to take my son to the police station for stealing from me

(97 Posts)
Stealingson Mon 16-Dec-13 19:18:51

I really don't know what to do. In lots of ways my son is amazing - sweet and kind and works hard at school. He has lots of friends and a full, active life. He is 11 and in yr6.
Recently he and my older son saved up for a gaming computer which we built from scratch with them. They are into Minecraft and other games like many boys their age. All of his friends are heavily into gaming too. A month or so ago he asked if he could buy a game online which cost £12 (payment goes through paypal). I said he couldn't spend that much as he needs to save his money for Christmas presents etc. We agreed he could spend £6 on another game that he wanted and no more. I had to go out then so I told my partner to put my paypal password in for him when he was ready and that no more than £6 was to be spent. While I was out a paypal notification flashed up on my phone that £12 had been spent. When I got home I queried with my partner about the amount and he said that my son hadn't asked him to put the password in. So after much interrogation it transpired that my son and managed to memorise my password and had just bought the £12 game thinking I wouldn't notice. I was utterly furious and he was immediately grounded and banned completely from the computer for 2 weeks. He seemed suitably sorry and promised to never do it again.

Fast forward to this evening. I couldn't find my phone anywhere. I turned the house upside down looking for the damn thing. Son is on the computer this whole time. The only place I hadn't been was my bedroom so I didn't bother look there. I actually thought someone must have come into the house and stolen the phone. Anyway dp eventually hands me the phone and says it was next to my bed the whole time. I swear I hadn't been in my room - weird! I check the phone and there is a paypal notification that £12 has been spent on a gaming site. He admitted he'd bought a game. I'm gobsmacked. On top of this he had moved my phone to my bedroom thinking I wouldn't see the paypal notification.

He won't talk to me now. I have told him how serious this is. What should I do. I want to march him to the police station and have them give him a telling off. I'm scared this may escalate to bigger things as he gets older. He seems to think he is entitled to steal. I don't know what I've done wrong. I know part of the problem is his obsession with the computer - we really limit the time he spends on it and try to keep things balanced. About 3 years ago our nanny caught him stealing a sweet in a shop. I think he has a problem.

Stealingson Mon 16-Dec-13 19:20:16

And yes I was an idiot for not changing my password! I honestly didn't think he'd do it again!

foreverondiet Mon 16-Dec-13 19:22:54

Police won't do anything as he had password to your phones So I would say little point...

HECTheHeraldAngelsSing Mon 16-Dec-13 19:23:11

Remove all computer time for him until he shows you he can be trusted and he pays back the £24 in chores.
And change your passwords and get passwords on all your internet devices.
Police is not the best idea because you need to make him respect YOUR authority not theirs.
Kids have poor impulse control. He just needs to understand consequences.

SPsWantsCliffInHerStocking Mon 16-Dec-13 19:23:14

about 3 years ago our nanny caught him stealing a sweet in a shop. I think he has a problem

hmm really? A problem because he nicked a sweet.

I wouldn't march him down to the police station. Stop his computer time instead for a period of time.

MrsDrRanj Mon 16-Dec-13 19:24:24

The police probably have more important things to do than worry about your son using your paypal account to buy a game.

I remember doing stuff like this at around that age. My brother did too. At that age kids don't tend to think about consequences too seriously. I'm not a criminal now! My parents spoke to me seriously about stealing, about how disappointed and hurt they were etc

A conversation about where your money comes from may help too. Kids can be thoughtless and sneaky, it's not unusual and I don't think he has a problem.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Mon 16-Dec-13 19:24:38

Take away the computer. Every time he argues back, add on another day that he can't have it. I don't know if it's the stealing itself I'd find upsetting, or the deception/sneakiness.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Mon 16-Dec-13 19:24:45

I wouldn't because a criminal record will efect his job prospects in the future. What i would do is take a computer game to Game or Cash generators to get the money back.

Pagwatch Mon 16-Dec-13 19:24:49

I would never take my child to the police - to me it's like saying 'I am not in control so I am going to find someone else to scare you with '

If it were my son he would have no access to computer/ phone/games etc etc for a month. And the conversations about lying and stealing would continue until he got it.

