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How does one stack punishments?

My son, 8 years old, has been discovered taking money from my purse, my room, and his sisters room. The day I discovered him stealing from me the 3rd day in a row, he was already grounded to his room from his previous offense. Im at a loss as to what to do next to teach him a lesson! Help, at this rate, he will be in his room forever!

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Asked by Momof3many at 3:12 PM on Oct. 13, 2008 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (14)
  • i would keep him grounded but clearly that isnt detouring him...i would no make him work to earn money to repay what he took even if its been returned already. He can do dishes for a quarter and his sisters chores for what ever amount you see fit...and see if that helps.

    Answer by Rysana at 3:16 PM on Oct. 13, 2008

  • I wondered about the repay, even though I recouped what he had taken. I think that would make him truly value and respect the work it takes to earn money. Thank you!

    Answer by Momof3many at 3:27 PM on Oct. 13, 2008

  • I would try a scare you have a family member or a friend who is a cop.....possibly someone he doesnt know (for more effect) have them come to your house and knock on the door acting like they might arrest it out.....let the officer explain that if he is caught doing this it is serious and he would need a stiff should scare the crap outta him......

    Some might say that my idea is too severe....but I would rather stop behavior like this early rather than letting it continue and work itself into a habit ;)

    Answer by mom2twobabes at 3:30 PM on Oct. 13, 2008

  • I dont think it is too severe. I am taking this very seriously and the "jail" thing has come up in my conversation with my son James. I worry about this behavior because it can lead to larger problems.
    I have had the police come and talk to him when he started to light things on fire this summer, which was so scary! It was around fourth of july, so I do contribute fireworks being around not helping. It came and went very quickly, the behavior that is. I did however have to ensure him that police are not bad or their to hurt you, but to protect him and others. Simply they are their to protect the innocent and take away the people that do harm. The goal is to never be the one to cause harm. I think he grasped that well, but now the stealing GRRR! Eeek Im long winded today!

    Answer by Momof3many at 3:44 PM on Oct. 13, 2008

  • Oh! good momof3many.....sounds like you are doing well.....some parents wouldnt go that far with punishments....but sometimes.....they just need a serious lesson and quick! Sorry I dont have any other ideas.

    Answer by mom2twobabes at 3:48 PM on Oct. 13, 2008

  • I know some won't agree with this, but, while he is at school, take something of his for a while and let him go crazy about wondering what happened to it, and then when its just about over, give it to him and ask him how it felt to have something you cherished taken away.Ya never know, it might work.

    Answer by Kat122 at 6:01 PM on Oct. 13, 2008

  • If you don't know any cops, try this: my dad had those zip-ties, sometimes you see cops use them instead of handcuffs. He put them around my son's wrists, then had him spread his legs and patted him down like he was searching him. Then we went to the closet and opened the door, had him step inside. We DID NOT leave him in the closet, but had him step inside so he could see what a jail cell would be like (it was a walk in closet, not the same size, but got the point across). Then, we took the zip ties off and told him that if he was really being arrested, they would have left him in the cell and he would be there until he either went to court or someone had enough money to pay to get him out. It scared the crap out of him, and he never took another thing again. It also deterred my youngest.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:47 PM on Oct. 13, 2008

  • Wow, these are all so good. Thank you for helping us see different ideas on how to resolve this. Sometimes I just fall into a funk and cant come up with a creative idea!

    Answer by Momof3many at 6:55 PM on Oct. 13, 2008

  • If your young son is stealing, ritually, from more than one person, something severely emotional is going on inside of him. Have others in your family exhibited rebellious behavior? Maybe something at school is going on, a bully? As far as getting him to see the punishments, I'd print out a calendar. "This is today" (X it out). "This is what you've done wrong, and how long you're grounded" (write it in the margins). "This is when you're no longer grounded for Behavior A." (Circle the End Date.). Another punishment? Add it onto the end. Spell out what grounding means. Is it just staying home, no friends? Or does it include no tv, no games, etc? Is the second worse than the first? It should be. And then I would go to the teacher and school admin and ask if he's exhibited off-behavior there, and have them tell me what's going on. You need to not just stop his behavior, but find out why!

    Answer by ChefMom94 at 7:23 PM on Oct. 13, 2008

  • Start taking his stuff. Role reversal. Anytime you see him taking something that doesn't belong to him, take something of his. You could return it later on or donate it to Goodwill or something. See how it makes him feel and explain why you're dong it.

    Answer by Mom2Dano at 7:48 PM on Oct. 13, 2008

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