Adult Child Stealing from Parents

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by sadparents7, May 2, 2016.

  1. sadparents7

    sadparents7 New Member

    Thank you all for sharing. I am beside myself. My son has had a drug problem since he was 17. In and out of programs. Stealing from me before. The lies the manipulation. It has all been very hard. He did great for several years. His Last girl friend, he helped get get clean and get her kids back. Then ended up on drugs with her. The new girl friend he married, is pregnant, they moved in with me to save for a place. Last Tuesday, I realized my $3k road bike was missing. His now wife is pregnant. He admitted to stealing it and selling it to the pawn shop. Pawn shop confirmed they have it in his name. His wife is out on parole for exactly this. I'm so torn, if I report it they both go to jail / prison. He is 28 and she is 34, they both have jobs.

    Last edited: May 2, 2016
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    He is 28.
    He's been down this road before and knows what he is doing.

    Continuing to cover for him isn't working. So maybe it's time for logical consequences.

    Your good bike is missing. You report it stolen. If you hadn't gone snooping, you wouldn't even know it was him for sure.

    OR, you go and pay to get the bike back, and then kick them out of your house.

    But YOU can't afford to have them in your house.
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  3. sadparents7

    sadparents7 New Member

    They have been given one week to get out. Yes I will have to buy the bike back after the 30 day hold. But yes, my heart knows I should have reported him awhile ago.... it's so hard to do. Hence why I am out here... is it the right thing to do to your ADULT child?
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Here's one way to look at it: Continuing to cover for his nefarious activities isn't helping him learn to do better. So we can either support the path they are currently on by enabling, or we can choose to NOT enable any longer.

    Its not easy to unlearn the enabling actions - we've practiced them for too long. But WE don't have to keep going down the same road.

    There's a saying: If nothing changes, then nothing changes.
    We can't change THEM. But we can change US. And in changing US, it gives them an opportunity to change too.
  5. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Sad, welcome to the site. I'm so sorry for the issues that brought you here.

    I completely agree with InsanCdn and I'm glad you have decided to put them out. Frankly, however, I would not give them a week. She may be pregnant, but they have no kids, right? They're working, she can go to a shelter if necessary, but I'd have them out NOW.

    Our son stole from us many times and we forgave and forgave. He went off to college, failed, came home and we warned him we'd call the police if even a DVD went missing. Well about $700 cash is what disappeared. We gave him a suitcase the minute we found it gone.

    We didn't call the police. I couldn't face it.

    At the moment he's back in our home, because his apartment building burned. I truly believe I would call the police this time. I also think it might destroy least for a while...but I would do it.

    I think.

    There is no right or wrong. There's what you can live with and what you can't.
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  6. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    I am sorry to hear this happened to you, after you were trying to help your son and your future grandchild.

    It sure would be nice if there was a book somewhere that told us the right thing to do in these situations, wouldn't it?

    Unfortunately, all we can do is go with our gut feelings, based on what we know about our situations and our difficult children.

    I think most of us here have gone back and forth many times in terms of how much we "help" our troubled adult children. My gut feeling on how much to step in has become heavily influenced by whether or not there has been a change in ACTIONS, not words.

    Talk is very cheap, and our difficult children are very good at telling us what we want to hear.

    It is not an easy choice for you, given the ramifications of turning them in. But clearly he cannot live with you anymore. I would not even give him a week, honestly. He would be out today.

    Welcome to the boards. I'm sorry you had to find us but glad you did.
  7. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Welcome Sadparents7, I'm glad you found us here.

    You can only do what you are comfortable with. It's never easy calling the police on our own child, I know, I've had to do a few times.
    You say your son and girlfriend both have jobs so I am left wondering what they needed the money for? My first guess is drugs.

    It does not sound like your son or girlfriend are ready for the responsibility of being parents. I see you have given them one week to get out. What is your plan if they don't?
    One thing I have learned from my own trials is you have to think 5 steps ahead of them. Hopefully they will leave without issue but if they don't you need to have a plan.

    None of this is easy but you are here with us now. These pages are filled with years of experience.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I dont have much to add ptrher then if it were me I'd throw them out now and I'd press charges. They are middle age adults, not ten year old kids. If you dont let them face harsh consequences, they may be 50 and still living this way. Rescuing doesnt help.
    Its your house/your sanctuary. How dare they steal from you. I had to do this toss out to a much younger kid who kept doing drugs. Shortly after that, she quit using. It has been twelve years. I now have a healthy, thriving 32 year old daughter. Yes, I was scared and sad when I first did it. Now I'm so glad I did.Tough love in my opinion is mandatory to see change. Jmo
    Last edited: May 2, 2016
  9. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Sadparent7, I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this, and I can imagine you are completely sick at heart.

    I'm glad you set a boundary with them for leaving your house within a week.

    Now, the next step is to stick to that boundary no matter what. That is the next hard part.

    Most of us here have gone down this same road you are now on. We learned, after giving them 1000 chances, and believing them 500 times, that we have to finally stop, let them go, and hope and pray that they grow up on their own.

    We can't make another person grow up, we can't get them mature any faster than they are going to do it on their own, and by giving them safety nets and allowing behaviors like the one you're dealing with, we prolong their delay into adulthood. They don't have a chance to really face the consequences of their choices and actions...because we don't let them.

    Your son has done better in the past, but it sounds like he has relapsed and now he seeks out people who participate in the same lifestyle. That's on him, to realize this isn't the life he wants, and start the road to recovery again.

    We have to learn how to get out of the way so life can help them grow up. That is our challenge, and it is a very hard one.

    Hang in there. You have renewed your focus to let him go. We're here for you during this hard time.

    Warm hugs today.
  10. sadparents7

    sadparents7 New Member

    Thank you for the quote. Thank you to all. You are all so right. It is WAY PAST time.
  11. PonyGirl65

    PonyGirl65 Active Member

    Just wanted to add my Welcome, Sadparents. So sorry you had to find us, but glad you did reach out.

    There's nothing harder than putting our own child out of our home.

    Well....except maybe learning that our own child has stolen from us.

    No denying you are in a tough spot! I hope you can feel our loving arms around you, Sad, and that our heartfelt support will be of some comfort to you.
  12. so ready to live

    so ready to live Active Member

    Hi Sad. So sorry you have to be here, but welcome. Many of us have been in similar situations.
    This is such a hard place, our 28 y.o. son has put us through the ringer too. We had to call police on him one night simply due to being afraid of his verbal abuse, aggressiveness, violence, he was drunk/ drugged at the time. I so apologized to and thanked the officer and then sat on the step watching them wrestle him to the ground in my own front yard. I just cried and it's one thing that's hard to forget to this day. But it was the right thing. If your home is not a safe place, what is?

    I so agree with this and one step further, write down your plan so you don't bend. If you prefer to not press charges now, then could that be your ace in the hole if they don't leave? Charges or go? Remember if he had stolen from anyone else he would be charged. You have been more than gracious. He has bit the hand that fed him and needs consequences. 2 adults, they have jobs, it is now their responsibility to make it-if not now-when?