My son's friend is a theif!

@Humbug25 (12540)
September 30, 2011 4:39am CST
My son told me last night that he saw a friend of his steal some packets of football/soccer cards from a store yesterday. I say friend but he is a child from school that my son sometimes hangs out with and would not make a good life long friend. I have told my son several times that he should stay away from this boy because he is trouble. Anyway, I explained to my son that stores have detectives that watch out for people stealing items and when caught the police are called in. I tried to get through to my son that if he is with this boy when he is stealing and gets caught then that he will also be in trouble. Now I know this information I really feel I should do something about it but I don't know what. Do I speak to his mother? Do I speak to the child? Do I leave it?
4 people like this
25 responses
@GemmaR (8517)
30 Sep 11
I think that you should make sure that your child understands what might happen to them if they are anywhere near their friend when they choose to steal things from a shop. You could try to broach the subject with his friend's mother, however you might find that she is rude to you if she chooses not to accept the fact that her son is being a bad influence on your son. You should be careful about having him round your house, because if he is able to steal from a store then you never know whether they will steal from you or not.
3 people like this
@Humbug25 (12540)
30 Sep 11
Hi ya GemmaR I have never allowed the child into my house and most certainly will not be in the near future either. He is 10 years old, he's know's right from wrong. I have some friend I could speak to who know the family well but I don't want to off my dilema onto them, that just isn't fair. I think she would accept that he had done it but I would mention anything about his influences on my son, she is a nice person and am amazed that her son is turning out in such a way - it's sad. Thanks
2 people like this
@bagarad (14283)
• Paso Robles, California
1 Oct 11
I feel for all of you. my adopted daughter was a shoplifter whose birth mother had taught her to steal. She was quite good at it. We had to keep an eagle eye on her in stores and still didn't always find out until she was home and had things she shouldn't. The we'd have to march her back to the store managers and make her apologize. She was so cute and shy looking they almost praised her for bringing things back. When she was about 12 we thought she was over it, but she got mad a me one day when she was bout 14. I and the two children were taking my son to soccer practice when we were rear-ended. I decided I'd better take my son for an X-Ray immediately, so we stopped at an urgent care center in a shopping center. My daughter got bored while we waited, and asked if she could go to Long's a few doors down. I said she could, so off she went. I assumed she'd be back soon, but she wasn't. I began to worry, and finally I told my son I'd be back soon and went to see what was up with my daughter. As soon as I walked in, my friend, who was the assisant manager, approached me and said she was really glad to see me. The manager had seem my daughter putting things in her purse and if my daughter had left the store, she would have been stopped. I immediately asked my daughter to open her purse, and a few unpurchased items were retrieved and she said she didn't know why she took them. I made her go return them to the manager and apologize. But this manager was different than the others and my daughter was now a teenager -- not a cute little girl. The manager read her the riot act while my daughter stood there like a statue with no expression at all, which was, of course, interpreted as she had no remorse. The manager told her never to enter the store again or she would be arrested for trespassing. It was a bad day all around. I think she was mad at me and wanted to embarrass me in front of my friend, or so she said later. She also said once she put the stuff in her purse, she didn't realize she could just take it out and put it back on the shelf and so she just froze. It was very discouraging for me, because I had thought I could trust her in stores again. It may be your son's acquaintance has had other times he has stolen from stores. Maybe his parents will want to know. But I think my approach would be to ask before telling. I'd ask the boy's mother if she would want to know if her son had been shoplifting. Then I'd decide what to do according to how she responds to the question. It's never fun to be the parent in this situation. I wish yiou well in whatever you decide to do.
@moondancer (7433)
• United States
30 Sep 11
If you know the parent and know they won't just let it go or sweep the incidence under the rug then tell them. If they won't do anything about it then talk to the child and tell him you will be telling the store he took them if he doesn't. This is what I would do.
3 people like this
• United States
30 Sep 11
That being the case then his mother needs to take care of the bullying situation too! There is no reason kids should worry about a bully. I would also tell her about that. Parents have no idea what their children do at school unless someone tells them. You could speak to the mother then speak to his teachers and apprise them of the situation telling them if anything happens then his mother needs to be told of the bullying. She needs to be told anyway, by the teacher!
