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#1 of 100 Old 01-20-2009, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Good Morning......

We are a blended family consisting of 3 stepsons and my 2 biodaughters....
Stepsons are 13, 16, 17......biodaughters are 18 and 20 (20 year old is on her own now)

We have an ongoing problem w/ 16 yr old stepson.....he has been taking personal items from my daughter and I...i.e. underwear, tampons, sanitary pads...this past weekend when the stepson visited for the weekend, he was caught for the 3rd time taking these items....this time from his aunt who lives next door.....
I admit, I blew a cork w/ him....including telling him it was perverse in what he is doing and it has to stop.......
We had this problem w/ the older boy a couple years ago, but he stopped doing it.
His father is upset, but doesn't seem to DO anything about it.....his mother has been informed each time this has happened and nothing seems to be done about this......
After the mother was told of this this past weekend, she got mad at me for saying it was perverse....and text messaged me and chewed me out over it.

I have forwarned everyone.....including the parents that if I find this again, I am calling the police and having him picked up.....I have hit my end of the fence on this one......SOMEONE has to do something about this and no one seems to think that there is anything wrong...
I am waiting for the bio mom to take us to court over me saying it was perverse....
The boys are to come back for another visit this coming weekend, I need suggestions on how to handle this any further......I am at wits end and want the child to get some help......
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#2 of 100 Old 01-20-2009, 12:39 PM
 
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While I don't condone his behavior, I think your reaction is over the top and unlikely to help anything. Teenage boys are curious about sex. It is unlikely that he is actually a "pervert". Being shamed for this is not going to help him. You're the adult in the situation, act like it.

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#3 of 100 Old 01-20-2009, 12:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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And there is to be no consequences to these actions? Just let it go and keep having him not get any help?
I do admit, I should not have said the perverse word...but it is perverse...and this is a situation that is ongoing and doesn't seem to have a ending to it....
I guess I don't understand, why everyone chalks it up to sexual curiosity and thinks that it will just go away....when it is not going away and it seems to be escalating...
I have come to conclusion, that I and my daughter must live w/ locked doors and our personal items must also be locked up.
We both feel very violated and am looking to find some solutions not only for ourselves, but also for him...he needs help to work thru this and neither of his parents seem to find anything wrong w/ what he has done.
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#4 of 100 Old 01-20-2009, 12:52 PM
 
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Yeah, he needs help in the way of gentle understanding and conversation. Not for someone to call him a pervert and threaten to call the cops on him.

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#5 of 100 Old 01-20-2009, 12:54 PM
 
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Has he been in any type of counseling? I don't think the problem is going to be solved with consequences alone, and they may just drive the behavior more undercover. Taking things from family members is not okay. I would definately see about getting him into counseling.
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#6 of 100 Old 01-20-2009, 12:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Neither parent thinks that there is anything wrong....so no counseling has been sought after...
I just want him to get some help and get past this.
And by saying the cops will be called, maybe they would get him the help he needs before this escalates to the point of him hurting someone...his grandfather on the bio mom's side molested both bio mom and another in the family....I do not want this to get to that point.
He is getting at the age of dating, and do not want him to hurt someone w/ his curiosity..wanting him to get help is the only thing I really want for him...
But as a step mom, my hands are tied if the parents don't seem to see anything wrong w/ what he is doing.
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#7 of 100 Old 01-20-2009, 01:13 PM
 
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Calling it perverse is just going to escalate his behaviors I believe. At this point you NOW have the problem behavior as well as an embarassed and ashamed young man. Someone needs to approach him gently and figure out what is going on. Lableing him is going to create a monster in my opinion. I work with teens on a daily basis with much, much, much more "perverse" behaviors so to me - this is an issue that can be taken care of easily with a little compassionate effort....and believe me even though this is a bit out of the norm, sexual deviance gets much worse than this.
TMI - just try to put yourself in his shoes - when he looks at every adult in his life, he will automatically think, "OMG they think I'm a f'ing freak." Try to handle it like you would with your own daughter...to me it would break my heart thinking that something was going on and I couldn't fix it. When it's not your child, it's easier for anger to be your first reaction....and anger is definitly not what he needs.
See if you can persuade the father to try counseling? Will the child respond to you if you sit down with him and see if he wants to talk to someone?
If you don't mind telling me what state you are in - and perhaps a general area I would be happy to find some good referrals for you. PM me if you are interested.

