Update on "Mr. Sticky-Fingers"

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by gcvmom, Dec 10, 2007.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Some of you may recall my post last week about difficult child 1 and his troubles of late with stealing money from his dad and me, taking his brother's money and belongings, not to mention the lying about these incidents when initially confronted (and eventually coming clean about it, showing remorse, and accepting the punishments doled out), as well as taking and secretly wearing some of my undergarments (although that seems to have stopped since his dad caught him, while the other stuff has continued).

    So I called the therapist last week and left word with him that I think we need to discuss this. He called back tonight and after hearing my story, he thinks that even with the ADHD, the stealing from family members is NOT normal and he wants to meet with difficult child 1. He asked me some questions about what's going on here at home (are husband and I still fighting and in separate bedrooms... no, we're on the mend and working on our issues), how does difficult child 1 view himself (is he the kid that gets left out, or does he feel like he has to be the role model or is he feeling down on himself lately -- the latter, I think, is more the case because of his first quarter grades).

    I told difficult child 1 about the appointment matter-of-factly and said the goal is to help him figure out why he's doing these things and what we can do to help him stop. He seems to be o.k. with this. I just hope it's something simple -- like increasing his Lexapro -- I've got enough complications to deal with right now with difficult child 2 struggling hugely with social issues and homework, my issues with husband and his various compulsive behaviors (did I mention he's blown over $8,000 this year at casinos? And another $2,000 in golf outings? There went the new car I need! :grrr:), and husband going in for another brain MRI in the morning to figure out what's up with the "abnormality" the epileptologist found in his old films. If that man doesn't go back on some kind of medication soon, I just don't know what the future holds for this family... :future:
  2. goldenguru

    goldenguru New Member

    I have never had to deal with stealing - so I don't really have any personal experience. But, I do find it interesting that your hubby has some compulsive/addictive type issues. Just wondering if your son is emulating some of that.

    Kleptomania is an actual condition listed in the DSM IV. I think that kleptomania is distinguished from 'theft' in that kleptomaniacs tend to steal things that have little to no worth.

    Why do YOU think your son is stealing? Does he primarily steal $$$?

    Might be worth a little reading.
  3. LynnG61

    LynnG61 New Member

    I have not really experienced the stealing of money with my difficult child, however I have and am going through the stealing and wearing of my underwear for about 1.5 years now. I noted your difficult child is about the same age as my son is when he started taking and wearing mine. I thought it was corrected as well when caught, what he did was become more clever in hiding it.

    I have read here quite a few others have experienced this as well. I am sure not an answer you are seeking, but perhaps their viewpoints will help you with this situation too. Aparently a pretty common theme here.

    But for all that is going on, cannot offer much but a hug!
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Did you see the post by Lone Ranger that had NIMH information on
    children who steal? I thought it was interesting. Maybe it will
    be helpful for your family.

    Someone also had a thread about stealing underwear this month
    and there were suggestions about buying male "silky" underwear
    to see if the fabric texture was the issue more than the gender

    Good luck. I hope the therapist can help identify the right issues. It always amazes me how complex our difficult children are! DDD
  5. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    We've been told by our psychiatrists that SSRI antidepressants like Lexapro can cause impulsivity and compulsions as a side effect. While taking Prozac last spring, easy child/difficult child 3 pierced her own ear -- highly unusual for an 8-year-old and attributed to impulsive/compulsive behavior. Because of that episode and some intense raging this fall, we are in the process of weaning her from Prozac and are still trying to settle on what her next AD will be.

    My other thought is not that your difficult child 1 is emulating your husband, but rather has inherited a tendency toward compulsive and addictive behavior. Just something to ask the psychiatrist/therapist about.

    Hope things settle down in your household soon.
  6. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I did a little reading last night and now think it may be an emotional "cry for help" because of all the stress in our family, especially the stuff between husband and me. That's why I thought he might be depressed (he takes the Lexapro for anxiety and it has helped).

    Something my mother suggested, that it may be a need for power, may also be at work -- and may be linked to the underwear thing, as if he sees me as the authority figure in the family and by wearing my undergarments he somehow experiences a transferance of power?

    I don't believe this a "klepto-type" behavior because it doesn't fit the definition as I've read it.

    It's quite possible he got part of that compulsive gene from husband -- I know difficult child 2 certainly has!

    Thanks for the feedback, I'll keep you all posted after the appointment next week.
  7. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I guess I should never assume a secretive behavior has stopped simply because I don't notice it anymore! Thanks for letting me know he's not the only difficult child out there who's done this :smile:
  8. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I think I did, but will check again. I read something similar last night and it's highly possible this is happening because of some emotional issues surrounding stress here at home (and school).

    Shortly after the first few stealing incidents, we decided all the kids needed to have some regular spending money. So now, they all get a modest allowance once a month. It seemed to really cut down on the requests for us buying them things, but the fact that it didn't stop difficult child 1 from stealing from us indicates to me there are bigger issues at work.

    I still am not sure about the whole underwear business. He does have some sensory issues... but when combined with his innate anxiety, it may be another sign that he is not coping well with life.

    I'll let you know what I find out next week!
  9. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I had no idea about that particular side-effect with SSRIs! The Lexapro was rx'd for difficult child 1's anxiety, and it has helped a lot. The Paxil that husband takes has also helped his mood, and if anything, lowered the intensity of some of his compulsive behavior, although the "urges" are still there. No doubt, the difficult child's got a doozy of genetic material from husband :wink: (Sigh) I think mental health screening should be a pre-requisite for marriage!

    I'll let you know what I find out next week. Thanks.
  10. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    M stole. And until he was about 16 he never complained inordinately about consequences. That was not a good thing, though. He viewed it as paying the price to get what he wanted. Just like you and I look at paying $3 as the price for milk. It was total entitlement. I'm glad to hear that he is going to be seeing his p-doctor. Until then, lock up the purses and wallets, sleep with them under the pillow or mattress. Do you have a lock on your bedroom door? I mean a real one in the doorknob with a key? It's unfortunate, but it may come to that.

    The thing that always got to me with M, was that he viewed my protection of my things as not trusting him. Heck yeah, we don't trust you! Do something to change my mind!
  11. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Yeah, I've thought about putting a lock on my door... I really hate the idea of doing that, but I understand that sometimes those kinds of measures are necessary.
  12. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My door has a lock on it. I told difficult child it was my private space and if I wanted to keep people out I could. Told her not to take it personally, it was not about her in particular (although she is the only other person living here) but I just needed to have my stuff the way I left it.

    She did steal from me, too. Mostly change out of my change basket. Rarely clothes. But, many times - jewelry. I do not have expensive stuff, but sentimental stuff. I found her with one of my rings on her hand one day and she tried to swear to me that she asked if she could wear it and I said yes. No way, no how would I have agreed to that with this particular ring.

    There have even been times when I am home and the door is open that she has gone in and taken things. She has even managed to sneak things out while I am in the room. She figures if I was there, it is like getting permission. :highvoltage: Even if I did not see her take it.
  13. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Hope you find some answers with the psychiatrist.

    -The Loan Ranger