My 13 yr old teen was caught stealing....but denies it,how do I handle this?

Karen - posted on 04/29/2009 ( 12 moms have responded )

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My husband and I caught our son stealing( from a cousin)...we know for sure he did it,but refuses to take responsibility. How do we deal with this?? He actually got very upset with us when we asked him how he come to have this item in his possession.
I am lost. If anyone has been through something similar or knows how to go about dealing with this , I would appreciate any ideas!!

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Melissa - posted on 06/28/2011

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You need to tell him that trust is the foundation of any relationship. Tell him that you KNOW he stole the item...accept no excuse. Then tell him that his outright denial of fact has just further diminished your trust him...don't express anger...be DISAPPOINTED. Explain to him that with out trust...any and all privileges are revoked. No phone cause you can't trust he is talking to who he says he's talking to. No outside with friends unless you are there because you can't trust him. No bedroom door closed unless he is dressing. No computer. You get the idea.

I have always told my kids that trust is of paramount importance. I have also told them that I understand that they will mess up, but if they lie and I find out later it is all over. When I ask them something and I'm not sure I'm getting the truth, I ask if they are sure that is the answer the want to stick with, they are allowed one story "clarification". If they stick to there story, I say "ok, but you know the drill". I've only caught each of them in a lie once. I know when my kids are acting shady and I warn them about it, they know they don't want to have to earn back my trust.

Carla - posted on 04/29/2009

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i have learned over and over again, that accusing them, does no good. my son lies alot, but i have to take it slow, and stick to it, until he finally will fess up. sometimes it's quite awhile... last year there was a BIG issue, took us 6 months to get the truth out of him.

Brandi - posted on 04/29/2009

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It is all in the approach. If you don't ask, he won't lie. Try using 'shield words' such as 'however and regardless' when addressing issues. State the facts, and ask him to explain how he got the item, in several different ways, without flat out accusing him. He will tire of trying to keep up with a lie, if he indeed stole the item.

Hope this helps..

~Brandi

JuLeah - posted on 06/27/2011

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Never ask. Tell. "I see you have ... and I know that belongs to ..."
He got upset with you to throw you off the scent :) If you are fighting with him about 'How dare you accuse me" you are not discussing what he actually did ... it's a good system, I have used it myself.
So, yes he knows it was wrong and yes, he is shamed/embarressed to have been caught ... and he is still young enough to be in 'magical thinking' "If I wish it, it will be so"
He could find a way to justify this, or deny it, or forget about it completely if you and his father would only let it go :)

Of course, as good parents' you must follow through ... he needs to return said item, or the $ amount if said item has been eaten or lost.
Don't make him say he is sorry, cause odds are he is not. Maybe, when grown he will be, but not now.
He and his cousin need to work this out ... his cousin gets to share how he feels about the whole thing .... it needs to all be very open and above board .... bright light on this behavior can be a deterent ....

Then look at why. Why did he take whatever he took? There was a reason .... if it is something he can actually have, help him figure out how to earn it himself

Elizabeth - posted on 08/23/2009

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Hi Karen...
I haven't been in a situation myself but know of someone who has. What she did when she found out her daughter had become light fingered was take her straight to the Police station and had a little chat with an officer. That scared the living day lights out of her and she soon stopped...

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JuLeah - posted on 06/27/2011

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@ Amber ... JV is not a cure .... usually leads kid to more trouble. They learn things there from kids into far more trouble .... they start to see themselves as 'bad kid' and juvie kids .... Keep her out of there if at all poss

Danielle - posted on 06/27/2011

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My son is 13 and he has been stealing for as long as i remember! He will also sit there and deny the fact that he has done it regardless if he has been caught or not, He was caught shoplifting the other week and was given an ABC order off the police, Thinking that this order would help i was sadly mistaken as he has continued to steal, lie, bully, i am at a loss now as everytime the police have found out he has "broke" his order they have always given him another chance this has happened 6 times now!! any advice would be greatly appreciated!..

Shelly - posted on 08/31/2009

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Karen,

You take your son and the item that he stole and take them back over to his cousins and make him return it. Most of the time this will embarrass him enough he should stop. If this doesn't do it then you get the police involved. Don't let this slide or it will continue. I would keep on top of it. Good Luck

Marti - posted on 08/02/2009

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My son continuoslly takes money from my purse and then lies about it. I don't know what to do. I tell him if he asks I will be happy to give hom money if I have it. Maybe its his friends. My nephew stayed with me for 2 weeks and suddenly his ipod was gone. the girl he asked to charge it has not been heard from since. I don't know what to do. If its hom or his friends, I can't trust any of them.

Ana Lisa - posted on 07/22/2009

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Hello my name is Analisa I have a thirteen year old and im going through some tough times as well. Teenagers tend to use anger or rag as a way out of a sticky situation its a way of trying to intimidate you and remember under anger lie other feelings and he is probably ashamed for what he did really deep in side.

Always keep the upper hand by staying in control and staying calm,if you are for sure he did the act and you have heard all sides of the story even the cousine he stold from and still will not fess up then tough love is needed.You might want to take the item and your son drive them to the police station and tell him if you dont tell us you get the picture.Maybe this is the only way it will work.I hope you dont have to take it in that direction.I hope everything works for you.

Gloria - posted on 07/17/2009

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I started telling my kids at a very young age that it was better to tell the truth because if I ever needed to defend them I wouldn't be able to with a lie. Till this day and they are now in their 20's they tell the truth, even if it is their fault. Many time's I would blush because they have been so truthfull, but I have appreciated the honesty even if it hurts. Perhaps you might mention that telling one lie leads to many more. He knows you know now it's not a secret. So the fact that he stole the item is not the issue any more. Talk to him about what lieing can do to his future. Be honest with him. The one thing kids actually want from us is for us to be honest just like we want them to be.

Amber - posted on 05/16/2009

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just this wk my soon to be 13 year old daughter stole my fiancee cell phone took it to her bus stop took case off it put her name and pic on it as if it was hers took the case and put it in her locker and left the phone in someones yard we called cops they took her to juvinile for few hours she swore she didnt do it she took it on 7th yesterday we bribed her with 2$ for the case after saying she dont know where it is we gave her 2$ she said she will get it monday from her locker she got punished plus sent to juvi

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