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Old 12-08-2010, 09:15 PM
 
Location: Australia
1,492 posts, read 2,653,749 times
Reputation: 1693

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Our house is fairly open. There are often kids who are at our house before or after school. You may have read in other threads of mine that we are pretty strict especially when it comes to behaviour and it seems that the kids when they are at our place suddenly learn manners.

Recently my wife asked me if I had taken some money our of her purse and I said no. She said that she thinks someone is steeling from her purse. Not trivial amounts. $50 notes.

So she decides to take all the big notes out of her purse and just leave a $5 note. This morning she rings me at work and tells me that she noticed one kid spending more time than would expect in the kitchen. One of our kids came and asked for some help with something so she went out with our kid. went down the hall. Slipped off her shoes and ran back into the kitchen and theer was the young lad (~10yo) with the purse open and his hand in it. He ran off into the bath room.

Eventually he came out and apparantly confessed in tears. Then went back into the bath room and retrieved the $5 from where had put it in the dirty clothes basket.

The kid was apparantly in tears because he is going to "get a belting". Well given that we are full supporters of corporal punishment we think that that is probably a good thing. Unless of course it means beating him to a pulp which I do confess is a real concern of mine as I do not know the family.

Now the complications begin. First of all he is black and we are white. He is a refugee from Africa and we assume not well off. We on the other hand are pretty well off. So what we don't want to is to have any kind of impression of the rich white family doing wrong by the poor black family.

Next is that we do not have a parents phone number and he would not give us the phone number.

we think he has stolen over $200 and there is no way he is going to ever be able to repay that.

So what to do.?

My wife let him go off with the rest of the group who walk to school and he went with them and we assume he has gone to school

The only thing we have decided is that we are not going to report him to the police.

What are your thoughts?
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Old 12-08-2010, 09:38 PM
 
43,012 posts, read 88,940,518 times
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I wouldn't call the police. If you don't know the family, I wouldn't tell the parents. That's just me.

I would simply tell him he is no longer welcome in my house. It's a natural consequence for a child that age.

I wouldn't expect the money to be paid back. Afterall, I would be the fool who left money around children I didn't know well.
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Old 12-08-2010, 09:38 PM
 
3,647 posts, read 9,305,546 times
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One of my friend's sons (when they were 9) took some money I had left out ($10). We're pretty loose around here, and it's not hard to find $5-$20 laying around here or there.

After he left, I noticed it was gone and asked the kids if they had taken it. They said no. I figured I must've misplaced it, but could've SWORN I'd left it on the entertainment center - I was planning on paying my son for the work he'd done the previous weekend with it. The next day, the boy arrived at our home in the morning. My son invited him to the movies with us and this kid got excited, bragged that he could pay for himself and whipped out his $10. I was suspicious, but kept quiet. I called his mom and asked if he could come along. She said yes, and offered cash. I explained that it was our treat, but that her son had $10 already. She was surprised (they were REALLY broke) and said she couldn't imagine where he got it from.

Again though, I said nothing, figuring it was just once and that I didn't really KNOW it was him. That night, after the kids had gone to bed, I was telling my dh about it. Apparently, my kids were watching TV from the hall and heard every word. My son piped up that he was missing more than $20 from his stash and my daughter was missing her $2. Then son went to get his money and found all but $1 gone - and he'd been saving for a few months (he does some work with his dad) and had well over $80.

Knowing this kid's situation, I decided to 'chalk it up'. I told the kids we couldn't/wouldn't accuse anyone without proof. DH and I reimbursed our son, but after that, we made a plan that before that child came into the house, I would round up my purse, dh's wallet and the kid's banks/wallets, and any loose cash I saw and put it into MY room, door closed. The very next day, he was coming out of my room as I rounded the corner. He froze when he saw me. I asked him to pull out his pockets (they were bulging) and after threatening to call his mom, he did. $28 and two handfuls of change from the 'vacation jar'.

I told him he should go home. He never came over to play again, and his mom never asked why.
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Old 12-08-2010, 09:55 PM
 
Location: BK All Day
4,480 posts, read 8,315,500 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sskkc View Post
One of my friend's sons (when they were 9) took some money I had left out ($10). We're pretty loose around here, and it's not hard to find $5-$20 laying around here or there.

