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DS stole out of the Christmas jar(14 Posts)
We've got a jar in the hallway that we dump our coppers into through the year with a view to cashing it in at some point if it gets full. However, recently I had a bit of a clear out and sold a few things on Facebook (as we're a bit short of cash at the moment) and I put the money into the jar and everyone knew if was so we could save up and put it towards some Christmas treats. There was a note in there and three pound coins.
I looked in the pot the other day and noticed the three pound coins weren't there. I emptied it out, racked my brains as to whether I'd taken them out and forgotten but they were definitely gone. DH said he'd not taken them so I asked DS1 (who is 9) this afternoon if he'd taken any coins. He denied it, so when DS2 (7) came home I asked him if he knew anything about it. He said he didn't (and he looked like he was telling the truth) and said he thought it might be DS1.
When I went to tuck DS1 in tonight I asked him once again if he knew anything and he cracked. He said he took the money to spend at the tuck shop. However it then transpired that that wasn't true either, as the money was in his moneybox.
I know it's not a lot of money, but it's the principle and it's really upset me - he knew that it was money for the whole family, and that we've been working to put the odd bit of money in when we could. And not just that, the fact that he then lied to me about it twice. He went very sheepish and couldn't (or wouldn't) explain himself. I let him see that I was very, very disappointed in him and that it means that I can't trust him when he says he's telling the truth, but I'm not sure how to handle this in terms of consequences. Obviously I've taken the money back, but I'm thinking that there needs to be some sort of punishment, but what's appropriate for this?
It just worries me as he knew it was a bad thing to do but he did it anyway - I think at 9 you know right from wrong. Or am I making too much of it and was I naive for thinking I could leave money out? (I really don't want to think that that is the case.)
(I did tell him that the lying was worse - if he'd stolen but fessed up and apologised you can work with that, but the lying just compounds the whole sorry situation.)
Remember they like to push boundaries. Make sure he has a consequence. Get him to work off the £3 by hoovering or drying up or something for a week and keep reminding him about it.
I think that's a good idea about making him work it off.
I just worry that he seems incredibly selfishly motivated and doesn't seem to give a crap about anyone else, and if he's doing this at 9 what will he be doing in a couple of years time, but I don't know if I'm reading too much into it? He's definitely got a devious streak in him.
But he did 'fess up OP. Okay, not with the whole truth and nothing but the truth, but he did tell you he had taken the money. If it were me I would want to acknowledge and recognize that, otherwise next time he does something wrong he will feel that there is no way back, no way to make it right, and nothing to be gained by admitting what he has done.
So...I am not saying that what he did was fine. And I agree that nine is old enough to know right from wrong. But not always to act on what is right. He is nine, not nineteen and so while I would make sure he knew that I did not approve of what he had done, I would not be too heavy or punitive. I'm sure he feels your disappointment keenly, and I suspect that is punishment enough.
I suspect mine will be a minority view, and there will doubtless be lots of people along recommending strict punishment, and warning that if you dont act now it will be prison soon. But them's my views.
Good luck with this OP.
"otherwise next time he does something wrong he will feel that there is no way back, no way to make it right, and nothing to be gained by admitting what he has done." That's a very good point.
He stole some money from a charity jar at school when he was about 5, and when I found out I took him to his teacher and made him return it and explain what he had done. She was absolutely lovely and handled it really well I thought, and she ended up giving him a star for doing the right thing in the end.
Clearly wasn't a lesson that stuck with him though.
I still think I'd go down the more in sorrow than in anger route.
But I think I might also put the jar out of temptation for the time being.
Yup, def moving the jar.
Makes me sad to do it though as I
naively thought we all lived in a totally honest and caring household, and that's what is making me more sad than angry
Don't be sad elizapickford I did this age 8. Stole money from a change bottle for sweets. Still feel guilty that I denied it age 43.
Not a villain now at all.
It was just there, I liked chocolate and was a kid! Keep it out of the way and don't think too badly of your boy.
Bless ya I understand the hurt/disappointment you must feel Hun.
But I do think that although he's 9 and should have a decent idea on what's right and wrong as you sound as though your raising your children wonderfully and to have respect and morals 9 is still so young and I'm sure he feels bad about it.
Of course he needs to understand for all future purposes that it's unacceptable behaviour but I wouldn't be hard on him.
Have a further conversation about it and simply explain that your quite hurt by it and remind him of the reasons you needed to save some pennies, remind him that you wanted to treat all your children to something fun for Christmas and that by him taking the money it made you feel upset that your going to have to find another way to make some more pennies for treats for them.
I'd tell him you accept his apology and still love him just as much. Give him a cuddle and explain if he does this again you will need to contemplate consequences and that if it happened again you may not be able to maintain as much trust in him.
If this is the first time and he's a good honest kid ect that you might wanna give him a chance to accept his wrong doings, be forgiven for it and learn from it.
I'm sure he will think twice again.
Good luck Hun and be assured your doing a great job. Parenting has its unprepared shocking moments but you done the right thing not acting on your own impulses whist you were cross and to think/get advice first.
I wish you all the best xx
I once read that stealing is often a call for attention in children....given that he didn't spend it, that seems possible here. Do you think he's getting enough one to one time with you and Dh?
Sorry this has come up for you OP. You sound a caring and thoughtful mum.
Another one here who thinks this is a boy who did redeem himself. As a parent to a dd who was a chronic and devious lier for a time, I tried to teach that ‘it’s never ever too late to tell the truth, no matter how deep in the lie you are, or have many people you have deceived.’ I kept teaching that she always, and at any point, had the option of choosing the relief and decency of telling the truth. And I think you are wrong when you say he DIDN’T learn the lesson from his teacher. Who knows - perhaps he was able to ‘fess up to you because of how she treated him when he told her the truth.
I think it’s testament to him and to your relationship that he did tell you, and that you should focus on trying to cement that and build on it rather than on punishment. He knows he did wrong. That’s a big first step.
For what it’s worth, I was also afraid my dd would turn into a dishonest and devious adult, and now I see that was never going to be the case. Let your ds know you see and believe in the best of him , and it’s my experience that it will help him to do the same. And so act better.
Good luck to you.
I'm sure he knows right from wrong, the subtlety is being able to resist temptation! Just because he can, doesn't mean he should.
I like the idea of working it off. And/or he could write a letter of apology to the rest of the family.
Hmmm is it possible he is worried about money OP if he knows you are skint ? No judgement just wondering c