How do u stop an 8 yr old boy from stealing???

Haley - posted on 10/13/2009 ( 6 moms have responded )

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My step-son is 8 years old. He has had a problem with stealing since the age of 4 or 5. The first time we caught him stealing from Blockbuster Video. My husband and I took him back in the store and made HIM tell the manager that he stole. The manager had a long talk with him and threatened to call the cops on him if it ever happened again. When we left, we saw a cop and took him up to the car, to put a little scare in him. The police officer I think scared him pretty good. Now, about 3 or 4 months ago, he started stealing again. First it was $20 off the kitchen counter. And just recently he stole one of my husbands very expensive baseball cards and a ziploc baggy full of my daughter's quarters she'd been saving. My husband and I are at our wits and don't know what to do. To make things worse, he is lying to his mom about us, and coming home and lying to us about her. The things that he says scares me about his mother's home. If what he says is true, it is no environment for any child. We are ready to send him back tohis moms and let her deal with him, but we dont want to endanger him neither. Any ideas of what to do?

6 Comments

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Stacy - posted on 10/15/2009

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Haley, I hope and pray that your son (step) finds the understanding and desire to not steal anymore, and you and your husband are in my prayers too. I hope you continue to be united together. Good luck. :-)

Haley - posted on 10/14/2009

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I appreciate everyone's advice. My family has given us some pretty useful advice as well! I think we are going to start with the couseling first and go from there! We have to start somewhere and talking to his mom is not working, so we have to take another avenue! Again, thanks to everyone!

Stacy - posted on 10/14/2009

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OK, I am NOT a therapist, but maybe he wants mom and dad back together. By causing conflict, the biological parents will have to get together to discuss issues...maybe he hopes it will make them love each other again. I believe in good ol butt whoopins. I'm in Texas. CPS says that they are acceptable means of discipline as long as NO bruises are left. You can use whats necessary...switch, table tennis paddle, the CPS worker used to use a wooden spoon. Let me be clear, CPS was involved in my family because of allegations of abuse BY MY X toward my daughter. I asked about spankins because I wanted to know. I got spanked. Iremember everything I got spanked for...and I NEVER did it twice!! You have to spank a kid until they cry becuz it hurts, not becuz they want you to stop.

As for the mom's house, when he is at the mothers' house, call the local police dept that would have jurisdiction, ask them to do a child welfare check. This way, if something is wrong, you are using proper channels to ascertain any threats to the child. They will ask to see the child, the home environment, and possibly talk to the child while at the mother's home...without involving CPS. Cps will make the claim it is a custody dispute, so use the local authorities first. Try to record some of his "allegations" about his mom's environment that give you concerns. If you can record from the moment you get him from his mom, through his allegations, this will serve you well because the tape can be authenticated by you and your hubby, and anydispute about y'all coaching, or coersing him will be mute.

I agree with Sharon, be united and consistent, but counseling doesn't always work and isn't the answer for every family. He MUST know that in your home, consequences ARE a result of his actions and bad decisions.

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It also sounds like he knows he can pit both mom and dad against eachother. A strongly unified front consisting of you, your husband, and the boy's mother could make a big difference. Open communication and being able to immediately pick up the phone and call to verify statements he makes could help too. If that's not possible, I feel for you - trying to fight this battle one sided. Yes, counseling will help but consistency, structure, and immediate action is what will make the difference now. Unfortunately, it may take a while before you see the benefits of counseling. Good luck!

Ginger - posted on 10/13/2009

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Quoting heidi:

oh gosh..poor you...it sounds as though something really may be goin on in his life & maybe he's seeking out attention? And not only is he stealing but also lying so i would try a really good counselor..do some research to find a really good one though & if his mom is trully onboard & also concerned ?maybe try family counseling with her, your husband,& yourself ..something obviosly is really bothering him & he doesnt seem to know how to voice it...so you may want to find out why,& what you all can do as a family to help him get on the right track...good luck to you



I agree with Heidi, he needs counseling. It really does help....good luck.

Heidi - posted on 10/13/2009

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oh gosh..poor you...it sounds as though something really may be goin on in his life & maybe he's seeking out attention? And not only is he stealing but also lying so i would try a really good counselor..do some research to find a really good one though & if his mom is trully onboard & also concerned ?maybe try family counseling with her, your husband,& yourself ..something obviosly is really bothering him & he doesnt seem to know how to voice it...so you may want to find out why,& what you all can do as a family to help him get on the right track...good luck to you

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