Need advice on this situation please am really struggling

Lady Bear

New Member
My 16yo son has lived with his father and grandmother for the last 4 years until recently. He was thrown out last week because he stole his grandmother's jewellery and has sold it. Unfortunately we can't get it back. The police were called but no charges were made. He got a right rollicking off the police officer and he isn't getting off lightly back home with me. The thing is.....he feels like he was left to his own devices too much at his dad's. My son has felt for a long time that his father puts his girlfriend before him which really stings. His father's girlfriend is jealous of my son and they have had a fractious relationship. My son told me he stole the jewellery, not for the money but for someone to actually notice him :thumbsdown:
I feel my son's actions speak volumes. Personally I feel it was a cry for help. Unfortunately his father and grandmother don't see it that way. I do realise that his grandmother is experiencing deep emotional turmoil because of his actions. I have transferred all of my son's substantial inheritance from my late mother to try to start to make a mends but now the grandmother is sending threatening texts saying she is going to tell all his friends what he has done and he will be cut out of his inheritance from herself and his late grandfather and give it to his cousin and half brother instead and to go and have a nice life she said she hopes it was worth it. I really do understand her hurt but my son is still a minor. His father won't even speak to him and said he is ashamed of him. My son ran away when he got found out and I found him banging his head against a wall and then punching it. I just feel his dad and grandmother need to have a bit of self reflection to why my son did this. My son has been honest and told his friends and he really doesn't care about the inheritance money and that he just wanted time and consideration and to be put before an angry girlfriend who his dad * stays withbecause he feels sorry for her as she had a rough upbringing. (* His father's words)Apologiest that this post is all over the place. I just feel that my son is trying to make a mends and the grandmother keeps sticking the knife in with unkind wording. I'm trying to teach my son a lesson back here at home but also give him my time, love and understanding and a lot of inclusion. Things that he felt he didn't get at his dad's. His grandmother has undermined my wishes constantly over the past 4 years and my eagerness to co parent with his father has been stamped on by the jealous girlfriend. Lots of things have not helped. All of my son's clothing smelt strongly of damp and mold when he came home. I feel he wasn't looked after properly. I regret asking his dad to have him...I asked because the school was a lot better over that way and also I have struggled emotionally due to a very neglectful upbringing. My son is very focused on getting in to the armed forces. He is genuinely remorseful for his actions. He is also angry at how his grandmother and father have treated him. I'm finding it very difficult on how to go about things as I don't want to seem like I'm letting him off but also don't want to make him feel any more saddened than he feels already. He isn't allowed to see his friend's, he has lots of jobs to do around the house and will have to pay back any more that is owed to grandmother when he is working. I don't really want anything more to do with his father and grandmother as I feel the grandmother is emotionally abusive and his father is just too arrogant to deal with. He thinks he knows it all (sigh) I wanted to ask my family for advice but I don't want to shame my boy anymore than he has been shamed already. I will take any advice on the chin. Thank you for taking the time to read.
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Active Member

Welcome to our community.

It sounds, from what you describe, that your son's actions were out of character, and that he doesn't generally steal or otherwise engage in criminal/antisocial behavior - is this correct?

If so then perhaps the best option, if you are able to do so, is simply to take your son back into your home. He is sixteen and assuming he does not have other issues you haven't mentioned - and that this was, in fact, a one time situation - then he will be grown and on to his adult life soon enough. He may be mature enough to function with relative independence and hopefully, not be a burden to you.

Best of luck and keep us posted.


New Member
Hi Lady Bear!
I don't post a lot but I read a lot. The boards helped me as we dealt with teens/young adults. My daughter did a dumb thing by finding a wallet and using the card in it to buy a pizza....and have it the same place she found the wallet. SMH. They were not going to press charges but she kept the gift cards from the wallet claiming she wanted to return them herself (she wanted the drama) , but when they found those gone they did press charges. The worst part was she JUST turned 18. SHE had to pay for an attorney herself who was able to meet the charges with diversion and then expungement later. The reality is that she was, and still is to some extent, very immature. She is now 20 and has come a long way in just 2 years.
Your boy is only 16. My family doctor says kids are dumb from 15-25. Maybe he's right. Really at this point, this sounds like a one time incident. If indeed he is remorseful perhaps he truly is needing just some support and attention. This will become evident as the months and years go by. Have you considered a counselor that he and also you at times can go to? It can be so beneficial to be able to talk to a neutral third party who he will see is on HIS side. (Kind of like this group for us.)
Blessings to you both.

