Advice about Kids Stealing
Archived Q&A and Reviews
My 8 year old son has been stealing things- he is attracted to little things like office supplies (pencils, stickers). He has also stolen money from our wallets. He hoards the items he steals in his desk drawer and never uses the items. He has been caught many times and appears to be extremely ashamed and remorseful. We have had many talks and have disciplined him by taking away his money and privileges. We have also made him deal with the consequences of his actions by siding with others who accuse him and lectured him about how he earned his reputation through his actions. No matter, we believe he is continuing to steal. His identity is that of a ''good boy'' and he thrives on the approval of adults so the stealing behavior is in conflict with his overall personality. We believe he has done this for a while but his behavior worsened after he went through some serious losses. Does anyone have any experience with such behavior your child? How does one deal effectively with such behavior? Does he sound like he has kleptomania? concerned mom
Sounds like your child is having a hard time, and of course you are too. I think you are right on track when you say ''his behavior worsened after he went through some serious losses''. Chances are his actions are in response to that.
Behavior that seems off track or out of character is often a throwback to an earlier age, developmentally. And the''consequences'' do little but add to his shame and secrecy.
My advice: First accept that your child is a good boy, and he is not going to grow up to become a kelptomaniac. He is just going through a difficult period and needs some extra attention and help with this, from a loving and understanding place. It's not a big deal now, and you can address it so that it doesn't become one.
Because he is 8 you can talk with him. ''I know its tempting to take things you really want. I want to help you with that. Let's go choose some great pencils to buy instead. I can give you the money for the things you really want.'' Give him that experience regularly, proactively, so that he has an alternative to ''taking''. Another tool is to talk about the ''parts'' of him that want to take something, and how he can remind his hands, or the ''taking parts'', to do something else. He can learn to interrupt the behavior and become proud when he thinks about wanting to take something, but is able to make a different choice.
Most importantly, he will be able to talk with you about this challenge because he knows you understand. And that will provide you both with a framework of trust for solving whatever challenges come next. our kids are not bad, they just need some help
From your description of your son's behavior, it sounds like he is acting out his loss. If it were me, I would be non-judgmental and focus on helping my son demonstrate/talk about what the loss means to him. I'd drop the ''disciplinary'' measures and be 100% in my empathic, curious mode, seeking to understand him and see the world from his 8-year old heart. I'd bring out clay and art supplies and ask him to tell me his story about what happened. Ask him to draw pictures of what happened or what it means to him. Empathize with him in words and gestures. Only after there was a breakthrough in his ability to express the impact of the loss on him, would I pose questions about how would he like to relate to people, and how would he feel if someone took something from him, and what behavior would help him with his friendships and other relationships.
Even though I have a Psych degree, I'm not a therapist. So I would go with my spouse/partner to see a family therapist who specializes in working with 8-year olds. After meeting first with the therapist, ask if you can bring your son in. There are therapists who specialize in working with children who are really great. Some do art therapy, play therapy, or sand tray, to name a few approaches. If you want some referrals, feel free to email me.
All the best for your family. Barbara
My 8 year old boy has been stealing little trinkets from his friends' homes, classroom and off of other kids' backpacks which he accesses by asking to go to the bathroom during class (thereby being alone in the hall with all the backpacks). He tries to pass the small goods off as ''something he found on the playground'' but when I ask him if he stole it and give him ''my look'' he quickly confesses.
I have explained about stealing, that he wouldn't want something special taken from him, that people trust their things will be left alone and stealing is breaking that trust, that if people find out he steals, he'll be known as the kid who steals and will lose friends and yes, hellfire and brimstone - in a moment of desperation I told him it was a sin against God and some people believe that sinners go to the opposite of heaven. None of this seems to matter when he's staring at the shiny object with nobody around.
