When my son was young, he stole Tic-Tacs from our local grocery store. I told my son that he had to go back to the grocery store, tell them what he had done and face the consequences. While he was thinking about what was going to be happening, I secretly called the store to give them the heads up that we were coming back. I asked that they have their security guard act as a police officer and "talk" to my child about possibly taking him to jail or giving him another chance to never steal again. I explained to the security guard that when he talked to my son, that he needed to be respectful and mindful that my son was very young, and that I expected him to handle the situation sensitively and responsibly. The short story is, my son never stole again. He is now 20 years old and still talks about that event as being life changing! report abuse
Note: If your grocery store doesn't have a security guard, call the police and ask them to send over a PR officer to act in the same role with your child. Local police are usually happy to help with this. They always like these situations with 7-year-olds rather than bigger situations with teenagers who never had an intervention as a younger child.