Just great! Ugh!

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Rainbird, Sep 10, 2011.

  1. Rainbird

    Rainbird New Member

    Not only am I dealing with my 18 year old difficult child but now my 11 year old son stole $20 out of my purse and told us he found it in his piggy bank. We have grounded him for a week, no video games, tv, nothing! Any ideas on what to say so he won't do it again? This really is unusual for him.
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Hi, Rainbird...

    The question about the 11 year old... you might want to ALSO post on General... not that the "experienced" folks on this forum won't have good advice.

    I just happened to click on your post by accident (I blame the mouse but its usually my coordination).

    There's two separate possibilities... either your son is a typical kid - in which case you have a discipline/learning situation... OR your son has issues and challenges that you don't really know about yet.

    We found that "stealing" was a cry for help - an attempt to meet "needs" because the real needs were not being met. In this case - discipline did NOT work. Only made things worse. Now that we're getting success in nailing down the dxes and getting the accommodations? "Stealing" has gone away.
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    If he spent the 20.00 you might want to make him work off the money he stole as well.

    Then tell him that next time he believes he needs / wants money for something to just come and ask if you have extra chores he could do to earn it the right way.

    Odds are, he was trying to see if he could get away with it.

  4. keista

    keista New Member

    In addition to the grounding, have him pay it back, plus interest. The paying it back seems to be the most effective. If he doesn't get an allowance, he can do extra chores to work it off. Nice big chart on the fridge to show his payback progress visually helps solidify the concept.

    You know, I'd even call the grounding the punishment for the lie, not the theft. If he's generally a easy child this should work to drive the message home.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im with the odds are on the fact that if this is normally a pretty normal kid that it was an attention getting tactic or he simply wanted the money and didnt think you would notice. Typical kid thing. Sometimes us parents with difficult child's tend to see difficult child behaviors under every stone.

    I think the grounding should be for lying to you about how he got the money and then he should be made to pay you back for the money. He stole $20 and even though you took it back...Im assuming...he now needs to earn the money by doing chores around the house to make another $20 to show how hard it is to earn that $20. I wouldnt pay him minimum wage either...lol.

    I would make the chart on the fridge with maybe 5 good chores on it...at 11 he can do things like clean the bathroom, wash the dogs, scrub out the trash cans, rake or mow the yard. I dont know just thinking. But make them chores that would last about an hour or so each.
  6. Star*

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

    I can only tell you what our therapist told us about lying........and it was HARDER than anything we ever did-----but it worked.....but it was hard......and I mean HARD.

    You ASSUME every single thing he tells you for THREE weeks is a lie.......and then follow up and check up on him.

    EVEN IF IT is something as SIMPLE as "I'm going to the bathroom" - you follow him.

    "I'm going to my room" - you get up and check on him.
    "I'm going outside." - You follow him
    "I'm getting some chips." You go into the kitchen and get them for him

    I'm going to take a shower - Get a chair and sit in the hall......

    It will make YOU nuts before it does him -------but you basically treat him like a toddler and don't let him out of your sight. And you tell him "You can't tell the truth so I MUST watch you to make sure you are telling the truth.'

    YES at 11 he will cry. YOU must maintain a stoic face. YES he will scream GET AWAY FROM ME.......You must remain stoic and keep watching him even when he begs you to leave him alone he will never lie -You say "I will decide when I think you can stop lying - YOU STOLE $20.00 STOPPING will be up to me."

    You do this until he is near crazy.....(not kidding) and then as you decide to stop - You say "I am going to trust you to go to the bathroom by yourself CAN YOU HANDLE doing that and coming back here? IF not we start ALL over again? Build your trust with me and come back. IF you lie? We start over DO YOU UNDERSTAND?"

    If he comes back? --He gets TWO freedoms at your choosing - IF he lies.....START ALL OVER AGAIN.

    It works -------Dude even came HOME on time and didn't lie to us for a LONG time -----our problem was We couldn't be consistant with it because I had to work and DF refused to keep doing it while I was gone...but when we did it for -----may have even been six weeks - IT WORKED. Sounds nuts but it worked.
  7. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Sometimes they think negative attention is the norm based on difficult child's behavior and the reaction we have to difficult child behavior.
    I'd have a heart to heart with him then remind him theft even from mom is against the law and that you would turn him in. Then follow through if it does happen again. No means No. in my humble opinion.
  8. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Stealing is one of those things that I just hate and cannot tolerate. When easy child was in 4th or 5th grade, she stole a ball she had asked for while I was grocery shopping. I said no, then noticed the ball in her backpack about 4 days later. I knew she had stolen it. She lied, said her friend lent it to her. I offered to take it back to friend on my way into work - she freaked and said no. I held onto the ball only to find it back in her pack again. That afternoon, I picked her up from daycare, left difficult child there and drove to the grocers. easy child asked what we were doing. I told her she was paying for the ball. We stopped at bank, had her take out $5 from her savings, went into the store and found the manager. Explained to the manager that my daughter had taken the ball without paying and paid for it. (the Manager said, "oh it's okay" but I persisted). After we left the grocery, easy child was thrilled that she had a ball. I took the ball and tossed it into a garbage can. The discipline was making her own up to stealing the ball and paying for it. The punishment was not getting to play with it. That was that - she never stole again. The humiliation was too much for her to bear.

