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7 Year Old Nephew Stole $400.00 From Us: What To DO? - Page 5

post #81 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by diamond lil View Post
If his reaction was in proporation to my reaction, there would still be a b-day party, there would have been no threat of hitting and everyone would be happy.

I think you are assuming I had an immediate negative reaction. My DH and I had a calm discussion with nephew about it. His father is the one who overreacted, not me. There was nothing I could do about that, although I did tell him to calm down when he threatened to hit nephew.
I stand corrected. I guess it was the "confronting" and "lecturing" and concerns that this "stealing" was an omen of a life a crime that led me to believe everyone sort of freaked out.

I still maintain there would be nothing wrong with talking to BIL privately and trying to help him gain some perspective. Sounds like this little guy could use someone advocating for him.
post #82 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
Sounds like this little guy could use someone advocating for him.
Yes!!
post #83 of 151
We have a 7 year old, and I guarantee you he knows not to steal. And if he did steal, yes, it wouldn't be the end of the world or portend a life of criminal behavior, but there would definitely be consequences. Also, he has no idea how much $400 is, but there would be identical consequences for stealing $4. But then, the stealing in this story doesn't really bother me nearly so much as the not handing it over when first confronted. That's what he'd be more likely to be in trouble for over here. I doubt we'd cancel a party over it, but that's not obviously unreasonable, in my opinion. I bet BIL was so embarrassed that he went with his strictest impulse to make a point in front of the OP.
post #84 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by violet_ View Post
But then, the stealing in this story doesn't really bother me nearly so much as the not handing it over when first confronted. That's what he'd be more likely to be in trouble for over here.
I'd bet money that he was totally freaking out inside and confused when first confronted, and was scared to cop to the other 3 bills in his pocket. He was probably processing the situation, and maybe planning to put the money back when no one was looking. Esp since it sounds like his dad might have hit him
post #85 of 151
Yeah, it is tempting to put adult expectations on a kid, especially when he is the oldest one around. It is like thinking my 3 yo is happy when someone is pushing him because my kid is laughing. The laughter equals pure fright, but it is not expected in the adult world.

My 7 yo sometimes responds to being caught with silence or "oh." Either he is still processing it, knows it is wrong (so what is there left to say?), or he has created some story in his head that is conflicting with reality (it has happened a few times here and is weird, but does happen).

Now he knows to say sorry and snap into action if someone got hurt - that is totally something he is used to. But for those fuzzy things that he hasn't met with yet (like when he drew cartoons on my book the other day -which he knows was wrong, but thought it was a good idea at the time and therefore not wrong . . ., I get an "oh."
post #86 of 151
Quote:
It sounds to me like you're angry about the situation. You migh not have yelled at him, but your anger and resentment about having to deal with you BIL is bleeding all over this thread, and I suspect it bleeds over into your relationship with DN.
I just want to respond to this. I have this situation. DH's nephew, and also mine since we are married after all and our children share blood with this poor child, bothers me excessively. And I never raise my voice. I never say a single mean thing. I invite him over. I try very hard to be nice to him. And there is no doubt in his mind that I don't like him. Make no mistake, kids know this. It's our paraverbals that count, not our verbals, and additionally, just like we have our own instincts, so do they. Kids probably have better developed instincts because they haven't trained themselves to turn it off yet. And I try, believe me. I know he's not bad. I know he just has a disinterested mother and really, my ire is toward her. Can't stand her for so many reasons. Yet it bleeds onto him. And so he avoids us and I feel awful about it but also helpless to control it. I'm the grown up. I'm even a psychologist. I know better!

So my point diamondlil, is that it shows. It shows here and I think your frustration with whatever part of your BIL/SIL/DN it is that is frustrating you is showing and he feels it.

Mama, trust us here on this point, if on no other. When you look into that baby's face that you're having, your love, your feelings of wanting to protect, will overtake you. Your dn felt that way to someone once. And he deserves it even now. And with so many aching hearts for him here, there must be something to that, no? He didn't ask to be born, or to have parents divorce, or to be abandoned, week after week, day after day, with relatives who aren't his mommy and daddy. If you can find it in you, love him like your own. I know it's hard. But I swear this, each year as my children age, I keep going, "Oh! I get it!" and I think back to situations like this and know that it's not all pathology.

