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Really disappointed in ds - he's stolen from a shop. And lied to me.

(38 Posts)
cupcakes Sun 21-May-06 14:31:09

Found a magnet and keyring in the pocket of his coat this morning. They are from a local petshop and have a picture of a dog like ours. Everytime we go in there (it's where we buy the dogfood) he asks if he can have them to which I've always replied he can have them for his birthday (he's 6 in a few weeks).
I asked him where they came from and he told me an elaborate story about how one day when dd was out of her buggy (very rare in this shop) she put them in his pocket without his knowing. He then insisted this story was true for 5 mins until I told him it was impossible and I wanted him to tell me the truth. Which he eventually begrudgingly did.
I can't decide if I'm more angry about the stealing or trying to get his sister to take the blame (she's 3). We had another incident last year where he took a special toy into school and then chucked it round the playground - when I asked him why it was damaged he blamed another boy (who's mum is my best friend). I mentioned it to her (as I thought her ds had been picking on mine) and he was so distraught with the accusation that it made me ask ds again who finally told me the truth. It was very embarrassing and I felt stupid for believing him so readily and we had a huge talk about lying and blaming other people for his mistakes.
Maybe I'm expecting too much of him but to see him lie straight to my face with these big blue eyes really gets to me.
I'm going to pay the shop back for the things and get rid of them (I don't think they'll want them back as the packaging is now damaged) but should I make him apologise? I'm wary about discussing this with any of my friends as I don't want him tarred with this very negative brush.
And he's also really unrepentant. He's said sorry but with no meaning to it and he doesn't even seem to care that I'm so upset. We're usually really close.

colditz Sun 21-May-06 14:35:29

I would make him say sorry to the shop keeper.

FWIW, I used to steal when I was very young (9?) but stopped, and would never dream of stealing now!

MamaG Sun 21-May-06 14:36:20

I think the lying to you is a normal reaction for a nearly 6 year old - he is obviously embarrassed at being caught. My DD lied to me about her fringe when aged 4 - she said another girl had cut it at school, even stood there wide eyed while the teacher made the other girl apologise only to find out that night that she had cut it herself.

I wouldn't worry too much about it, I don't want to belittle what he's done and I do think you are handling it the right way, but I don't want you to get too upset about it and be embarrassed.

Have you thought about taking away a special treat as well, to really make him see what he has done? We were planning a trip to Alton Towers when above incident occurred and we didn't go - told her it was because she had lied.

Sorry you're so upset. x

cupcakes Sun 21-May-06 14:42:49

mamag - I am ridiculously upset about this. Being pg doesn't help, I think I might be overreaccting about everything at the moment.
colditz - when I was 8 or 9 I used to steal chewing gum and rubbers ('erasers'). I did grow out of it and I can understand his motivation so maybe I should be more understanding. My problem is I tend to think of him as perfect because he's quite mild mannered and gentle so any signs of him acting like a normal child really knock me out.

MamaG Sun 21-May-06 14:44:52

lol at 'erasers'

Anyone would be upset, for me it was the lying more than the actual act IYSWIM, but hopefully this will nip it in the bud.

Have you thought about briefing the shopkeeper beforehand and actually paying for the item then, and then going in with DS and making him give it back? They could just bin it. I'm sure you are nipping it in the bud.

kickassangel Sun 21-May-06 14:47:32

my dd (2) will alsways try lying if found doing something 'naughty'. it's a natural self preservation thing and nothing to do with their relationslhip with you. if he never actually appears sorry, you need to make him see the consequences of his actions, e.g. buy a present for you 3yo, and not him, to show him he shouldn't take things. if you suspect he's telling you a story, tellhim how you'll find out the truth & see if he sticks to it.

ScummyMummy Sun 21-May-06 15:10:57

Oh cupcakes- poor you. It's so horrible when you feel massively disappointed in them, isn't it? I think your own insights about being upset when he shows he is not perfect are spot on though. I think he's probably not seeming repentant because he doesn't want to face the fact that you are, understandably, very angry and disappointed in him. I don't think you are expecting too much though- lying and stealing are not acceptable and he needs to know that. And personally I would definitely take him and the item back to the shop and make him hand it back and apologise in person to the shopkeeper. (If it is any comfort I had to do this with one of mine when he was 3 ) But through and beyond whatever you decide as punishment/reparation, I think it's really important for you to remember that this is just extra naughty behaviour- ds is still your gorgeous boy and not an evil mini sneak thief. Children, like all of us, learn by making mistakes. good luck sorting this one out.

cupcakes Sun 21-May-06 15:14:59

SM, your post has made me cry. He's asleep on the sofa at the moment - I think you're right when you say he doesn't want to face up to me being disappointed in him.

Blandmum Sun 21-May-06 15:17:23

so sorry that this has happened and that you are so (understandibly) upset. and you are quite right, the pregnancy hormones don't help at all.

I nicked some beads from school at the age of 4....was made to take them back (traumatic) and appologise. never nicked anything since. Making me stank up to my responsibilities worked in that case.

I'm sure that this is one of the phases that loads of kids go through....and come out the other side just fine.

BadHair Sun 21-May-06 15:26:17

Haven't read all the replies as am at work and just nipping on here while quiet. Firstly, it's just a stage, and I know this as I was a prolific shoplifter at this age.

Re the keyring - make him take it back to the pet shop. My mum never made me take stuff back even when she found it as she was too ashamed of me. The only time she did make me give something back I was so mortified that I never pilfered again. Well not in the same way but that's a completely different story and totally irrelevant here.

