Good for you for standing up for what you believe in!
While I know this sounds harsh, my hope is that it would teach him a lesson that we have never been able to get him to understand. He recently got inti my closet and took some of my jewelry. I think he got rid of some of it. We contacted his J.O., but all they will do is talk to him if I don't press charges. We have had many problmes with him taking small amounts of money from family and friends. We have also susspected him formany other items, but were unable to verify. This will not be his first referal for theft, that was 2 years ago from the school. He seems to think we are the only people who condem this behavior and as every teenager, thinks he is untouchable, so I think standing in front of a judge may do him good. I was thinking of telling him he haS 24 HOURS to return everything or I will press charges. What do you think. Please be constructive, my intentions are to help him.
So, IMHO, if they do the crime, they should face the consequences. That is not harsh, it is reality and it will teach him that he is not above the law.
Give him one warning. One. Then follow through if he doesn't produce your belongings and press charges.
i think warning him is totally fair... and then press charges if he doesn't respond.
He was abused by my dad as a child, and my step mom just let it happen. She, of course, feels guilty now and realizes that is the root of his problems. So instead of allowing him to face the consequences, she bails him out. He has had a rough 4 years, and I think she is finally starting to realize the magnitude of his problems. Still, he keeps getting trouble, and she keeps bailing him out.
Facing the consequences is important, but so is getting to the root of the issue. Both need to be present in order for a person to change.
Assume that the jewelry isn't returned. Is there evidence that he stole your jewelry? Could he be convicted beyond a reasonable doubt? Would your partner support you in pressing these charges? What about the rest of the family?
My concern here is, if you press charges, and your SS is *not* convicted - either because you were wrong about who did what, because there isn't sufficient legal evidence, or because the rest of the family gathers behind him and paints him as an angel child beset by a miserable step-mom, you're kind of up a creek there as far as demonstrating to him that there are consequences.
Second, I think you need to think about, if he is convicted, what are the consequences likely to be, and how do you and DSS's dad feel about those? While I see the desire to impose some consequence that gets through to the kid, a stint in juvie (for example) is likely to introduce him to a peer group with way more experience in crime than he has, causing him to see his own crimes as fairly minor, and giving him all sorts of useful knowledge about how to steal bigger and more consequential stuff (not to mention, entire other categories of crime he could get involved in).
Basically, I think that pressing charges against your step son is a nuclear option. Before you do it, you want to be very sure of all the consequences to you, to the child, to your marriage and family relationships. And don't do it at all unless you are sure the verdict will come back the way you think it will.
and kiddie court has a different set up then adult court...i believe they have hearings.. or adjudications (as opposed to a trail) they are not found guilty they are found delinquent and i think its based on a preponderance of evidence as opposed to beyond a reasonable doubt... and they are not sentenced they have a disposition..
you file a petition.. and the whole point is to do what is in the best interest of the child.
of course there are flaws in the system but you and your dh would be there with your step son, your the one filing the petition, all of that will matter.. its family court after all.
|My concern here is, if you press charges, and your SS is *not* convicted - either because you were wrong about who did what, because there isn't sufficient legal evidence, or because the rest of the family gathers behind him and paints him as an angel child beset by a miserable step-mom, you're kind of up a creek there as far as demonstrating to him that there are consequences.|
Regardless of what you choose, I wouldn't have a child like this in my home. I'd either insist that his father visit w/him in a neutral location or if your DH isn't on the same page as you, I'd leave.
This sucks, I'm sorry.
Mama to Scott (USAF), Katie (18), Karlie (16), Kimmy (9), Klara (4.5), and Baby Khloe (2.5)
If you tried the counseling, maybe you should look into a residential treatment program for offenders.
Also, it does really take a lot of "petty" crimes before going to long term juvenile detention. Most courts have a short term (3-20 days) program that they try first and even then it takes a lot.
Definitely look into therapy. It doesn't sound like he's stealing solely for personal gain if he's stealing fairy glitter dust and because he was easily able to return the jewelry he hasn't been selling it. There are likely far deeper causes for this than with "normal" stealing. It sounds like he may have problems with violence as well (taking a knife to school, intending to fight with it), that's a very serious concern. There are places that can take care of children with mental problems that cause them to be violent/dangerous, if this is severe enough your husband may need to look into this as an option, it's definitely a last resort.
My first thought is that therapy would be a better route. Why is he stealing? Why does he feel no remorse? Why does he think its ok to steal from others? Get to the bottom of the feelings that are driving this behavior.
I would say that pressing charges is only going to damage his relationship with you, and could have ugly long term consequences. Also, once you press charges, it is out of your hands, and in the hands of the law. You cant go back from what i understand ( i could be wrong)
Not to mention, having such things on his record can never be in his interests.
I would try therapy first, and then some more. I still go by the motto
"Kids are trying to do the best they can." (i cant remember which author said that...)
You could try consequences outside of using law enforcement- for eg, your jewellry is worth so much, so he has to do chores to earn back that much.
I dont understand this. Cant any person file charges against anyone else? Whats the logic behind this?