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#8 of 100 Old 01-20-2009, 01:18 PM
 
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The cops won't do anything for stolen sanitary items. They wouldn't even bring it to court. If mom was molested by the grandfather it is very very possible that this child was as well... or if he wasn't the mom could have definitly passed on ideals about sex to her children that are creating "deviant, " sneeky, odd, behaviors now.
These behaviors within itself are not at all indicative of future offending behavior. He would have shown signs long before now....

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#9 of 100 Old 01-20-2009, 01:18 PM
 
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I dont understand what is perverse about sanitary products? Are we talking used or clean? My DF was molested and doesn't and never has stolen any panties or anything, I'm not sure what this has to do with molestation??? I was also molested and never did anything like this. Is that a sign that I have never heard of that a child could have been molested?

Has anyone calmly sat him down and asked WHY he is doing it? I admit, if you called my son a pervert, I would be pretty p.o.ed. I mean its a little strange and annoying, but if I were you I would sit him down and all the parental parties involved and talk to him about it. Then I would tell your DH and his EXW that you want him to be in counseling before he returns to your home for visits, if it makes you that uncomfortable.

Is it less what he takes and more that he is invading your privacy?
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#10 of 100 Old 01-20-2009, 01:20 PM
 
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Calling it perverse is just going to escalate his behaviors I believe. At this point you NOW have the problem behavior as well as an embarassed and ashamed young man. Someone needs to approach him gently and figure out what is going on. Lableing him is going to create a monster in my opinion. I work with teens on a daily basis with much, much, much more "perverse" behaviors so to me - this is an issue that can be taken care of easily with a little compassionate effort....and believe me even though this is a bit out of the norm, sexual deviance gets much worse than this.
TMI - just try to put yourself in his shoes - when he looks at every adult in his life, he will automatically think, "OMG they think I'm a f'ing freak." Try to handle it like you would with your own daughter...to me it would break my heart thinking that something was going on and I couldn't fix it. When it's not your child, it's easier for anger to be your first reaction....and anger is definitly not what he needs.
See if you can persuade the father to try counseling? Will the child respond to you if you sit down with him and see if he wants to talk to someone?
If you don't mind telling me what state you are in - and perhaps a general area I would be happy to find some good referrals for you. PM me if you are interested.
I would have no interest in talking to the OP if I were the stepson. What he did was wrong, yes. What she did was more wrong. This needs to start with an apology from her to him. Why would he want to talk to someone about his "problem" who has already made it clear that in her eyes he is a criminal and a pervert? Even jumping to the idea that counseling is necessary is a huge leap.

This kid is screwed. The reason Dad probably doesn't think this is a problem is because it most likely _isn't_ a sexual problem. It is a boundaries issue for sure, and that should be dealt with, perhaps by punishing him. The kid knows he shouldn't be taking stuff that doesn't belong to him. But who knows _why_ he is doing it? OP sure doesn't, and she's in no position now to ever find out. Maybe he's dared by his friends. Maybe he's curious about women's stuff/sex/etc? But to the OP, those aren't the most likely scenarios, no....what she think is most likely is that he's a budding rapist because someone else in his family molested people. Good lord. I feel so bad for this kid.

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#11 of 100 Old 01-20-2009, 01:25 PM
 
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Also - it's easy to forget that at 16 EVERYTHING is sexual. I could get turned on just looking at a commercial and could masterbate (TMI) to a simple kissing scene in a book. I defnitly remember still looking at the pictures on the tampon box and getting a little aroused. - I mean that's why all of these movies out now "Superbad" etc. play on the crazy sexual nature of teenage boys. Look at "American Pie" the 16 year old gets busy with an apple pie....
Not to downplay the situation as you feel it, but it's just sometimes the nature of 16 year old boys.

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#12 of 100 Old 01-20-2009, 01:27 PM
 
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This kid is screwed. The reason Dad probably doesn't think this is a problem is because it most likely _isn't_ a sexual problem. It is a boundaries issue for sure, and that should be dealt with, perhaps by punishing him. The kid knows he shouldn't be taking stuff that doesn't belong to him. But who knows _why_ he is doing it?
Yea- more than likely it's not a sexual problem, but if he sees himself as being labled as a freak, pervert, etc. it's going to create a problem.