3 people like this
@Humbug25 (12540)
30 Sep 11
Hi ya moondancer The trouble is as well is that this boy can be a bit of bully at school sometimes and I don't want to make trouble for my son at school either. I really don't know what to do. I am sure his mother would understand and would discipline him accordingly and I would hope that she wouldn't tell her son who had told her. Thanks
2 people like this
@p1kef1sh (45681)
30 Sep 11
Tricky. Personally I might leave it although I might say to the teacher what your son told you. Depending on the mother's temperament talking to her might simply make matters woirse. However, I don't think that I would encourage your son to play with this lad anymore. It's only a matter of time before something happens and the Police come calling.
2 people like this
@p1kef1sh (45681)
30 Sep 11
That's a very good idea. I am sure that the Police will be very happy to drop in and talk to the children. Better now than in a few years time!!!
2 people like this
@Humbug25 (12540)
30 Sep 11
I think that if I went to the police direct then they would want to know more and would probably make a home visit! I don't think that is necessary just yet. If I go to the school then they will have to keep my chat confidential but will also feel obliged to act upon it. That is what I am hoping anyway. Then if the same incodent arises after that then I will have to take further action myself I guess!
1 person likes this
@Humbug25 (12540)
30 Sep 11
Hi ya p1kef1sh Tricky? Tell me about it. I have spoken with my son and explained to him of the consiquences of 'hanging out' with such a child and tried to explain the saying of being tarred with the same brush! I am contemplating contacting the school and suggesting that the local bobby pay a visit to the school to scare the kids a bit as I am sure this child is not the only one to do this. Cheers
1 person likes this
@MaryLynn321 (2680)
• United States
30 Sep 11
I am not sure what the answer to this one is. If you say something to the parent, they might turn it around and blame your son. Or the boy could cause problems for him in school. All you could do is check with a counselor without mentioning names, or even check with the local police on situations. Or one better. Possibly if you know someone from the store talk to them about keeping and eye out for the boy. If your son is still hanging around with this boy maybe it is time to be a bit more harsh with him. He could be counted as an accomplice, if he was with the other boy when he got caught stealing. Hugs
2 people like this
@Humbug25 (12540)
3 Nov 11
Hi MaryLynn321 Yes I have explained to my son that by simply being with this boy could get himself into trouble. The fact that my son has actually told me about this incodent tells me that he is not happy with the situation and even said that he hoped the boy did get caught. I have told him that he mustn't hang out with this boy anymore and it is a small town so it wouldn't be long before someone would tell me if they had seen him with this boy. Thanks
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Nov 11
Hi Hambug, It sounds like your son realizes that what this boy did was wrong. Ending a friendship sometimes is hard for kids to do. Hopefully your son realizes that if he still hangs around with this boy that he too could get in trouble. Good luck.
@allknowing (130113)
• India
30 Sep 11
You certainly have a responsibility but need to handle it with kid loves so to say. Parents have the tendency to defend their children. Unless you have concrete proof you should not approach them.
3 people like this
@Humbug25 (12540)
30 Sep 11
Hi ya allknowing The thing is though that if it were my son, as embarrassed as I would be, I would still want to know, I would appreciate that someone had told me. Thanks
2 people like this
@allknowing (130113)
• India
1 Oct 11
Blood is thicker than water and the first thing a Mom would do is to defend and say that her son would never do such a thing, bla bla bla. I still feel you should have sufficient proof and then certainly approach the parents.
1 person likes this
• Kuwait
30 Sep 11
I do think you should tell the child's mother about this because as he grows, he'll get into more trouble.
@Humbug25 (12540)
30 Sep 11
Hi there lizzd_96 and welcome to mylot Yes I am seriously considering doing this. Thanks
2 people like this
@Keola12 (795)
• United States
1 Oct 11
I definitely believe you should speak to the boy's mother about the stealing. This way the mother can take disciplinary action with the boy, and hopefully make him into a better, honest person.
