Stealing and lying about it - long

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-14-2003
Stealing and lying about it - long
Mon, 04-14-2003 - 12:03pm
I recently discovered that my 14 yo DS stole $50 from some very dear friends of ours (and his). I am just heartsick about this and need advice. We were guests in their home, and he discovered where their 16 y/o keeps her money and later went and helped himself to a $50 bill. After a shopping trip to the bookstore, I noticed when looking at his receipt that he paid for a couple of magazines with a fifty. He's never had a fifty in his life, so this led to questioning by me, several LIES from him, and finally ANOTHER lie wherein he admitted having a fifty but told me that he borrowed the money from the 16 y/o. (He actually went to her and asked him to lie for him (and she did corroborate his story, albeit uncomfortably.) In the end, he told us that he FOUND the money under their couch. We didn't really believe this either, but he stuck to this story. Today, in conversation with my friend, I learned that this is more than likely another lie.

What to do? We, of course, confiscated the items he purchased with the money and I repaid the $50 to our friends. He will have to repay me out of his allowance for the next six weeks. He has written letters of apology to our friends. This somehow seems inadequate - especially since he's STILL trying to cover up how he got the money (finding it under the couch versus going into her private things and stealing it.)

Some background about our son. We adopted him at 4-1/2 months of age. He's always been a delightful, happy child until middle school started. Since then he had one serious offense (getting into trouble on the Internet) and some lying to cover up things he didn't want to get into trouble for -- truly kid stuff, excluding the Internet thing and the stealing recently.

He gets good grades and has several hobbies but has had a rough time socially in school. He is the smallest kid in his class (very small private school) and says he is picked on about that. He wants very much to fit in and "be the best" at something. Most of the boys in his class are very athletic, but our son is average, so he doesn't stand out that way. There are basically two groups of boys: the athletic ones and the "troublemakers". He really doesn't want to hang with them either, so he feels somewhat alone. He admits that he just wants to be accepted. He feels like he doesn't have any friends, though he does seem to have a few (though he usually has to call them and invite them to do things, not vice versa.)

In the heat of the moment (when being confronted with a lie, for example) he will say things like he wishes he had never been born, wishes he were dead. Later he will say he only said it to hurt us. I know those comments should be a red flag to us, and they are, but I remember saying the same kinds of things when I was growing up -- to hurt others and to get attention, without any intention of actually hurting myself. When I said to him that I thought counseling was probably a good idea, he said he didn't want to go, that he would "resist" it.

Sorry for being so wordy. I'd greatly appreciate your thoughts, suggestions, advice.