8 yr old stealing money & lying

Jen - posted on 12/04/2009 ( 12 moms have responded )

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Hi everyone! I am new to Circle of Moms. Recently we had a major problem here in my house & maybe someone has gone thru something similar or could offer some advice since I am at my wits end. I discovered on Monday that one of 2 50 dollar bills was missing out of my wallet. I thought I was crazy & maybe spent it & forgot. Then on Wednesday I discovered the other 50 missing as well as 2 100 dollar bills from my work deposit (I own a business). Knowing that it had to be one of 4 of my five kids, I was totally freaked out & came home early from work & ransacked their rooms looking for my money. Unfortunately I came up empty. I went to the local Sheriff's office & asked if they would be willing to help scare a confession from my kids. They, as well as I were concerned it was one of the teenagers and they said if I got no where with them that they would help out. So when the 3 older kids came home I searched thru their book bags & purse & found nothing. When my 8 year old came home I asked him to empty his pockets & he pulled out a $20. Not getting any answers where he got it from I told him to put his jacket & sneakers & I took him for a ride to the police station. Of course he was hysterical the whole 5 minute ride their but I got him to admit in the parking lot that he told the 20 out of my purse that morning because he didn't think the $20 I gave him for the book fair was enough. So I brought him back home & added up how much the books were that he purchased & it was $36. So nothing was really adding up. He left the house with $40 for books, purchased $36 & came home with $20? So after more interogations he admitted to my husband that he had a couple $10s in his locker at school. After dinner my husband & he took a ride to school & came home with a crumpled up wad of money from the top shelf of his locker that added up to $199!!!!! The pile included 2 $50s, but he insists that he did not take them this past week. I don't know whether to believe him or not because everything that came out of his mouth had been nothing but lies. Plus we have the missing $100s that haven't popped up yet. He claims he's been taking the money out of my purse for a while now & taking it to school to be "cool". So I don't know if he did take all the money or if one of the other kids took the $300 from this weekend so now I have 2 "thieves" in the house or if he is the only culprit. I don't know how to punish him for this. $200 is alot of money for an 8 year to steal over time. I know you are all thinking I am probably a ditz for not noticing money missing out of my purse but he had been taking the money from my work deposits which I normally don't add up until the end of the week so I would have no idea if money is missing. I know now I can't leave my purse laying around like I have. I don't know what to do with him. Take him back to the police station & have (pretend) to book & charge him with petty larceny enough to scare him. I'm nervous if he is doing stuff like this now what does the future hold. My kids are pretty good kids. They dont get into trouble at school. I know he is crying out for attention. But I can't let this go unpunished. Our family is a blended family, we got married last summer. The 2 older kids are my husbands, the 2 middle are mine & the baby is ours. We all live together. I think he feels "lost" in the mix since he has to share me with more people than ever before. I just don't know what to do. Any suggestions?

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User - posted on 12/04/2009

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When my daughter was 7 or 8, I caught her shoplifting a pair of sunglasses from our 5 & 10 store. The owners are friends of mine. She wanted the glasses ad I told her no. Since she wears glasses already and the sunglasses were not the type to go with her glasses, She was told no. After we left the store and headed home...She climbed out and started for the apt. I noticed that she was fumbling with something under her clothes. Sure enough the glasses fell out. I ask her where she had gotten them from. She replied that she had found them. I ask her if she had taken them from the store and she replied no. I aked her 1 more time and this time I told her that I would not ask again. I also let her know that I knew that she was lying and how much dissappointment I had in her. I also told her that if she came to me later and admitted what she had done that it would be along long time before I could trust her again. As we got closer to the apt. she told me the truth. I was devastated at her lying o me. I worked it out ahead of time to have her talk to the store owner and admit what she had done. After all was said and done, her punishment was to get an after school job (worked out with friends) to cleaned (dust and vaccuum) the front lobby of his store and payment would be $1 a week. She would then take her $1 to the store owner to pay for the glasses. When the glasses were completely paid for, The glasses would be donated to charity. It was a very worth while learning lesson for her. Also she was not alowed to be in the store without a responsible adult with her for 6 months. When christmas rolled around that same year, the storeowners gave her a gift card to spend in the store. They wrote how proud of her for telling the truth and faithfully full filling her obligation. The also hired her when she became 15 yrs. old. We all remain good friends to this day. She learned a hard lesson. One of which she has never forgotten. She is now grown, married, and a wonderful mother to a beautiful 10 mo. baby girl.

