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A year ago, I caught my son stealing small amounts of money from me and confiscated his TV and PS3 as punishment. He has recently turned twelve. A few weeks ago, I started finding my purse open in my bag and empty (neither is unusual but it was happening a lot). The next thing to go missing was ten pounds, then five pounds, then two lots of ten pounds from his grandma. He was using the money to buy himself match attax. I have cleared everything from his room except furniture and clothes to teach him to appreciate what he has. He will be paying us both back from his pocket money to realise just how much he has stolen. He will be grounded for two weeks (in his empty bedroom) to realise that I can't trust him to go out of the house wihout supervision. I took him to the shop he was spending the money in to tell the owner I had banned him from going in and why so that he would feel the shame of being known to be a thief. He, of course, had to apologise to granny. Is that enough? Is that too much?
Right, I have emailed the community policing team this morning and am waiting to hear back. It's time to scare him... I have asked, loads of times, in a calm way what he was thinking, how he was feeling, how does he feel now and all i get is I dunno.
Good luck, it sounds like you are handling it well. I think you are doing the right thing. This could easily be the last time he does something like this. Make sure that he knows once he has completed his punishments that you will put this incident behind you. Be vigilant, but don't let this hang over him.
In regards to getting police involved - his school should/might have a school liaison officer that you could get in touch with. We often use out slo to talk to individual children about stealing/hitting etc. hth
TBH, I'm not sure how comfortable I would be speaking to the school about this - they stream students and I don't know how being viewed as a problem behaviourally would affect which stream he went into.
I spoke to our school psychologist who suggested that taking his pocket money off him until he'd paid back the money he stole could backfire by driving him to steal again. She said to get him to pay us back by doing jobs instead. I started that off tonight by telling him the new plan and that he would be doing the washing up. He went upstairs "for a minute"and promptly fell asleep! I came very close to waking him and sending him down to do the washing up but I think I'll leave them for him to do in the morning. We only had a light supper so there isn't much to do.
quick update: the community officer has just been and spoken with my son who is now not speaking to me. I'm hoping this means he's starting to realise what he's done and that he's in the wrong because his behaviour over the past couple of days has been horrendous.
thanks for all your suggestions / messages of support - I'll update at the weekend.