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20 Feb 2003

stealing
I recently caught my 13 year old ADHD son stealing money out of his mothers handbag. This is not the first time. How do I handle this?
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Dear Keith,
Sometimes, kids steal. One would need to sit down with him, while not angry, and talk it through. Why was he taking money ? What does he use it for ? Why doesn't he feel able to ask for money, if he really needs it ? How does he feel, not so much about having been caught, but about stealing from his mother ? Does he realize that stealing, anything from anyone, is wrong ? Does he appreciate what can happen if he steals from other people ?
What does he propose should be done about it ? What form of punishment does he consider would be effective and fair ? ( not that you'd necessarily follow his advice, but it's worth knowing how he sees the situation ).
It can be worth adding, as some courts do, the chance for him to ask for "any other offenses to be taken into consideration ", i.e. to clear the slate by admitting any other releant wrong-doings.
I would guess, from your asking the question now, and stating that this is not the first time he's done it, that you didn't deal with this problem on prevous occasions ?
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