THIEVING CHILD! I have suspicions that my 10-year old has been taking money from my wallet.

Jessica - posted on 02/17/2010 ( 22 moms have responded )

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I used to think I was just loosing it, or that I really did spend that $5 that I thought I had in my wallet, but I know for sure that yesterday I had two $10 bills and now one of them is missing - and I have not been to any store/out to eat/etc. since. My 10-yr old always seems to have cash and says that he "finds" it or his friends give it to him. . . I now suspect that he's been thieving from my purse! Has anyone else delt with this or have suggestions on how to effectively approach this situation and nip it in the bud? Thanks.

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Pamela - posted on 02/17/2010

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Jessica,
I hope that you have figured a solution to your problem. It is hard when you have trust issues with your child. I was a kid that "found" money. Not something I am proud of, but there it is. Do your children perhaps earn allowance or money for chores, etc? If they don't perhaps it is a good idea to make that start. Make a chore list, let them each pick a few, and you and dad pick a few. Pay them a set amount each week, depending on age and degree of difficulty of the chore. Once they have spent it, that is it, they do not get more. Make sure it is an amount that you and dad are comfortable with "spending" each month per child, it has to work in the budget. Keep track of what chores get completed on a job chart, and they get paid accordingly. Deduct for what they don't complete. Make it rewards and consequences. It is a good way to earn the value of a dollar.
You have to make them see that there are consequences for stealing, just like any other wrong doing in life. Sit them down and ask, why, let them know you are not perhaps mad, but more hurt than anything, because you provide for them. If they would maybe just ask, things could be given. But they also need to know they have to earn it. Did you steal your house, car, etc. No, you earn it. Hugs to you and I wish you all the best. It is a hard thing to try to get your child out of, but you have to nip it in the bud or it will just turn into bigger problems later. Hey, and if they give you the teen age attitude, bring them on a tour of a jouvenile hall or something, with an officer. That might be enough to scare 'em out of it, especially at 10 years of age. (And I know I said "they" a lot, and it was only your one child, but include the other, so that way they know it will not be tolerated from either). And if you have to practice even tougher love, don't let your child go on the next paid extra activity. Or, make them work to pay a portion. If they like the activity enough, they might think again before stealing from you.

Take care,
Pam

Iridescent - posted on 02/17/2010

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Trust involves more than putting temptation in front of them and walking away. It also involves teaching the consequences of failing that trust - stealing = a specific punishment, sex = children way too young, STD's. Just because I trust my children with money and to be responsible does not mean I have taught them nothing about what laws and expectations in our family are, as well as about safety in life.



Not only that, but ignoring the behavior, hiding your purse, and etc NOW just teaches them that they can steal as long as they don't get caught, because mom will only change her hiding place. As a child would think, "big deal". And an adult raised from that would not think twice about stealing from anyone they can. That's the majority of people around now (hence locks on doors and cars).

Ashley - posted on 02/17/2010

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my boyfriends 11 year old was doing the same thing and to catch her we told her if you lake even one penny from another person your grounded... so one time she did it and we made her stand in the corner and she didnt do it again... well then she started stealing snacks from school... so grounded her for 1 week and during that week i made an appt with someone at the police station and we didnt tell her and we took her down there and the officer talked to her about consequences like jail and what happens to you when u get a record and showed he hand cuffs and a holding cell its called to "scare tactic" or something like that not to scare kids of the police but to scare them of what there consequences will be... so far it has worked for the most part... hope some of this can help and hope your situation gets bettter. i know its a tough situation. o btw we have even look into like behavioral correctional facilites and told her about them that kids that cant stop stealing and lying and cheating and skipping classs and get into trouble go there when their parents cant control them...

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Katie - posted on 08/06/2011

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I would sign his butt up for some good old community service giving back to the community, watch whom he is going out with or whom his friends are, talk to teachers. Kids don't just find cash, and people don't just give it to them. He is stealing or could be involved in activities selling things. Set an alarm over his door and your front and back door so it will go off when someone goes in and out.

Krista - posted on 02/17/2010

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LOL@Sandra: I did the same thing with the loonies and toonies.

Your advice is good though -- Jessica, you might want to give your kid an "out" by asking if he "borrowed" money from you without asking. That's a lot less likely to put him on the defensive than asking if he stole it. He'll probably stop now that he knows you're on to him.

Jessica - posted on 02/17/2010

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Thanks, all. As of now, both boys deny taking any money. I'll be checking with the school tomorrow to see if the little one has had an influx of money into his "lunch account" (what happened to paying cash for school lunches?) . . . because I know how much he likes to "eat out." If he's had more cash than usual in his possession, then this might be one indicator.

Y'all had some great ideas, advise, and some even made me smile!

Kate CP - posted on 02/17/2010

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No, Pamela, just a general warning. If there was a personal attack I can assure you it was removed already.

[deleted account]

when I was in highschool I did the same thing. My parents had a HUGE glass jar filler with loonies and toonies (I am Canadian)..i would take 5 bucks one day 3 the next and so on and so on for weeks.

they confronted me and i lied, because I was scared of telling them the truth. i was afraid of the consequence...however they did look rather pissed off when they asked me. If they came up to me CALMLY and asked me in a non accusing way..i probably would have told them the truth.
so the only advice I can give you, is to Calmly ask...be prepared for denial. let it go after that. leave an extra 5 bucks in your wallet at all times and everyday check to see if the 5 dollars goes missing. when it does (and it probably will, if they didn't get in trouble the last time) thats when you let them know that you set them up..and thats when you talk to them about boundaries and consequences.

you also say that your 10 year old always seems to have money, and that he gets it from friends or that he finds it...can I meet his friends? because i wish i knew people that gave me money, and can I go walking with him, so he can show me where to look and find money. This isn't meant to sound mean, but you already know the answer.