My question is, do I go hardcore and make him confess to his teacher or the Principal and try to nip it in the bud by having him have to experience this humiliation? If I do this, I'm afraid that the consequence could result in him being labeled a bad kid, or possibly losing friends (which he doesn't have many of to begin with.) Would doing that just cause him to hide the items more and not confess to me when confronted? What should I do? stumped
This seems like an important juncture in his moral education. Your verbal explanations with no real consequences are not working. He should be told that if he does it again, he will have to return the item(s) to their owners in person with a written apology and confess to the teacher and await whatever consequences the school deems appropriate for theft. This is a serious matter, and since he seems to have concluded that being caught doing it just leads to you talking, he may view as more minor misbehavior like being impolite than the crime that it is. Since he hasn't been forced to take responsibility in the past, I think a clear warning is fair. He HAS to learn this now, even if the social consequences are bad, before he escalates to more serious stealing. Eventually he'll get caught by someone else, and the social consequences will be even worse. If the problem persists, you should get him some counseling. Anon
When I was a kid (probably about 8, actually), I tried stealing once: a pretty bow (like for presents). When my mom found it and got my confession, she promptly called up the store and drove me 40 min so I could get a talking-to from the store manager. BOY did I figure out quickly that what I did was really wrong! I still remember that episode clear as day. It was definitely humiliating but certainly nothing scarring, and certainly taught me my lesson. I think it was something about having a stranger (not comforting mom) tell me what I did was wrong and why. Not sure if having the principal talk to your will accomplish the same thing; maybe having a parent of one of the children he stole from give him a good stern explanation of how stealing negatively affects other people would work. Good luck. Stole Once, Never Again
We know a kid who steals small things and has trouble making friends and he goes to the school psychologist at our OUSD school. That might be better than exposing him as the school thief and humiliating him. anon
Please don't humiliate your son, even out of desperation. Many kids steal little things until they're found out and helped to understand not to. It isn't unusual. Since he can't resist, however, your son has a problem which calls for outside help. Do consider that what he's taking could well be a symbol for love, and that's what he really wants. Might your child believe he is unloved? Does someone he knows reject or ignore him? If so, your son would benefit from dealing with the underlying problem, and you'd benefit from understanding it.
I'd recommend an evaluation by a good play therapist. (Play therapists don't just play with children, but use play as a medium of communication.) Phil Gross, M.D. is good and is frequently recommended here on BPN. His wife, Mrs. Miriam Gross, is a clinical social worker who helps the adult(s) in a child's life help the child. This is extremely useful. I don't recommend play therapy without additional help for parents to help their children. Adding cooperative parents to the team makes psychotherapy for children so much more effective. Do ask your pediatrician for a referral. Your son will benefit. Judy
I would share this with the teachers and ask them if they think going to the principal would be helpful. As with anything that happens while at school I think that the best ''plan'' is formed by coordinating with parents and teachers ( which includes improving communication)
I would talk about the trinkets. If they are crafts( like lanyards or something kids make, go to a crafts store with him and get supplies so that he can learn to make them. Get enough so that he can give some to friends or have playdates in which the kids make them socially)
Try to see what's behind the stuff he takes. Is this that he likes ''branded'' stuff, stuff from people's trips, small toys, crafts, the things that are ''hot'' among the 8 year-old crowd so that he can be part of the ''cool'' kids? Depending on what drives it, the conversation with him is different and what you might do is different. If all the ''cool '' kids at school are making friends thru trading Mighty Beanz, then consider getting him some and starting a dialog on when trading is ok ( not in class etc) and what healthy trading is like vs un-equal trading. JM
My child did something similar. I was comforted when I read a book about child development and learned that many children steal at that age. Good luck! Debbie
My sister was stealing quite a bit around 10-12, and I had learned at around age 8. I hadn't even thought about consequences, and she certainly hadn't. When my mom found out about it, she marched my sister up to the store and made her return the things in person. That was enough to stop her, and me (just from imagining the humiliation). I think it's a good plan to let your son in on the consequences now, while the thefts are relatively petty.
One of the kids in my daughter's 2nd grade class had stolen something of hers, and when the teacher found out about it, made him return it to her. I think it was good for the kid who stole the item. I think it was good for my daughter. I really don't htink that at this age anybody is going to get labeled unless he continues the practice. Then the kids will do the labeling regardless of your efforts to hide it (the kids usually know who's responsible even if the adults don't), and the other parents will think better of it if they know that you are busy nipping it in the bud--rather than what would appear to be your casual acceptance of your son's misdeeds. Plus,my experience w/ this age is that the ''trinkets'' are often small precious items that the other kids have, and your son may have not yet learned to devalue ''things'' - or he may be coveting the fact that these kids ascribe special qualities to them. Whatever the cause, he should be experiencing more severe consequences now, so you don't have to deal with it later. If it were me, I'd be bringing him to the other kid to return the item (and if he claims he ''found'' it, I'd be asking the other kid if he ''lost'' it), and I'd probably do something like take one of my kid's own trinkets away for every one he ''finds.'' You can also present it as a really nice thing to do when you find something: e.g., this special item may belong to someone. Can you help me figure out who it might belong to? And give him some brownie points for helpign you return it to its rightful owner (even w/o consequences in some cases, if you are having difficulty proving to yourself that he stole the items). Some combo of those things should help. Many kids go through this stage before they've developed empathy and impulse management.
