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  1. #1
    Expansive... Other Mummy's Avatar
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    Help! Son's friend stole his iPad...How to approach....

    My almost 12 year old son has a great group of friends. There is an inner circle of 4 of them and then extends to another 5 or so boys that are also good friends. We all live in a tight knit community and we all know the parents of each friend. Some very well. But all the parents are connected and we see each frequently with sporting events, school events, our children getting together, etc.

    My son spent the night earlier in the week at his good friends house. one of the other boys in their group was there as well. So it was the 3 boys total. My son took his iPad as he has done many, many times when he visits friends. The next morning the other friend, I'll call him Peter left, earlier in the morning. My son and his friend could not find his iPad. They enlisted the Mom's help and they tore up the house. Nothing.

    My son came home and told us they could not find it. Weren't too concerned as it could not grow legs and walk away. It was either with at their house or with the other friend, Peter.

    Background on Peter. Last summer he took my son's game control and left his broken one as they looked the same, my son and I assumed he just grabbed the wrong one. My son got it back as he called him on it. Then a few weeks later, he took my son's disc whilst visiting our home again. my son called and got it back right away. Then the warning bells went off for me.

    Fast forward to this week. The parents of the boy who had the sleepover called us last night to discuss the missing iPad. They also concurred that it was most likely the other friend who took it. They tore up their house again looking for it, even looking in odd rooms (Laundry room, their bedroom, etc...everywhere...t hey searched for hours as they felt soooo bad that it happened in their home). They told us that their own son's game controls went missing as well as other small items and that last summer their son was at this friends house (peter) and saw his controllers but was too embarrassed to say anything to Peter.

    So we now know without a doubt that Peter has it. We don't have a phone number to call Peter's mother. She lives just up the street from us. We are left with no choice but to pay them a visit tomorrow and talk to Peter and his mother and somehow word it (without accusing) if Peter knows where the iPad might be. My husband is livid and wants to have the police involved. I really don't want to cause those kind of ripples as well, the boy Peter is a good kid, but obviously made very bad choice(s).

    Our friend (the boy's mother) who hosted the sleepover will see Peter and his mother at hockey practice tomorrow when she takes her son. She will approach her and tactfully ask if her son knows what happened? Where it could be? Did he take it by "accident"?

    Any advice on how to approach the boy (who took the iPad) and his mother when we ring their doorbell tomorrow????

  2. #2
    Euphoric !
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    I would call in and address it face to face.

    How well do you know the mother? Would it maybe better to speak to her first if good friends? That would allow her time to consider her planned consequence and to wholly support you when you confront child. It might be she suspects but in denial and accepting his explanation for these items appearing. It might be that she know truth deep down but not catch him out. If she really not know, or if she not know how to address it, I think she be grateful for having little warning about event to give her time to form plan for addressing.

    I do think he should be confronted and in front of parent, just so he not able to make false accusations later or feel cocky in thinking parents not been told. Needs accountability of parent knowing too.

    Some children go through phase of stealing. Used to called it kleptomania when we was kids. Take something little, no one notice. Take something mid-sized, get questioned but likely denials believed. It escalates and escalates and longer allowed to continue, then longer it will happen. Only way to stop it, is to call them on it. From my understand, they not actually want the item most of time. It about the thrill of taking it and not being court or thrill of fibbing their way out of situation.

    It my belief that these are the kid who become compulsive liars as adults. People who need be center of attention and make up situations and events to put themselves there.

    I would not bother phasing nicely and making facts more palatable. Down play the seriousness and kid will believe it not such a big deal. Has to be hard, fast, consequences and consistent otherwise this will become habit for life.

    If parent unaware, they need to be and they need to be harsh with this. Otherwise soon be teenager stealing iphones and money from HS friends and then, he'll learn the hard way.

    My mother have saying - If you not willing to teach your child right and wrong, the community will and they won't be so gentle. Sometime it hard to call your kid out when you think they are doing wrong and lot of parent mistake is belief hard evidence is needed. That not true. Parents know their kids. Parents need to parent and that not need evidence, just gut feeling. Only court of law needs hard evidence for consequence. Parents not require same proof.

    EDIT - I sad to say, also have to consider if this good friend for your child. Not sure how young your child is. I tended not ban my kids from friends I did not like but instead, I speak with my boys and lead them to make that decision themselves.

    With this, I think I would be leading my son through the thought process that Peter took this item. That he done it before even though caught. Best prediction for future behaviour is past behaviour and so, if Peter remains friendly with your son, chances is other things go missing again.

    Lead child though is this what he wants for his possessions which he take care of? Explain too if Peter steal candy bar and your son just happen to be there, he will be charged with same crime even if not take something. Does he want police record just for being Peter's friend? Is Peter being true friend back? It really hard for kids to see they picked wrong person for friend but it good life lesson to have.
    Last edited by Suzie_Homemaker; 03-20-2015 at 06:21 PM.

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  4. #3
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    Ah that sucks. I'd just ring and say. My son is missing his iPad and so and so can't find it at the house. Can u ask Peter if he saw it before he left maybe we're leaving a spot out that we haven't looked. Or. maybe Peter grabbed it by mistake? My son is upset so we're trying hard to find it.

    And if Peter does have it and return it. Watch out from now on. Don't let him over inside to play just play outside. And don't take valuables to sleepovers with him there. Good luck. Never easy confronting. Let us know what happens.

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  6. #4
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    Thank you for all the wonderful advice!

