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lying son

(8 Posts)
tegi Mon 24-Sep-12 19:19:07

18 months ago, I lost about £400 from a drawer in my bedroom. I questioned my son (then 17 years old) about who he'd had in the house (he'd been at home on his own for 2 nights) and he denied having any friends around. I said that I was going to get the police involved, which I did and he seemed quite unconcerned. I was horrified when the results of fingerprinting came back, telling me that his prints were all over everything. He denied - and still denies- touching anything , saying that as the money was in Christmas / birthday envelopes, he'd been handling the envelopes beforehand. (He saw the envelopes at the police station). There have been other instances when I know he's taken money from my purse - again which he has denied. I know this happened a long time ago but I feel as if I'm about to have a complete breakdown as it's on my mind constantly. Some days, I really can't bring myself to speak to him. I'm really concerned about what the future holds for us.

justbreathe Mon 24-Sep-12 21:48:12

Sounds like he took it... but having started the lie and then having lied in front of the police there was no going back for him.
It sounds like its really eating you up.. Can you find it in your heart to forgive him ? !7 year old boys don't have much empathy and maybe he felt he needed it more , maybe he owed it to someone, maybe he's covering up for a friend...
Don't get me wrong i think its terrible for you to not know if you can trust your own son but I think you need to move on, after all keeping a good relationship with him has more value long term than the money and a dishonest teenager does not always turn into a dishonest man.
Could you tell him how much it has been eating you up not knowing who took your money and that you have decided to forgive whoever stole it from you in order to move on. If he did steal it he'll feel REALLY guilty when he hears this !... Hope you find some resolution.

beagreassive Tue 25-Sep-12 05:00:44

Sometimes they lie. My DD stole my bank card and took out fifty dollars. it wasn't till i told her that the police had called and showed me video of her accessing the ATM that she broke from the lie. (they hadn't. actually. I lied too. I knew it was her, and needed her not to keep lying her way through life). She told me she didn't know why she took it, and was too scared to tell the truth. I told her that I loved her anyway, took the money back off her, changed all my accounts, and grounded her for a week. I know it doesn't sound too harsh, but it was a turning point for her, and I haven't felt that she has been lying to me since: she has admitted things much more quickly, and taken her punishments like a man. She still makes mistakes and bad choices, but she is learning that they have consequences, so making less of them. Also, I have learned not to tempt her. So, I don't leave my cards where she can find them, make her turn away when entering my PIN, and keep no cash in the house. hard to steal what you can't access!

flow4 Tue 25-Sep-12 08:39:35

tegi, I know how you feel. Last winter, my DS got himself a drug problem. He found a way to access an account of mine I only used for savings (so didn't look at very often) and over the course of 6-8 weeks, he stole about £800 from me. Finally, he confessed. For him that was obviously cathartic, and while he felt relieved, I was a total mess - furious, worried, stressed, bereft... He was guiltily affectionate, and I couldn't look him in the eye. I couldn't even add kisses to the end of text messages.

I was already aware of previous bits of 'ad hoc' theft - tenners and fivers and the odd quid from my purse that I was almost certain I hadn't spent. He'd always denied this, and I felt slightly crazy - not sure of my own judgement and memory. The major theft and confession couldn't be denied or ignored though - I got a locksmith to fit locks on bedroom doors, and his little bro and I have kept our valuables locked ever since. I also closed the account he'd stolen from, and changed my PINs.

It didn't feel like something I could 'punish' as such: involving the police and/or throwing him out felt more appropriate than, say, grounding. I wanted him to access counselling, but he wouldn't. I agonised over what I should do. In the end, I stopped all his allowance and changed the way he got money, so that he didn't get much, and what he did get, he had to work for. I didn't throw him out or have him arrested, and I still don't know if that was the 'right' decision.

It has been a terrible year. His behaviour got worse, in other ways. He was aggressive and occasionally violent. My love for him felt damaged, perhaps fatally. The money wasn't as important to me as the broken trust, which is still not repaired. Because of his behaviour - there have been some really big problems this year - he has felt alien and unfamiliar, and I have felt devastated by the loss of 'my' son.

However, he is growing up a bit. He hasn't stolen or been violent since Easter. He's stopped being such a dick, and it is pretty much normal teenage aggro now, as far as I can see. He's back in college.

I find I am sometimes over-sensitive. Because he has done some terrible things, and I haven't been able to stop him, I get over-wrought with smaller things, like him not coming home when he's agreed to. Even small 'misdemeanors' make me panicky, as I think "oh no, the nightmare is starting again".

I haven't quite forgiven him - and I still lock things up - but I can see that one day I might, and that is enough to be getting on with. I hope you can get to a similar point, OP. I think it just takes a long time...

Parttimeslave Tue 25-Sep-12 14:17:05

I still don't trust my ds2 (17). He stole small amounts regularly from my purse, dh wallet etc for about 18 months. We suspected it was him and confronted him about it and he regularly lied through his teeth about it. He finally sort of admitted it and I have been vigilent about keeping cash around - particularly in my purse. I hate it. Why should I have to hide my own money from MY offspring? It really saddens me that they can be so bloody selfish and dishonest. I think he's beginning to grow up a bit now. He actually admitted that he was a right "prick" (his word!) about it all the other day. He said he just felt "entitled" to the money.
Getting a Saturday job helped. I think it made him appreciate money a bit more. I still don't leave money around and I think he still lies a lot (not uncommon in teenagers unfortunately). OP, don't beat yourself up about it. Keep your money safe (don't encourage temptation - they can't help themselves!). Continue to re-inforce your feelings about his behaviour when necessary and try to keep a good relationship with him. Some teenagers just lie and help themselves to whatever they want - but that doesn't mean they won't grow out of it (she says hopefully!!).

neverthoughtinamillionyears Tue 25-Sep-12 15:27:39

My DS said he felt 'entitled' to take money from me too. I do find that odd.

deleted203 Fri 28-Sep-12 04:26:57

Did you feel 'entitled' to give him a good thump round the ear'ole then? Cos I would have, I'm afraid.

neverthoughtinamillionyears Fri 28-Sep-12 07:18:51

I didn't feel entitled - because I don't think I feel entitled to anything - but I did feel enormously tempted. However, he was/is much bigger than me. I felt terribly, terribly powerless. sad

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