Gransnet forums


Grandson (12) stealing something from my bag then lying about it

(90 Posts)
grandmaz Fri 08-Nov-19 09:04:13

Oh dear. I'm in a mither, as to whether I should share this sorry tale with my DGS's parents (my son and DIL)

The three children all know that I often bring a little chocolate treat for them, in my holdall, when I visit. Sometimes, when they ask about it, I will say...'It's in my bag, you can get it'

Yesterday. the eldest, my 12 yr old DGS, asked whether I had brought anything in my bag and I teased him, saying 'well I might have done, we shall have to see, later'.

Later, when the younger children were in bed I went to my bag and pulled out a little choc bar, which I gave to DGS. He thanked me and said 'I haven't had a Tw** for ages'. I then went back to my bag to put the other two chocs in the fridge for the other two children. I turned my bag out and there was only one left in there.

Knowing that my DGS has been lying to his parents a lot and that they are struggling with his pre teen behaviour, something made me check in the waste bin. Sure enough, there was the wrapper.

I went and sat with my DGS and said that there was a choc missing...wondered who might have had it, whereupon he srenuously denied having eaten it and suggested that it may have been his younger sister.

In the interests of fairness, I went upstaits and asked his sister who said no - she's 7 and an open book ...I know if she isn't telling the truth. I absolutely believe that she didn't do it.

So back down I went and had a rather one sided conversation with my DGS, about how telling lies can lead to people not being believed when they are in fact telling the truth over a matter. He had little to say, other that 'it wasn't me, I didn't eat it', a couple of times. I've known and loved him since he was born and when he tells lies he has a facial 'expression' and mannerisms which give him away. I was at pains to stress that trust is hard won and easily lost and having said my piece, told him that we would not mention it again.

My dilemma is I tell his mum and dad...they are stressed out already with his attitude and general behaviours. Should I add this to their worries in the name of solidarity in the face of unacceptable behaviour, or should I keep it to myself and simply not bring chocolate to their home, for a while, to reinforce my disapproval?

I am not surprised that he is telling lies as I know that many kids at this point in their development, do so. I am sad that he would lie to my face, as we have always been very close and I hadn't expected it from him.

He is staying with me on Saturday and has asked (prior to 'Chocolategate') for steak and chips for his supper. Do you think that I should put the steak on hold for another occasion and cook him something less 'special' for his supper (we're not talking bread and water here, just an ordinary everyday meal, btw!)

I just don't know what to do for the best as regards telling my DS and DIL and whether to reinforce my own disappointment by not cooking him his favourite meal, at my house, on this occasion.

All and any thoughts gratefully received.

Oopsminty Fri 08-Nov-19 09:07:09

I'd let it go. You are probably right that he ate it but I think it's best left well alone.

Stop the handbag game. Give them the chocolate when you arrive or hang on to your bag.

And cook the steak

Lona Fri 08-Nov-19 09:09:22

I agree.

Septimia Fri 08-Nov-19 09:11:32

I agree. It's probably better to leave it.

He knows you know and that might well be enough to stop him doing anything like that again.

But don't be afraid to say something to him if you do catch him out again. Tell his parents if the behaviour escalates.

notanan2 Fri 08-Nov-19 09:17:02

I think tell them. They are the parents so need the "bigger picture"

Fennel Fri 08-Nov-19 09:20:35

The main thing is to keep temptation out of his way, as Oopsminty says.
On the few occasions something like that has happened in our family, if you're fairly sure, I think it's best just to state that you know it was him. Don't give him an opportunity to lie by asking "Was it you?"
Sounds as if he's a chocoholic!

Bridgeit Fri 08-Nov-19 09:23:46

I would go ahead with the steak meal.
You are seeking to help him Change his behaviour so better to chat over the steak on the lines of ‘ I.m so glad we got that out in the open , & that we can trust each other to talk about things that are troubling us etc
He needs to have confidence in you that he can admit if he has erred in anyway knowing that you still love him but will tell him the truth, & point out his errors & be there to help him & understand why he is behaving this way. He needs your love & honesty & your boundaries best wishes.

Davidhs Fri 08-Nov-19 09:24:58

Let it go on this occasion and don’t tease the children that way.

“Thou shalt not tempt”

Gonegirl Fri 08-Nov-19 09:32:24

Oh God! Don't pile a load of guilt on him for that! Why didn't you just call him a little bugger and tell him no choc for him next time? And then forget about it when next time comes around.

I always take choccie for my two. If I catch one sneaking a bit of the other one's they get yelled at.

Why didn't you give the choc to them straight after lunch?

Gonegirl Fri 08-Nov-19 09:33:46

Definitely give him his steak dinner.

gmarie Fri 08-Nov-19 09:46:14

If I was in your place, I would cook the steak because I feel consequences should attach to the infraction and not pop up elsewhere. I'd also drop the subject of the chocolate, as was promised, but not bring any the next time I visited. Then, if the kids asked about it, I'd nonchalantly mention (without not focusing my gaze on anyone in particular) that I wouldn't be bringing any for a time because I was a bit sad that some had been taken from your my purse during the previous visit.