WitchWay Mon 16-Dec-13 19:24:53

He may not see it as stealing - the games have been paid for after all. I think police a little heavy-handed but it might be the way forward. Perhaps speak to the local station on the phone & ask if they have an officer who would have a word with him?

winkywinkola Mon 16-Dec-13 19:25:45

I would not let him on any games for at least a month.

You're right. Stealing is serious especially the second time.

So you've got to come down hard on him. No games for at least a month but I would tell him it's for the foreseeable future.

Plus he will have to pay back the £24 with chores around the house.

I would be livid.

Stealingson Mon 16-Dec-13 19:26:24

Thanks for replies. I think it's a problem because there's a history to this (and that's all I know about).

How long should I stop his computer time for?

FortyDoorsToNowhere Mon 16-Dec-13 19:26:28

technically its fraud.

meboo Mon 16-Dec-13 19:27:04

At this stage I think taking him to the police station is overkill. I would immediately change the paypal password (something you should have done after the first event). I would remove both games that have been downloaded and I would ban gaming on the PC until after xmas.
He would also have to pay me back for what he has spent assuming that he was able to (pocket money maybe).

The next occasion that he steals I would come down like a ton of bricks.

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Mon 16-Dec-13 19:27:28

First, calm down. Stealing a sweet three years ago really isn't relevant.

Does he have any way of earning money/games? Does he get pocket money he can save and spend as he likes? 6 quid to spend on games in a couple of months seems a little mean if he has no way to earn/save for it.

BTW I used to steal from my Mum and am now an upstanding member of society.

FlatAsSantasSacks Mon 16-Dec-13 19:27:33

I'd be making a list of chores for him to do over the next few weeks to help pay back. Stop,pocket money.

My nephew did something similar. Used SIL card for xbox live points £60 then after being barely punished she let him have her card for points as he gave her the £10 amount. Went to cashpoint, he'd used £46.


Stealingson Mon 16-Dec-13 19:27:50

Thanks ever so much for the replies. It's really helpful

usualsuspect Mon 16-Dec-13 19:28:40

Change your password.

And don't take him to the police station.

You don't need the police to tell him off, sounds like you're doing a great job

Obviously he's off the gaming machine for a period of time? I'd do the entire Christmas period - I'm very harsh with stealing

And has to repay out of his money?

Change your password for everything obviously, and pin protect your phone.

IMO you have to wait til they grow out of it, I've had some children where it takes years - and I've locked my phone/jewellery in the car quite a few times

Once you've checked theyre not being bullied, and they're not addicted to gaming then really it's about banning them from all gaming machines for long enough that they find it very negative

Purpleprickles Mon 16-Dec-13 19:29:37

Not sure what I would do in your place but to those who say the police won't do anything they might. Years ago a parent of a 9yr old pupil of mine took him to the local station because he had taken some money from her purse. Apparently the police did have a stern word with him about the consequences of stealing and he was very remorseful. Not everyone's way of parenting but it worked with this child.

softlysoftly Mon 16-Dec-13 19:29:43

What PPs said I used to nick cigarettes from dad (naice family and everything honest).

Anyway the sit down talk about how hurt they were gote every time and as a grown up I would never steal.

Hes a kid he nees consequences and understanding and you hope it sinks in when he grows up.

usualsuspect Mon 16-Dec-13 19:29:51

Is he allowed to spend his pocket money on games?

softlysoftly Mon 16-Dec-13 19:31:58

They also taught me how to spell confused

defineme Mon 16-Dec-13 19:32:23

I'd be very very cross and there'd be a lot of grounding and consfication.
However, I stole from my Mum when I was that age (and shoplifted) and I've turned out reasonably well-I just grew out of it as I matured and developed a few morals. I was never caught. I don't think he's definitely on a slippery slope to criminality. I do think computers breed obsessive behaviour in some kids and I might be trying to help him spread his interests a bit?

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Mon 16-Dec-13 19:32:34

Obviously not, softly grin

Stealingson Mon 16-Dec-13 19:34:50

Hehe Softly! Yes he is allowed to spent half his pocket money on games/ in the shop.