After he left, I noticed it was gone and asked the kids if they had taken it. They said no. I figured I must've misplaced it, but could've SWORN I'd left it on the entertainment center - I was planning on paying my son for the work he'd done the previous weekend with it. The next day, the boy arrived at our home in the morning. My son invited him to the movies with us and this kid got excited, bragged that he could pay for himself and whipped out his $10. I was suspicious, but kept quiet. I called his mom and asked if he could come along. She said yes, and offered cash. I explained that it was our treat, but that her son had $10 already. She was surprised (they were REALLY broke) and said she couldn't imagine where he got it from.

Again though, I said nothing, figuring it was just once and that I didn't really KNOW it was him. That night, after the kids had gone to bed, I was telling my dh about it. Apparently, my kids were watching TV from the hall and heard every word. My son piped up that he was missing more than $20 from his stash and my daughter was missing her $2. Then son went to get his money and found all but $1 gone - and he'd been saving for a few months (he does some work with his dad) and had well over $80.

Knowing this kid's situation, I decided to 'chalk it up'. I told the kids we couldn't/wouldn't accuse anyone without proof. DH and I reimbursed our son, but after that, we made a plan that before that child came into the house, I would round up my purse, dh's wallet and the kid's banks/wallets, and any loose cash I saw and put it into MY room, door closed. The very next day, he was coming out of my room as I rounded the corner. He froze when he saw me. I asked him to pull out his pockets (they were bulging) and after threatening to call his mom, he did. $28 and two handfuls of change from the 'vacation jar'.

I told him he should go home. He never came over to play again, and his mom never asked why.

Wow while I was reading thought this I really couldn't get past the fact that the movies cost under $10 where you live.
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Old 12-08-2010, 10:06 PM
 
43,012 posts, read 88,940,518 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohiogirl22 View Post
Wow while I was reading thought this I really couldn't get past the fact that the movies cost under $10 where you live.
You've been in NYC way too long!
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Old 12-08-2010, 10:09 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,434 posts, read 41,608,566 times
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If my child had been caught red handed stealing from somebody I would really want to know and would be angry if I wasn't told. Yes I would be embarrased but I would still want to know and we would figure out as a family how to handle it. Letting a kid get away with stealing is doing him no favor. We all have to learn at an early age there are consequences for dishonest behavior.

I understand the racial issues here. I really do. There must be someway you can find out how to get in touch with his parents and let them know exactly what happened. The "belting" might be a reason why this kid is acting up-trying to get someone's attention. You may not see it that way but sometimes kids can't ask for what they really need.
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Old 12-08-2010, 10:10 PM
 
5,703 posts, read 15,481,614 times
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I think I would take a different approach. If I thought the kid was sincere in being regretful (some kids will stare you in the eye after getting busted and not give a hoot) You could give him the option of working off the debt. These types of situations always break my heart. Maybe his home life is terrible and he was taking money for things he needed or maybe he is just a punk in the making. If I liked the kid and thought he just needed some guidance I would give him the option of working off the debt or not coming around anymore. If he choses to work off the debt that might be a good sign of him being regretful and wanting to earn your respect. Of course, hide the purse if he does stick around. Trust needs to be built.
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Old 12-08-2010, 11:58 PM
 
43,012 posts, read 88,940,518 times
Reputation: 30256
Quote:
Originally Posted by fallingwater View Post
I think I would take a different approach. If I thought the kid was sincere in being regretful (some kids will stare you in the eye after getting busted and not give a hoot) You could give him the option of working off the debt. These types of situations always break my heart. Maybe his home life is terrible and he was taking money for things he needed or maybe he is just a punk in the making. If I liked the kid and thought he just needed some guidance I would give him the option of working off the debt or not coming around anymore. If he choses to work off the debt that might be a good sign of him being regretful and wanting to earn your respect. Of course, hide the purse if he does stick around. Trust needs to be built.
This in bold is an excellent idea.
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Old 12-09-2010, 12:01 AM
 
3,647 posts, read 9,305,546 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohiogirl22 View Post
Wow while I was reading thought this I really couldn't get past the fact that the movies cost under $10 where you live.
lol - Here, they are about $6/person. I thought that was HIGH In COS, it was like $3.50 and in Albuquerque the new releases were around $6, but there was a dollar theater if you were willing to wait a couple extra months.
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Old 12-09-2010, 01:44 AM
 
Location: Liberal Coast
4,271 posts, read 4,982,884 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sskkc View Post
lol - Here, they are about $6/person. I thought that was HIGH In COS, it was like $3.50 and in Albuquerque the new releases were around $6, but there was a dollar theater if you were willing to wait a couple extra months.
$6? Wow. They haven't been that cheap out here since I was in elementary school. Most places are either $11 or $11.50.
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