    difficult child was a bit of a cleptomaniac in her elementary years but then it seemed to go away as her new favorite habit settled in: lying. That is, until she was sexually assaulted at 15 yrs. At that time, her stealing amped up beyond our belief. Her counselor said it was a coping mechanism. We were to make her own up to the stealing but should not be surprised if she can't remember stealing said item. She stole my wedding band. Swore up and down she didn't have it, I even stood by while she searched her drawers. Then I searched her drawers and there it was under her things. When I pulled it out and looked at her face, I can tell you - the look of surprise could not have possibly been faked. She REALLY didn't recall stealing it. Many years later and lots of talks later, she still doesn't remember stealing my wedding band, one of H's rings, or easy child's other jewelry. Truly. At that time, it was a basic need to have some control over at least ONE part of her life.

    IMVHO, I think that either your son stealing this $20 was just your typical 'let me see if mom will notice' stupidity OR him finding a way to get your attention. You said you were dealing with older difficult child's issues. Any chance that this could be your younger son's way of screaming out for attention from you?

    In any event, the advice you've received is on target - make him pay it back AND make him work it off. I personally do not think you need to take away all his things or other privileges. To me, that's not teaching him what it means to you to lose $20 of your hard earned money. By having to pay it back AND work it off, he's learning the value of money and that in order to EARN money, he needs to WORK for it instead of LOSE something for it, Know what I mean??
  9. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    I think that parent's of difficult child's can look at a horse and see a zebra!

    I am not excusing what he did, but it is kinda typical for an 11 year old to do things like that, and I don't think it's a warning sign of things to come.

    Does he get an allowance or have other access to spending money? I have 3 boys, and IIRC, 11 is about the age when boys start becoming more materialistic with each other at lunch and on the playground. "Who has what... What car does dad drive...Which video game are they purchasing next..." that kinda stuff. It's also a time when bullying starts, so i would explore that gently as well, to make sure that it wasn't a payoff to someone who is bullying him. (That happened to one of my kids - a "friend" claimed they broke a video game and was demanding they pay for it. It was bull)

    I'd make him earn $20 and I would then take him out to buy $20 worth of toys or food to donate to the homeless shelter or local food bank and deliver it in person -- perhaps volunteering for shift. It will be a good lesson and a good bonding opportunity.
  10. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    If it's really unusual... What the others have said about discipline.

    As a tween/teen, I went through my parents' change jar and took out all the quarters, nickels and dimes. Like they wouldn't notice. I "borrowed" some of Mom's jewelry. I did put the jewelry back... But... I only shoplifted ONCE... Mom caught me with the bubblegum cigar, took me back into the store and made me apologize, paid for it then made me work it off. I was so humiliated... because a friend of mine was with us when we went back to the store.

    I learned to ask... Eventually.
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I only shoplifted twice that I am aware of. Im pretty sure there have been a couple of times when something got left in the buggy like a gallon of milk or a can of soup but I have never been sure if they were counted or not on a really long list because they werent in a plastic bag. The two times I shoplifted I got caught! The first time I tried it was for a pack of cigarettes in a grocery store and I think I was about 14/15 and the guy let me go. Didnt do it again. The next time it was really my mother who did the shoplifting but I got caught for it.

    My mom and I had been in a store similar to a regular Walmart and we had Billy in a stroller. She kept sticking things under him in the stroller. I kept taking them out and putting them back anywhere in the store just on the shelf. She stuck them in, I took them out. We did that all over the store. I was getting more and more aggravated with her and finally I just decided I was leaving. Well I hadnt realized she had stuck one last thing in the stroller and it was a stupid little brush not worth more than a dollar but they caught me leaving the store with Billy. They also pitched a fit because they saw me putting all the stuff back in the wrong places all over the store. I have no clue why they didnt get my mother for putting the junk IN the stroller. I only got a ticket for shoplifting and had to show up and face misdemeanor theft charges but I was convicted of them and I was so ticked off at my mother. How friggen dare she do that to me?