Follow-up stolen ipod touch sich

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by hamlet, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. hamlet

    hamlet New Member

    Last Saturday difficult child humbly returned an ipod touch he had stolen from his neighborhood bff, "Jack." Jack and family took it well, difficult child delivered written apology the next day, friendship resumes.

    As part of his consequences, difficult child is told we will discuss ipod touch theft with counselor at appointment on Monday. During counseling discussion, difficult child reveals that Jack, (age 11, not 9 as previously stated,) watches porn on his ipod touch because his parents don't check the history. Lots of questions from counselor later, difficult child claims he has always refused to watch porn and only knows that term because Jack uses it.

    That's not all. difficult child states that since March Jack has asked him 75 times to have "gay sex" with him. OH BOY. LOTS of questions later from counselor we learn that difficult child has always refused Jack's advances, even though Jack has taken to offering money in exchange for "gay sex" with difficult child. Jack has occasionally grabbed difficult child's privates, but always over clothes and always very briefly. Jack threatened to stop being difficult child's friend if difficult child told anyone about it.

    To complete the picture -- Jack is diagnosis bipolar and takes Abilify. His mother, "Jane" informed me of this. Jack does not see a counselor.

    How on earth am I going to tell Jane this? Jane is a nurse, which I hope will help her to remain calm while hearing me out. I'm worried that this is going to ruin our friendship totally. I like Jane and Jack, and am very concerned what might happen next.

    (Incidentally, if anyone is wondering, easy child denies having any knowledge of or nteractions like this with Jack.)
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Don't tell Jane. This came out in counselling and is therefore confidential. Instead, work with the counsellor to equip your son with the skills he needs, to know how to cope with Jack.

    A few points for difficult child -

    1) Any 'friend' who uses that friendship as a weapon, is not a friend no matter how much he says he is. He is not being a friend, he is being a blackmailer. he possibly does not know how to be a friend, but that does not mean you have to let him hurt you emotionally or physically.

    2) Friendship is unconditional. It is also two-way.

    3) Do not allow yourself to feel obligated to someone who will then try to get you to do something you do not feel right about doing.

    4) You always have the right to say no and to walk away. Learn to recognise threats and to not let them force you to do something that feels wrong.

    5) Integrity - being a basically good person - is a priceless treasure. Value your own, guard it well. it will keep you safe through life.

    If Jack is confused about his sexuality, or even if he is already certain he is gay, it does not give him the right to force anyone to have sex with him. Coercion is not consent. And sex without consent, including "gay sex", is still rape. And rape of males is just as damaging as rape of females. Sex while under-age - too young to legally give consent, it is rape. There are reasons for this and those reasons should be respected.

    If Jack will not respect difficult child saying, "No, I will not do this," then Jack is not respecting difficult child. He therefore is not respecting the friendship, therefore any threats from Jack to end the friendship are just that - threats. Empty, meaningless ones. It is better to have no friend, than a friend who is an abuser. Because a friend who is an abuser is actually adding to your troubles. Being alone - at least the abuser is not there.

    And when the abuser says, "I won't be your friend any more," and goes away, then perhaps others who had warily kept their distance, may be more willing to become true friends.

    But don't tell Jack's mother, unless she asks specific questions, "I am concerned about my son. Has difficult child said anything to you about sexual acting out?"

    If you think telling her will end your friendship with her, think about why you believe this. If you feel her denial in this will be a problem, then telling her will achieve absolutely nothing, she will block it out so completely that she won't even be forewarned. Denial is very powerful.

    This brings us back to what friendship is. Think about this in connection with your relationship with Jack's mother.

    In the meantime - maybe try to expand difficult child's social horizons to areas which do not involve Jack. Enrol him in a music class, or martial arts, or sports program. Find something that difficult child can own and enjoy, where he can also meet others who don't know Jack.

  3. keista

    keista New Member

    Marg, I respectfully disagree. Once difficult child is armed with your VERY good advice, the 'friendship' with Jack is over, which in turn will bring many questions from Jane, and probably none of them specific enough to "open the door" for this conversation. The only way for either relationship to continue with any positive outcome is for Jane to know what's going on and for Jack to get the help he desperately needs. And even if the relationships end, if Jack does not get the help he needs he will just move on to another victim, and Jane will still be clueless as to why Jack keeps loosing all his new friends.

