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Stealing and lying compulsively- appropriate and effective discipline?

Hi there,

I am a full time SM to a 9 year old boy. Since he has started school he has been disruptive in his classrooms. Our first red flag was whenever I help him deep clean his room I would always find notes from his teachers or homework he didn't want to do folded up, obviously to be hidden from us. We made a point every time that he will be in twice as much trouble for hiding things and lying to us. This year has been really tough- I don't know what the deal is... We have caught him spending hundreds of dollars logged in as his dad on the Xbox, he has stolen my iPad and bought several games, stole his dads iphone (he had to go buy a new one because he thought it was stolen in a public place), stole his dad's credit card in the middle of the night and went on an eBay shopping spree. He was severely punished and we thought we child proofed all electronics, but flash forward to most recently he has been draining our account 6 times with fraudulent charges to his xbox games. Of course he never admits to any of this until we guilt it out of him. He's in thousands of dollars worth of debt to us and I expect him to work of every penny even if it takes years. I want him to understand the value of money and that the only way to get it is hard work. I want to throw the Xbox out of the window, but it's my husband's other love. I have so mugh resentment towards this child and I feel like I'm always the bad guy enforcing the agreed upon discipline, chores, etc. When he was making all the expensive charges his dad would be letting him play for hours which I was never ok with. I have always been the one to suspected catch his son doing something sinister, it's like my husband is blind to it. I feel he lets him off too easy, which makes me the drill sergeant in the house- which makes no one happy. I'd love to discuss this further with anyone who might have any insight. Thank you!!
2 Responses
973741 tn?1342342773
There seems to be an easy solution to me . . .get rid of the x box.  Who needs it?  I've got two sons and we go on electronics breaks and sometimes they include removal.  And putting parental controls on everything, changing passwords, how does he gain access?  Lastly, I have a friend that at 8 pm turns her router off.  Bye bye internet.  You may still want to watch Netflix or something you need internet for before bed, but at least turn it off before bed.  Put verification coding on things.  Seems kind of crazy to do this with your 9 year old son, but first and foremost, eliminate his access.  Then get a referral to a psychologist and it's time to take him there.  That is very young to be so disobedient to authority. My sons at 9 had no idea how to order something online themselves.  It's all extremely odd behavior.  You are not helpless.  Lock down things that he uses, get rid of the x box, be done with it.  
By the way, my friend ahs a 14 year old son who was misusing things.  He'd bought himself an x box one and games to go with.  They removed it and sold it. He earned that with his behavior.  They took his regular cell phone and he got a flip phone just for communication.  You can put items in a locked drawer at night like your wallet and phones.  And get him help. This is well beyond being a drill Sargent.  You need intervention with this boy.  Ultimately it will help him as he can go to jail for doing any of these things if he does them to someone else.  
Oh, and PPS:  ha, sorry.  My friend that removed gaming from her home entirely just wrote me a text today that they are having much better quality family time and her son now often goes out bike riding, playing in the woods behind their house, kicking a soccer ball in the yard . . . much healthier than indoor gaming.  
189897 tn?1441126518
Hi,  this has got to be so frustrating when you have tried your best and nothing seems to be working.  Add that into his problems at school, and, well....the xbox is just a symptom, not the cause.

I am also the CL on the add/adhd forum - https://www.medhelp.org/forums/ADD---ADHD/show/175

He shows many of the symptoms of either add or adhd.  And this would also explain why your discipline measures have not worked and will not work.  As Specialmom said.....you need professional help!  A psychologist or psychiatrist, and hopefully one that specializes in add/adhd.  I also tend to wonder if your husband is also on this spectrum....which might make getting help for your child a bit harder.

Here is a link to some general symptoms of add/adhd - https://www.helpguide.org/articles/add-adhd/attention-deficit-disorder-adhd-in-children.htm

There are effective ways to discipline, this link will give you some ideas - https://www.additudemag.com/behavior-punishment-parenting-child-with-adhd/?utm_source=eletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=april&mc_cid=e53872b895&mc_eid=34d357d554

I hope this helps or at least opens your eyes to the possibility that this is more then just an Xbox infatuation.   Please ask if you need more info.  Best wishes.
More on dealing with video games ....https://www.additudemag.com/is-your-child-addicted-to-video-game/
And .... https://www.additudemag.com/more-face-time-less-screen-time/
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189897 tn?1441126518
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