My son has stolen, he is 11.

He has He took a few pound coins from his granny's change jar. I caught him with a sheepish look on his face. Sat him down and told him how disappointed granny would be, how bad he must feel inside for stealing from someone who trusts him. He had a big cry, and felt quite bad. We left it that.

A few months later he was able to download a film with my password, without checking with me. This is when I got angry. He was banned from i pod for 3 weeks.

Part of me thinks it has to do with the age they are, and sadly I have become a bit less trusting and a bit more watchful.

To be continued!

I still believe that the appeal to his inner moral compass is the way to go.

FionasFatFairy Mon 16-Dec-13 19:49:42

I have been very careful to ensure my DC do not see the password for their iTunes account which is linked to my credit card. I have set the requirement always to need the password for any purchase and make the children tun their back before I enter the password.

DS knows the password or our cable TV, but I don't think he knows (yet) about pay per view.

sykadelic15 Mon 16-Dec-13 19:51:47

So... he asked, you said £6 max. He spent the £6 + £12 (got caught and apologised) then spent ANOTHER £12 including hiding your phone to hide the fact he committed fraud (report the purchases to paypal and reverse them). You need to make sure he's aware this is fraud. It doesn't matter that you're his mother, if he steals someone else's ANYTHING its theft, using that information for his gain is fraud. Explain to him the penalties of fraud (jail time etc etc). He needs to understand that this is NOT legal and not even remotely funny.

Being a tech nerd and by husband one as well, I would lock that computer down! Including but not limited to:
- Moving the computer to a very public location. The older son will not appreciate this and that will also help with the discipline of your other son.
- password protect the computer (no nighttime games for you!).. change randomly
- install software that limits to very specific sites (wikipedia for example for research for school)
- block all downloads.
- stop any games from launching (specific to computer ID's so the older son could play).
- spyware to monitor usage (even after the suspension is lifted, sounds like he's got some friends that are bad influences)

I would also organise some form of punishment depending on your situation. You could try organising public service/charity work? Maybe this will help your son see that some people have nothing and he needs to be more grateful.

Your son right now has no respect for where the money comes from. He thinks that £30 is "nothing" because he hasn't had to earn it (that's the total amount he's spent on your paypal account lately, £6 of it authorised). Do you give pocket money or an allowance? Does he have his own bank account?

Did you buy him a Christmas present? If so, I would give one small present (it IS Christmas) which is non-computer related. I would return any other presents or hold onto it until later. I would also consider confiscating some of this other "toys", possibly selling them in order to be paid back (teaching him how much things are worth).

But then I'm pretty harsh. Come down strong and he'll be less likely to do it again (but don't include the police because once you do, punishment can be taken out of your hands and he'll not trust or respect you for it)

Stealingson Mon 16-Dec-13 19:52:01

Btw I don't want the police to charge him or anything - just give him a telling off.

Thanks for helping me see things clearer. I'm so glad to hear that this sort of thing is relatively common.

Change password, remove all technology for at least 7 days and don't give in!

Sit him down and explain why, that your hurt and its not acceptable.

valiumredhead Mon 16-Dec-13 19:55:23

I would take his computer away from him.

valiumredhead Mon 16-Dec-13 19:57:25

And I would take it away for a month. It needs to be a proper punishment not a week. He needs to properly think and reflect on what he has done.

VenusDeWillendorf Mon 16-Dec-13 19:58:51

Calm down.

You seem to think he'll end up in Holloway because he helped himself to a sweet three years ago, and also a computergame. He won't, and you going off on one, threatning to shop him in to the authorities now won't help the situation.

For sure you are upset and you fear for him, but you need to examine why stealing is so black and white with such terrible hell in a handbasket, one track consequences?

He seems very bright, and you're very lucky to have a bright DS.
He also sounds bored, and like he's becoming addicted(?) to whatever games he's playing. Is he slightly obsessive about them?

You need to have more family chats. You need to be honest and also to stop thinking about punishment and more about discipline. You are the authority, not some guy in a uniform, or some big guy in the sky, for that matter.

He sounds like he'll do very well in the city!

