Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by tammybackagain, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. tammybackagain

    tammybackagain New Member

    ok I need advice, we have been house/dog sitting for past week for my brother, same scheadule just different place and didn't have any major problems but tonight when I went to give brother his keys and spend time with him and his family found out difficult child stole my neice's watch, and some toys from nephew. now the problem this weekend is his Sister's (my granddaughters) birthday party and I can't miss it so how do I let him know he did wrong and what kind of punishment would you use?
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    You can't let it slide, that's for sure. He needs logical consequences which include apologising to those he stole from, and accepting that he has lost trust because of his own actions. He will have to earn back that trust.

    I would talk to him, try to find out why he stole, what his thoughts were at the time. Help him see what was wrong, and that if it had happened to him (ie stuff stolen form him) he would have felt awful, violated, devalued - whatever will get through to him. He is only 7, but that is old enough for a lesson in how to respect other people's boundaries.

    let him know (and follow through) that he must now be watched like a hawk, not trusted, searched, and suspected every time something goes missing. And he only has himself to blame.

  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree with Marg. Even at 7 he can understand he did something wrong and he needs to apologize for what he did. I had a friend who made her son give back the item/s and then another item of theirs that was similar in value. Of course unless he also has a watch, I doubt he could give another watch so he should give maybe another toy that is meaningful to him. For the nephew that he stole from, he should give back those toys and as many toys of his as he stole. As in if he stole 3 toys from your nephew, he has to give up 3 toys of his. That makes it feel uncomfortable to him and he will remember the incident more clearly as something he doesnt want to repeat more deeply than just saying Im sorry. And dont let your brother let him off the hook either by telling him its okay and giving him back the stuff he gives them.
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    That was my first reaction.
    Too often, we are thinking "punishment", but the kid doesn't get the link between the "punishment" and the "crime".
    Logical... so logical that it is directly connected in the child's mind.

    I like Marg's approach.
  5. Angela41

    Angela41 New Member

    I agree with Marguerite- he should be made to feel the consequences of losing his family's trust.

    I read the "Little House on the Prairie" book to my son last year. In one part of the book, Laura did something dishonest. When it was discovered "Pa" said "if you can't be trusted, you must be watched." Laura soon got a taste of what it was like to be "watched" and decided it was much, much easier to be trusted. It was a simple, powerful moral story that still resonates with my son when I remind him of the consequences do dishonesty.
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Yes, I agree.
    You've got to link the action with-the punishment.
    And I think facing those he stole from would be a good lesson, as long as you prepare those people with-what to say. Maybe make sure they show more hurt than anger, because with-my difficult child, he will no longer associate with-anyone he has done anything to or taken something from because it's an either/or situation. We have spent yrs trying to explain to him that people will forgive, but that you have to prove yourself.
    It's tough.