Lady Bear

New Member
Thank you for your reply @BloodiedButUnbowed. My son is Heback home with me until basic training in September which he is so focused for! He has had a couple of minor incidents, 4 years ago he took £2 off the side of his friends mums unit in there living room. He was found out....taken back round to apologise face to face and did a few chores for them in recompense.
Another incident more recently where he filled a hip flask up with his dad's whisky without his dad's knowledge to take to the prom. He isn't a bad lad....he is angry with the lack of interaction and guidance at his father's.
I feel that he has had waaaay too much time left by himself.
I'm trying to broach the subject of speaking with a third party but he has expressed that in no way on earth will he speak with anyone. @ Fearofsucsess Maybe me re wording it like you mentioned that the someone's you get to talk to will be on 'your side'...may help him make a decision to speak with a third party. I have GREAT DIFFICULTY finding the right words to say to him.
Thanks for both your responses and help.


Well-Known Member
I am not sure what to say. I let my daughter get away with stealing at your sons age and felt sorry for her too instead of coming down hard on her. In fact she got rewarded a lot for awful behavior and my husband and I made excuse after excuse for her behavior. When it became clear that she couldn't live with us safely, nor live well with her useless lazy husband, we bought her a house which she lost and then she got a ton of other perks from us because we felt guilty and bad for her. Our money is mostly gone. We gave it to her. She didn't have to steal it, but she did steal. And we never called the police.

So now we have a 33 year old daughter who never felt consequences, whom we pitied because she was not as academically successful as her siblings, because she said being adopted made her feel out of place, etc.

She didn't need our pity nor our excusing her. She needed to be treated like others treat their children who behave in a way that will hurt them and others as they become adults. Your son is not experiencing anything worse than many teens do in this age of divorce and most do not steal from Grandma or anyone. Your son was dead wrong and nobody made him do it. There are many other ways to deal with feeling neglected, if that is even true. Your son was wrong for any reason. Maybe he can work part time after school and give Grandma half his paycheck. No, we never made Kay get a job. She is 33 and still has never significantly worked.

I am belatedly learning that there is no excuse for bad behavior. None. The anger from his grandmother and dad are consequences of his stealing. It is part of a lesson. My daughter has no friends in the family anymore because of her behavior. She has not learned to behave better. My heart is broken, but we no longer help her either and she is abusive to us. She expects to be doted on no matter what and life doesn't work that way. Same for your son. Or anyone.

Yes, he is only 16, but he IS 16. He is not eight. He needs to earn back trust. Or not. It is up to them and him. Saying he is sorry is not enough.

I was like you. I am NOT criticising you at all. I get your deep pain and almost feeling as if HE is the victim. I have felt it toward people who were angry ay my."poor" daughter for theft and other issues. Oh, how I wish we had not done so much in the name of compassion for Kay. She is helpless now and dishonest today. And everything is someone else's fault, not hers. I blame myself and my husband for how we always handled her like she was fragile china. The results are bad.;

My advice is to back off. I wish we had. This is between his victims (yes, they are) and him. His grandmother can disinherit him if she likes. It is her money. This may sound awful, but husband and I are considering leaving Kay a very small inheritance. The other kids never received the money that she has gotten from us.

Your son is.lucky Grandma didn't call the cops. Minor or.not, he is close to 18 and knows better. What did he spend that money on? Drugs? Video games? Nothing as important as breaking his grandma's heart and he did. And she is angry. And I can't blame her.

At 16 he can wash his own clothes and tidy himself up and even cook himself. I wish we had forced Kay to learn these life skills. At 33 she still doesn't clean her apartment, cooks microwave, wont work and my grandson is often not clean. She sits around all day smoking cigarettes and pot. She cant afford either bit finds money elsewhere from us.

I have to stop. I am going to a place that hurts me. I feel our excusing Kay and our pity for her made her an adult victim. If your son will get therapy, he needs it. My Kay would not go. She has never gone. Pot all day long every day is her therapist.