@Humbug25 (12540)
3 Nov 11
Hi ya Keola12 Yes I have thought about what if it were my son doing the stealing, I sure as heck would want someone to tell me what was going on so I could be seen to be doing something about it to. Thanks
• Philippines
30 Sep 11
Try speaking with the child. Do it in a very gentle way like you're his mom. Explain to him that though he may have gotten away with it the first time, he'll get caught soon if he will do it again and again and that would make his mom and family very upset. You can invite this child with you at home, it will be a good venue for a heart to heart talk with your son's friend. Tell him you care about him because he is your son's friend and you wouldn't want anything bad to happen to him.
2 people like this
@Humbug25 (12540)
30 Sep 11
Hi there irislee_24 To be honest I don't think it is the first time he has done it and I don't trust the child in my own home. I do care about the boy but worry that I will get a bit of attitude in return. I think I will have to sleep on this one a bit longer!! Thanks for your advice, I have taken it onboard
1 person likes this
@jaiho2009 (39142)
• Philippines
30 Sep 11
If you are close to each other, I guess you should inform the mother. But if you are not having a close relation with the family,I doubt they will misunderstand your concern. Sometimes good intention becomes bad...but you can still give it a try.
2 people like this
@Humbug25 (12540)
30 Sep 11
Hi there jaiho2009 Yes I agree with you this could be a possibility of misunderstanding and I really don't want to embarrass the mother at all. Thanks
1 person likes this
• Philippines
30 Sep 11
Hello humbug, In my personal opinion i think you should defend your son more should in case the cops try to get him involve with this boy. you did you're part as a mom to protect your boy from him. it's sad that even in the US people can also steal things, this is something that i should watch out for just in case.
2 people like this
@Humbug25 (12540)
30 Sep 11
Hi ya LetranKnight25 Yes I had a good talk to him about it when he told me. All the boys want to collect these cards and have more than another boy but I told my son that stealing them was most certainly not the way to get them! Thanks
1 person likes this
@stanley777 (9402)
• Philippines
30 Sep 11
I think you should speak to the boy first, he really needs help and you should help him before he does worse... And if he still doesn't change his attitude then you should inform his parents.. Good luck.
2 people like this
@Humbug25 (12540)
30 Sep 11
Hi there stanley777 I think he is the type of child that will just say yeah yeah whatever but I do feel that I need to give him the chance to redeem himself. He has told my son that he has stopped and won't do it again but I don't believe him, I think he is just saying that so that it will get my son off his back! Thanks
1 person likes this
@nezavisima (7408)
• Bulgaria
30 Sep 11
when every little sin. best to you can tell the boy's mother and she could talk with him. because really it is very important for a child now, it develops and grows now being built as a character and personality. I think you just have to explain to the child's mother and tell your child and just be careful and have a mind. nice day!
2 people like this
@Humbug25 (12540)
30 Sep 11
Hi there nezavisima Yes I have already spoken to my son about it and he know's how wrong it is and that he could be in trouble if he is with the boy when he stealing. I also need courage to speak with his mother! Thanks
1 person likes this
• India
30 Sep 11
that's really interesting and i think he got excited with the thief. hope that will not become a habit and try to stop them as soon as possible. good luck.. lol...
2 people like this
@Humbug25 (12540)
30 Sep 11
Hi ya writersolutions10 Oh my son is not doing it but I worry that he might be tempted if he continues to be friends with this boy. Thanks
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Sep 11
That's a tough one. If you don't know the mother very well, I don't think I would approach her directly; you don't know how she will react. She may get very defensive. I don't think that you should talk to the child because he may become defensive as well and tell his parents who may not be to please that you approached their son. I think you need to talk to your son about it; have him visualize what if he did get caught with his friend stealing, what scenarios would likely happen? Hopefully after realizing the possible problems that could occur from hanging out with this friend; he may come to the realization that maybe he should hang out with his other friends instead.
2 people like this
@Humbug25 (12540)
3 Nov 11
Hi there piendsky4 Yes I think you are right in what you say about approachng both the mother and her son, she might not even believe me and I think about how I would feel if some approached my son and spoke to him about such a matter. Thanks
@00fear (3216)
• United States
1 Oct 11
In a way I would leave the child that are not mines alone and not tell their parents because sometimes the parents can be so offensive they might tell me to mind my own business and for me to let them take care of my kids and for her to deal with hers. But then, I would tell her because what if the mother or the father never knew about the kids problem with stealing.
