difficult child Stole $63.00 from a fundraiser!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Jules71, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    He is only 8! He was participating in a fund raiser this weekend that took place outside a retail store. His shift was only supposed to be for 2 hours, but he was enjoying himself and the adult in charge said he was doing a great job, so I left him for 2 more hours. Checked in with him then and he was still doing fine so he was able to stay another 2 hours. Told him I was proud of him - he said he loves doing that, etc. etc.

    The next day, husband takes him up again and talks to adult in charge - they say they have enough people for that shift but he could come back in 2 hours to work that shift. Adult also tells husband they are short $20. They get home and husband tells me, then tries to get in difficult child's pockets. difficult child FREAKED out. husband had to hold him while I checked his pockets. He had $63.00!!!!!! I was sooooo disappointed. Major meltdown, denial, I didn't do it, it's my money yada yada. Says he going to kill himself, says he going to run away, husband has to restrain him for awhile. I leave with 3 yr old son. That causes him to go off even more. I call my mom and drive around the neighborhood and cry and cry. Things are just getting worse.

    difficult child kept denying it. He finally admitted to taking $20 that were donations (not product sales) and said he just forgot to give them the money. Later, I told him a fib and said oh actually I talked to them and they are short $43 and asked him if maybe he was wrong in his calculations. Then he admitted ok I did take $40 but the other $23 is mine from raking leaves. Later we talked about that and retraced his steps and after me saying lets go for a walk and you can show me whose house you raked leaves at and I will talk to them. He said he didn't remember. I talked with him for a long time and told him he is not a bad person, he made a bad choice, and I told him I think you took $40 out of the money bag and also kept $23 in TIPS. I said TIPS on purpose. He then agreed yes, they were my tips. I explained to him that when he is representing an organization and doing fund raising he cannot keep tips - they need to go toward donations (he knows this), but it gave him an out - so to speak. He admitted to all of it. I told him he could either go talk to the person in charge or write a letter. He said he would write a letter. I told him he could write it with pen and paper or type it. He said type it. I typed 3 things on the paper 1) What I did, 2) Why it was wrong, and 3) How I feel. He typed what he needed to and then I had husband take him to return the money and give the letter. He talked to adult in charge and he thanked him for returning the money and asked him if he would do it again - difficult child said no and they shook hands.

    I am proud of the way we handled it. I wanted to scream and flip out (but I did that out of his sight in the car talking to my mom) and then I came back and calmly had discussions with him. When it wasn't getting anywhere, I stopped and waited to talk to him again later. We kept at it and finally got the truth. He made restitution by having to admit it, write the letter, and talk to adult in charge. Will he ever do it again? I don't know - I hope not. This is not the first time he has stolen, but it is the worst.

    I just wish I knew what was going on with him and how we can help him. Is this really ADHD? Geeez. Happy Monday! :tongue:

  2. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    Sorry to hear it, but it sounds like it was handled in an excellent manner by all the adults involved. I would say this could be ADHD, that impulse control and executive dysfunction mixed together with free flowing money and an 8 year old's thought processes = a very poorly thought out plan. Hopefully he will remember the gentleness in which his mistake was handled and it will give him the opportunity to reflect on his part in it and not blame others.
  3. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    I can just imagine how disappointed and frightened you were.
    I figure that if they knew everything they needed to be an adult they wouldn't need parents. He stumbled, you helped him, now hopefully, a lesson was learned.
    It's a first time offense and not a pattern. I'll keep my fingers crossed, he doesn't do it again.
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Like Fran said, if they all knew everything from the start, they wouldnt need parents. I wouldnt throw him under the bus as the next future Billy the Kid. Kids do make impulsive mistakes. Lots of money flowing around can be a giant temptation for even the biggest easy child. 8 is still pretty young to get the whole idea. I think you handled it well. He will hopefully remember this and not want to do it again.
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We went through this with difficult child 1. He actually was stealing from my wallet over a long period of time and it mounted up to several hundred dollars. difficult child 1 would appear with a new toy which he would claim his friend had loaned him. But then I would see him putting his name on the toy, or modifying it in some way which he wouldn't have done with a loan. We finally caught him in the act and the shame of it, plus being made to own up and the consequences, were enough to scare him straight, permanently.

    At tat time I let him see how upset I was. I was distraught, in floods of tears. I think that upset difficult child 1 even more than he had thought it would, he realised that in stealing, he had thought he would get a few dollars I wouldn't miss in order to buy a toy he was desperate to own (because it seemed to him that all the other kids could have any toy they ever wanted; only difficult child 1 seemed to never have what he wanted). When he realised he had caused so much distress, it upset him. Then the next consequence - we could not trust him, we made it clear that we did not trust him, for several years. I lost a piece of jewellery, I accused him of pawning it. He was hurt (because he hadn't done it, I found it afterwards) but he had to accept that it was logical for us to not trust him. He had to work hard to earn back our trust.

