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How do I deal with a 12 yr old that steals?

Me and my husband had been noticing that on a few occasions cash would be missing from our wallets/purse. After questioning our son about it, he admitted to taking it and we told him since he was honest with us that we would let him work off the money to pay us back with extra chores. This morning when I went to get in my purse to pay for something I noticed that he had again taken money from me before he got on his bus for school. Any suggestions on dealing with this?

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Asked by ToNiCa at 3:23 PM on Oct. 19, 2010 in Tweens (9-12)

Level 1 (2 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • Did you even ask why he is taking the money?

    Answer by jroseh68 at 3:26 PM on Oct. 19, 2010

  • is there a chance that there's extortion going on? you mentioning that it looks like he took it before he go on the school bus makes me wonder.
    I'd find out if he's paying off bullies to leave him alone, or if they are demanding money from him.


    Answer by ItsMe89 at 3:27 PM on Oct. 19, 2010

  • He is taking it to buy candy from one of his classmates at school.

    Comment by ToNiCa (original poster) at 3:28 PM on Oct. 19, 2010

  • Tell him that in other countries people get their hands cut off for stealing.

    Answer by Nanixh at 3:31 PM on Oct. 19, 2010

  • Start keeping track of your purse/wallet or locking it up somewhere.
    My oldest started doing that when she was a teen. We changed out door knob on our bedroom door to one that had a key lock. and locked our stuff in our room when we were not in the bedroom. It is a pain but it stoped the stealing.
    I did this to. The more she stole the less things she got.

    Answer by louise2 at 3:33 PM on Oct. 19, 2010

  • What I would suggest is talking to him about why it is wrong to take money and disrespectful to you with how much you work. It probably won't entirely do good just talking to him tho. I then would show him how much work it takes to earn money. Making him do chores and things to earn money and not letting him have any unless they are done. Hiding your purse may be a good idea until he understands. I would talk a little more with him about why he feels the need to buy candy or anything without asking. Do you think maybe he feels like if he doesn't he may not fit in? Like maybe all the other kids are bringing money to buy it, so feels he needs to also. If this could be why, I would suggest having a talk with him about not having to be or do things like everyone else, maybe he needs a boost of confidence.

    Answer by jroseh68 at 3:37 PM on Oct. 19, 2010

  • Well, it sounds as if he will continue to steal until you begin giving him money for the candy. But keep in mind that you have to approach this situation delicately because if you do not lay the foundation down now in regards to stealing, it will lead to bigger things and those bigger things will probably land him in big trouble. Do not ask him for an explanation but inform him that it is wrong to steal and he could get into serious trouble for stealing. Also, keep temptation away from him.

    Answer by mom2mybabes at 4:17 PM on Oct. 19, 2010

  • We had an officer come out and talk to him about it. Maybe it will actually do some good to hear it from the source about what happens to people when they steal. (We are talking about $70 over the last 2 weeks)

    Comment by ToNiCa (original poster) at 4:23 PM on Oct. 19, 2010

  • I hate to be a pain, but are you sure that he is buying candy? 35 dollars a week even at todays prices is a lot of candy.
    I'd still ask him if he's being pressured in some way. if he is, he probably doesn't want to tell.

    Answer by ItsMe89 at 6:57 PM on Oct. 19, 2010

  • Oh, he's completely being ripped off for sure. The kid gives him a grocery bag of candy and my son gives him whatever bill he happens to have in his pocket ($20 bills three of the times) Me and the husband are going up to the school tomorrow to see if something can be done about the other boy too.

    Comment by ToNiCa (original poster) at 7:09 PM on Oct. 19, 2010

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