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At my wits' end....

Discussion in 'Personal' started by jellycowfish, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. jellycowfish

    jellycowfish New commenter

    Help!!! My (almost) teenage son has been stealing from me - money and other bits - but when confronted, vehemently denies it, and manages to turn it round that I blame him for everything, I obviously hate him and life is SOOO unfair (more 'Kevin' than Harry Enfield). I know it's him - caught him taking money out of my purse yesterday, but he insisted he was 'just looking'. We have had more confrontations in the last few weeks about this than in the whole of his life previously, but nothing I do - threats, rational conversations (I'm on JSA, can't afford this, etc), and withdrawing privileges - seems to have any effect.
    Has anyone got any strategies I can use, please? I'm really desperate for anything I can do to get through to him.
  2. anon468

    anon468 New commenter

    Apologies, jelly - I have no experience of this and can therefore offer no constructive advice/strategies.
    However, you have my utmost sympathy and I hope you are able to resolve this unhappy situation.
    Best wishes,
  3. Hi, im sorry to hear.

    well due to the sudden turn around in his attitude, it could possible be due to a certain issue that are occurring in his life. maybe he's being bullied at school, change of hormones/personality etc. it could be many reasons. possible try to talk to him very calmly, try not to allow it to turn into an argument, let him know that if he needed any money, all he has to do is ask for it (providing its a reasonable amount, and that u initially have it to give to him). hes at a crucial age where if he makes it a habit, it will be hard to stop. So use your motherly tactics and im sure in time you will get through to him.

    All the best
  4. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    What are the"other bits" that he "steals"?
    I think this is a common problem so don't feel too down. Try to make sure you keep your purse and such on your person and in your space so that he is not tempted to be sneaky.
    And find him some money of his own to spend. It is hard for younsters to live life strapped for cash and all our arguments about how skint we are just make the kids feel worse. Even a little ready cash can make them feel a bit better and some control over financial decisions in the family is a good idea - even if it is hard for us to let go.......
  5. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Hide all money, and especially cards. Our eldest used to nick cash whenever we were daft enough to leave it out - we learned eventually.

    He's only doing it because he's pushing the boundaries and you're providing the opportunity. He'll get the message before too long.
  6. PlymouthMaid

    PlymouthMaid Occasional commenter

    My daughter takes cash from my bag sometimes which is very annoying and totally out of order. It is very hard to deal with as I have never actually caught her in the act. I am also a bit short of cash most of the time (never mind the fact that it is stealing) so now I take my money up to bed at night rather than leave my bag laying around. No easy solution. Sometimes I think she actually feels entitled to it so doesn't consider it stealing.
  7. Like MSB says, I think it is something most kids will try when having money to spend becomes important to them. I know my youngest went through a phase (when he was older...at about 14) of taking change from my purse - pounds at a time - and of course it's hard to prove the money in your purse has gone if you are not in the habit of counting it every day! He thought I wouldn't notice and it was just loose change...but it's still theft. It goes against the grain too if you have brought your children up to be honest.
    Leave temptation out of the way. Start to be aware of just how much cash you have in the house and then it's easier to prove someone is stealing. (I had to do this.) Try not to turn this into a war...although I was so angry my money was vanishing into thin air. I couldn't prove anything until I was aware of just how much was in my purse all the time.
    In the end, because my son was in need of money (his friends had cash - he didn't and you really want to be able to do what your peers do in your teens) I asked him to do jobs in the house and garden for extra pocket money. It worked...and I am glad to say after a short while he became an honest,open boy again. (Until he became a moody one at 16...but that's another story..)
    It's wierd how our own (previously honest,pleasant,loving) children can act like evil changelings when they get older/become teenagers! Hold on to your hat for the next few years! [​IMG]

  8. jellycowfish

    jellycowfish New commenter

    Many thanks everyone for your words of wisdom! I have been guilty (?) of leaving cash lying around, or loose in coat pockets, then it's hard to prove that it's been taken. I understand that he feels he needs money - I've been giving him £5 a week, which certainly isn't a fortune, I know, but I suspect he's stealing at least that much again each week.
    I've been taking my bag up to bed each night, but I'm going to have to take it with me everywhere, I think. The 'other things' he takes are nothing really - treats I've bought myself, - I DO buy the boys treats as well, but he feels that once all his are gone, mine are fair game. I think it's not so much the things he's taken, it's the fact that he's stealing, lying and denying it all. I hate not being able to trust him.
  9. I think there's something that happens to teenagers under pressure where they genuinely don't understand the concept of lying! I don't mean to excuse it or say that in a calm situation they don't know right from wrong but I spend a great deal of time in the classroom utterly exasperated by the "I didn't do it" defence. Any attempt to reason - you did it right in front of me and I saw you - is met with open hostility and an utter refusal to back down. I'd maybe try talking about it well clear of the actual event and try to avoid the confrontation that will create this automatic and unthinking defence. Either that or go on the offensive and steal his money, take all his stuff and ask him how he feels about it!
  10. jellycowfish

