difficult child stealing from friend

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by hamlet, Jul 30, 2011.

  1. hamlet

    hamlet New Member

    I know there is not a lot of traffic here on the weekends, but I need help asap. I have just discovered our 9 year old neighbor's ipod in difficult child's bedroom. I knew that the ipod was missing, but did not search for it until a phone conversation between neighbor's mother and me.

    Neighbor "Jack" and difficult child are bff. difficult child has been jealous of the ipod for months; it has caused a number of major meltdowns in our house. I cannot afford/will not buy an ipod for difficult child. So, he took his bff's ipod.

    Earlier this week difficult child magically "found" $15 in his bedroom. He said it came from his dad. Hmmmm...

    How would you handle this!? I HATE the fact that difficult child is now stealing and lying. (Well, he's always stolen and lied, but just from me!) On the phone neighbor's mom was suggesting that difficult child swiped the ipod accidentally -- "Maybe it was accidentally caught up in the magazines difficult child borrowed from Jack..." That's an easy out.

    I think difficult child has to take the ipod back, confess, apologize and get a consequence from me. The consequence given by Jack and family I cannot guess. Should I make difficult child excuses for him?

  2. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    No excuses need to be made, the best consequence, as it will be the hardest for him, will be to take the things back and make him apologize. The other thing you could do is call the police, and have the police escort him to the friends house. The police are more than willing to do that type of thing, and then they give them their big cop lecture on stealing, jail, etc. Usually scares the bejeezuz out of kids at that age.

    Just FYI - you are not alone - I think many of us have been in this scenario before. It stinks.
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    You're right on target. Do it ASAP with-o much advanced talk. You can talk later and he will see what consequences come to him from bff and family. As sad as it is for you almost all kids steal once. It does not mean you are a bad Mom it just means that impulse control is a problem. You do, however, want to be straight forward and not let emotions enter into your actions in front of your son. Remember the motto "never let them see you sweat" "or cry". You "might" give bff's Mom a heads up before going over if you have a working relationship. Good luck. DDD
  4. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    No excuses, natural consequences are the best teachers.
  5. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I agree. Make sure the family is home and then march difficult child over there to return it and beg forgiveness. Then go back home and dole out your consequences to him.

    If it makes you feel any less alone, we had a LOT of impulse control problems with the difficult child's around that age and on through middle school. Some of it got better with medication tweaks and counseling, and the rest of it just needed time and maturity to evolve.
  6. keista

    keista New Member

    No. Obviously the other mom does not want to make an outright accusation. I've done this myself when merely suspecting a child stole something and not being 100% sure and also not being sure how the other parent would react.

    I really like Steely's idea of bringing the cops in on it. If you make a significant enough impact at an early age and treat is as the serious crime it is, they might decide to NEVER do it again.
  7. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Just (((hugs))) as we are dealing with stealing here today as well. :(
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Your son is 10. I get the impulse control issues as well as the jealousy issues. I am also glad the other mom and you seem to have a good working relationship. That helps. I would also make absolutely no excuses for him and make him take the object straight back to his friend and have him apologize for what he did. Then I think I would take him by the local Juvenile services dept of the police dept and have them give him a talk about what could happen if he continues to steal. (Call them ahead of time to set this up) Most are more than happy to have a talk with a child to help set them on the right path.

    You should also come up with a natural consequence at home such as no electronics for x number of days...after all it was an electronic device. I wouldnt make it a huge number of days though because he is only ten. Maybe 3 or 4 days because much past that and he isnt going to do much but get frustrated and forget exactly why he is being punished in the first place.
  9. hamlet

    hamlet New Member

    It was difficult for difficult child, but a necessary lesson. I confronted him about the ipod, and as I expected he denied any knowledge of it. I simply stated that Jack, Jack's mom and I all knew what had happened. difficult child's response? "Leave me alone!"

    He returned the ipod and Jack was angry for about 12 hours. This morning difficult child wrote a written apology and delivered it, and Jack forgave him. Jack's family appears to have forgiven as well.

    difficult child lost his wii and computer privileges for a week. He earned a few extra days by cursing at me and threatening violence. I did not take the step of involving the police because I want to find out anonymously first what their policy is on something like this. In my experience there's always some small print, a record that gets made, a hidden agenda or some other surprise that comes with making a request like this of authorities.

    Thanks for the replies. It was very helpful to have a plan ahead of time. I stayed calm throughout, which was a great thing.
  10. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    So sorry you're going through this! My difficult child is a major thief and even better liar! It's something we live with on a daily basis and it's enough to wear a person out. Mine will steal the shirt off your back and then act as if he did nothing wrong. No guilt, no remorse, no feelings at all. Once confronted he will lie, lie, lie until he's blue in the face instead of just admitting that he did something wrong. If challenged beyond that he will go into a rage and throw a huge screaming, yelling, throwing furniture kinda fit. It's very frustrating and also terrifying!

    You seem to have handled your situation very well! Kudos to you for staying calm!!!
  11. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    been there done that with my difficult child too. It is common with difficult child's due to poor impulse control I am guessing. We did have the police come to our house when difficult child stole my cc and charged Wii points.

    He is a family friend and said we can call on him anytime we need to.

    difficult child (as far as I am aware) hasn't stolen since. This was well over a year ago and it did scare the living cr*p out of him !

    I was happy to read that the friend's Mom was decent about the situation and handled it well. It could have been MUCH worse.

    Let him handle any consequence that is thrown his way. His bff may not want to hang out with him for awhile if ever.

    I hope it all works out.
  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Good job! You took immediate and appropriate steps. I know it wasn't easy for you. On the Board we do have varying opinions about police involvement. Some communities have more helpful assistance available than others.
    Meanwhile keep your eyes open and when the time is right reenforce the idea that stealing is in fact a crime and that it is terribly important that he understands not to take anything from anyone. Yeah, I know, it sounds simplified but at his age perhaps it will have a positive outcome. I hope so. DDD
  13. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Just a note about police involvement... Yes, they do make a report. Sometimes it is no more than a line in the dispatch log, sometimes it's pages and pages.


    If he learns, and steals no more, it won't make any difference and will eventually just be archived and never seen again.

    If he doesn't learn? It's a paper trail that many of us with child thieves have needed.

    Sigh. :hugs:
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I wasnt saying to actually have the cops charge the child. Most times you can arrange to have an officer just speak to a younger child about the facts of life and how they dont want to go down the wrong road. No record or anything.
  15. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Yes - you don't have to file charges. All I needed to replace a stolen cell phone was a report - but we didn't press charges. Maybe we should have.
  16. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I was saying the same thing as Janet. I thought in every community the police would come and just talk to the kids as a community service.... Maybe I am wrong.
  17. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    No excuses. G'sfg still have to learn to live in real society.

    by the way, been there done that. difficult child was forgiven by his friend and his friend's mom ... but difficult child is too ashamed to play with-him any more. B&W thinking of course. He stole something, therefore he can no longer be friends with-this kid. Even if the kid forgave him.

    by the way, ipods are typically stolen by kids that age. They are coveted and easy to take, because of their small size.

    Best of luck!