My daughter has been taking money from her younger brother's piggy bank ($30-$50 gift cash), putting it in her own and claiming that she's been saving her money. I also believe she's taken cash from my wallet for the same purpose. I've always given her an allowance ($1 per month from every year - currently $7) in an effort to teach her the value of money, but she truly enjoys spending money. My main concern though is the stealing and lying. When I confront her with these thefts she passionately denies taking the money and it's hard to argue or provide consequences without real proof (yes, I want to believe her!). Her behavior is likely a cry for attention from me (we're two working parents), so I will work harder to give her that attention. But are there other strategies I should try? I'm so worried about her. Thank you in advance for any advice you may offer. anonymous
I was a 7 year old thief. I stole money, toys and for some inexpicable reason, this one poor kid's pencil case. Every day I would steal it and completely deny I took it. I'd swear up and down, nope not me as if there was some crazed bandit of thieves stealing Timothy's pencil case. Of course I'd be caught, punished, every one would look at me like ''why, what's your problem?'' Then the next day I'd steal it again and the cycle would begin again. Obviously I don't know what your home situation is like but I can tell you for me I remember very well, that it was about getting attention. It seemed that was the only time, teachers or my mother would take notice of me was if I was in trouble. In a twisted way, it was very gratifing to have all the attention focused on me. I, of course, grew out of that phase eventually and I'm a very honest and trustworthy person today. Hope that helps for some insight into at least why she may be doing this. good luck anon
I was very interested in your posting, since my 7 1/2 yr old daughter is in a stage where she is wanting to spend money all the time. She wants to buy her own meals, some of the groceries, and of course all the candy in the world. I have this idea that it is in part a developmental stage where she is starting to get a real understanding of what money is all about. She is trying to guess the price of things, and is pretty close a lot of the time, which is new. Her allowance is only $2 a week, however. I think our idea is to keep a bit of a lid on the amount she has for a while, so we have more control. She will scavenge money wherever she finds it, including pocket change put on dressers, and then she bargains for dollar bills (which she considers to be more valuable) in various ways. My husband was not happy when she took his pocket change to put into piles to exchange for dollars, and was especially upset when she wouldn't own up to taking it. Lying on top of stealing. As you can tell, I considered it as a somewhat different sort of learning experience. The way I have dealt with this is as much as possible to let her know there are fun ways of earning money (toys sold at a garage sale, lemonade stand, helping fold and put away clothes), help her accomplish this, talk about how it feels to have things stolen from her, find a way to have her part of giving things back in as non-shaming way as possible, and work to have her spend money in an acceptable way (to me). Actually she has come up with some very ingenious ways of earning money in the neighborhood, which I would like to be able to support her in if I can find the time! At this point I'm going to take every opportunity I can to discuss what money is about, and how we handle it in our family. Of course, I haven't totally figured out what I want to say yet, and as usual I'll have figure it out as I go along. Hope this is helpful. Susan
I hate to admit this, but I heard a good solution to a similar problem on the Dr. Laura program. Dr. Laura's son was a similar age to your daughter, and he had begun lying, so her idea was to show her son what it feels like to be lied to. In the morning, driving him to school, she made a big deal about how she would take him to McDonald's as a special treat after school. Needless to say, he was ecstatic. Then when she picked him up after school, she drove right by the McDonald's. When he reminded her about it, she said, rather lightly, ''Oh, I lied.'' This started a discussion about how crummy it feels to be lied to, and how it destroys your trust in the person lying to you. According to her, he pretty much stopped lying after that. Maybe a similar plan would work with your daughter, assuming you didn't leave any ambiguity that you had taken her money (so that she didn't wrongly accuse her younger brother). Somehow set it up so that she knows you took her money, and admit it when she asks you -- say, ''Yep, I took it because I wanted it. Why shouldn't I?'' Closet Dr. Laura Listener
You want proof? Write down the serial numbers of the bills in your son's piggy bank/allowance. You won't even need to inspect her ''stash'' to get a confession: show her the serial numbers list saying, ''if I find bills with these numbers,...'' kim