Sarah - posted on 12/06/2009

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when i was a kid my parent used the cop routine on me all the time, the problem was, instead having the desired effect of making want to stop the behavior, i felt abandoned unwanted and even more alone. I couldn't understand why i wasn't important enough to them for them to want to try and talk to me, i felt like it was easier for them to drop me off at the police station and have them deal with me. This always compounded the problem and i would become worse. Be very careful if you head down this road, if a child feels unloved, uncherished and unwanted they will indefinitely become so. Self esteem, core values and trust issues can stem from these kind of actions. I agree that punishment is in order and so are boundaries but communication is the key. I suggest counseling to everyone in this family, a united front and a stable home and effective communication are the best tools to manage this situation.

Ann - posted on 12/06/2009

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O my god! this is terrible.My suggestion to you is to let the police give him a serious warning and see what happens after s while.So sorry to hear this is happening in these times.

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Haley - posted on 03/25/2014

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I discovered my 8 yyr old stole money today and turned it to school as lunch money. I am totally distraught and do not even know where to begin to know how to punish her. There are other things that need to be taken into consideration in my case can anyone help me?? (New to this site?

Jen - posted on 12/07/2009

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Thanks again! I talked to a friend of a friend who is correctional officer & works for a prison that utilizes the scared straight practice. He is going to be coming out to talk to the kids & try & scare them straight. Someone took another $20 out of purse last night or this morning. Not sure who it is. But we will figure it out. And hopefully scare them all straight.

Debora - posted on 12/07/2009

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That's a whole lot of money for an 8 year old, and this is a scary habit that needs to be stopped immediately. Explore more, the reasoning for his taking the money. Ask about the being "cool" part, who did he tell about it, was he encouraged by school mates, how did he feel when he took it, even what form of punishment he feels should be meted out. State emphatically that's it not cool to steal, tell him where this habit could lead. Be sure you ask what his feeling are about the family and how he fits in. I feel he needs to be punished one way or another so he understands how wrong it was for him to steal. My prayers are with you on this.

Kelly - posted on 12/06/2009

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i personally put off the counceling for a few years after the stealing started, bit me in the ass BIG TIME. but when we did go to our weekly session it was like a mommy and me session. slow at first but he did start open up. he was 13.(17 now). to this day i wish i would have maid that appointment at the first sign. and deffinately with this marriage and all his issues fresh i think that's a great idea. your son may even decide to bring step dad at some point. at least your $ was in the locker. i was not that lucky...and he was not with his family this thanksgiving. best of luck.

Jen - posted on 12/06/2009

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Thank you everyone for your advice! I am going to get him to a counselor but she doesn't have any openings until the new year. In the mean time, I spoke with his teacher & she is going to set up an appointment with the school psychiatrist. I know it is a cry for help. I had him write me a paper on the importance of why it is bad to steal, lie & go thru other people's personal possession & I am going to have him do "community service" here at the house. He started with shoveling the driveway by himself this morning & doing his brother's chores who wasn't home today. Thank you all again.

Jennifer - posted on 12/05/2009

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Oh, my darling. Your son needs a therapist, and fast. I think you're (pardon the expression) right on the money with your feeling that he's "lost in the mix". This seems to me like a cry for help. He needs that help, and your compassion, far more than punishment. The back of your health insurance card usually has a number for mental health. This doesn't mean he's crazy and needs a shrink, but a psychologist to help him talk out and deal with his feelings. I've used one twice in my life. It really helps.



Best of luck, dear.

Jennie

Sharon - posted on 12/05/2009

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This isn't the right way to get your attention.

Talk with a psychiatrist or counselor. But bad deeds have to be punished and since its attention he wants, I think that needs to be with held from you. Start looking for positive things you can praise him for though.

Kimberly - posted on 12/05/2009

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Have you all tried sitting down at the table and discussing what has been happening lately, and asking everyone if they are feeling left out or angry. This might help open up the communications better, and have everyone express themselves and you all can talk about what you can do to make things better, and if this still doesn't help then I would suggest you get a family councelor or someone from your church if you go.

Jan - posted on 12/05/2009

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I was caught stealing money from the my parents shop when I was about 8 years old. I didn't spend any of it, it was all 50p pieces which I saved up in a jar. My parents tackled me about it, said I couldn't possibly have saved so much because I wasn't given so much. I burst in to tears and never ever stole money again from anyone. But at least I took it from my own parents, I wouldn't have dreamt of taking it from anywhere else, but maybe if I hadn't learnt the lesson earlier enough as a teenager I may have been tempted to steal.

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