I'm not saying go back and talk to him again or anything like that. He's probably feeling so done with it all and so are you. I'm saying, from this day forward, love him. I resolve to do the same.
post #87 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by violet_ View Post
We have a 7 year old, and I guarantee you he knows not to steal. And if he did steal, yes, it wouldn't be the end of the world or portend a life of criminal behavior, but there would definitely be consequences. Also, he has no idea how much $400 is, but there would be identical consequences for stealing $4. But then, the stealing in this story doesn't really bother me nearly so much as the not handing it over when first confronted. That's what he'd be more likely to be in trouble for over here. I doubt we'd cancel a party over it, but that's not obviously unreasonable, in my opinion. I bet BIL was so embarrassed that he went with his strictest impulse to make a point in front of the OP.
Have you read this entire thread? That poor kid has a Dad who thinks it's ok to pop him in the mouth and the OP has admitted the Dad was very upset and flipping out. I would sure as hell not fess up to the additional money in that situation, and I expect most 7 year olds put in that position would do the same.
post #88 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiamnEmma View Post
Mama, trust us here on this point, if on no other. When you look into that baby's face that you're having, your love, your feelings of wanting to protect, will overtake you. Your dn felt that way to someone once. And he deserves it even now. And with so many aching hearts for him here, there must be something to that, no? He didn't ask to be born, or to have parents divorce, or to be abandoned, week after week, day after day, with relatives who aren't his mommy and daddy. If you can find it in you, love him like your own. I know it's hard. But I swear this, each year as my children age, I keep going, "Oh! I get it!" and I think back to situations like this and know that it's not all pathology.

This is SO TRUE. I couldn't have said it any better.

OP, I think you'll have more compassion for this kid once you have your baby. I know I wasn't much of a kid person before I had Alex ... but now I know someone loves that kid as much as I love Alex (or should!) and it changes everything.
post #89 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by diamond lil View Post
You have not read this thread, or at least you haven't read my replies.

1: I will not undermine my BIL's parenting decisions. I will not plead on nephew's behalf about the b-day party. You wouldn't want your parenting decisions usurped by another family member, would you? I already stated that we (myself and DH) will buy him a card and a gift like we normally do. I don't think anything "special" is necessary.
But, you said you were going to have a talk with youe SIL and tel her to be a better parent. isn't that undermining HER parenting, whether you agree with how she parents or not. Kinda sounds like you are pleased with your BIL's choice of punishment. Because were I involved in such a thing I would DEFINITELY try and convince my BIL to not cancel the celebration of his som's BIRTH. We aren't talking a trip to the zoo or circus here.


Quote:
So, I suggest you actually *read* the posts before you decide to make wholesale, blanket statements. It looks bad on your part and it clutters the thread.
You seem so angry over this, about your nephew, about our responses. I know it is easier to read responses that mesh with initial responses to concerns (believe me I have posted and been surprised at repsonses) but then I saw that the mamas here have a better perspective to my situation. I think, if you could separate your emotions from the situation you would be able to take this advice with the kindness and insight it was intended.
post #90 of 151
I have read the thread. I think the saddest part (short term) is that this little boy is not getting any attention from his dad or setop mom (where is his mom??) and now his ONE day to celebrate his life is being take away from him? there will be no celebration for him?? b/c he made a mistake and took money that looked very tempting?? My hear does ache for him.

If this were my nephew, and his father cancelled his birthday celebration, I would have a celebration for him...at my home. I just think this is really really sad...the kid is reaching out and being pushed further and further way.
post #91 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by mistymama View Post
Have you read this entire thread? That poor kid has a Dad who thinks it's ok to pop him in the mouth and the OP has admitted the Dad was very upset and flipping out. I would sure as hell not fess up to the additional money in that situation, and I expect most 7 year olds put in that position would do the same.
You're right -- I hadn't seen that part. I must have missed those posts -- I was going mostly on her initial description. This does paint a different picture.
post #92 of 151
My nephew stole $50 from me when I was 18 and he was about 7.
His parents were divorcing (my brother and his wife) and his mother had alcohol and drug problems. He was a good kid but going through an extremely stressful time. He lived with his mom and was not always supervised or taught properly.
He had a similar reaction, none really, when confronted with the theft, and I got my money back.

Fast forward to today, nephew is now 22 and the nicest, most responsible and caring young man you ever want to meet.

