Now he's STEALING!?

Coffee Lover

New Member
Discovered last night that DS charged $280 worth of video games to our credit card yesterday!! I thought he was improving, so much that we let him stay home alone for a few hours at a time while we went to work (which is good, he’s aged out of most daycares) but now he goes and does this?? “Good” news: we go the money back after I spent an hour and a half on the phone fighting with Sony last night.

Obviously, he’s lost the privilege of playing games online, that PS4 account is done. And he’s not getting a new one any time soon. He’s grounded, doing some extra chores, and for today I took him to his grandparents house. But I am literally at a loss.

Now he’s saying he NEEDED a game because he was bored and I won’t buy him one. Dude, go do some of the chores people offered up if you want a game! I DO NOT HAVE MONEY FOR GAMES JUST LYING AROUND. Nor is a child entitled to them! He’s screaming he’s going to kill himself (scared to leave him home alone NOW), he hates us, screw you, F you guys….he went on and on for hours about how awful we are. Like HE was the victim.

And now, he’s only worried about getting games back. Not acting or verbalizing ACTUAL remorse at all. He mumbled sorry one time last night, but then went back to yelling that he wanted more games because we don’t play with him (nevermind that we ask ALL THE TIME to play and he says he’d rather not play with us).

I’m at a loss on this kid.


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
Others here have said that if their Difficult Child threatens suicide then you call the police.

He is probably doing that to try to control you.


Active Member
Oh boy. I love when they play the victim. Stand firm and be strict otherwise he will get worse. If he continues the suicide talk, take him to counseling or call 911.


Roll With It
I would get rid of ALL screens for this child. I do mean ALL screens, at least for a couple of months. I know many think I was too strict with my kids, but now my kids don't. My stance was this: If a game or tv show is so important that my child would steal, lie or cheat to get it, then that item has become FAR too important to my child. That item MUST GO. It, and all screens, became off limits for my child for the forseeable future. I would not say they were gone for a week, or a month, just that they were gone. I wouldn't even let my husband be on the computer or tv around the kids. He had to wait until they were in bed.

The first few days were horrendous. Tantrums, screaming, truly horrible behavior. It gradually got better until by about day 10 the withdrawal was over. It seriously was withdrawal in my opinion. By the end of the 2nd week, I saw my kids' imaginations returning. They were reading more, playing more, using their brains more. They had to. The only reaction the phrase "I'm bored" ever got in our home was a chore. I was not put on earth to be an entertainer.

I was also very strict about stealing. The item got returned AND paid for. So the child was out of the money AND the item. If the child refused or could not pay, then the law could deal with him. I think that maybe you need to have your son do a Scared Straight type program where he goes to tour a jail if he thinks that this is okay and he can behave this way. I don't know if it will help, but you need to be a lot more strict with him. It isn't just about therapy, there have to be some logical consequences to his actions.

How does he intend to pay for his games? What work does he intend to do to pay for his almost $300 in games? Do you have a yard or know anyone with a yard? That game system or computer needs to be locked up in a closet or trunk, or maybe taken to a pawn shop and sold to pay the credit card bill for the games he charged. Let him see that the bill has to be paid and he has to sell his game system and some of his other games and movies and other possessions and also he has to go and rake the yard after it is cut and do other hard work to pay that bill. If he won't work, more of his stuff has to be sold. If he likes to look nice, take his favorite clothes to a consignment store to see if someone will buy them.

I am NOT joking. He MUST learn that the bill needs to be paid - he doesn't need to know that you got the company to forgive it. HE is on the hook for that money because HE incurred the debt. If he thinks the company forgave the debt, he will keep on doing this. He needs firm consequences and paying off a debt is the hardest part of the lesson. Especially if he doesn't get to keep it.

I can tell you that this approach worked on my hard-headed oldest son. Getting him to work off such a large debt at such a young age is tough, but worth it. It will teach him a lesson, and that you are more stubborn than he is. Don't tell him you will make him do it if you won't follow through.


Roll With It
ANY talk of suicide should mean a long boring evening at the hospital waiting for evaluation. Don't make it fun or bring a book or buy a soda for him. He can drink from a water fountain. Bring some crackers from home from a snack and feed him when you get him home afterward. Do ALL you can to make it as miserable as possible for him. Bring a book for yourself and if he acts out, so be it. Ignore him. let the hospital see him act out and threaten suicide.

Do NOT give nice things to kids who threaten suicide. They get trips to the hospital for evaluation, period. Then they get to go home, period. It isn't a game, even though many of them use it as one.

pigless in VA

Well-Known Member

I honestly believe Ferb is addicted to video games. Each and every time I have removed them from him, he has had a horrendous meltdown. I wish that I had banned them from my house when he was younger.

There's a book called Unplugged which addresses just how intensely addicting these video games are. Ferb was 13 when his father died. His counselor actually thought it was beneficial for Ferb to play the games as a "stress release." I think now that I should have forced the issue and then Ferb might have developed better ways to cope with stress.

I'm sorry you're dealing with it, too.


Crazy Cat Lady
I agree with Susie. The games and screens in general need to disappear. Completely.

He'll flip. If he threatens violence or suicide, or destroys property, call the appropriate authorities and have him transported.

You've got to come down on this right now and come down on it like a ton of bricks. Believe it or not, parents have been KILLED by children over electronic games.

I don't quite get the appeal, and I worked as QC and support manager for a gaming house when I first returned from Germany (that might've cured me actually).

What you are seeing here is addictive behavior. What he did is no different than a drug addict stealing to support a drug habit. You have to start looking at it that way and dealing with it accordingly the first step is to prevent access to the "substance", the next and ideally simultaneous step is to secure ALL financial instruments, and anything that can be converted into cash.

Secure all weapons as well, depending on threats of violence/suicide, consider securing sharps, too.

Meanwhile, don't hesitate to pick up the phone. This kid has got to learn that this type of acting out means hospital or police, and that neither are any fun.