You are hopefully going to get some good advice on this from other parents. I don't know if my comments can be catagorized as good advice, but here is my first thoughts after reading about your daughter stealing money. You wrote that you give her a $1 per month allowance to teach her about the value of money -- one dollar doesn't buy a child anything these days, at least in the Bay Area, except for maybe a candy bar or a trinket at a dollar store. Your daughter would have to wait 15 months just to have enough money to buy a Barbie doll and 24 months to buy one Disney DVD. Maybe you could be more creative in ways to teach her the value of money which don't require so much waiting and patience. Good luck. am
I'm of the opinion that this is a ''normal'' stage of development (started at 5 or 6 in our house). We try not to shame and simply wait it out. So far, so good. Kathy
This Sunday our seven and a half year old son took $30 from his dad's wallet. The next morning our son announced that he had a lot of money and then told me an elaborate tale about receiving a $20 bill and a $10 bill as party favors at a birthday party several weeks before. Sounded fishy. My probing brought forth three or four more elaborate stories about the source of the money (each of which involved his friends or adults he knows), ending with ''Dad gave it to me.'' A quick call to dad established that he had taken the money without asking. My son and I then had a long (and amazingly calm) talk about not taking things that don't belong to you and not telling stories about other people that aren't true, the consequences of stealing, of lying, etc. I had him write a note to his father apologizing for taking the money. I had him deliver the letter to his dad personally (he had wanted to just leave it somewhere where his dad would find it) and to apologize personally in addition to delivering the note. I asked my son what he thought would be an appropriate punishment for taking something without asking and for lying about it. He came up with a good idea -- that he not be allowed to buy anything from the camp store when we go to Tuolmne family camp next week (buying a treat a day a the store is a very important part of his camp experience). His dad and I discussed the idea and modified the punishment to not being able to buy anything for two days (out of six) and for having to pay for anything he buys after that from his savings. I felt we had handled the whole thing well, discussed the issues clearly, impressed our son with the seriousness of what he'd done and chosen appropriate consequences.
So, today we had a long play family play date with a family with whom we are close friends. On the way home, my son said ''I want a digital watch for Christmas'' I said we'd discuss it later. Then, when I went to say good night to him, he said, ''Oh mom, I forgot to show you what I got today.'' He showed me a digital watch that I had seen earlier in the day at our friends' house. He said one of the kids gave it to him. My initial comment was that the child shouldn't have given it to him and we'd need to give it back. A bit more talk disclosed that his friend had not given it to him, he 'd just taken it. I told him this was not okay, that I was taking it back to our friends' house right away (they live nearby) and that we'd discuss it further in the morning (I'd have taken him with me, but he was already in bed; I wanted to go right away because this evening would be my last chance to see the parents in person to discuss it for several weeks).
I've returned the watch. It belongs to his friend's younger brother. Tomorrow I plan to have my son write a letter of apology to be personally delivered (by my son) to the watches owner. And we'll discuss not taking things without asking, not making up stories, etc. again. And probably add another day or two of no treats at the camp store. My husband and I don't know what else to do.
There are two spearate issues here: stealing and making up stories about it. We didn't ''catch'' him taking things or even suspect things had been taken; both times he's volunteered that he has his ill gotten gains, acompanied by some creative story telling. How do we deal with this? Worried Mom
It sounds as if you are doing everything right. Keeping calm and sticking to the facts as opposed to shaming is the right way to go. Despite your best efforts, this is a stage or an extended experiment that your son is going through. With your continued support, through setting boundaries and following through with natural consequences, he will stop. When my son was in first grade, he became obsessed with money, he took money from his step-dad and other such scenarios. He grew out of it, just as your son will. The fact that he is not being evasive and even showing/displaying the ''booty'' as it were, points to testing rather than any serious compulsion problems. This isn't the beginnings of kleptomania, just something that most children go through.
