptomaniac. However, parents shouldn’t let emotions go over their head. The child needs their help more than anything else. Instead of judging them, parents mustn’t be frustrated with the child. It is the disorder, illness or condition that needs to be frowned upon and not the child directly. Blaming the child for his untoward behavior will only make things worse.
With the help of experts, parents can get mental help for their child. One of the most recommended treatment is called the Exposure and Response Prevention. This therapy needs the full cooperation of the parents as well. Fact is that parents are also made to participate in this kind of treatment. This way, they would fully understand the facts about kleptomania and how they can address it properly. Such treatment is done rigidly and constantly.
Kleptomania should not be regarded like it is the worst condition in the world. It can be corrected with the right treatment and attitude. This situation can happen to any child and understanding is needed, not judgment or ridicule.