Threatening him with the big bad bogeyman policeman will make you look rather foolish. He may need the police's help in his life, we all do at some time. are you willing to make him distrustful of them, and worse still, of you?

Be honest, and talk with him. Why did he think he was entitled? Why did he try and cover up his tracks, did he know it was wrong? why did he go ahead, didnt he care that you were paying?
does he not understand that everything is found out sooner or later, that nothing is ever a secret.

LISTER VERY CAREFULLY TO HIS ANSWERS and don't interrupt <sorry for shouting, but it's important>

I would take all technology away from him for a month.

I would make him to loads of chores.

No pocket money for at least two weeks.

I don't think you can sell the games if he's downloaded them? But if he's bought actual games I'd sell them on.

If not, I'd delete them.

But then, I'm probably a bit too harsh!

FortyDoorsToNowhere Mon 16-Dec-13 20:02:58

The police will not just tell him off, they will ask you if you want him arrested.

I would delete the download, why should be benefit from it after the punishment is over.

WhatEverZen Mon 16-Dec-13 20:06:47

Please dont take him to police station for this. At the moment, you're the one in charge... your rules and your decision on how to deal with this / punish / deliver the consequences.

Once you take him to the police station, you relinquish some of that control and you dont know how they'll deal with it. They may give him the 'telling off' you'd like them to but they may not and may look to deal with it in another way.

Its not uncommon for young people to do things like this but quickly learn that the consequences (being caught and punished) just arent worth it...

tinkertaylor1 Mon 16-Dec-13 20:07:54

OP I would take him.

My niece (11) has been stealing...chocolate out of siblings lunch box, loose change,£20 out of dads wallet, £5 out of mums purse, stealing of her friends. THEN she went on a spree at mine. Obviously it escalated over a length of time, but shouting , grounding, confiscating did not work.

I would take him just for a telling off. He is stealing. Its wrong.

Stealingson Mon 16-Dec-13 20:08:44

Skydelic thanks for that - we sound pretty similar!

Perfectlypurple Mon 16-Dec-13 20:11:42

If you take him to the police there is a chance they will record it as a crime with him linked as the suspect. That is what the policy is likely to say. You may get someone who won't use their discretion and make it official.

bigtimerush Mon 16-Dec-13 20:15:27

I'm going to go against the grain here and say you need to calm down. Yes he spent more than he was allowed (twice) but talk of taking his Christmas presents away is completely OTT in my opinion. He's 11, millions of 11 year olds do this, they don't all turn into criminals. Give him a bit of slack.

Stealingson Mon 16-Dec-13 20:16:17

Struggling to catch up with all these replies. That is so much to you all. Venus - I agree with everything you say - I think he is bored and becoming obsessive with gaming. I have two very young dcs and he probably doesn't get enough attention sad

Stealingson Mon 16-Dec-13 20:17:22

I didn't say I was going to take his presents away!

Stealingson Mon 16-Dec-13 20:18:03

But I do strictly limit his computer time and he is only allowed on 3x week

Pannacotta Mon 16-Dec-13 20:24:05

No to police, its for you as a family to sort out. But yes to you calming down...
I would also ban him from all screen time for a month but then I hate computers/games for kids use anyway.
And keep talking about why you have done this.
Stealing is common among kids his age, but there are ways to deal with out without involving the police.
And don't bring Christmas into the mix.

Almostfifty Mon 16-Dec-13 20:25:08

My son spent about £100 on Xbox stuff.

He paid every single penny back in labour. It took him weeks, but he's never done it again.

Arkina Mon 16-Dec-13 20:31:33

if you take him to the police station or ask your local community officer to visit theyre not going to charge him.

What theyll do is stand there looking like big scary policemen and give him a talking to.

Your local police office will be happy to help and wont think of you as a bad parent. Ive seen it done loads of times

IamGluezilla Mon 16-Dec-13 20:38:56

I also think you need to calm down. It all seems to have got a bit hysterical.
I think that bringing to the police station is ridiculous. And something you should expect to have thrown in your face when he is an adult.

