About stealing.....

Avatar for suitemadameblue
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
About stealing.....
Sat, 04-12-2003 - 11:40am
How many of you deal/have dealt with stealing? How common is this?

This is where we are with Tristan (who will be 7 next month). He is back into stealing again. He had started this towards the end of school last year, but school was quickly over, and he was out of "opportunities" and the phase soon passed.

Well, over the past few weeks (really, months) he has begun again. First it was only small things from school - someone else's eraser, a sticker, etc. Then we noticed once, after a trip to the mall, that he had a few things in his pockets that we hadn't bought (HotWheels car, Harry Potter candy, somthing Pokemon). We made him take everything back, and he was reprimanded for his actions.

Last weekend, he showed me on Saturday what he had "won" for a coloring contest at school on Thursday (Friday had been a snow day). It was a GameBoy Advance game cartridge!!! When we asked him where the packaging was, and a few other questions, he quickly clammed up. When I said I would have to contact the teacher so we "could learn how to play it" is when he broke and told us that it was under someone's desk. He lost his GameBoy after that (combo of stealing the game and the fact that he hadn't been taking care of it anyway), and I wrote a letter to the teacher Monday morning. Well, this past Weds. was a book fair at school, and since Daddy hadn't seen his classroom yet this year we took him down to show him. While getting something out of his desk, an envelope fell out. Michael picked it up and asked what it was. It was the letter I had sent in to the teacher, only with the game NOT inside!!! Apparently, he had hid the letter and returned the game to the its rightful owner. Man, did that fume me!!

But, it's not over yet!!!!! Friday after school, before Tristan got home from the bus, his teacher called. Apparently, he tried to steal a pencil out of her prize box, and she caught him!!! UUGGGGGHHH!!!!!!!!!! She told Michael that she has been catching him taking things from other kids over the past few weeks, but this was the first time that he had taken something from one of the teachers (her).

Tristan has been warned about this time and time again. He is now without television or computer for 2wks -- and also without his GameBoy, because we sold that last weekend. He knows stealing is wrong, and he can't even really tell us why he does it - he knows he is going to get caught. My MIL went thru this with hubby's older (and only) brother when he was younger - started stealing at a very early age. When she asked him why, he said that simply he new he was different from the other kids (bi-polar, ADD, and a list of other things), and stealing - even tho he never even wanted what he was taking - was something that *he* could control. Ugh....sounds like what I am dealing with here.

Hubby is thinking of having the D.A.R.E. officer (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) here in town talk to Tristan -- ever since a field trip to the local jail last year, Tristan has known that if you do *bad* things, that's where you end up. Since he can't/won't grasp the bad in this, hubby thought talking with a police officer that is used to dealing with children may help. I'm not sure, but I am also at a point where I am willing to try anything.

Sorry....this turned into more of a vent than a question. Just had to get it all out.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 04-12-2003 - 5:38pm
Just a thought and I could be completely off base here, but many AS kids can also be OCD. I believe that stealing and hoarding can be a symptom of OCD. I know that hoarding is. I have a friend with a son with bipolar and OCD. I know he has a real problem with stealing like that. He just needs these certain things and cannot get it out of his head. Perhaps he really can't control the need to have it.

Just a thought at another way to look at it. Kids with AS aren't typically manipulative, don't specifically do things to hurt others, and are typically big on rules. So stealing for him may not be the same reasons at what we would normally expect. When you can find out why he is taking it, then it will be easier to stop.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 04-12-2003 - 10:06pm
Had only one experience with this, and it was minor -- but interesting. Tom (age 6) took a toy shark from a party store. I realized he had it when we got into the car. A fellow from the store had stepped outside, and I returned it to him without a fuss,and he just smiled and put it back. I explained to Tom that since we hadn't paid money for it it wasn't his. He (Tom) got very upset, and spent the whole trip home talking about how angry he was at the man for taking the shark. No matter how often or carefully I explained -- and had him explain back -- he wouldn't get off his anger at "the man!" In the next few days, I had Tom pay for things himself to get a better idea of what "paying" looked like, and it seemed to help. No issues since then...