1 person likes this
@00fear (3216)
• United States
5 Nov 11
That was also a good idea. Hopefully they did something about it and not leave it alone.
@Humbug25 (12540)
3 Nov 11
Hi there 00fear As a parent myself I couldn't just leave it and would feel irresponsible by doing so, so I told the school about it and let them deal with it! Thanks
@ksherrie (891)
• Singapore
5 Nov 11
Hi humbug, I think you know the kid's parents personally, then I think you should raise the issue gently. Not accusing, but you just want to raise this issue, maybe he/she can check it out? You should check on your son, once in awhile too... He might already pick up the trick or two from that friend. I know you keep your son away from that kid. But can make use of this and teach your son a lesson or two. Things like, "do you like it if someone took your stuff just like that?", etc... I believe you have in mind a thing or two about what you can do. One thing I do know is do not force your son, to stay away from that kid. I am not sure, but it might make matters worse. Because, you and I are kids once, we tend to do what we are told not to. Good luck!
1 person likes this
@Humbug25 (12540)
10 Feb 12
Hi ksherrie Well I spoke to the school about it and they said they would a local policeman in to chat to all the kids so the child won't feel like everyone is pointing the finger and the pressure was off me as I felt like I had done something. Thanks for your response
@dawnald (85129)
• Shingle Springs, California
29 Oct 11
I would probably speak to his parents. I wouldn't want my kid around him either. You are right, he could get hauled in as an accomplice or something...
1 person likes this
@Humbug25 (12540)
3 Nov 11
Hi ya dawny I have now informed the school so the burden is now off my shoulders and hasn't involded my son at all. I have told him to steer well clear of this boy now and as we live in a small town I will get to hear about it if he does!! Cheers
@ifa225 (14364)
• Indonesia
24 Oct 11
Hi Humbug you have to see what type of his mother is. if she believe that her son is a good person , she won't believe you about this matter unless you make her see in her very eyes that her son is stealing. maybe you have to talk with the son first and tell him what is right and wrong, so he able to stop stealing
1 person likes this
@Humbug25 (12540)
3 Nov 11
Hi ifa225 Well I have told the school now and have let them deal with it. Thanks
• United States
30 Sep 11
Personally I would speak to the parents, though it is a chance that the parents will not believe you, still if it were my child I would want to know. I would not speak to the child without having spoken to the parent first, as the child if capable of stealing would be capable of lying to the parents and making up something that perhaps it is not so. I don't think that if it were my situation I could let it go, my intentions is that the parent understand your concern over what the child is doing. This might just open the parents eyes in seeing what is going on with the child and find ways to help the child make changes.
1 person likes this
@Humbug25 (12540)
30 Sep 11
Hi there hwg Yes I think the parents would be annoyed if I spoke to their son and not informed them of what was going on. I really really don't want to embarrass them at all, that is not my intention and I really really don't want to embarrass myself either and be accused of making acusation that deem to be lies. I can't let it go, like you say if it was you wouldn't and I would definately want to know if it were my son. I wish I could do it annonymously hahhaa Thanks
1 person likes this
@Humbug25 (12540)
30 Sep 11
Yes keeping up the communication with my own son is important to me and I know it bothered him what this boy had done as he told me about it the same day. I cannot stress enough to my son what the concequences of hanging out with this boy will bring to him. I don't really want the police on my doorstep either!!
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Sep 11
I definitely see you point and probably best not to allow your son to be around this boy while not in school. Just wish the boy the best and hope that his parents get responsible and see what is before them. Keep the constant communication with your son explaining that he could potentially get in trouble because of this boys actions.
3 people like this
@Rosa26 (2618)
• United States
28 Nov 11
I think that you have to talk to the mom, maybe it is not going to surprise her, because I think each mother knows what kind of child they have, so maybe she will listen to you and do something to stop the behavior of her son.
1 person likes this
@Humbug25 (12540)
10 Feb 12
Hi ya Rosa26 In the end I spoke to the school about it and they are a huge influence and part of our childrens lives so thankfully it is all sorted now, phew. Thanks for your response