It is simple: lock down the security, access in public area of house only but explain it as understanding he doesn't yet understand the seriousness; the value of money; impulse control and that you are putting in place supports whilst he gets older and can use tech responsibly without your input. Don't tell your current thought that you're taking him to the police now, because he is nothing more than a thief to you.
He is 11, and still needs to know that his Mother loves him ( which by the way, is not the conclusion anyone would draw from your posts)

Vikki88 Mon 16-Dec-13 20:47:01

I honestly can't imagine what either of my DC would have to do for me to get the police involved. There is no need for you to get them involved at all and your son will definitely hold it against you in the future.

bigtimerush Mon 16-Dec-13 21:02:19

Thank god I'm not skyadelic DS or DD... hmm

Pipkinhartley Mon 16-Dec-13 21:02:35

You seem like a great Mum and decent family, my advice would be to not go down the route of involving police, most posters here have identified why, I'd really encourage you to look to the advice already posted.

gordonpym Mon 16-Dec-13 21:05:57

Don't go to the police. You can sort this out with far more consequences.
The first time, computer was taken away for 2 weeks. This time, take it away for 2 months and warn him if it ever happens again, you will sell his computer (or give it to a charity/school whatever).

WhatEverZen Mon 16-Dec-13 21:06:20

There's no guarantee that police wont charge (although I think that is unlikely) but they could take your son through the 'out of court disposal' route, which could end up with your son still getting an formal police record. That could affect his employment choices when hes older. Why risk it for something of this nature?

Different police forces have different approaches to this. Some will be happy to do a 'telling off', others wont. Ive seen it happen. Far better, you remaining in control of how you deal with this

HoneyStepMummy Mon 16-Dec-13 21:07:01

There's already lots of really good advice here, but let me reassure you that what he did is very common in that age group even amongst really good kids.

You should absolutely tell him off and punish him, but please do not waste the police' time with this.

Stealingson Mon 16-Dec-13 21:11:45

Thanks all, I won't be going to the police.
Gluezilla I am amazed at how nasty your last sentence was, and you couldn't be more wrong.
To everyone else, thanks ever so much.

ReallyTired Mon 16-Dec-13 21:12:23

Please don't involve the police as it could totally ruin your child's life. However I can understand that you feel very angry.

There is a chance that your son might end up with a caution for stealing. That bollocking from the "nice policeman" could come up as a caution for fraud if he applies for an enchanced CRB in twenty years time.

If you are worried that your son might get into crime then prehaps a parenting course would help. In some parts of the country parenting courses are available for pre teens. This charity family lives run parenting courses around the country.

In fact I suspect that if you wasted police time taking an eleven year old to the station that the police might order you to take a parenting course.

kali110 Mon 16-Dec-13 21:16:01

Op its clear you love your children that was just a nasty pist.

Plus im sure sky's kids love their parent, i thought the advice was good, just bit stricter than others. Nothing wrong with that!

kali110 Mon 16-Dec-13 21:16:25


tinkertaylor1 Mon 16-Dec-13 21:23:11

FGS! some ridiculous posts on here!

FFS now she doesn't love her son?

Jesus wept!

Stealing harsh consequences, a stern "I'm disappointed in you" talking to and a few weeks worth of hard labour should set him to rights.

BoffinMum Mon 16-Dec-13 21:30:29

Actually, this is very common. I don't think it's a police matter. Just tell him off, make him do some jobs or something, and stress your disappointment whenever you feel you can get some leverage.

formerbabe Mon 16-Dec-13 21:31:57

Don't take him to the police. I have heard many stories of people getting criminal records for minor things in their teens and it affects job prospects/travelling/visas etc in later life.

stubbs0412 Mon 16-Dec-13 21:34:29

Unless I'm a really bad person, I think nearly all children at some point steal something so I wouldn't be calling the police, even as a scare tactic. I'd unplug the games console and tell my son it's not coming back anytime soon. You have to make a stand otherwise in the future your children will weigh up if your punishments are worth the risk of being caught....

NearTheWindmill Mon 16-Dec-13 21:44:36

You could always disable the internet gateway on his computer grin.