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#13 of 100 Old 01-20-2009, 01:34 PM
 
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She did mention the older son doing it as well. Not sure if that is indicative of anything really, but just noticed that.
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#14 of 100 Old 01-20-2009, 02:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I plan on apologizing to him this weekend.....and try to talk to him about this.

I came here to try and find a solution to this problem and realize I have screwed up....

Sooooooooo, how bout helping me find a solution to this so all involved feel a little better?
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#15 of 100 Old 01-20-2009, 03:51 PM
 
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I plan on apologizing to him this weekend.....and try to talk to him about this.

I came here to try and find a solution to this problem and realize I have screwed up....

Sooooooooo, how bout helping me find a solution to this so all involved feel a little better?
Just keep in mind throughout this that 16 year old boys can get turned on just from the wind blowing a little stronger on their jeans. Seriously- that's why I mentioned the movies earlier that focus on teenage boys and the "bizarre" sexual things that play out in their mind....it's true to life. He may think your daughter is hot... I mean I don't know how long you and your DH have been married but it is very normal for teenage step siblings to have sexual chemistry between them. Even if your daughter isn't attracted to him in the least bit, he still may think she is sexy. Most of my girlfiends in high school who had "hot" older step siblings ALWAYS had a crush on them.
At any rate: I don't know any details about the dynamics of your relationship with his children but if it were me.... I would sit down with him privately and apologize. Taking a drive is usually a good thing to do because it opens up the door for conversation because you don't have the ackwardness of looking at one another. If it were me- I would down play it as much as possible at this time and just continue to tell him that you overreacted and that you had forgotten what it was like to be 16. I would try to interject a story from your past that may be particularly embarassing - that will help more than anything him relate to you. (My parents revealed so much of themselves to me through stories of their past when I was "caught" doing something and it truly made me feel like they understood me and weren't judging). I would talk about boundries and say that he just can't take her underwear because that is crossing a line as they are your daughter's personal belongings and is just like someone taking her jeans to wear without asking.- I probably wouldn't mention the tampons etc- because unless he's taking a bunch then it's just not going to bring anything positive to the table by discussing it.
That;s a start at least. Let us know how it goes...

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#16 of 100 Old 01-20-2009, 04:28 PM
 
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I have forwarned everyone.....including the parents that if I find this again, I am calling the police and having him picked up.....
No accusations, but this is a bit telling. Aren't YOU one of the parents, too? It seems like it's your kids against his kids.

Is it possible this isn't even sexual in nature, but that he's doing it to get on her nerves/tick her off?
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#17 of 100 Old 01-20-2009, 04:35 PM
 
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No accusations, but this is a bit telling. Aren't YOU one of the parents, too? It seems like it's your kids against his kids.

Is it possible this isn't even sexual in nature, but that he's doing it to get on her nerves/tick her off?
No she isn't a parent, she is a step- parent. She doesn't have the same rights as a parent. I also make a distinction between my child and my DF's two. Eventhough I parent them, I am not their mom. I had to learn that really quickly. I parent my daughter differently than DF's kids are used to. Unfortunatly, that makes a difference.
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#18 of 100 Old 01-20-2009, 04:41 PM
 
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I plan on apologizing to him this weekend.....and try to talk to him about this.

I came here to try and find a solution to this problem and realize I have screwed up....

Sooooooooo, how bout helping me find a solution to this so all involved feel a little better?
Well, good on you for trying to fix it. After you tell him you reacted badly and so on, I think you definitely need to address his behavior, though.

So let's imagine that you came here and posted that you weren't sure how to react because your 16 year old SS was stealing your underwear and your daughter's underwear. And you didn't have the whole pervert/cop thing going on.

Disclaimer: I am not an expert on teenagers, by any stretch of the imagination. But, I'd say this is a problem. And it should be nipped in the bud now, probably by your DH. Here's why: it was a nonconsensual sex act.

Your stepson probably feels very powerless and unsure about sex. It's normal at that age. And maybe a lot older. But he needs to learn that he's becoming a man, and becoming a man has certain responsbilities associated with it. It is a fact that date rape is common. And it is a fact that men are very often sexual aggressors. Women and girls commonly have nonconsensual sexual experiences. And that's wrong. Enthusiastic consent is the goal. Anything less than enthusiastic consent should result in no sex act. Since youd didn't tell him that he could take your underwear, there was no consent here, enthusiastic or otherwise.

