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I caught my 18 year old son stealing money out of my purse

He had already left the house when I confronted him by phone and told him to either return the money $30.00 or if he didn't that he was not welcome in my home anymore. This was not the first incident with him where he made a very poor decision, there have been several things in the past year or so and i was at the end of my rope with him..He has not called home in two days. My question is how do I continue to reach out to him to let him know that i still love him without making it seem that I am giving in and that what he did wasn't wrong....Naturally, i want nothing more then to call him and ask him if he would like to talk about things, but we have had many many talks and they don't seem to be doing any good...He obviously didn't think it was important to call me and apologize but he did return half the money when I wasn't home...I am so confused and he still seems so young to me.

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Asked by timberlake at 8:54 PM on Sep. 6, 2010 in Adult Children (18+)

Level 3 (16 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • Momma, is he on drugs? seriously, think about that. his behaviour sounds like its drugs. the best think you can do for him is cut him loose or have him arrested.

    Answer by sati769leigh at 9:05 PM on Sep. 6, 2010

  • No matter what your child does, you should never ever kick them out of the house or out of your life. That being said, your son is 18 now so that changes things quite a bit. The main thing is impress on him the consequences of his actions as an adult. I know you love your son and would not want to ever have him go to jail or prison for stealing, so that is what you need to get him to understand. If he steals from you he could think he could get away with it and try to steal from someone else. Eventually if he does steal from others he will get caught. So even though he's driving you crazy right now, remember his brain is not finished developing and he's making really bad decisions, but he is still influenced by you and your words/actions. He loves you and you need to keep showing him love and guidance. He might not be talking to you right now, but he will. When he does, be calm and tell him how you feel. Good Luck! <3

    Answer by carol2m2 at 9:10 PM on Sep. 6, 2010

  • I disagree with the post by Carol2m2. There is a time you can kick your adult child out of your home. Drugs, disrespect, not pulling their weight or living up to their responsibilities,etc. I'm sure your son knows that stealing is wrong and illegal. I've been there with "talking" until I'm blue in the face and the only time my kids really listen is when you give them consequences for their actions. In the real world if you son steals, he could end up in jail with a criminal record. He sounds like he doesn't respect you because he didn't call you and ignored you. He probably thinks you will do nothing and let it slide. You need to step up to the plate and show him you mean business. If I were you I'd hide my money and purse so this never happens again. Does he work and have his own money? How would he feel if you just waltzed into his room and took his cash? Read Tough Love it will help you become strong and set boundaries.

    Answer by twinkletoes0408 at 1:27 AM on Sep. 8, 2010

  • I'd get in the habit of hiding, locking up stuff or carrying it around. I had a similar problem at my home before our teen moved out and had to actually put locks on our personal things. He'd steal em, hide em, and claim to know nothing, yet I'd find them in his room later, hidden under or inside things where he assumed I'd never look. Of course he'd still claim ignorance.

    Answer by Zoeyis at 7:18 AM on Sep. 9, 2010

  • make sure that he isn't on drugs. if you have to hide or lock-up your stuff because of your son, there's a serious problem. check for drug use and watch his behavior.

    Answer by canta1980 at 12:13 AM on Sep. 10, 2010

  • You are showing him some tough love and stand on your ground.

    Answer by tigergirl31 at 4:42 AM on Sep. 10, 2010

  • If you have given him an ultimatum you need to stick with it, unless you do he'll know you don't mean what your saying. I heard, "Say what you mean, Mean what you say, But don't say it mean. A good lesson to learn when dealing with kids. I agree it sounds as if he may be on drugs. Hard as it may be to admit it, now of days, its not unusual when they start the stealing, esp. from family. I hope for you he's not, but you may start thinking of that possibility. Good luck to you.

    Answer by MyAngel003 at 8:47 PM on Sep. 11, 2010

  • Drugs are a good possibility here. if he's having trouble focusing or problems with responisibility, tell him to join the Marines or the Navy; he'll learn there.

    Answer by _Tam_ at 2:39 PM on Oct. 31, 2010

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