Bio stole in front of son "He needs to know how to do these things"

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by garrison, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. garrison

    garrison New Member

    Mr. I. sees his parents very regularly. Mom is a difficult child. Yes he has to go, it's court ordered. While Mr. I. was with bio mom last week, she damaged a pair of shoes (with her fingernail) and then insisted the give them to her for a lower price. Grrr... this woman is really something else.
    Then she tells me that Mr. I. needs to know how to do these things. WHAT! He needs to learn to steal and scam?!
    How do I explain to him that this is wrong with out saying mom is wrong. He loves her, but I really just want to say to him, "Mom's a thief!" Do not act like her!
    I swear I want to see a condom commercial with a horrible young mom being a jerk to her kids and saying "Think this is wrong? Don't let her have your kids!"
    Anyway got any advice on how to explain right from wrong with out being judgmental?
  2. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    Does he say anything about his mom when she does things like this? It's perfectly okay for him to love his mother, but he can love her while knowing that she has major flaws. I wish I had better advice for you.
  3. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Years ago a friend of mine was divorced from a woman who fits the description of your grandson's mother. They had 2 kids, at the time the kids were 10 and 13. My friend was always having to explain and correct the behavior of his ex since she was always lying, cheating, scamming and blaming. He chose to explain how the incident was wrong, as opposed to how the mother was wrong. For instance, in the middle of the night the mother snuck into the neighbors yard and cut down the prize roses the neighbor had been growing for an event she entered each year where her roses were judged,......... these were spectacular roses! The mom just put them in vases in her own home. When he found out about it, he explained to the kids how this neighbor felt about those roses, how important they were to her, the time spent, the love, the contest she waited for, he humanized the neighbor and the significance of the roses without really saying anything about the mom ripping all of them out in the dead of night. Without judging her or making her wrong, he would explain the incident, whatever it was, in terms of right and wrong and how the act would impact a person. The bio mom was on welfare and went to Hawaii a few times a year, she knew how to scam the government, it was a lifestyle, all she knew how to do was lie and cheat. The two kids are in their mid twenties now and they are honorable, moral, upstanding citizens just like their Dad. Nothing like their mother.

    At 8 years old, your grandson already has the ability to figure out right and wrong. Perhaps if you tell him that you believe how his mother behaved is a choice, but you believe there is a better choice. Maybe explaining to him in a context he can understand, like toys, if he saw another kid in a store be interested in a certain toy and damage that toy to get it cheaper, would he feel that was a good choice to make? What if a lot of people did that, would the toy store owner be able to pay his bills if he never received proper payment for his toys? His store would close, he wouldn't be able to feed his family. The ramifications of that one choice has consequences. Explaining to him that the action taken has results in the world, whatever action we take. That we humans always have the choice to do the right thing or not. That you and your husband decide to do the right thing because of the impact each choice has and how it feels good to do the right thing. Good luck!
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    been there done that. I never did find "the right" balance. easy child/difficult child was very observant and intelligent even as a preschooler. He would tell me what Mommy did that he didn't think was right. After alot of soul searching I decided to consistently just make two points. "I'm sorry Mommy made a poor choice. Each person has to make choices every day about what is right and what is not right. Sometimes those choices are hard to make but in our family if we don't "know" in our hearts whether something is right or wrong....we walk away and just assume it's wrong."

    The other point was that you do not help anyone making a wrong matter who they are. I lived in fear that he would be used as a carrier for some illegal items. It's a hard position to be in and I'm sorry you are living thru it now. We did our best as he lived with us (also, by the way, took concerta) and until the teen years he was almost a complete pleasure. Interestingly, his Mom began to spend more time with him and his moral compass got all messed up. Best of luck to you. DDD
  5. soapbox

    soapbox Member

    Some stores have policies that make life better for all of us and others... don't see the big picture.
    The better (not necessarily the high-end stores, just better-run) stores around here will not sell damaged goods to the person who reports it. They give you a small voucher off your next purchase, and the item is taken off the shelf. It might later show up in the clearance bin - but you don't know if or when, or if they will send it to a thrift store for the tax receipt. This policy reduces the number of people who try it, which reduces the quantity of damaged goods.
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think that you first need to start keeping a record of these things so that you can make the court aware of this. I know several of the judges here and knowledge of this, esp with a parent saying a child needed to learn how to do this, would make them seriously consider the wisdom of having the child spend time with that parent. You would need an attorney to properly present the info to the judge, but it can become quite effective if you keep a log of it.

    I do think RE has a good way to address the problem. I would likely say that Mom was wrong, but that it is okay to love people even when they make mistakes in spite of those mistakes. All you can do is try to steer him the right way and hope she either loses interest or messes up big enough to make a judge find her unfit.

    I think that many judges do not take a close enough look at the parents and leave kids vulnerable to things like this, but there isn't much that can be done in many cases.

    If she does this very often, the stores WILL catch on and WILL start to not sell items to her or will charge her with vandalism or fraud for these things. Here they often charge someone wtih both when they have damaged an item to try to buy ti for a discount. Most stores have surveillance and someone reviews tapes every week or so, and they can and do bring criminal charges for that kind of thing. Our WM is esp tough on that sort of thing. I know some of the security staff at our WMs and they have all sorts of stories about people they catch from reviewing security tapes.
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Keeping a log or a record is a great idea. I'm glad it was suggested in this case. DDD
  8. garrison

    garrison New Member

    Thanks everyone. I have always kept a log. It has come in handy many times. I have explained to Mr. I. why this was not OK. Mr. I. is a smart kid. He asked if his Mom knew it was wrong. I told him I didn't know and that she is a grown up. grown ups have to make these kind of choices every day. Sometimes it hard, sometimes it's easy. When it is hard is when we build character. Just like building muscles. Then I told him it's ok to love someone and not like how they act. He answered "yeah I've got that one figured out." Poor kid