I don't think it's that unusual, you just need to have firm boundaries and change your passwords. A computer ban for two weeks will probably suffice

FWIW DS once bough £25 worth of Warhammer using his father's credit card. He wriggled out of a hugely massive telling off by persuading his father that actually he had saved a three day argument over something his father would cave over within three days. It helped his parents' stress levels evidently. I think he was about 10/11.

His father ended up being proud of him and declared he would be a silk before he was 40 grin.

As long as you make sure he knows it's wrong, I think it's fine. It's not like he's racked up an internet bill of £400-£500. A ruck like this over six quid - really - boundaries yes, police no.

BoffinMum Mon 16-Dec-13 21:54:41

DS1 did this twice and we were very cross, but funnily enough he can also be very honest. You have to remember they don't see this as stealing, more dipping into the housekeeping. And they don't always see nicking sweets as stealing either, more appropriating something nice. This does not mean they will be nicking cars and drug stashes by the age of 16, really it doesn't. Just tell him off, make him feel guilty, and one day your voice in his head will stop him doing it again.

pixiepotter Mon 16-Dec-13 22:02:11

I am a bit confused by this business of him nor being allowed to spend his money how he wants (as long as it's not drugs and alcohol obviously) I think it's not on to be dictating how much he has to spend on xmas presents .In a warped kind of way you could kind of equate you deciding he has to spend £x of his money on xmas presents with him deciding you have to spend £x of your money on computer games.

IamGluezilla Mon 16-Dec-13 22:03:58

Well if you think I was nasty can I urge you to read back your posts through the eyes and brain of a child who has already been punished with [whatever chastisement you have used so far]. And ask yourself if it is the talk of a loving parent.

I know, because you have said it, that you love your child- but if you ask me whether I think your child feels that he is loved tonight, I'm going to guess that he feels "tolerated".

lessonsintightropes Mon 16-Dec-13 22:14:31

I think most of the posters on this thread have made very supportive and constructive statements - but attacking the OP Gluezilla and telling her she doesn't love her child sounds a wee bit overboard - surely the DS in question needs to have some firm and clear boundaries set and maintained? I think kids feel more loved and safe when they kow what the rules are and what the consequences are for breaking them. OP has clearly said she isn't going to take it to the police or to take away Christmas presents.

IamGluezilla Mon 16-Dec-13 22:19:20

I didn't (twice) that she doesn't love her child, I questioned whether her child would feel loved: two separate things.

Letitsnow9 Tue 17-Dec-13 00:50:42

I would make him pay the £24 back in 'real' money so he has to hand over coins and cash to drive home that paypal is the same as 'real' money

AmberLeaf Tue 17-Dec-13 01:13:46

I was going to say similar to pixiepotter.

sykadelic15 Tue 17-Dec-13 01:56:52

@bigtimerush - As I said, harsh, but they'd never do it again. Actually, if you knew my husband it wouldn't even happen a second time... if it happened the first time. He takes no prisoners... I'm the nice one :P

sykadelic15 Tue 17-Dec-13 02:08:55

@Gluezilla - you're supposed to be parents, not friends. Being angry with your child doesn't mean you don't love them, and I would certainly hope they realise that love doesn't mean being happy with them 24/7. Of course you don't just yell and threaten. You explain how you feel, why you feel that way, talk to them about what they did, the consequences of those actions, etc etc.

For me it's not the theft, it's the deception. The hiding of the phone and the fact he didn't learn the first time even seeing how it upset you that first time.

NigellasDealer Tue 17-Dec-13 02:22:41

....*In fact I suspect that if you wasted police time taking an eleven year old to the station that the police might order you to take a parenting course*
yes and you will be flagged up to the "public protection officer" who works with SS.
just saying.

MiniMonty Tue 17-Dec-13 03:40:45

1) pinching a sweet is no big thing - forget that - it's nothing.

2) using your account at his age to buy games is a different story because he does know the difference between right and wrong (and is over the age of criminal responsibility in England) so contrary to what other posters might pretend to know about, the truth is that the Police WILL turn up, they WILL take an interest and they WILL deliver him a serious talking to (at least). Theft is a serious business.

3) Get on top of this double fast - get a conversation going spending other people's money, about trust and about being honest (and the obvious SERIOUS consequences of getting that wrong).