Callistemon Fri 08-Nov-19 09:47:42

No-one goes in my handbag, not even DH. He says there's a crocodile in there.

I agree with Bridgeit and other posters.
I think it's best dealt with between the two of you.
And cook him his steak

Callistemon Fri 08-Nov-19 09:49:20

But perhaps no chocolate on Saturday; if he asks why tell him he had double doses already.

trisher Fri 08-Nov-19 09:55:21

I would cook the steak. I'd forget about the chocolate. It might be a good idea to start treating him a bit differently to his younger siblings-so perhaps give him the chocolate when you arrive and say "It's up to you when you eat it, I'm saving the others till such a time." He's at the age when he wants control of something and giving him some choices might help. I wouldn't tell his parents, but I would tell him that you aren't going to tell anyone this time but you might have to if it happened again. He does need to know that although he is older you all still love him. Older children sometimes think they don't have the charm of their younger siblings.

Luckygirl Fri 08-Nov-19 09:55:38

told him that we would not mention it again. - I think you need to honour that - or you too will have told a lie!! smile

'well I might have done, we shall have to see, later'. I am going to be really blunt here - I hate and detest that sort of teasing of children. It is just a power trip. So - if you ask me, I rather think you asked for the subsequent problem.

I know that many will not agree with me here, but I think we should always be absolutely straight with children and not play these psychological games. I would have said: "Yes, I do have a chocolate for you - shall we look now? I love having a treat for my special GS."

I duck below parapet and wait for flak.

Gonegirl Fri 08-Nov-19 09:58:52

No flack from me Luckygirl.

I always take the chocolate in the bag I take our slippers in, so they don't have to rummage around amongst the snot hankies in my handbag.

Persistentdonor Fri 08-Nov-19 09:58:59

I agree with most of the above responses.....
Definitely go ahead with steak meal as promised but NO sweet treats on Saturday.

When next visiting all the children, I don't find it fair to say you aren't bringing chocolate for a while, because of previous behaviours from one of the children. Why should the younger ones be punished for what the older one did?

grandmaz Fri 08-Nov-19 10:00:50

Thanks so much everyone. It really does help to hear OP's views.

I can learn something from this as well, so yes I'll cook the steak and keep the matter between us for now, as well as removing temptation next time I go. As far as the 'teasing' goes - it's something we've always done...the choc was only not eaten by everyone after supper last night as the tiniest one had eaten at Nursery and come home, had teeth cleaned by Daddy before he went out, so I didnt feel it right to share the choc in front of him.

Anyway, I really do appreciate all your replies and shall mull them over individually and benefit from the collective wisdom that is Gransnet!

Thanks flowers

EthelJ Fri 08-Nov-19 10:55:35

grandmaz you sound like a lovely thoughtful Grandma. I would cook the steak as normal. Maybe not tell the parents this time. And maybe when you have time alone with him you will get the chance to have a chat about trust etc without mentioning chocolate.
Good luck!

LuckyFour Fri 08-Nov-19 10:56:28

Hand the chocolate out as soon as you arrive at their house. You are teasing them with it which is unfair. They know you have brought some and are probably wondering when you will give it to them. He shouldn't have taken it but hopefully it's a one-off, and he knows you know. Don't tell his parents unless he does it again which seems unlikely. Cook the steak so he knows you still love him, make sure he says thank you for his meal afterwards.

TrendyNannie6 Fri 08-Nov-19 11:04:46

Cook the steak . I wouldn’t mention it to the parents, not this time, I’d still take sweets, but I’d give them to the children as nobody goes in my bag lol

jaylucy Fri 08-Nov-19 11:09:55

I'd still give him his steak and chips and like others have said, stop the chocolate in your bag thing.
I don't think it would be a bad idea to sit and tell him that you are disappointed in him firstly for taking things from your bag without permission and secondly for lying about it.
Also tell him that you are always there for him to talk to if there are things going on that he doesn't feel he can discuss with his mum and dad.Ask him if there is anything worrying or bothering him at the moment. Sometimes boys, in particular, have had something happen that they can't or won't talk about, and it comes out in a change of behaviour such as this.

sunnydayindorset Fri 08-Nov-19 11:11:12

Sorry but I disagree with most of the previous posters.
His parents should know.
My nephew behaved the same way when he was younger than your DGS and my mum tried to deal with it herself. It turned into stealing money from his cousins, and my dad. He also threatened my dad with a knife when he realised what he was doing and asked him about the missing money.

trisher Fri 08-Nov-19 11:16:51

Can I just comment that actually I remember about 11 or 12 taking coppers from my mum's purse and sneaking biscuits from the tin (they were about the only sweet thing around). I stopped when I felt happier. It was a time when I had just changed schools and was feeling a bit lost. All children do things like this most of them don't carry on or escalate things.

FC61 Fri 08-Nov-19 11:20:32

I would cook him his steak , lavish him with affection and cut the chocolate in handbag game. Take the chocolate out give it to them or hide it somewhere and deliver it to each child after lunch and put handbag out of reach. If he takes something else tell him how hurt and disappointed you are and that he has an important decision to make about who he wants to be and what sort of life he wants. He’s old enough to start thinking about it.