There was recently a thread on one of the feminist blogs about "upskirting", which is an odious practice, whereby men take camera phone pics of women in public. I'd look around for that, and decide whether or not to show him it. I don't think I can post a link without violating the TOS. Lots and lots of women commented on how they felt about similar things that happened in their lives. It is not uncommon. And the comments may be eye opening to him.

My guess is that this act scared you on some level. I doubt your SS realizes that. You and your daughters should feel safe in your home.

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#19 of 100 Old 01-20-2009, 04:52 PM
 
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Just keep in mind throughout this that 16 year old boys can get turned on just from the wind blowing a little stronger on their jeans.
:
\
my DH is 25 and was "happy" to be in the midwives waiting room the other day just because it was morning and well, morning.

I can understand why you don't want your things stolen, expecially your panties.

I think I agree with plunky, you should talk to him (or your DH) about how this makes you and your daughters feel vunurable and violated.

Also, does he have a girlfriend? Girl Friend? female aquantance? He may just be trying to figure women out! 16 is prime figurin-stuff-out age!

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#20 of 100 Old 01-20-2009, 04:53 PM
 
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I'm going to chime in here because I don't think many of the pp have lived with this.

My dsd went through a phase where she was constantly stealing, lying and destroying things in our home. Unless you've lived through this you cannot imagine how crazy it makes you to feel like a child is holding you hostage in your own home.

It took me 4 years to convince my dh dsd had a problem, because he didn't want to see it. I was painted as the evil stepmother, and when I came to MDC to ask for help, people piled on me and told me how awful I was to pick on this poor innocent child.

We finally got her diagnosed with an attachment disorder. Guess what happens to stepmothers of attachment disordered children? They feel attacked and helpless, and they are treated like it's their fault because the child commonly turns on the charm for everyone except the stepmom or siblings. They look for help and get told what terrible people they are. Sound familiar?

I see some comments have been removed. I don't know what they all said since I had one poster blocked because when I posted about my problem with my dsd early on, she told me I was a horrible person who should leave before I caused the poor child any more damage.

I stuck it out, we finally found the right counselor for her, and we've seen amazing progress in the past few months. Thank god I didn't listen to the people who kicked me when I was down, or who knows where she'd be now.

Kids with psychological problems need help. Beating up on the parents does not help in any way. When people come here reaching out for help, you shouldn't pile on them and kick them when they're already down.

For a place that talks so much about mutual respect and caring for others, there sure isn't a lot of compassion for stepmoms if they aren't complete doormats who never say their stepkids are anything but perfect.

s, OP. With help it can get better, but ignoring it or listening to people who tell you what a terrible person you are will insure it doesn't. Keep after your dh until he steps up and parents his child. If he's too blind or too proud to think his child needs help, your marriage won't survive the continued stress of feeling attacked in your own home. BTDT.

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#21 of 100 Old 01-20-2009, 05:02 PM
 
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I just wanted to say it's a tough situation. I once dated a man who's daughter stole my underwear. He was the one who caught and dealt with it. ("How the heck did my 13-yo get Victoria's Secret thongs?!")

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#22 of 100 Old 01-21-2009, 01:42 AM
 
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I agree with bigeyes, how many of us would seriously feel comfortable dropping our daughters off at the house to spend one night with the OP? Maybe her angry tones are covering up a great big freak-out she is experiencing from this.

She lives there 24/7
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#23 of 100 Old 01-21-2009, 05:14 AM
 
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You just can't even know.

I had to keep my purse on me 24/7 because my dsd stole all my ID and credit cards out of it and kept them for over a week. I went to pay bills online and they were just gone. She only brought them back after I told her I was going to go to school and have her teacher look in her desk, because they don't like it when other people know what kind of things they do.

I was unable to gas up a car, shop for groceries, pay bills, or do any of the things I normally take care of because she had all my stuff. At other times we have caught her with various items she's taken from everyone in the household, but this was the worst, most inconveniencing thing she's ever stolen. My dh works very long hours and there was no way for him to do all the errands. She was 10.

