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Old 09-28-10, 11:18 AM   #1
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Really disappointed

My youngest son stayed with me this last weekend and was excited to tell me about finding an iPod touch while on a hike out near the lake. I didn't think much of it since my wife had found a Zune in the middle of the street, and my son has always been an honest kid. He'd already bought a cable for it and asked me about how to load it with music, etc. It was a nice father/son geek bonding experience.

Well...this morning a friend came by to apologize for her son. Apparently when my son had visited this last week...her boy's iPod touch had gone missing. When he realized my son had it last before leaving, he implored him to help in the search for it. My son got defensive and she feared his feelings were hurt that he was being accused of losing it.

Of course I told her my son's story and she was apologetic more than upset. Neither she nor I had suspected him capable of the theft. No one wants to see him crucified over making a bad decision, but now begins the fun task of figuring out how to handle the situation for fullest impact and lesson-learning. I do feel bad for the kid. The friendship can most likely be kissed goodbye, but as we discussed, that's for them to work out.

I already have a call in to his mother. Hopefully we can be on the same page regarding how to handle it and make the lesson stick.
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Old 09-28-10, 11:21 AM   #2
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Wait, so your son stole the iPod? Yikes!

We have gone through this with my cousin, who is now 15. I thought he was a great kid, only to find out a few weeks ago that he spends his evenings and weekends breaking into cars and stealing as much crap as he can find. I am so disgusted that I don't want him anywhere near my house or near me in general.
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Old 09-28-10, 11:56 AM   #3
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I would imagine that's the reaction his friends will have. Pretty devastating to a 14 y/o, but he's invited it.
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Old 09-28-10, 12:08 PM   #4
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To a 14 year old temptation is very strong. He gave in to it, and will now have to reap the consequences.

I would express to him with loving words how hurt and disappointed you are that not only did he lie to you but he also stole from his friend who will now probably never trust him again.

Explain to him how every action he does (positive and negative) affects everyone around him. Have him think about the negatives about his actions, their long term affects, what it can lead to and have him tell them to you.

Ask him what it would feel if his buddy stole his (whatever is most precious to him) and he found out.

Then have him talk about what would have happened if he never took it or lied.

He will be learning here how to be stronger and resist giving in to a temporary want. Vs having the benefit of long term needs, such as trust and true friendship.
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Old 09-28-10, 12:36 PM   #5
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I was a bad kid, and when I say bad I mean "BAD!" but I never stole, just wasn't right in my eyes. I remember once being accused of stealing by a teacher, I didn't do it so of course denied it, but they tried to get me for stealing anyways! When my school adviser came i and asked what happened he was shocked and quickly told all the accusers the following,"Look, Tony may be a bad kid, I'll give you that, but he's not a thief and he's certainly no liar!" Bad news is all the thieves I knew growing up stayed thieves. So from what I've seen a kid thats stealing at 14 is not a good sign.
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Old 09-28-10, 12:40 PM   #6
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I was a bad kid, and when I say bad I mean "BAD!"
No, not YOU! NEVER!!












*snicker*
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Old 09-28-10, 01:31 PM   #7
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Bad news is all the thieves I knew growing up stayed thieves. So from what I've seen a kid thats stealing at 14 is not a good sign.
Yeah, in junior-high, I knew some kids that broke into cars to steal the alarm-systems (worth more than the stereo). Then they'd sell it at the flea-market on weekends (with free installation of course). My parents moved out of the area when I started high-school, so I didn't keep in touch with them. I heard 20-years later that some of them are dead and a lot of them are doing time.

Teenage years are very formative and patterns then are likely to stick for the rest of their lives. Good luck dealing with your kid. Don't alienate him too badly or he'll rebel and get into worse trouble.
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Old 09-28-10, 01:36 PM   #8
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i know a few kids who never stole again after being caught. I know others that were never caught and continued to escalate their level of criminal mischief.

good luck with the rehabilitation of your son's integrity and friendship.
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Old 09-28-10, 04:13 PM   #9
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As a young teenager, I did more than a few things which weren't exactly...good. In the cosmic scheme of things it was pretty tame stuff in the early days and for the most part, driven by mischief rather than criminality.

However, on the rare occasions my parents found out about something I'd done, their reaction to it was so ridiculously over the top and disproportionate to the offense, that I soon learned it was much better to make sure they just didn't find out in the first place.

With that stumbling block out of the way, I moved on to rather more ambitious projects. No consequences, see? I only wised up when I was about 15 and a couple of my compatriots went to the big house for receiving stolen goods.

And after several minutes trying to figure out how to bring this back to my point, I reread the thread and realized DannoXYZ already made it.

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Teenage years are very formative and patterns then are likely to stick for the rest of their lives. Good luck dealing with your kid. Don't alienate him too badly or he'll rebel and get into worse trouble.
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Old 09-28-10, 05:15 PM   #10
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I lifted a wallet from a store when I was a kid (preteen). When my mom found it while cleaning my room, I tried to play it off that I had found it.... Next thing I know, we are in the car headed back to that store. I had to apologize to and receive a lecture from the store manager- then my mom called the cops, and I had to do the same with them. Needless to say, I never got caught stealing again.
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Old 09-28-10, 05:38 PM   #11
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I can't see any other option other than the county workhouse for 30 days.
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Old 09-28-10, 05:54 PM   #12
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I lifted a wallet from a store when I was a kid (preteen). When my mom found it while cleaning my room, I tried to play it off that I had found it.... Next thing I know, we are in the car headed back to that store. I had to apologize to and receive a lecture from the store manager- then my mom called the cops, and I had to do the same with them. Needless to say, I never got caught stealing again.
Similar story with me...busted for shoplifting at 13. My mom made me write a letter of apology to the store manager. Good thing I got busted cuz otherwise I'd likely be a smoker and worse today. That's what I pocketed. The punishment stuck.
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Old 09-28-10, 06:16 PM   #13
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i used to steal first with toys then with bike eventually you get really bored my friends said i was so good i stole myself into retirement, now i just steal attention.
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Old 09-28-10, 07:11 PM   #14
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I finally got through to his Mom this afternoon and explained everything. She'd thought something was funny about his story too, but also gave him the benefit of the doubt since this is so out of character for him. She promised to march him over there, make him return it and apologize, and he'd lose his priveleges.