Presumably the boy does chores and earns pocket money in return - if this is not true then make it true VERY QUICKLY.

KNOW THIS AS AN ABSOLUTE: Kids can only learn the value of anything if they have to earn something. If it's all on a plate they can only learn to take and take. YOU are the parent, you much teach them how to live in the world.

Enough said I think.

Otherwise I may rant... : )

KepekCrumbs Tue 17-Dec-13 06:47:57

Once you've dealt with it and punished him, why not have a good chat about how you and his dad can give him some more positive attention and wean him away from gaming a bit? Special outings for him occasionally, board game when littlies are in bed, a joint hobby with one of you, that kind of thing? It's so easy for the weeks to go by without you realising that the child on the computer is seeing so much less of you than he used to do.

IamGluezilla Tue 17-Dec-13 08:27:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

IamGluezilla Tue 17-Dec-13 08:28:19

Sorry half posted there. Will retry.

Pagwatch Tue 17-Dec-13 08:30:40

To be honest gluezilla, it would have just been easier if you hadn't posted mawkish guff about the ops son not feeling loved in the first place.
All this nonsense you are having to post to justify having just been nasty is all a bit cringy.

IamGluezilla Tue 17-Dec-13 08:38:34

Being angry with your child doesn't mean you don't love them
You've missed the point...again... I said the child would not experience the OP's anger as loving. From the sound of it she went absolutely nuclear. As a parent it is 100% her prerogative to instil boundaries through anger and installing fear, but she still has the teenage years to get through, and presumably will want to some level of influence on the adult child. If she shows that she just "goes off on" whenever something bad happens then she is teaching the child to not get found out ahead of teaching him how to act responsibly. Has she set an example of teaching? No, her example to he child is to get angry and throw your weight about. It is true that we are the parents, not friends- but by the same token we are also not enemies, and setting her child up to be in opposition to her unless be bows to Her Will is not a great strategy.

I would certainly hope they realise that love doesn't mean being happy with them 24/7.
I think upset, disappointment etc etc can be expressed in ways which reinforce the loving bond between parent and child. But feel free to disagree.

scottishmummy Tue 17-Dec-13 08:40:21

March an 11yo to police?no that's disproportionate and at that age he doesn't fully understand action and consequence
He'll no stealing us wrong of course,but will still have the compulsion and won't weigh up consequence
I'd have stern talk,set chores, and no pocket money until it's paid back

struggling100 Tue 17-Dec-13 08:41:20

I like the idea someone suggested, of turning this into a learning experience by getting him to 'work' to make up the cost by doing chores. It seems to me that a critical stage in growing up is children realising that money doesn't grow on trees, but is the result of parents' hard work. If he realises that £12 takes over 3 hours to earn at £3.72 an hour (minimum wage for the under 18s I think??), then he might think twice about spending your money in future.

I also think it could be an opportunity to teach him about saving and budgeting. Perhaps get him to set a goal, and work out a savings plan that will allow him to achieve it. And monitor his budgeting each week until he understands that if he fritters cash away on little things, he won't be able to afford the big things that he really wants.

ExcuseTypos Tue 17-Dec-13 08:43:28

OP "I know part of the problem is his obsession with the computer - we really limit the time he spends on it and try to keep things balanced"

Taking away all his computer things will break the habit and hopefully the obsession. I wouldn't let him have them back over the holidays. He will then have to find other ways to entertain himself.

IamGluezilla Tue 17-Dec-13 08:44:37

Pag. We'll agree to disagree.

scottishmummy Tue 17-Dec-13 08:45:58

And tbh it's an enormous waste of police time and potentially too harsh
Police aren't their to reinforce your parenting,that's your should have the gravitas without police

scottishmummy Tue 17-Dec-13 08:50:37

Can someone else watch the wee ones,you and ds go out,pizza.calmly talk
He talk,you listen. You talk he listen. Hear the content of each other and understand why you're both so hurt
Tell him what the appropriate time limited sanction is,and why.and then give him a hug

BMW6 Tue 17-Dec-13 08:57:56

iamgluezilla is living up to the name 100%! What absolute rot!

