Subject: step-son stealing at home
Question: My step-son, almost 18 years old, first came to USA to live with his dad and me less than a year ago from his mom in Asia. Recently, I lost my cell phone(a state-of-art device) from home. The calling details showed that several games were downloaded earlier morning 1am - 5am of Saturday after the phone was missing. During the investigation, I discovered my long-missing book was in his "closed" possession.
The book is not expensive at all. What's more he has freedom to access all my books at home. I asked him about the book before and I am certain he knows I am looking for it several times. here is another thing missing at home too. It is a very small comb , not for practical usage, but for decoration or just a little art. The characteristics of these stuff is that they are all small stuff and inexpensive but particularly interesting to him. It looked to me that he has extremely high desire to possess what he fonds. This made me feel this boy is a habitual stealer.
In daily life, he appears easy and out-going and patient. He is very sensitive and good at figuring out parents' mood and choose his timing for his requests, etc... He is also a very good liar. He smiles and looked innocent when he discussed my missing book with me. For the rules we set for him, he rarely argue but he DID tried to bypass. i.e. try to hack into the computer, delete browsing history.
I believe he wears masks and would not let others to know his true mind.
His dad knows all these now and we are on same side and stages.
What should I do?
Answer: Dear Anonymous:
He is 18 years old. If he is going to live with you then I strongly suggest family counseling. You need to set the ground rules in your home and getting counseling needs to be a very high priority.
M Kay Keller