In my own home.
My own KITCHEN, no less.
Who…WHO…could have pulled off such a stunt as to take two ten dollar bills directly from my purse without being seen?
Who else but Ninja Boy?
It makes me sad that my first post about Ninja Boy has to do with him being naughty, but I didn’t make his choices for him.
Let me introduce you:
9 years old.
Skinny as a rail.
Digs video games and sports
Medicated for his ADHD
Can be very affectionate and also VERY moody.
Recently developed a habit of thieving (and its conjoined twin: lying).
So, Ninja Boy has been having a rough time lately.
He has been not doing his homework – and not just “not doing it” – we ask … we’re involved … we check his homework notebook and there is nothing there, we have no choice to assume that he’s telling the truth. He developed a story for his dad about why he didn’t have any. Then he went to school the next day and told his teacher that he didn’t have time to do his homework because his dad made him work. (Still hoping we don't get a call from Child Services!) Then the next night we got to work on homework from 5-8:30 – on the ONE NIGHT that I ask them to let me watch TV in silence. Ahem, anyway. I was rational and we didn’t punish him. I explained, “This is what happens when you put off work – you end up working twice as hard to get it done at the last minute.”
That night we also found out he’s been asking a friend at school to give him money. Apparently, this child just brings cash to school to hand out to whomever asks. Well, NB is just the type of kid to take advantage of a situation like this. Still feeling semi-rational, I laid out the image of the “free-loader.” The “Mooch,” if you will. I said “If I had a friend that always asked me for my money, I wouldn’t consider them a very good friend.” Because, at nine, you can rationalize with them, right?
Well, unfortunately, that was the same night he took a dollar off the computer desk. I can understand that someone his age may not comprehend that they are not to take money that is lying around. He sees a dollar and thinks, “Hey, a dollar.” Not, “I wonder who this belongs to?” But, while I was still feeling understanding, I was damn fed up with all the naughtiness flowing through the air. He was grounded for approximately 4 weeks. (It’s hard to tell sometimes.)
After getting “talking to’s” from both The Man and me, I thought that would nip the problem in the bud. He was grounded, he’d been yelled at, talked to and spent the whole night doing homework. I thought FOR SURE he’d go to be that night and think “Geez, what a rotten day! Now I see what lying gets me!”
Ah, ha. Ah, ha. Ha Ha. (You can say it, I know you were thinking it.)
So, the other night, The Man handed me exactly $38.00 in cash and I gave him ten back and threw the rest into my purse. Yesterday morning, I was gathering my things and noticed I had only eight dollars. I asked the kids if they knew what happened to the tens, then called The Man to see if maybe he’d grabbed it before he left.
When it became obvious that it was the work of little hands, I declared that we were NOT. LEAVING. Until the money was returned. (Mostly for fear that it would be spent in the Ala Carte line.) I knew from my Secret Parenting Handbook that if I went into a room and closed the door, the money would miraculously appear. Though, they really should have come up with a better place to “find” it than the stairs I had been up and down four times already. I was teetering the line between Just Mad and Absolutely Furious and I’m pretty sure they could tell. A few more minutes of yelling/spitting threats and I had my confession.
When it was just change or a dollar that was lying around and went missing, I didn’t feel like I needed to make a huge deal out of it. Now, it’s invading personal space (my purse) to actually TAKE a pretty large sum of money.
After a quick consult with The Man yesterday morning, I left Ninja Boy with “Dad said he will deal with you when he gets home – but I can tell you for sure there will be NO VIDEO GAMES until AFTER Christmas.” I also told our daycare provider what was going on right in front of him. I’m not sure publicly embarrassing him was the most moral way to go, but I hope it showed him that when you do something wrong, people find out.
The thing that hurts me the most about it all was not really the lying or stealing, but that he has no remorse for doing these things. He never even faked a “Sorry.”
The Man suggested we make him do community service for a dollar an hour until he makes up the twenty he took, but I think that may be excessive. He already lost all his belongings and needs to 'earn' them all back. He's grounded to his room for three days (two left) and from video games until the new year. However, I really liked his suggestion of bellringing.
See, he can be totally sweet.
My Question to you: Have you ever had a problem with stealing/lying and how did/would you solve it?