My son turned 5 in late October 2006. In December 2006, he stole a tube of lip balm from a local store. When we found out about the theft, he was punished with a time out and loss of video watching privileges. My wife also made him return the lip balm and apologize to the store manager. Just last week (February 2007), our son stole an inexpensive bracelet from a department store. While we will make him return it in person and talk to the manager of the store, we clearly need to do something else to help him to change his behavior. For what its worth, he asked for some other similarly small thing at the department store and was granted his request. I\x92m looking for suggestions on appropriate consequences so that until he is old enough to understand the moral reasoning involved with \x93why stealing is wrong\x94 he at least knows that negative consequences will be forthcoming if he steals again. Thanks. concerned Dad
I think a lot of parents will recognize their child in your posting. A well-respected child development book I read comes right out and states that children will absolutely go through a phase of stealing small items/trinkets at this age (5-6 yrs). My daughter went through the same thing. She would take (or try to take) little items from school or stores. I always had her return the items but never made a big deal out of it. Relax, your son is normal and right on target developmentally. Monitor him, periodically check his pockets and school backback if you want, but understand that it is just a phase and it doesn't mean he's going to make a career out of it. Local mom
Hi- My son (4) has exhibited the same problem. We have done the usual explaining, chastising, but to no avail. The last time he stole something, we ''stole'' something important to him (his favorite stuffed animal) for 24 hours and asked him to think about how it feels when someone steals his stuff. He hasn't stolen anything lately but if it happens again, we will ''steal'' his bicycle and have a conversation with him about how bad it feels when people steal things from him (and how it might feel bad to others when he steals their stuff)- his bike will probably turn up some days later mysteriously but we hope it helps him learn a lesson. This preschooler may be too young for a class in ethics but he'll hopefully understand why it's bad to steal. Tough Love Mom
Hi- My 4-year-old son has been caught on a number of occasions stealing things- he has pocketed little toys and candy from stores and toys and knick knacks from friends' homes, etc. We have reprimanded him consistently, explained why it's not okay to steal, punished him by taking away his belongings, etc. Despite this, he continues to steal things! What to do? Anyone have experience with this embarassing and annoying problem? Help!
We went throught this too when my son was 4. We spent a lot of time talking to him about how it feels to have something stolen from you, read & reread (a zillion times) the Franklin book, where Franklin takes home a toy bus from his classroom (then it is not there for the other children to use). We tried to remain very calm (hard to do sometimes) so that it would not turn into something that he would to do ''get our attention''. When all of that failed to make much of a dent, we secretly confiscated one of his favorite toys for a day & suggested that it might be misplaced or it might have been stolen. He looked all over for it several different times & finally came to the conclusion that it had been stolen. He was very hurt that someone would take his favorite fire engine & was really frustrated that he had wasted so much time looking for it, when it was no where to be found. My husband & I came clean to him after an insightful discussion about how other people must have felt when he took their stuff. I realize that this sounds super-harsh for a 4 year old (but, you know your kid & whether this would be effective for him). Our son really got the message & has not (to the best of our knowledge) stolen again. The loving, but sometimes mean, Momma
I've been having a problem recently with my 4 year old daughter stealing from stores and sneaking around. A few months ago at her preschool, my daughter started putting trinkets, like little farm animals, blocks, and miscellaneous small toys in her backpack. As soon as I would discover them, we would talk about it and I would make her return the items to her school. Her school's position was not to make a big deal about it and just thank her for returning the objects. NOW, I've been having a problem with her taking things from stores, like bubble gum, which she knows I won't buy from her, and hiding them in her pocket. She's very crafty about it and one time even put the gum in her cowboy boot. When I discovered it in her boot I immediately walked her back to the store and had her return it and apologize. Once we walked out she started bawling. I assumed that was the end of this problem but now she has done it two more times. I'm very perplexed as to why she keeps doing something that she knows is wrong and gets punished for (like no TV, no playing for the day, no sweets). She only can tell me she wants the item that she has taken (and I've recently let her start chewing sugarless bubble bum as a way to diffuse the situation). I've been told just to ride it out, I'm handling the situation appropriately, and it is just a stage. Still, this seems so far from her normal behavior and I would like to know if anyone else has had this problem and how they dealt with it. Thank you. Frustrated mom. anon.