When she was 8, a friend's teenaged son was creeped out because, as he put it, I think she's hitting on me. We're dealing with some weird psychological stuff in our household, and there are times it scares the bejeebers out of me. For the past 2 years she's been trying to put things in her clothing to simulate breasts. Sexual acting out and stealing are part of attachment disorders, and believe me, it's no fun trying to keep her safe.
We can't tell her anything, because part of attachment disorders is thinking they're in charge and nobody in authority knows anything. She's been that way since she could talk. I defy anyone to deal with that nonstop and never lost their temper in the course of several years. : Everything is a battle, from the time the sun comes up until she finally goes to sleep. And you can't give up because as one therapist put it to me, these kids grow up to be the Mansons and the Bundys if you don't help them.

How would you like that hanging over your head? :

Hopefully the OPs dsd just needs someone to talk to. But you never can tell, and it isn't always the stepparent's fault.

I know there are some stepparents out there who are mean to their stepkids, but some of us are genuinely doing our best to deal with some messed up kids who have been damaged by someone or something else before we ever met them. When it's 24/7 and you never get a break, even the most patient person is occasionally going to show signs of the strain.

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#24 of 100 Old 01-21-2009, 02:08 PM
 
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Thank you, Bigeyes, for the voice of reason.

"Kids with psychological problems need help. Beating up on the parents does not help in any way. When people come here reaching out for help, you shouldn't pile on them and kick them when they're already down.

For a place that talks so much about mutual respect and caring for others, there sure isn't a lot of compassion for stepmoms if they aren't complete doormats who never say their stepkids are anything but perfect."

As I was reading thru the posts I was getting angry and felt bad for the OP. Once again, someone is being honest (ok, she's not perfect!) and asking for help and she is being called names and shot down. This woman has to protect her daughters as well as try to help her dss. She is asking his parents for help and they are basically telling her 'no'. This kid is not only doing this in her house but his aunts house as well. Who knows what else he is doing and where else. Mom and Dad need to get involve and get him some help and he needs to learn self-control. Who knows who else might be thinking about calling the police? Is that what they want for their child? I don't care how 'normal' or how 'innocent' this is, if someone is stealing my underwear or my daughter's underwear, that's creepy and needs to be addressed especially if the 'child' is 16. I could see maybe a 12 or 13 year old be curious but 16 is a bit different and talking someone's underwear and sanitary products, is not normal in my opinion. I'm going to take a chance of getting torched here by saying I'm don't think she owes her dss an apology. This isn't the first time he has done this, it's the third. Did she lose her cool, yes....should she think next time before she reacts, yes but I think it's ok to let him know she's mad, really mad and he needs to think about that the next time he reaches for a pantyliner.
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#25 of 100 Old 01-21-2009, 02:23 PM
 
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Exactly. Our therapist told us to watch name calling, but it was perfectly OK to express anger when dsd did something inappropriate.

She doesn't get a free pass when she acts out.

I don't see why the OP's dss would, either.

It gets old the way people act like they've always been perfect parents with perfect children, yk? There are people here who have legitimate problems and they're asking for help, not insults.

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#26 of 100 Old 01-21-2009, 03:00 PM
 
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my frist question would be how old were these kids when they were introduced into a family enviroment?

If it was recently then the behavior is not surprising to me.


It seems to me that the kid is at the age of sexual expiramentation. If he was introduced to your daughters in a family enviroment within the last 2 years then he doesn't have the biological tie that would make the idea of your daughter being attractive repugnant.

And he probably never will. I am not saying this to gross you out, but it could be a reality.


Stealing from your sister? Aunt? (can't remember if that was right)


My guess is that he is tired of being chastised for it at home and is now looking for other outlets to express this. This isn't a 'problem' in the sense it is something to be 'fixed' and it isn't 'pervese' in the sense that it is abnormal.


If he had a girlfriend I would assume he would have asked her for a pair of her underwear by now and your reaction may have been similar to what it is. but it isn't 'out of the norm' for teenage boys. But being cornered into expressing it in other ways isn't healthy either.



My SOLUTION after analyzing?


Buy a lock for your daughters room. Inside and outside. Unless of course she can't be trusted then you will need to look into other solutions. But for the most part I'd say kids are trustworthy and having a deadbolt that locks on the door with you having one key and she having another is a good solution. Tell her not to leave her laundry laying around and her feminine products in her room.