    Jane needs this information to help her own son who is bipolar and not getting as much treatment as he apparently needs. Hypersexuality is a symptom of bipolar, and at age 11, this certainly seems to qualify.

    This is one of those super sticky situations, and hopefully Jane will remain calm hearing you out. You could also not say anything directly, but strongly suggest to her that she should check the history on her son's ipod touch. He could have erased it though, I have no clue how those things work.

    At first, I was thinking that's it's just as equally possible that your difficult child was making up this story and/or it was his idea (sorry, mom of difficult child mentality at work here). HOWEVER I then realized that this may be the REAL reason he stole the ipod. difficult child figured if he got the ipod away from Jack, then Jack could no longer view porn, could no longer show it to difficult child and then may no longer make advances towards difficult child. He was cutting off what he viewed as the driving force behind his aggressor. Quite a brilliant way of trying to solve the problem on his own.
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I also disagree with Marg. If the kids were older teens, then I would likely let it be and let them handle it. But age 11 is just too young to let difficult child handle this himself, no matter what kind of tools/armor/whatever he has. An 11yo simply isn't mature enough to handle this, esp not a bipolar one.

    It is something you must, as a responsible parent, bring up with Jane. How would YOU feel if your son was doing this and no one told you?? I wouldn't make accusations, of course. Just let her know that the ipod may have porn on it and that Jack has been bringing up the subject of gay sex with difficult child and has also grabbed difficult child's crotch area. Let her know that you think difficult child took the ipod so that Jack wouldn't see the porn and be as driven to bring it up.

    Marg's ideas for how to help difficult child are all great and difficult child does need that stuff. But he is also a young kid and needs his parent to step in and deal with this. That is our job as parents when a situation as complex and emotional and touchy arises.
  5. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    If you are in the USA the therapist is legally required to call DCFS. Then DCFS would contact Jack and then Jane. You telling Jane might prepare her for what could come.

    Speaking as a mother of a hypersexual child I would want to know. It would be hard to hear and it might be hard on the relationship of the person who told me, but I would want to know. How could I help my child without knowing. How could I keep other kids safe without knowing. Besides if Jack comes over now aren't you going to act differently towards him (Is Jack going to be coming over?) and won't that affect your relationship with Jane as well? One of the parents of a girl difficult child 1 targeted was still my friend for many years (until we moved.) It was the reverse situation. The girl was over at our house and I caught difficult child 1 and girl. I called psychiatrist in a panic. psychiatrist called DCFS. I called the mother of the girl. Yes, I was very stressed and emotional.

    I would take this news best in a handwritten, hand delivered letter, with the person delivering it saying something like 'I just thought you should know and didn't trust myself to get it all out verbally so I wrote it in a letter. I'll be here for you if you'd like to talk about this latter.' Then I would be able to react to it without the person right there. That is just me. Maybe someone else would rather you talk to them instead.

    By-the-way, great job for difficult child returning it. He shouldn't have taken it, but great job returning it. When difficult child 1 stole something I had to turn the house upside down to find it.
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    My main concern about telling Jane, is the concern for how she will react as well as what could happen WHEN Jack finds out his mother has been told. This really is so very sticky. If you don't tell, you have to ensure your child is safe. And yes, I take the point that other kids almost certainly will not be safe. But if Jane is going to react with hostility and denial, then telling her will gain nothing. But I'm not saying DO nothing, just find a way through somehow, to get the situation changed. And if there is a chance that Jane will not react with hostility, that telling her could actually get some useful result, then of course tell her.

    I also did wonder if perhaps this was a mirror image situation - that difficult child might be the one acting out this way and accusing Jack, may have stolen the iPod in order to put porn on it. Certainly it is on the cars that Jane will choose to think this first, rather than consider her son could be the aggressor.

    What does therapist recommend? If therapist took the option of reporting this to CPS, then the issue of whether to tell Jane or not would be out of your hands. You could tell Jane as a heads up - "the therapist is a mandatory reporter, this is what difficult child said about the iPod, how about you get hold of it and see if there is any such stuff on it?" and hopefully if Jane is going to be angry with anybody, it will be the therapist for reporting "nonsense kids make up".