Do you think it is possible that your daughter's behavior is less about 'taking what does not belong to her,' and more about attempting to exact some control over her attachments? In other words, if you look at the rest of your daughter's life, do you see the picture of a child who may feel helpless as those she loves and needs most are not as available to her as she'd like? If so, it is entirely possible that your daughter cannot have those she loves near her enough, so she becomes attached to things she can keep close to her, stealing them the way she wishes she could 'steal more time' with those she loves. If this is true, she will likely continue to use her ever increasing cleverness to steal (regardless of consequence) unless/until she can begin satisfying her need to 'hold on' to those she loves and needs (usually one or both parents.) I hope you find this helpful.
I don't have an answer to your question of ''what should I, as a parent, do about my 4-year-old stealing?'' But I thought you might be interested in my experience.
I grew up in a middle class home where we had plenty to eat, appropriate clothes to wear, lots of enrichment lessons and family trips abroad. Despite this, I stole regularly from a very young age all the way through high school, when I finally got caught in a way that landed me in serious hot water.
The atmosphere in my childhood home was pinched and angry. My parents didn't get along, and my mother constantly carped about the fact that my sister and I didn't understand the value of money (my parents never taught us how to handle money, nor did they ever discuss their salaries or the costs of various things we bought). She used to call me profligate (when I was 11!).
I think I began stealing early on--as in your daughter's age--because I felt a need to reward myself with something nice that I couldn't seem to get by asking. Now, in a deep psychiatric way I may have been looking for the love that wasn't present in my home...but if you don't want to go looking that far for an answer to what prompts your daughter's stealing, you might just take time to consider whether there's something missing from her life that she doesn't have the wherewithal to ask for or even name.
Of course, I could be wildly off base in terms of your child's experience, but that's how it was for me. I felt bereft and was trying to assuage my sense of lacking.
Good luck to both of you. Anon
Our daughter also age 4 began ''appropriating'' things from others. Often it was a difficult call as her old school allowed children to bring in tiaras, pink things and cute things....all of which she wanted and all of which I had generally denied. These things were swapped, shared and she had as many things which ''went missing'' as she came home with. The teachers called me in on a couple of occassions and laid it into me that this is very unusual (had never seen it is 20 years one teacher told me) and that we would be sent to counselling if this continued. While concerned for my daughter, I felt rather defensive.
My daughter attends a new school and I asked the new teachers to be on the lookout for this (who indicated that it was not uncommon and they would assist me). This school allows no toys in so it has not been a problem so far. One day my daughter came home in flashy, sparkly barbie underpants. I addressed this with the teacher who kindly took my daughter aside and had her return them . I don't know fully what she said but I know she provided a safe place to allow my daughter to admit she had taken something and to return it without feeling condemned.
We have not had an incident since. In fact my daughter stresses the need for honesty in all topics- even if difficult. The things I think I learned- 1) it is not unusual. It is certainly not unusual in mass mediated culture to want all the things around us. It is obvious as a child who has no buying power that if she wants it she needs to ''appropriate'' it. I also think part of the ''appropriating'' was a spontaneous grab and only afterwards did it become a ''lie''. In our case the lying came in laregely because of the way the teachers handled it. Give your child a safe place never to have to compound the action with a lie. I have given my daughter ways to earn money for things she wants which I will not buy (I thought this was too early at age 4- I was wrong and I could not cave to buying her things I did not approve of). Also focus on your daughter- don't surround her with too many temptations if you can avoid it while her own ego is developing. We switched schools (mainly for other reasons at the time)but the no toy policy and the focus on work has been fantastic in many ways. Perhaps you could go shopping largely without her.
If it continues and you are concerned, counselling may help you have better insight as to how to turn the craftiness and desire (for those are good qualities) to better ends. Stealing from a store does alarm me- fortunately our daughter has not done that yet- though I imagine all kids do at one time or another (I once stole a pack of gum. My mother marched me up to the security guard to tell. This only instilled sneakiness in me- would have been better to give me a way to get what I wanted). I don't think ignoring and having it blow over will work. It seems too easy to learn that taking is an easy way to get what you want- a ''quick fix''. We have also focused on books about being good friends (teatime for Francis), sharing, trickery and feelings. These have helped.
While books I researched in the library did not cover ''stealing'' they did cover ''lying'' (sears) These promoted the blow over theory. Books on moral development were generally more helpful-focus on developing rather than eliminating.....''taking'' can become ''achieving'' or taking can become ''stealing''. The child might (will) do the action but we can help channel the means, definition and outcome. good luck