He was Caught Stealing - Again!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by stressbunny, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. stressbunny

    stressbunny Guest


    I am very new here, and I posted recently about my youngest difficult child (age 7), who had a great deal of homework and was missing recess because of incomplete work. I appreciated all of your thoughts and advice so much.

    I also posted about my oldest difficult child (age 15) and that he had stolen an ipod from a teammate at school in the locker room. This occurred about one week ago and was his first time getting in trouble for stealing at school - ever. He was suspended for two days and lost out on the opportunity to participate in his athletic events for several meets. He has not yet even fully served this punishment. He was not reported to the police, but we were told that he would be if this ever happened again. He had to pay for a new ipod with his own money.

    Well, it did! Today! We received a call that he has reportedly (according to his teammates) stolen $120 (yesterday), which they said he then returned when they confronted him.

    Hubby is on his way to meet with the school officials now to find out the story. I volunteered to help at the local homeless shelter tonight serving food - my first social attempt in a long time. I don't feel comfortable backing out now, but I am sick to my stomach worried about all this.

    Why? Why? Why?!!!!

    Do you have any insight as to why difficult child would do this again? Another theft within one week?!!!

    What happens if the police are contacted?

    I am so stressed and distraught because I don't know what to do any more.

  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I would think that something is going on with your son. Is he in counseling? It could be that he is being bullied or maybe something as trying to impress a girl???
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Drugs comes to mind. Kids steal a lot to buy drugs. Has he used drugs in the past? Is it possible?
    I'm not talking about pot either.
  4. stressbunny

    stressbunny Guest

    I don't know why he could have done this! I am shocked. But it's a huge red flag to me.

    No, difficult child is not doing drugs of any type, as far as we are aware. He is highly supervised, and we look through everything in his room, etc. There haven't been any other changes in his behavior lately either.

    He does have ADHD, however, and he is VERY impulsive. He acts first and thinks later a lot. But this is even over the top for him. Something else is going on, for sure.

    The older boys on the team have been letting him know how much they loathe him - since he stole the ipod. So, it's been difficult for him at school, especially in practice.

    This almost seems like some sort of rebellion or cry for help or attention-seeking behavior.

    I'm at a loss,

  5. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    First off, gentle hugs. I'm sorry your difficult child is struggling so much. Wish I had some advice, I, too, would be concerned. Has he at all opened up to you about the stealing? Sending supportive thoughts your way.
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    My son has gone through this. VERY ADHD.
    Act first.
    Think later.
    Nah, don't think at all.
    I had the neighbors call the police on him. The next time, I called them myself.
    I THINK he has learned. One can only hope.
    I feel for you.
    Remember, these kids don't really act their chronological ages. So if your son is 15, he's acting more like 10 or 11.
  7. Do they have the peer court option there?

    I think that he needs to learn his lesson without getting a record.

    They have one up at my brothers place.

    If they have it and he is allowed to take it, he would have to confess his crime in front of a group of peers. The entire process will be guided by judges and lawyers and he will have to answer to some tough questions.

    He will if it functions the same be ordered to apologize to you for the stress he has put on you, his victim, do some court ordered community service and finally do jury duty. If he comply with the terms he will have no record when it is done.

    The purpose of peer courts is to teach youth to take responsibility for their actions and teach youth in general about the court system.
  8. stressbunny

    stressbunny Guest

    Well, we had a talk with difficult child, and he hasn't given very good reasons for why he stole the money. He said, "I don't know".

    We asked if he wanted the money because he feels like he doesn't have enough, etc., but he said that wasn't really why he did it. As close as we can figure, he is doing this for the thrill. He admitted that he likes the feeling of getting away with something. Maybe it's a form of rebellion for him?

    I am not doing well with this at all. I can't sleep, eat, or concentrate. I feel shaky and sick.

    Hubby is at the police station with difficult child right now, while I wait to hear the news at home with our younger difficult child. Hubby said that he's sure he is more upset about this than difficult child. difficult child slept just fine last night.

  9. compassion

    compassion Member

    My difficult child does this espseically when manic. Consequences not affect her.
    It is illness,not moral. Comapssion
  10. stressbunny

    stressbunny Guest

    difficult child was issued 2 citations and also ordered to pay restitution. He has a court date in a couple of weeks.

    Right now, difficult child seems numb, like he has no emotion or feelings or guilty conscience. There has been absolutely nothing going on that would trigger some sort of emotional instability. He has been getting good grades, has lots of friends, and is doing well in sports. He's been getting tons of positive feedback from us and his grandparents.

    It seems like now that he's started stealing (in the past month), that he can't stop. If he doesn't have empathy or exhibit feelings of remorse or guilt, how will he be able to function so that he doesn't do this again?

    Does anybody have any thoughts about what we need to do to help him? I believe this problem is a manifestation of his neurological impairments.

    Another issue could be that his stimulant medication dosage hasn't been adjusted in years. He has grown a LOT physically, so maybe a higher dosage would help with his impulsivity.

    I'm at a loss and still very distraught.

  11. goldenguru

    goldenguru New Member

    I'm not a psychiatrist - but I work in a psychiatric hospital with-adolescents - so I'll share a 'trend' that your son my fit into.

    Often bipolar disorder is initially misdiagnosed as either ADHD or ADD. Onset of bipolar disorder is usually late teens (I think the data supports ages 15 - 19). One symptom of bipolar is reckless behaviors - without regards to consequences. Stealing, promiscuous sexual habits, reckless spending, 'dare deviling', etc.

    Concerta is a common medication used to treat the ADHD. Problem is that its a stimulant - which is counter indicated for people with bipolar disorder as the drug can exacerbate the mania/hypomanic symptoms.

    I don't know who did your son's diagnosis. If it was a GP, I would get him in to a child psychologist ASAP for a good evaluation.
  12. Stef

    Stef Dazed and Confused

    Hi. My difficult child got into trouble last summer and is paying the price now with Community Service, meetings, grades, psychiatrists, etc. That's probably the route you'll go down as he's a first offender. You might want to consult with an attorney- just in case. We did, and it made a big difference. There's a lot the cops may not have told you. They tend to downplay it so you don't "lawyer up." You think it's a slap on the wrist and then a sheriff shows up at your place with papers for your difficult child. I'm not saying that will happen, but it could. If it does, difficult child is at that point being prosecuted, and it's a brand new ballgame. You're also at a disadvantage at that point. I'd talk to the lawyer now- not later.

    There are programs that can help. My difficult child attands a Changes and Choices class once a week with a group of other teens who have gotten into trouble, or are on that path. It makes them take time out and think about what they did, and more importantly why. It's just a constant battle, you have to keep at it, and it is difficult to do. You can't monitor him at school, he's got to learn for himself. Hopefully this will help him to do so.