I still need to talk to him personally. He owes me an apology too.
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Old 09-28-10, 08:13 PM   #15
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I finally got through to his Mom this afternoon and explained everything. She'd thought something was funny about his story too, but also gave him the benefit of the doubt since this is so out of character for him. She promised to march him over there, make him return it and apologize, and he'd lose his priveleges.

I still need to talk to him personally. He owes me an apology too.
Being a good parent is the hardest job in the world...and most heart-breaking at times. I'm very happy to hear that you and mom are on the same page and will both be supporting each other in the discipline of this incident. It is so important on big issues that both parents are in agreement and working together. It sends a very clear message to the child that the behavior is not acceptable. I hope the lesson hits home and this is the only time you have to deal with the issue.
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Old 09-28-10, 08:33 PM   #16
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I'm throwing this up in the air:

-WB, how well do you know the original owner of the iPod? Like character wise?

-Possible the iPod was was given to your son as proceeds from a bet or dare? Or maybe your son knows something or saw something and the iPod as "hush money"?
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Old 09-28-10, 09:18 PM   #17
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I'm throwing this up in the air:

-WB, how well do you know the original owner of the iPod? Like character wise?

-Possible the iPod was was given to your son as proceeds from a bet or dare? Or maybe your son knows something or saw something and the iPod as "hush money"?
It's nothing like that.

I did get a call from my son tonight. Above all I emphasized that what he did was a mistake, not something that defines his character or the way that I feel about him. I encouraged him that while what he's going through is and will be tough for a while, it's not forever. He admitted his fault and I'm confident he'll get through it OK...with some good life lessons.
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Old 09-28-10, 10:11 PM   #18
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We all did dumb things at that age, cracking down hard really is what worked for me. Although my mischief was more related to vandalism, my parents said no TV, Computer, Video games, or leaving the yard for a month. During that month I read books, and did required yard work and other chores. The following month I was required to be home before dark.

As much as those 2 months were a big pain, the more important thing that hit home for me was when my parents revealed their thoughts about trust. The most notable thing I remember was them asking how they would trust me behind the wheel of a car, with no supervision just a few years later.
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Old 09-29-10, 08:32 AM   #19
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When I was aobut 12, my dad said, "Do whatever you want, but if you get arrested, don't waste your one phone call on me."

I have been straight as an arrow (and a very boring person) ever since.
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Old 09-29-10, 08:46 AM   #20
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I lifted a wallet from a store when I was a kid (preteen). When my mom found it while cleaning my room, I tried to play it off that I had found it.... Next thing I know, we are in the car headed back to that store. I had to apologize to and receive a lecture from the store manager- then my mom called the cops, and I had to do the same with them. Needless to say, I never got caught stealing again.
I had a similar experience myself. It worked. I learned a lesson.
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Old 09-29-10, 12:59 PM   #21
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It is fortunate that the other party is not pressing charges. When this sort of thing happens, the School Resource Officers at my local high schools do recommend pressing charges. I always thought that was interesting.
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Old 09-29-10, 01:16 PM   #22
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I can't see any other option other than the county workhouse for 30 days.
If I had pulled a stunt like that as a teen, I would have not been able to sit comfortably for a week, my Dad would have beat the snot out of me - which is why I never did anything stupid because I knew what would happen.

I'm not suggesting he beat his kid, as a parent, I know he has an extremely tough situation to handle, especially if this has always been a "good" kid.

I'm in line with what your ex-wife has proposed, but then I'd also ground him for at least a month. He would learn what Restriction Is Like. By grounding, I mean no TV, no music, no games, no NOTHING. He can read, and do his homework. And there's an awful lot of fence I'm sure between both of your houses that needs whitewashing.
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Old 09-29-10, 05:49 PM   #23
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If I had pulled a stunt like that as a teen, I would have not been able to sit comfortably for a week, my Dad would have beat the snot out of me - which is why I never did anything stupid because I knew what would happen.
Mine would've too, though if I asked him now, he'd tell me it was a huge mistake. I called him after talking to my son and he agreed with the way I handled it.
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I'm in line with what your ex-wife has proposed, but then I'd also ground him for at least a month. He would learn what Restriction Is Like. By grounding, I mean no TV, no music, no games, no NOTHING. He can read, and do his homework. And there's an awful lot of fence I'm sure between both of your houses that needs whitewashing.
Yep, loss of ALL priveleges. It's going to suck to be him for a while.
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Old 09-29-10, 06:11 PM   #24
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It is fortunate that the other party is not pressing charges. When this sort of thing happens, the School Resource Officers at my local high schools do recommend pressing charges. I always thought that was interesting.
That's just stupid. Brand kids as criminal at an early age and saddle them with a criminal record. Yeah, that'll help.

They do need to have the snot scared out of them, but most definitely NOT be put into the system for a first offense.
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Old 09-29-10, 07:04 PM   #25
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I've seen so much from the other side that I don't recommend a risky temporary thrill for anyone. It's just not worth it. I'm so thankful for my ability to be strong in that sense.
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