    The experience taught him a lot and turned it around for us.

  6. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    You handled it with far greater grace than I think I would have been able to! :bravo: Yes, it could be explained by the poor impulse control that comes with ADHD, and it's partly the usual immaturity an 8yo boy displays.

    I hope your message and the exercise you put him through left an impression so that the next time temptation comes up (and it will) he's able to access that "voice" in his head and make a better choice.

  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Jules, we've gone through that with-our difficult child (although not at a fundraiser). It really does work when you fib and say that you already know from XYZ source that it's actually a larger amt, then state the amt. The kids will cave in every time.
    My son reacted exactly the same way--major meltdown, total denial, then admission.
    Whew. Exhausting.
    I hope he learned something.
  8. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    Thank you so much everyone! Exhausting for sure. I really hope he learns something from this too. The thing I worry about is him not feeling remorse about doing it. Maybe he does, but usually he is just mad he got caught. It was a relief that he finally admitted it, because I was thinking he was a little sociopath. Just kidding, but you Know what I mean?. He has taken things from school, his friends, and he has also used my credit card online. This was by far the worst. I know his ADHD is not being managed very well right now, so maybe it was an impulse control issue. Also, like gcvmom said his immaturity and being in that tempting situation. I can't imagine why the adult in charge at the time let him be that close to the money bag. When I was there it was just sitting on the table. Hopefully it won't happen again. I will make sure he is not in tempting situations like that again.
  9. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    Jules, my difficult child has also stolen on more than one occasion ... the 1st time in 2nd grade he stole a cookie, then he moved onto lifting my CC out of my wallet and purchasing Wii points on line. It is so disheartening and I remember feeling so upset as you do. One of the other posts said how tempting all the cash laying around would be for a easy child .... It was an impulsive decision and hopefully he will learn a lesson from it. This may seem very harsh but when our difficult child stole we had a very good friend who is a police officer come over and scare the bejesus out of difficult child. Everytime he see's the officer patrolling the neighborhood he waves to him and makes sure he is on his best behavior.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2010
  10. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    That's great Shelly. I wish we had a friend like that. Just reading your signature line, your difficult child sounds exactly like my difficult child. The doctor is considering upping his dose of concerta to 36 mg. The thing is, he is on the right dose based on his weight now. How big is your difficult child? Mine weighs 61 lbs.
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think most kids try to steal at some point. You handled it very well. It IS hard for a kid to see all that $$ during a fundraiser.

    When my kids stole they had to return the item AND pay for it, or if they stole $$ they had to pay back double the amount.

    Jessie stole gum when she was 4 - and got it all over her hair, her bed and the carpet in her room!!! She refused to talk to the person at the grocery to say she was sorry so I took her to the police station to see what happens when people steal. It was a tiny police station with just one cell. They had someone in it so she just got a lecture from the officers, but she saw a glimpse of the man behind bars and it sure scared her from ever doing THAT again!

    Wiz tried shoplifting as a teen. The first time we drove him back to the store and the manager didn't even CARE, in spite of signs all over the store. It was a dollar store and she was a teenager - mostly she said she didn't want to do the paperwork it would mean for her. Grrrr. Then he stole from my FAVORITE used bookstore!!! I took him back and he had to go and tell then what he did. The lady they had him talk to was AWESOME. She really talked with him. Made him THINK. It made a HUGE difference. And I became a favorite customer - with all kinds of benefits including invites to private sales!! It is reall HARD to be added to that list - takes more than shopping there often or spending lots of $$. You have to impress them somehow, and/or be a good friend of an employee.

    Wiz is even welcome there now. He is very careful to not do anything that could look like stealing, esp there.

    Stealing is a tough issue that most kids learn the hard way. Hopefully your difficult child has learned his lesson now - you handled it really well!
  12. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    Jules, my difficult child is 75 pounds. He is very thin but he has a muscular build so his weight is based on alot of muscle mass. The 36mg dose of Concerta seems to be the right fit for him at this point in time.

    So far, as far as I know he has not stolen (I hope I didn't just jinx the poor kid) since the Wii points episode. He has come along way in the last 6 months. Not quite a success story but I hope to post that he is one day.

    Sometimes I think he may be aspergers. Has that though ever crossed your mind about your difficult child?

    I had him evaluated 2x for aspergers but both Dr's concurred he was not.

    Keep your chin up! ALL KIDS make poor impulsive choices ....
  13. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    FWIW, our psychiatrist doses stimulants based on clinical response more than weight. Some people metabolize the drugs differently -- we saw this with both our difficult child's when they were little. We knew if the dose was too high because the difficult child would become quiet and withdrawn. On the other hand, if you find you are going higher on the stimulant and NOTHING is happening, or it is making your difficult child's symptoms worse, that is a huge red flag that you are likely not dealing with ADHD in the purest sense. Something else is going on that would need to be addressed with different medications altogether.