    How is difficult child over this? Did he tell therapist but conditional on Jack not finding out he talked? Or did he tell with a sense of relief for finally getting it off his chest? It all has a bearing on where you go from here.

  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm with those who say that the friendship has to end. My child would never again be allowed to go back. Now, there IS the issue of easy child saying Jack never did it him, but that doesn't mean he didn't do it to Jack.

    I would definitely tell the mother, because I would want to know this if it were me. I'd probably approach it by saying, "Look, I am not sure it's true, but this is what my son said." Then the ball is in her court. If this boy is doing it to your son, he may be doing this to other kids, perhaps some younger, and he needs A LOT of help or he's going to end up in trouble.

    The therapist does have to legally report it to social services. He is a mandatory reporter and could get into trouble if he did not.

    Huggz and good luck! Let us know what happened.
  8. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    My first reaction - How much is truth and how much is difficult child trying to deflect attention from himself? We all want to believe our children don't lie, and obviously he learned this stuff somewhere, but Jack may not be where he learned it.
  9. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    This was my first thought too. I wondered if it was either made up or if the roles were reversed in the story as a 'premptive strike' in case someone looks at the history on the iPod.
  10. bby31288

    bby31288 Active Member

    HaoZi, that was one of my concerns. I know my difficult child when she did something wrong, would always try to deflect it from her by adding in something that someone else did. Not saying it didn't happen. Just be careful.

    To be honest Jack could tell Jane that your son is the one that downloaded the porn on the ipod. When it he had it. If you cannot prove when it was downloaded it becomes, he said he said.

    I do agree maybe the friendship has run its course and it is time to expand his social circle.
  11. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    As soon as I saw the number 75, I began to seriously doubt this was true.

    It might be - our difficult children do put some truth in what they say. But this sounds too too much like J - "You know X hit me 75 times" (Oh REALLY? You COUNTED, instead of getting away or getting help? Do NOT think so.)

    If easy child denies any sort of interactions like this... Hmm.

    Now here's the thing. Boys think it's funny to kick and/or grab each other's private bits. I don't see why it's funny to see someone else in pain, but a lot of people think it is. Anyway, either there is something HUGE going on at Jack's, in which case his Mom needs to know what's been going on, or there's HUGE deflection going on, and Jack's Mom needs to know there is a good reason why difficult child isn't hanging out with Jack any more.

    Example: June 4. Nephew stays over, was helping husband with getting room ready for M. J at BM's. O grounded, and not thrilled. Power goes out. O sneaks out, nephew tells her it's not a good idea. June 5, nephew's laptop has vanished, but O happily goes with husband to take nephew home, so she can hang out with him (though she doesn't get to). June 6, O at school, laptop found under her bed; then CPS arrives, telling husband that O said nephew "felt her up". (Interestingly, this is not what she told the neighbor.) O comes in from school - rode with friends, though grounded and not supposed to, screaming at husband that someone stole the $10 she found. He tells her he wants to discuss the visit from CPS - she slams in the house and POOF! Runs away. (Though she claims he told her to GET OUT. Highly doubt that.)

    This is deflection. O was in serious trouble for being arrested AGAIN, and snuck out, and got caught. So what does she do? Blames the person who can rat her out. Who would not have, to be honest.

    I think you and Jack's Mom need to go have a cup of coffee, sans kids, and you tell her look, difficult child is accusing Jack of all kinds of stuff, but he just stole the iPod, and I don't think they need to be together for a while.

    ...And if Jack is REALLY doing this? Why does difficult child keep going over there?
  12. hamlet

    hamlet New Member

    Thanks to all for your replies. It is a very sticky situation.

    I did at first believe that this story may be a way for difficult child to deflect attention away from stealing the ipod touch. difficult child also has a tendency to lie to get out of trouble. However, over the course of days difficult child has stuck to his story and I have not detected any holes in it even as the questions I ask get more detailed. difficult child is despondent that he told the truth at this point because of the new boundaries we are creating in our relationship with Jack. difficult child feels that he is being punished even though therapist and I have praised him for doing the right thing by telling. And lastly, even though difficult child knows that I will be informing Jane of these allegations he has not tried to retract his story, which he probably would do if it were a lie.