He needs to see the consequences of his actions - face to face with a shopkeeper would help. You could always prepare the ground first by going in the shop without him, paying for the goods (as they're damaged) and telling them that you'll be bringing him in later to confess! It may sound traumatic but it guarantee that it would have worked on me at 5, and I remember it all really well.

As for blaming his sister - I used to blame anything and anyone to get out of trouble, and I think most 5 yr olds will. Again, they don't see the consequences of their actions, they just see it as taking the heat off them.

Sorry got to go but if it helps i used to do this and I grew out of it after my mum made me face up to what I'd done. HTH

Blandmum Sun 21-May-06 15:28:22

Badhair, making me confess worked for me I can tell you! I was utterly mortified! And never did it again

ScummyMummy Sun 21-May-06 15:31:31

Aw- don't cry! One of my deepest held beliefs is that we prove ourselves as people when the chips are down. And with parenting more than most things, I'd say. Your boy needs you to handle this well and you are handling it well. He couldn't ask for more, imo.

cupcakes Sun 21-May-06 15:33:04

thanks for your advice. I'm really nervous about going in to the shop but I can see that I'll have to. I'll do as you suggest though and pave the way before hand. I am ashamed of his behaviour but I'm going to have to bite the bullet for his greater good. <gulp>

Blandmum Sun 21-May-06 15:35:42

Sweetheart, don't beat yourself up over this. This happens to many more people than will ever admit it.

I've never stolen another thing. When I was little I used to 'paint' my walls with poo as well and I haven't don't that for years either

cupcakes Sun 21-May-06 15:37:13



I almost didn't post this as I am so embarrassed but am very glad I did now.

Blandmum Sun 21-May-06 15:38:56

Glad I made you

Honest cupcakes, just think how grim I was for my mother! Tea leaf and a 'study in brown'

And I'm quite normal now

whahahahahahahaha (manic evil laugh emoticon)

ScummyMummy Sun 21-May-06 15:41:49

Following my chips down formula your mother has just gone way up in my estimation, mb!

Blandmum Sun 21-May-06 15:44:11

She had her moments scummy!

But then to be fair, I was a fucking odd kid.

dd is odd as well, though not as odd as I was, and at least I have a better understanding of where she is comeing from (ie her fucking odd mother!) LOL

EmmyLou Sun 21-May-06 16:01:25

getting him to apologise to shop is definately a good idea - they are still learning about actions and consequences and will need this reinforcing again and again. He won't forget! But be sure to forgive and move on too.

ScummyMummy Sun 21-May-06 16:07:51

I think I was pretty odd sometimes (and sneaky) too, actually. As a younger child I was quite quiet and compliant though, so no one noticed until it was too late. I think my mum generally viewed me (erroneously!) as reletively sensible and morally centred (as opposed to my sister who was the "challenging" one) and boy would she have had a shock if she'd realised just how bad I could be on occasion. Bare faced lying with innocent eyes was one of my key areas of expertise to keep her from finding out the extent of my evil. Seriously, cc- I think this is no bad thing in the general scheme of things. I think my mum and I would both have benefited from her knowing I could be and was a little shit now and then and the world didn't end.

surroundedbyboys Sun 21-May-06 16:34:59

i also remember stealing some penny sweets from the local post office when i was about that age. i was make to take them back and apologise, and no never did it again. i think scrummy mummy is so right - children do learn from their mistakes, and whilst i don't want to negate your completely justifiable feelings of disappointment, i think this is just part of growing up.

as badhair suggested, i would maybe pave the way for him by speaking to the shopkeeper first, then when you go with your ds you can concentrate on him and not be preoccupied with your feelings of embarresment etc.

i would think it is important to really praise your son afterwards for being brave and taking responsibility for his actions by apologising and owning up, so that a line can be drawn under it with a positive spin and then you can both get on with your day without a dark cloud hanging over you.

Tortington Mon 22-May-06 12:26:08

she sheer embarrassment of making them go into shop and hand the things over and apologise is punishment enough IMO. i would do that then let it go.

forget it happened and dont mention it again until he is 15 with girlfriend and you want to make him cringe

hope you feel better today xxx

QE Mon 22-May-06 12:32:52

Don't get too upset -easier said than done but it's very normal.

ds2 nicked a very small length of chain (don't know why so don't ask!) from Homebase once a couple years ago. he must've been about 7 or 8.

I read him the riot act, took him back to the shop in the car, made him wait while I had a sneaky word with the manager then took him in to confess.

The manager did his very bestest sternest face whilst giving him a good telling off and ds apologised and handed the chain back. I did a very sorry sir it won't happen again routine too then winked at him behind ds's back. He did very well not to crack up during this.

As far as I know ds2 hasn't nicked anything since. Or not been caught. Probably.

cupcakes Mon 22-May-06 13:44:05

I've been into the shop this morning and explained. I paid for the goods (one of them wasn't in a very returnable condition) and told her that I will be back with ds after school - she was really understanding which helped. Because I've paid for them she says she'll just slip them to me afterwards but I'm not sure what to do with them. Would keeping them for his birthday be a huge mistake - ie rewarding him (ultimately) for stealing?

surroundedbyboys Mon 22-May-06 14:01:24

i would personally give them to the charity shop or something. wouldn't give them to him - think it does send the wrong messages.

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