    My son, dh and I went to Peter's house yesterday late afternoon. His mother answered the door. We explained the situation as diplomatically as possible. Did not come right out and accuse Peter, but laid all the facts out. How the hosts of the sleepover tore their house upside down, that the only other possible explanation is that Peter took it as a "joke" or hid it in the hosts home as a prank.

    Peter's mother did not look surprised. She just kept nodding and then yelled up the stairs to Peter "Have you seen your friend's iPad??" Peter yelled back down..."it was on the bed last I saw it"... Never once did she ask for her son to come downstairs and speak with his friend and his parents, never once did she ask for my number to call me and let me know if she finds it. I had to had her my phone number and pleaded with her to call me whether she finds it or not. 24 hours later we have not heard back from these folks.

    My gut tells me that we won't hear back from her. She did not look surprised when I told her so I believe she is very well aware that her son "borrows" things from friends. If that was me and someone came to my door regarding this matter, I would have my son come downstairs to speak with his friend and his parents. I would then tear the house over looking for the stolen item and have a long frank discussion with my child. She had a good opportunity to nip this crap in the butt before her son turns into a teenager with a criminal record.

    She chose to bury her head in the sand and take her son's mediocore excuse as the final word. I should have told her to look for their other friends game controls as well as they are in her son's room as well. But I didn't want to start an all off war and figure that is up to the other boys' parents to address.

    My son is so hurt and feels very betrayed and angry. This boy Peter will soon get a reputation as a their amongst his friends. I told my son to leave it alone and not bring it up in front of mutual friends. The other boy who had the sleepover was also told to not bring it up. I'm livid. My son will not get a replacement as we cannot afford to replace his iPad anytime soon.

    Tough Life lesson.

  7. #5
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    I know iPads have an option to find it if it's lost/stolen using the Apple ID. I know you can disable it perhaps if it wasn't you can find it that way.

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  9. #6
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    Call the police.

  10. #7
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    I would be tempted to get the police involved. If someone has it then it was clearly stolen. If you call and make a police report (which you would need to do if you wish to claim this on your home insurance), then the police may want to interview the people present when the iPad was stolen. (I don't say missing as it clearly is not at the hosts' house as they have searched and searched.) The police would go to each boys' house and get a statement (Peters house included) and I bet this time Peter won't have the privilege of hiding in his bedroom during that time! I don't see anything accusatory happening here if all the boys were asked by an authority figure besides your family. It may prompt some seriousness into the situation! I know personally, if I had a $500 item stolen I would be calling it as it is: a THEFT.

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  12. #8
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    I was going to say the same thing. You guys are being too nice about this whole thing. Call the police and have them investigate. I would have said as much to Peter's mom when I went over. You really don't know if the sleepover kid didn't take it either. All fingers point to Peter but who knows. I am sure he was helping to search his own house so he could of hid it in a room he was "searching."

  13. #9
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    Sad to hear this is happening. Reminds me of a neighborhood boy having same reputation where I live a few years ago when he was around 12. It got worse, and when he got his drivers license at 16 he became a cocky dangerous neighborhood driver. Parents around here confronted and threatened to call police if he didn't smarten up. He ended up totalling his car by himself out in the country roads and luckily now can't drive til he's 25 due to insurance. Bad apple.

  14. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Other Mummy View Post
    Thank you for all the wonderful advice!

    My son, dh and I went to Peter's house yesterday late afternoon. His mother answered the door. We explained the situation as diplomatically as possible. Did not come right out and accuse Peter, but laid all the facts out. How the hosts of the sleepover tore their house upside down, that the only other possible explanation is that Peter took it as a "joke" or hid it in the hosts home as a prank.

    Peter's mother did not look surprised. She just kept nodding and then yelled up the stairs to Peter "Have you seen your friend's iPad??" Peter yelled back down..."it was on the bed last I saw it"... Never once did she ask for her son to come downstairs and speak with his friend and his parents, never once did she ask for my number to call me and let me know if she finds it. I had to had her my phone number and pleaded with her to call me whether she finds it or not. 24 hours later we have not heard back from these folks.

    My gut tells me that we won't hear back from her. She did not look surprised when I told her so I believe she is very well aware that her son "borrows" things from friends. If that was me and someone came to my door regarding this matter, I would have my son come downstairs to speak with his friend and his parents. I would then tear the house over looking for the stolen item and have a long frank discussion with my child. She had a good opportunity to nip this crap in the butt before her son turns into a teenager with a criminal record.

    She chose to bury her head in the sand and take her son's mediocore excuse as the final word. I should have told her to look for their other friends game controls as well as they are in her son's room as well. But I didn't want to start an all off war and figure that is up to the other boys' parents to address.

    My son is so hurt and feels very betrayed and angry. This boy Peter will soon get a reputation as a their amongst his friends. I told my son to leave it alone and not bring it up in front of mutual friends. The other boy who had the sleepover was also told to not bring it up. I'm livid. My son will not get a replacement as we cannot afford to replace his iPad anytime soon.

    Tough Life lesson.
    I know and i am sorry it happened You have every right to be upset. I would call the police too. Especially since A- this kid has a reputation of stealing and he needs to be tough a lesson and nip it in the butt before he grows up to be a delinquent and B- to teach his mother you don't bury your head in the sand and won't stand for anyone stealing your things. Ipads are expensive! I don't have one- never have.... and your son didn't deserve to have his stolen.

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