MoominsYonisAreScary Tue 17-Dec-13 09:01:34

It doesn't sound like the op went nuclear at all.

We had a similar problem with ds1 years ago, id ban him from the computer for at least 2 weeks, make him pay it back and get rid of the games.

Then sit him down for a chat about how serious the stealing is.

cory Tue 17-Dec-13 09:24:20

It's all about proportion imo.

I am not in the "would never ring the police"-camp.

I absolutely would ring the police if I was subjected to violence from my 13yo- he is bigger and stronger than me and there is no way I could restrain him without risking serious injury to both of us. Letting him beat me up (if he was the type) would not be in his best interests and would not be the best way of demonstrating my love for him. If you are in a situation like that, I think there is no shame in admitting that you can't handle it.

But I really don't think an 11yo nicking a small sum of money does fall into that category. It is something you could and should be able to handle on your own as a parent. And as long as you can handle something without outside assistance, doing so helps your standing as a disciplinary force.

Plenty of good constructive advice on this thread. Let him earn it back, control his computer addiction. But don't assume that he is set out for a career of crime. Let him know you are worried because this is a serious problem, but also let him know you are convinced that now he realises how serious it is he won't do it again.

NoComet Tue 17-Dec-13 09:26:55

The more you limit computer time and the more you try to control him, rather than offer choices the more time he will spend at his mates when he's older.

I've never known an 11 who spends a month's punishment thinking. Oh I'm in trouble for using DMs PayPal.

No! 11y spend 10 minutes thinking that was silly, shouldn't have done that and 30 days 23 hours and 50 minutes thinking DM is a cow for keeping me off my computer.

Result you have a DS who sulks all Xmas holidays.

A serious talking to and a one week ban, will be more effective (and less grief for his little brothers and you).

Honestly, he has been very stupid and I'd have been furious, and he would be paying me back.

But you did start it by trying to control how he spent his money.

NoComet Tue 17-Dec-13 09:28:15

And 3x a week is hardly an addiction.

How long do we spend in here ?

CeliaFate Tue 17-Dec-13 09:31:19

Change your password.
Ban him from the computer/internet for 2 weeks.
Household chores - make him a list and make him do them or the computer doesn't come back.
Say no to any more online gaming purchases.

My son is a fiend for the apps that are free initially but then cost £2.99 to get more coins. I did it twice, then had to refuse as he was asking weekly. I've told him I will never do it again and I mean it.

Anything password protected is just that - protected. He doesn't get to see me type my password in at any time and I change them periodically.

Groovee Tue 17-Dec-13 09:35:40

I would change the password and the wifi password to not allow him access unless you have put the password in for him to connect to it.

It's the sneakiness of it, where he knows what he has done and has tried to hide it. That's what you need to work on with him. My 11 year old has been banned from electronics before and has been fine with his punishment but he has always asked if he can download stuff and we do it for it.

lottieandmia Tue 17-Dec-13 09:44:08

Taking him to the police for this is ridiculous - I agree with Pagwatch. You just need to make sure he knows he must never do this again. He really is not going to be a hardened criminal because he stole a sweet. I think it's all too easy for children to purchase stuff on iPads. My friend's 4 year old ds managed to spend £60 on iTunes when she wasn't looking.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 17-Dec-13 09:51:30

OP You actually created the problem. He wanted to buy a game with his pocket money, and you said that he couldn't because he needed to save it for Christmas presents. He is 11, who does he need to buy for?

The whole point of pocket money is that it gives children control of a very small budget to buy the things they want. If they spend it all on one thing then they can't have another.
You are preventing him from learning that lesson for himself by retaining control of how he spends his own money.

I am not condoning his behaviour, far from it, but you need to examine your own part in this far more closely.

tinkertaylor1 Tue 17-Dec-13 21:14:20

ali what a load of crap!

Christmas is next WEEK and there is no harm what's ever in encouraging children to save!!

I did it with my dd from early age and she's great at it now.

Pah it's ops fault?? fgrin ( think some ones hit the baileys early ! )

AmberLeaf Wed 18-Dec-13 13:12:59

I think Alibaba has a very good point.

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