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Addressing general irresponsibility

My stepson is currently displaying blatent irresponsibility - 4 broken cell phones (smashed by basketball, water damage, mysteriously not working) in the last year, "stolen" school bus passes, "stolen" wallet at school, etc. Everything seems to not be his fault, or so he feels. How would you go about addressing this situation. I feel even if everything was truly an accident, he ought to be more careful - but how do you make a child "more careful"?


Asked by daylily888 at 6:52 PM on Apr. 25, 2011 in Teens (13-17)

Level 23 (17,620 Credits)
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Answers (11)
  • for one, no more cell phones would be purchased. i got all the way through high school and into my late 20s without one.
    secondly, what does his dad say or do about any of this? does he condone or bury his head in the sand..so waves won't be made with the ex?
    this kid may need a reality check ASAP. what do you mean by 'stolen'?? are his things disappearing and 'stolen' is his excuse? or is he the thief?

    Answer by dullscissors at 6:56 PM on Apr. 25, 2011

  • Well I could understand 1 broken cell phone but not 4. My daughter has had 1 cell phone for many years but if she broke it, bye bye cell phone cuz there would be no more.

    Answer by emmyandlisa at 7:18 PM on Apr. 25, 2011

  • If his things get lost or "stolen" then HE has to replaces them. The Bank of Stepmom is now closed.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 7:20 PM on Apr. 25, 2011

  • My husband and I discuss this frequently. We both agree that this needs to be further addressed. He is a great kid who is not forgetful or absentminded. He's like his dad, always on top of his game. So when he comes home from school and says, "oh, by the way, X was stolen today. I need $25 to get a new one." Or, "I lost my wallet today, and the $20 you just gave me." It's just odd to me. My niece goes to the same school and I asked her if she knows of theft being a big problem. She says she doesn't think so. So it's simply my opinion that he's being irresponsible with his belongings. Leaving them laying around at school or who knows.
    As far as his phone, 4 is ridiculous! His dad agrees that he's just going to have to be phone-less, but his mom insists we need to get him a new one so she can reach him (they split everything 50/50 and it's our turn for the phone replacement this time). What would you do?

    Comment by daylily888 (original poster) at 7:24 PM on Apr. 25, 2011

  • Is he reporting these thefts to the dean of students or counselor or principal, whoever is in charge at the school and getting them documented. That would be the first step for me. If things are truly being stolen the school should be aware of it and a report should be filed. Then I would want to know from where are these things being stolen; locker, car, classroom, backpack, pocket, jacket,,,gym, bathroom, dining hall, classroom...I'd definitely try to narrow that down. Is he being targeted by bullies? Next step would depend on the answers to the first two. I think it sounds 'fishy'.


    Answer by meooma at 7:44 PM on Apr. 25, 2011

  • "where" - he says he's not sure. He goes to school with it and comes home without it. We'll investigate what he does with his stuff throughout the day.
    Definitely not bullies. He's a good size kid and makes instant friends (like his dad).
    Like I said, he's a good kid, so we are really at a loss on this one.
    I think we are leaning toward having him earn the spending power to purchase replacements. I think if he has a vested interest, he'll take better care of his belongings and this problem will magically disappear. If it doesn't disappear, then we're REALLY at a loss!

    Comment by daylily888 (original poster) at 7:52 PM on Apr. 25, 2011

  • Im sorry if the mother believes he needs a phone then she should be the one to make sure he has them. Not you & your husband! That makes me angry, anyway. I do think if he worked for the money to get the new things then yes your problem would magically disappear. Good luck!

    Answer by ZeenaS.Muh at 1:38 AM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • Have him pay for the next.

    Answer by grismelda at 2:08 PM on Apr. 29, 2011

  • Does he recv an allowance? If not, I wld strt giving him an allowance (I do age based, my oldest is 13, she gets $13/wk) and when he wnts smthng, he has 2 pay 4 it and if he isn't keeping up w/his belongings, 2 bad. He wld also b paying 4 any phs after the 1st provided or his BM wld b paying 2 get new ones since she thnks its so imp 4 him 2 have 1

    Answer by gbrewster at 7:38 AM on May. 17, 2011

  • spend time with him

    Answer by mommyof3-2008 at 12:15 PM on May. 19, 2011

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