So I think your nephew may just be acting out and may also not realize the value of the $ that he took.
I feel bad that his dad canceled his birthday party, I'm sure that will just make things worse for your dn. And he was probably afraid of punishment, so he didn't own up to stealing the money, yk?
post #93 of 151
I didn't read all the responses.

I think he knew darn well he was stealing.

But, I don't think he understood WHAT he stole. He probably felt like it was no different than $4.00.

After all, you DID leave it lying around, so it must have seemed like you wouldn't miss four of those dollars.

If he is to learn how to treat money, you should make sure he understands that money belongs in a safe place.

I don't think I would punish him like that.. But, I would ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS bring this up at every family gathering, his wedding, his college graduation... be sure to tell his kids... That kind of family story is always a favorite at Thanksgiving and Christmas. LMAO. who doesn't love public humiliation?

We still talk about my Grandmother (who was born in 1912) Stole a mule from a neighbor so she didn't have to carry her brother through a field. (she was six)
post #94 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by mistymama View Post
This is SO TRUE. I couldn't have said it any better.

OP, I think you'll have more compassion for this kid once you have your baby. I know I wasn't much of a kid person before I had Alex ... but now I know someone loves that kid as much as I love Alex (or should!) and it changes everything.
I agree! OP, seven years from now when you are planning your LO's birthday party I guarantee you will look back on this regret not intervening on your DN's behalf. At that age birthday parties are a HUGE deal. I just don't see how he deserves that to be taken away for this one mistake! With a punishment that harsh I think the feeling of being unloved would overpower any moral lesson he's supposed to be getting from this. And I think you DO have the power to influence your BIL on this issue. Please consider this.
post #95 of 151
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evenstar View Post
I agree! OP, seven years from now when you are planning your LO's birthday party I guarantee you will look back on this regret not intervening on your DN's behalf. At that age birthday parties are a HUGE deal. I just don't see how he deserves that to be taken away for this one mistake! With a punishment that harsh I think the feeling of being unloved would overpower any moral lesson he's supposed to be getting from this. And I think you DO have the power to influence your BIL on this issue. Please consider this.
I've spent a lot of time thinking about this and plan to discuss it with my husband tonight. If BIL cancels the b-day party, it's just another excuse not to spend time with his son, yk? I know how BIL operates; he's transparent. Deep down inside, I just know he's thinking: "Now I don't have to spend money on a birthday party and I get an extra day away from family commitments. Joy!" Not exactly father of the year material. He is divorced from nephew's mother, who lives in another state. They share custody of their 2 children, which means he gets the boy, she gets the daughter, and he gets out of paying child support. Sorry this just gets muddier and muddier. He has a new wife and 7 week old infant at home.

I will also talk to MIL, nephew's grandmother and see if we can set something up. I don't even think she knows what happened regarding the money, and if she finds out the party was cancelled there will be all kinds of hell, so I know he'll listen to her.
post #96 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evenstar View Post
With a punishment that harsh I think the feeling of being unloved would overpower any moral lesson he's supposed to be getting from this. And I think you DO have the power to influence your BIL on this issue. Please consider this.


He will always remember not having a 7th birthday celebration and most likely forget why not. That's what punishment does. He's no longer worried about the money or you but how much he and life sucks that he can't have a party.

It's when our kids mess up that they need our love and tenderness the most. It's so easy to give when all is fine and they don't need our assurances that they're perfect and perfectly loved half as much then as when they've done something big. It's during those times that our reactions to them and their actions speak volumes. I know he's not your kid but this goes for all kids we interact with in our lives. This really can't be said enough. There are so many authors and parents out there trying to get this point really understood. I hope you can hear it.

ETA: Cross-posted with you, OP. I'm glad to hear you're willing to talk more about it.
post #97 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by diamond lil View Post
I will also talk to MIL, nephew's grandmother and see if we can set something up. I don't even think she knows what happened regarding the money, and if she finds out the party was cancelled there will be all kinds of hell, so I know he'll listen to her.
Dear Nephew is lucky to have you advocate for him. What a great auntie!

Good on you for sticking with this thread
post #98 of 151
I am so happy to hear you've rethought things and are going to try to help make his birthday special. Kids are resilient, but one of the key factors in that resiliency is having an adult in their life to stick up for them. You could be that adult in his life.
post #99 of 151
Yay!!! I'm so glad you're looking at this from his perspective as well.
post #100 of 151
I'm so glad you changed your mind on this . That really shows good character in you OP
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