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My 13 Year old has stolen from me

(9 Posts)
Kelnew86 Tue 10-Oct-17 13:34:32

Hi, looking for some advice on how to deal with my 13 year old son. I've just found out today that he's bought items through online gaming and spent £55 of my money in one day. This is not the first time he's done it, previously it's been £7 here £5 there, but never this much! He knows that I can see that he's spent the money so I don't know how he thinks he will get away with it. I feel so hurt and disappointed. He knows I'm not flush with money. This has also left a big dent in my bank account and I will now struggle to pay one of my bills because of it. My partner is absolutely livid and has decided that when we get home tonight we are telling him that we're selling is Xbox.
I feel sick with worry and that this will actually have a negative affect? There is a bit of a long list of other things that have been going on lately and he's generally rude, disrespectful, ungrateful and mean to his 4 year old brother. I just feel like I'm constantly telling him off. I want to treat him and have days out, but I feel like I can't because it would be like giving him a treat for bad behaviour. I know he's a teenager and I do give him leeway on some of the attitude and it's part of the territory but surely this all can't be part of being a teenager?!
I just wondered if anybody else has gone through something like this and could offer some advice on how to deal with it?
Thank you in advance.

mumz123 Tue 10-Oct-17 13:44:35

Hi Kelnew86,

Oh dear. Poor you.

We went through a phase like this with my eldest son. I think it's pretty standard/normal teenage fare AND I think it does demand some consequences/punishment. We went with the need for boundaries and setting the standards of what we expected. Our son built up such a debt to us that we did indeed end up making him sell his Xbox to pay us back, plus he had to forego a birthday gift and pay us back with the money he would have gotten.

It's tough but in my opinion necessary.

Kelnew86 Tue 10-Oct-17 14:11:35

Hi Mumz123, thank you for replying, although it's not nice to hear that you have gone through something similar, it is nice to hear I'm not alone if that makes sense!
We've always had boundaries and made sure there are consequences. When he's spent smaller amounts without permission I've taken his Xbox away and grounded him, but that obviously hasn't worked.
Earlier this year, he got into trouble with the police for throwing stones with some friends at somebody's house, he broke a window, but owned up to it and we ended up paying a fine and for the window to be fixed which was £190, for that he had no birthday present but we initially threatened to sell his Xbox.
He's always so so sorry after the incident and says he just 'didn't think' at the time. So you'd think he'd learn his lesson after a while! I just feel so lost and out of control with him at the moment, I really worry about his future. I suppose we just have to keep battling and getting through each problem with consequences and punishments.
Hopefully I'll look back at all this one day and think I'm glad that phase blew over! :-)

mumz123 Tue 10-Oct-17 14:33:58

Yes this sounds very familiar and I do believe that at this age they really do just make stupid mistakes because they don't think and are incapable of empathy or thinking through their actions. It sounds to me like you are handling it really well and maybe just need to focus on looking after yourself and giving yourself a break rather than taking a different strategy with him.

Have you read 'Get out of my life but take me and Alex to town first'?

greystarling Tue 10-Oct-17 14:39:58

I would ask him how he is going to repay the money.
Maybe he can sell games rather than the Xbox itself. Or a phone. Or whatever. But he has to pay it back

scrabbler3 Fri 13-Oct-17 16:29:13

I've been through this with the Xbox. My 13yo son spent money on FIFA. I first knew of it when I received a nice email thanking me for my order of x FIFA points worth £y. I was not pleased!

I talked to his friends' parents (they're friends of mine) and they had had similar experiences. It's almost an Xbox rite of passage, it seems.

My son had to do 2 hours of gardening and dismantle a piece of furniture for me. Make him work to pay it off (in addition to his normal chores, of course).

Thingywhatsit Fri 13-Oct-17 16:44:28

I think you need to get tech savvy to be honest - ds(14) hasn't an Xbox and never had this problem - it is not universal of teenager Xbox players, more a problem of parents who give their children direct access to their bank accounts through the Xbox! . Take off your card details from the Xbox and instead buy xbox points through Amazon instead then give him the code.

Fluffysparks Fri 13-Oct-17 16:48:40

Teens are definitely capable of feeling empathy, they just choose not to. Is he aware of your financial situation? From experience, I would sell the xBox and move on, there'll be a lot of whining and crying and screaming and yelling, but it will make positive impact on the long term. Good luck OP smile

Kelnew86 Tue 17-Oct-17 12:51:45

Thanks to all for your positive / constructive feedback.
I did take my card details off of the Xbox sometime ago because it had happened previously, but the Xbox account is set up to my Hotmail account which is linked to my Paypal account! So it found a different debit card (from my Paypal a/c) to take payments from! I definitely need to get more tech savvy! I had no choice but to close my Paypal account in the end.
We sold all of his Xbox games and have taken the Xbox away to a friends house.
He is reluctantly going to work with my partner on a Saturday morning to work off what he spent as well.
Still getting the attitude though, just for him to show some remorse would make me feel a tiny bit better! That's what worries me the most.. that he doesn't care.

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