    I believe that if the web browser history on the ipod touch has not been cleared it will show the date and the sites that have been visited. This should exonerate difficult child from being the one who accessed inappropriate material.

    Since this came out on Monday I have been trying to determine the next steps and what to do about Jack coming over. I will arrange a few playdates for difficult child with other friends to round out the summer, but that does not change the fact that Jack lives just a few doors down from us and had been accustomed to being at our house for hours at a time. Jack has apparently detected reticence on our part and has been staying away the last few days. Perhaps he is preparing to make equal accusations of difficult child or to try to deny what he has apparently been doing. I don't know.

    Jack's summer days are spent in the company of his older brother, who is 17. The two also share a bedroom in their small home. My children have never gone to Jack's house when the parents are absent.

    When asked why Jack would never propose gay sex to easy child, difficult child replied that easy child would tell. easy child would not keep the secret like difficult child did for months.

    therapist recommended that I tell Jane the matters concerning Jack that were revealed in counseling. The confidentiality privilege is difficult child's and because we care about Jack and family we are willing to sacrifice it in the hope that Jack will get help. therapist did not mention anything about she being obligated to report this to anyone.

    Sigh. X-husband is taking the boys on Friday for visitation and so I will try to talk face-to-face to Jane sometime after they leave.

    ETA: The number "75" in regard to how often Jack has solicited difficult child came from when the therapist asked him to estimate how many times this has happened. She was saying, "Was it 1-5 times, 5-10? 10-20?" and so on, and difficult child said, "75." The last time it happened was after the ipod touch was returned, last Sunday outside in a vacant lot near our home where the kids play. Jack asked difficult child to engage in "gay sex" and difficult child said, "no."
  13. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Quick question... He's ten... So is Jack, right?

    I have a not-quite-13-y/o who told me, a few weeks ago, that the kid across the street was "raping" his younger brother. I almost wrecked my car - these two are probably 9 and 7. So I asked exactly what N was doing to his brother.

    Turns out J thought "rape" was when you jump on someone's back and knock them down.

    Unfortunately, if he were to use that phrase in school, the world would explode around him. So I told him in kid terms, but not avoiding the subject, exactly what rape is.

    Kid turned beet red and tried to change the subject. The fact is, though - he needs to understand he can't just say stuff like this.

    It's none of my business if there's more than grabbing going on... But... If that's all, that and the requests for "gay sex"... Do they understand? (I know J still doesn't get why people would WANT to have sex... Sigh.)
  14. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I also disagree with Marg....probably for the first time, lol. When little difficult child was five or six his first friend introduced him to the "zipper game". When he and his friend were playing in our home I innocently sent easy child/difficult child to go get difficult child and his friend so they could have a snack in the kitchen. Pow! easy child/difficult child walked in on them, got me and as I walked into the room the friend was finiwhing getting dressed. The neighbor Mother was a neighbor friend and she and her husband were very very religious. In prior conversations she had shared with me that she was molested as a child.
    Coincidentally the family was moving to a new house the very next day. I waited a week or two and then called her to meet me for a cup of coffee at a nearby restaurant. Shock! She totally did not believe what I said. She insisted that her son often rearranged his clothes because he liked to look perfect. Believe me I spoke softly, calmly and with a great deal of quiet concern and compassion. Not!

    I took difficult child out of town to a specialist who met with difficult child. She assured me that it had happend but that since I was a good listener and well connected to difficult child that she expected no reason for therapy as it would just reinforce the event and give it too much emphasis. That is the advice I followed and for us it worked out ok. At that point I used the skills that Marg outlined.

    But I strongly feel that you need to hook up with the other Mom. I don't feel there should be any accusations. To me it makes sense to simply say "X we both have challenging sons. Sometimes they make poor choices and it is hard to know what they are thinking. Have you ever looked through your son's ipod when he is not around? It's possible that if you do that there may be some inappropriate information that you will find. Meanwhile I think the two boys are not a good friendship combination at this time but hope we will be able to remain friendly."