As for your talk with your step son I do not think it should be you who does it. There is damage there and ridicule. I know it was knee jerk and unintentional but it is there. I WOULD step up and apologize to him for name calling to start the healing process and promise to try not to do it in the future, but sometimes it is hard to swallow that pride too.


If I was his dad I'd take him out for a day, relax him by doing something he likes. Movies. Arcade, Fun Park. Something. And then drop it on him that he needs to talk to him.


I would touch on these points if they were moved in together recently.


1- It is normal to be attracted to attractive girls, there is no real way to control that.

2- Your step sister is off limits, as much as I feel I don't want to say it, but I am laying it out there.

3- Ask him if there are any girls at school he likes (talk about this in this conversation or a later one depending on how awkward it is getting)

4- Ask him if he wants a computer in his room with internet access.


I wouldn't ask me WHY #4 is important, but if he needs an outlet and he has NONE IN THE HOUSE, he will FIND THEM IN THE HOUSE ANYWAYS. The computer, of course it is intended for HOMEWORK, may save you alot of grief in the long run. Could also offer to put a lock on his room that opens from inside and out (for emergencies) for his own privacy.




To me it boils down to outlets. If you cut them all off he will find another and it will never be to your 'liking'

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#27 of 100 Old 01-21-2009, 03:04 PM
 
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Side note:

all of my advise still applies even if they've known eachother frmo a young age. The kid obviously doesnt have the repugnant sense. You need the boundaries I stated and the avenues of release too.

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#28 of 100 Old 01-21-2009, 03:07 PM
 
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Side Side note:


calling the cops on him will solidify your problems. Probably the worst thing you can do unless he is actually putting someone at risk. But it is your life.


I never would have forgiven my parents if they called the cops on me. He is 16? Lives with you? You do realize after you hurt him like that he HAS to live with you anyways right?


Poor choice. I could never call the cops on one of my kids unless they were putting someone in harms way. Nothing you said is doing that.

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#29 of 100 Old 01-21-2009, 05:46 PM
 
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This isn't really directed at a particular post, more along the lines of something I was thinking about.

I find it really interesting that a lot of the threads here are aimed at protecting your kids, standing up for your kids, you're their advocate, etc. Yet here is someone that was trying to stand up for her kids and this is what she gets for it. Yes, name calling was unnecessary and completely not helpful. She gets that, but she's looking for something that is helpful.

I don't think this is necessarily a blended family issue in the terms of one child is wronging another child. It's alway a delicate balance - when your a parent of more than one child - how do you respond to the needs of one child when those needs are seriously walking all over another child in the house. Parents need to be responsive to all children in the house. I would have felt completely violated at 18 if someone one stealing my underwear. I was too sexually unaware of appropriate boundaries and my own self to be able to process that my underwear and sanitary pads weren't an actual "part of me". (Obviously not like my arms and heart are a part of me.) How humiliating to have to tell my parents that my pads were being stolen. But that's just me and not everyone would have reacted that way. (And we don't know how here dd's reacted.)

I do think it's a blended parent issue in that the OP has much more limitations on what she can do because she's not the parent of the child that is crossing boundaries. As the parent of the child whose boundaries are being crossed, she has a responsibility to keep trying to fix this problem. Even if she can't get it to stop, it's important that her dd's see her try.
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#30 of 100 Old 01-21-2009, 05:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katwoman View Post
I do think it's a blended parent issue in that the OP has much more limitations on what she can do because she's not the parent of the child that is crossing boundaries. As the parent of the child whose boundaries are being crossed, she has a responsibility to keep trying to fix this problem. Even if she can't get it to stop, it's important that her dd's see her try.
Exactly. And it's difficult to navigate because it's so easy for it to become a your child my child issue. It really makes you look at the way you're both parenting and how your partnership works. If there are 2 sets of rules, there are going to be problems.

You also have to realize that while you're trying to be understanding of what your stepchild is going through, they don't have the right to infringe on anyone else's rights in the household, and that includes you. After 4 years of being expected to just take whatever cr@p was dished out I was ready to explode. There is a huge difference between being understanding and being a doormat, no matter who you're dealing with.

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