    jellycowfish New commenter

    I thought I was being petty, but I have stolen his mobile - he hasn't noticed because it's not charged and his charger is at his friends, and last week I stole his xbox controllers and memory stick. It obviously hasn't sunk in though, as the stealing (his) has continued! I shall continue to go on the offensive - a much better feeling than 'being petty'!
  11. Oops - I was really only joking with that last bit.
  12. vannie

    vannie Star commenter

    I feel for you jellcowfish.
    My previously lovely son has now gone rogue due to being 13 and thinking he's all grown up now and no longer has to listen to anyone!
    We have had stealing, lying, failure to return at the given times, sulking, agressive behaviour, swearing etc
    In between times he is still the same boy he was but it is distressing and exhausting having to put up with the mood swings and behaviours.
    I take him to school each morning as he is horribly bad at organising himself - he would stay up all night if we let him - and we have to check constantly - but funnily enough is unable to get himself up and going in the mornings. He swears that his school clothes have been moved and when he loses his tie etc he wants me to write a note excusing him (I don't)
    The worst thing is he appears to only be like this at home. His teachers all have really nice things to say about him. He is popular and well liked. He gets along fine with (other) adults.
    I am trying to be understanding. Obviously there is hormonal stuff going on with him. He is growing at a vast rate. He is testing boundaries within his 'safe zone' - the people that he knows love him the most. It's funny but one of the things that upsets me the most is the lack of enthusiasm and almost pathological need not to show excitement. We go to football as a family most weeks and he rarely celebrates goals anymore! And then of course we hear him on the phone talking very animatedly about the match. He seems to be lost in ironic shrug land.
    The only way we have found to deal with the behviours are to withdraw privaleges and stay strong. He tries to play me and OH off against each other so our first question is always 'What does Dad / Mum say?' He generally reacts in the teenagerish 'I'm not bothered' way but will then make a real effort to win back his rewards and treats.
    Sorry for the long post. I love the little blighter but he really is hard work. Can't wait for him to come out the other side of this.

  13. jellycowfish

    jellycowfish New commenter

    Vannie, you've exactly described my son. He was given an Outstanding Achievement/Attitude award at school last week. Don't get me wrong - I'm thrilled that he is fine at school - just wish that some of it would make it back home!!
    My ex isn't aware of the situation (as he's not bothered to see his boys since Easter - could well be part of the problem) so at least he can't play us off against each other.
    I'll keep gritting my teeth and try to stay strong!
    Airy - I know that Good Mothers wouldn't do such a thing - I'm just clutching at straws for methods that he may understand!!!
  14. vannie

    vannie Star commenter

    Stay strong!
    It can't last forever. That's what i keep telling myself.
    His relationship with his Dad could well be having an effect as well. It's **** poor that he can't be bothered.
    I put my Mum through hell when i was a teenager. She was on her own and took it all. My Dad had no contact for 30 years. All of a sudden a few years ago he suddenly wanted to have a relationship. He is needy and if i'm honest a bit annoying. My Mum is a hero.
    Have a hug.
  15. jellycowfish

    jellycowfish New commenter

    Thanks - I needed that hug! I've just had to call my parents to take him away before I killed him. Just found my suede slip-on shoes in the garden - he was wearing them on Thursday night whilst messing in the garden, and they've been rained on for 48 hours. [​IMG]

  16. vannie

    vannie Star commenter

    They have no idea!
    Good plan sending him to Grandma!
    Feet up and relax I reckon . . .
  17. I don't really have any advice to offer you but I hope the situation gets better soon and I think it's good that the 2 of you are having some time apart at the moment. My sister was an absolute nightmare as a teenager (it didn't help that, for three years of it, my parents were going through a very acrimonious divorce) but is lovely again now. He will grow out of it but I understand how frustrating and hurtful it must be in the meantime-sorry I can't be of more help.

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