I wish you the best and if God is in your life I recommend giving this entire problem over to Him in His loving care. It is not your business, even though your son was the one who did it. Please stay out of it for the sake of him learning consequences and for you not getting stressed and sick. Take care of yourself in this. Maybe hide your valuable items as your son could do it again.

I offer hugs and empathy. Been there.
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Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
Hi Lady Bear,

I understand that your son is still young so there is a good chance that he can turn this around.

He is genuinely remorseful for his actions. He is also angry at how his grandmother and father have treated him.
I'm glad to hear that your son is remorseful for his actions, however, he has no right to be angry with how his grandmother and father have treated him over this. While the reason he stole was to "get attention" it does not take away the fact that he stole his grandmother's jewelry and hocked it. I know first hand what it's like as my son stole from me many times. It's a breach of trust and it's not something that is easy to get over. I have forgiven my son but I cannot forget what he did and my trust in him is completely gone.
I would imagine the grandmother feels extremely betrayed and hurt and yes, angry.
It doesn't matter the reason your son did what he did, it was wrong.

He isn't a bad lad....he is angry with the lack of interaction and guidance at his father's.
I totally get this. It's hurtful for him and also a betrayal that he feels his father is favoring his girlfriend over him. My heart hurts for your son having to deal with this. Your son needs to get some counseling to learn how to deal with his disappointment and anger. If your son does not learn how to deal with his emotions in a productive way, I fear there will be more interactions with the police.

As I said, your son is young and can turn this around but I really do think he would benefit from some counseling.

The story of two wolves offers some good food for thought.

Lady Bear

New Member
@BusynMember Thank you for telling me your story. I see amit I was tough to tell, sorry you and your husband have had such a stressful time of it.
My mother and father didn't give me any boundaries or guidance and have used pot since a young age to mask the pain of emotional unhealth. Probably why I over compensate where my boy is concerned as I have feelings of guilt that I could of done better and maybe he wouldn't of done what he did. The police were called but didn't press charges. Here he has to wash up and make his own lunch and clean up the dog poo and walk the dog clean the toilet/bath hoover. Plus self care. He will have to pay back any monies still owing when he is working. I know grandmother is the victim and is hurt beyond belief andhas lost trust for ever. I would just like for her to stop sending nicey nice messages to me and then in the same time sending cruel messages to my son.... He did wrong...he is trying to make a is what it is ...... Need to move on. Thank you for your advice. I can't make him speak to someone...I wish I could because I know it would be beneficial but how can I make a 6ft 16 year old talk to a counsellor?
I will work on myself with the feelings if guilt and pity for my son and try to make him see that even though he felt neglected he could of chosen to go about things differently.

Lady Bear

New Member
Thank you @Tanya M for your thoughts and advice. I just read the Two Wolves... Wow.. powerful.
I feel I should talk this througdoor with my son but he is very dismissive when it Comes to talking about feelings. I'm at a loss though on how to get him to understand that seeing a counsellor would be beneficial. I'm a single parent and can't communicate very well with his father. His father though is on the same page in trying to get our son to talk to a counsellor.


Well-Known Member
I'm going to be nosy and ask how he spent the proceeds from the sale of the jewelry.

You mentioned that he previously stole £2 from a friend's mom. It seems his stealing gradually escalates from small things to bigger things, which is concerning.

I like the idea of him having jobs to do and not being allowed to hang with friends before basic training. I would be a real hard ass, old fashioned parent in this situation. He would be going to school, put to work, and doing penance in the form of hard work, such as a minimum wage job in which he has to Scrub out garbage cans, clean commodes, and all the other things no one wants to do.

I don't blame grandma for writing him out of the will. Kids in my family have been written out of the will for habitual behavior of this type. That really shook them up and made them stop and think about their behavior.

It sounds like your son has a guilty conscience, which is extremely important in all of this.


Well-Known Member
I don't think you can make your son see a counselor and be honest. By 16 there is really no way to force kids to our will if they refuse. They are too big to carry, their friends drive or they are not sbove stealing your car and as you saw they can steal. I used to drive Kay to school every day and she went in but walked out the other door and the school wouldn't help us get her to go to class. Said the school was too big to watch every kid. We were beside ourselves.

I think you going to therapy would help a lot. If your son uses drugs, Al Anon is slso very helpful at least to us. Until Kay turned fourteen I always thought I could control my kids. I found out differently.

Good luck and be well first of all.