Pamela - posted on 02/17/2010

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"Personal attacks are not tolerated. If you need a refresher on no T.H.U.M.P.S please refer to the guidelines of this community.
Thank you
Katherine
Administrator"



Was this directed at my post? I am sorry if I offended, it was not my intention.

Kate CP - posted on 02/17/2010

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Personally, I'd put a mousetrap in my purse and see who came running to Mommy for a band-aid. :P

Seriously, though, talk to the kids. And the one who's been stealing should have to pay you back. If he can't actually pay you back in money, then add an extra chore to his daily list of chores until he's "earned" the money he took.

Katherine - posted on 02/17/2010

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Personal attacks are not tolerated. If you need a refresher on no T.H.U.M.P.S please refer to the guidelines of this community.
Thank you
Katherine
Administrator

Natalie - posted on 02/17/2010

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@ Amy
You have a nerve! You don't know me so yeah, i have plenty of self control. But i thought my Mom wouldn't find out and i "needed" the money for teenager stuff and i felt i didn't get enough allowance form my Mom.
Don't talk about something you don't know anything about and don't judge.

Iridescent - posted on 02/17/2010

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You're probably right on that. Our kids pay for some of the books from book orders. We pay for events for school. They pay for extra snacks and toys on field trips, we pay for lunch and passes. They set goals for what they'd like to get - our oldest was saving for a very nice skateboard, and saved for it. Him purchasing his own taught him the true value of it, let him have that pride every time he uses it, and now he takes care of it. It is really HIS. We always discussed goals with them, and now they do it on their own and let us know what their current ones are. They change regularly, but that's fine. The fact that they know the options they have is what matters.

Jessica - posted on 02/17/2010

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With tons of candy from holidays . . . and their love of candy, we never had an instance of them eating it when it was not allowed. What does a 10-year-old have to spend money on, anyway? We hardly ever go shopping, and I make sure all their Scout events are paid for, and I give them money each time they have a campout so they can get a snack or lunch with the rest of 'em . . . and I let them keep the change! I'm guessing that this is just a boundary issue, and he needs to know it's there, and what the consequences are when he pushes them.

Iridescent - posted on 02/17/2010

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If it "called" you, it's because you were not taught self-control. It is a learned skill.

Jessica - posted on 02/17/2010

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heehee . . . are you saying my purse calls out to my son, taunting him, teasing him, to come get my wallet? I don't leave my purse in a "common" room. The boys are not even allowed in that area unless invited (and either my husband or I are in the room). I've never EVER had problems with them getting into things before, and never had to "baby proof" my place. The closest incident of "getting into things" that I've encountered until now is that one of them filled all the shampoo & soap bottles with water - but that never happended again after we had a talk. :) I hate the thought of "hiding" my purse because I keep other things in it that I need to reference often - my dayplanner, for example and other business tools . . .

Alison - posted on 02/17/2010

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Would you leave your 13 year old daughter alone in her room with a boy because you want to trust her? Have a serious talk with the boys and hide your purse to take away the temptation, and to have the assurance that they are not taking your money.

Iridescent - posted on 02/17/2010

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We don't hide our money. We do trust our kids. Birthday money is theirs. Holiday money is theirs. A portion is set aside to save, and a portion to spend, and they are responsible for their portion for spending. They each have a nice wallet. They also earn money by walking the neighbor's dog, taking trash out for us and neighbors, helping us with little kids. And if they really want something, we'll exchange cash for chores, same as an adult with a job would. They do not get an allowance because I expect my children to earn what they have, not develop the ethic that says "the world owes me a living because I exist" like so many have. And they have never stolen from us, period. In fact, if they find money laying in the house, they bring it to us. Maybe you need to be blunt about it, and lay some ground rules, and let them have "jobs" to earn what they feel they need.

Natalie - posted on 02/17/2010

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I did that when i was about 16 or so. My Mom always had lots of cash and i thought she wouldn't notice. But she did. She never did find out it was me though b/c then i stopped b/c i felt so guilty.
This is why i hardly ever have cash on me or if i do, i know exactly how much and i would confront my kids if it ever went missing. I would punish both until 1 gives in and admits it.

Jessica - posted on 02/17/2010

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Note: I discovered this incident this morning and my husband and I will confront both boys about this tonight. I don't want to have to "hide" my purse - I want to trust my kiddos and know they understand their boundaries and that there will be dire consequences for actions such as this.

Heidi - posted on 02/17/2010

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I can't say I have had to deal with this personally, but if I had to what I would do is hide my purse. Dont keep it out in the open. Kids will get tempted esspecially when its in sight and if there friends always have money then they might want money for things all the time. My 2 younger boys get an allowance each week, and my oldest who is now 19 doesn't as he works full time, but the 2 younger ones get $10 each and usually they will save it for something special they want to buy. Have you confronted your son on this? Have you talked to your husband about what you think is going on? Nip it now before its to late. Good luck!

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