My 9 year old won't stop stealing, what do I do?
HELP! My 9 year old son is stealing and I don't know how to get him to stop.
The first I noticed it was when we were in the car after leaving a restaurant, he said (with his big fat fibber sign on his face) that he forgot and had candy from the charity jar in his hand. We had already left and were driving home, I took the candy from him and we had a talk about stealing, how its not right, about what the candy was for and who it was raising money for, etc. He apologized and I thought that would be the end.
Then my mother comes back from taking him to the Lego club at the local library, she pulls me aside and tells me she was shocked to find he had stolen the creation he made in Lego club, (you have to leave your creations there so they have Lego's for next month's Lego club). He had tried to hide it from her and she had noticed him acting weird and found the Lego's. He acted shocked like he had no clue how it got in his hands. She said she would take him back to the library and make him return it, but she never followed through I never followed up on it either.
A month or two ago while cleaning his bedroom we came across under his mattress a magazine of his step-dad's (sports illustrated swimsuit edition) and several Victoria's secret catalogs he had taken from the mailbox. This is the odd thing, several months earlier my son told my mother that he had "tripped" over a magazine with girls in swimsuits that was in the garage and he was upset that he had to see that. She told me so we could make sure things like that were locked away, my husband went to go find the magazine and couldn't, he asked my son if he had seen it or done something with it and he said no. Clearly now a lie. So my husband had a talk with him about his body changing and girls and so on but also made it clear that it wasn't ok to take things that don't belong to you, he can't take his magazines or my mail. He made him throw those things away.
Then not even 3 weeks ago, I realized I was missing $20 from my desk, I immediately knew he had taken it and called him down to me, asked for the money which he denied, I told him I knew he was lying and wanted the money, he pulled it right out of his pocket and handed it to me. After a day of calming down, we all sat down and talked, I researched some online and found that this is normal, but all the articles said that its normal one time, they don't go into if he does it over and over again. When we talked again we talked about the behavior and it being bad, made sure he knew he wasn't a bad person but that what he was doing was bad. He was punished by having his allowance stopped, although all chores had to continue, he lost TV and video games for a month and had to write "I will not steal" 75 times a night for 10 nights. The next day he asked me to give him money to buy things at the book fair at school, I told him no, I couldn't give him money when he had stolen from me.
Tonight, while looking for some lost library books, I found $20 under his pillow as well as a book on bondage (YES, bondage OMG!!) under his bed. Turns out the book he found at his fathers place and brought home, the $20 he stole from his brother. He also confessed to stealing at least $20 more to buy books at the book fair, only TWO days after being punished for stealing!
This time tonight is the only time he's apologized without being told to apologize and the only time he actually looked remoresful. I don't know what to do at this point. I think its time to call his doctor, what I've read online tonight is so borderline. They say stealing after being told to stop and showing no remorse is something to be concerned about, he almost fits that.
Anyone else had experience with this??