    Something like that will give a head's up but not be accusatory. The ball will be in her court. Meanwhile you can seek out a play camp, sport or other children's activity to fill the void for difficult child. It is an awkward and scarey position to be in but I honestly believe he has to be addressed. Hopefully your friend will take heed and not play ostrich like my former neighbor did. Good luck. DDD
  15. jennd23

    jennd23 New Member

    I'm thinking if Jack is looking at video on his computer he is probably aware of what gay sex is, now if Hamlet's difficult child really gets this who knows. I would definately want to know if it was my son. I can understand why the therapist doesn't have to report it, aside from some touching nothing has really happened yet. If Jack had forced difficult child then I think she'd have to report it.

    I think it will be hard to tell Jane, but I think she needs to know. And I would sever the friendship, personally. If any of what difficult child has said is true, I wouldn't want Jack around my kid. Sad for Jack but you're already dealing with-enough with a difficult child to have an additional influence on his behavior.
  16. hamlet

    hamlet New Member

    difficult child was asked, "What specifically did Jack mean by gay sex? What did he want you to do?"

    difficult child said, "I don't know, but it sounded gross to me. Mommy has told me that no one should be forced to have sex if they don't want to and so I said NO!"

    I feel that Jack already knows something is up. He has not been to our house in two days. I have a bit of a worry that rather than making an in-kind accusation against difficult child, Jack may turn against me. What a mess that will be to get into! I know that from reading at Jani's Journey. Ugh.
  17. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Warning bells are going off for me here. I seriously wonder if Jack isn't repeating what he "knows".

    It could be that he is mad about the ipod being taken in the first place but didn't show it at first. OR did difficult child tell Jack that he "was gonna tell"? I can see either being true with boys their ages.

    I feel for you but am glad you have praised difficult child for telling. He needs to know that and will probably need to be reassured many times over the upcoming year. I'm sure he does feel like he's being punished too. Make a point of telling him how happy you are that he told because it's a mom's job to protect their kids and you can't protect him if you don't know. Since you have already kind of told him about rape, you could explain that you are worried that if nothing was said, Jack could have raped him and that causes problems for your whole life. I am sooo proud of him. {{{{(((HUGS)))}}}} to you both.
  18. keista

    keista New Member

    If at all possible, do something special as a 'reward' for doing the right thing and to make the feeling of being 'punished' seem less so.

    It does sound like he was managing to keep his friend at bay, and at least for now, that friend was not pushing much further. Finding out that Jack was sharing a bedroom with a 17 y/o brother sounded more alarm bells for me as well. Yea, being bipolar, Jack could be coming up with this stuff alone, but it could also be due to the brother's actions. OY!
  19. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Even if Jack's brother is doing absolutely nothing wrong, an older brother who is developing obviously, and sometimes the obvious cannot be easily hidden, can trigger curiosity in a younger sibling. Especially if that younger sibling is at all hypersexual. Right now we have difficult child 3 at 17, totally unaware of how well endowed he is and how to dress to not flaunt it. difficult child 3 is not trying to be provocative in any way, he gets embarrassed if anyone points out the - ahem - obvious, but jeans fade in the high places and the front of his jeans have a very large pale patch, probably aggravated by her nervous habit of clutching at himself when he gets anxious. He does not wear tight jeans - far from it. But we still are very aware of the problem of trying to teach a teenage male how to be aware of other people's sensibilities.
    So the older brother may not be doing anything to Jack, but he could also be showing porn to his little brother (it makes him complicit in the 'crime' and less likely to tell on him) as well as involving him in other inappropriate stuff that needn't necessarily be overtly sexual.

    But yes, warning bells going off for me too.

    As for you guys disagreeing with me - that's cool. I did moderate my initial opinion, explained where I was coming from and basically, it's just a recognition that this is unlikely to have a happy ending, whichever path is taken.

  20. hamlet

    hamlet New Member

    I'm well aware of this, Marg, and I agree. No matter what I do, (or don't do,) or how I say it, the circumstances will not turn out well. I would like to be able to accept that I don't need to tell Jane anything. It's not my responsibility to be aware of Jack's psychological/emotional needs or to monitor his activities on-line. Right now Jack has self-selected to stay away from my home, which is working out fine. If I'm only looking out for #1, then I need say nothing. Speaking up will only upset everyone and increase risk for me and difficult child.