I am a concerned Aunt; My nephew has been stealing and lying and I am concerned about that. He is a good kid, he goes to church and school and that's really it but something has gotten into him; he doesn't live in the same state as me and I was looking to have a small conversation with him. Now on this conversation I don't want him to know I know about the theft and lying; so how do I go about doing this without him finding out that my sister told me? It really is concerning because it may be small stuff now but it will progress later into bigger items and much more money. Please any advice would be great.

Thank you, Concerned Aunt

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    How old is he? 5 or 15 makes a big difference. What has he been stealing? If its just cookies from the cookie jar thats one thing, shoplifting is another. – Paul Johnson Jan 30 '17 at 17:10
  • I doubt that you can make any difference without admitting that you know. I say this because he will either see through you immediately and think you are sticking your nose in, or he won't know you are talking about him. I'd say it depends on his age. We need much more information. Why do you need to talk to him? What has the parent said or done? – WRX Jan 30 '17 at 17:11
  • Did your sister (his mother) tell you this in confidence? Does she want you to speak to her son about the issue? – anongoodnurse Jan 31 '17 at 4:25

I think that the age would make some difference, since you don't get what money really means until some years old. And even after you know, it's still some temptation since earning money isn't that easy at some ages, specially when your parents don't give you money every week, etc etc.

(I'm assuming it was about money because you said "bigger items and much more money").

Talking with him and mentioning that you know about it will probably block your relation, since if his mother has already talked with him, he'll know that she told everybody about it, and he'll be receiving another talk about it (and nobody gets happier).

You could look for a book about the subject, a movie, a cartoon, anything that says your message. Then give it as a gift. He'll probably be glad at the first moment in receiving it, will read it, and probably will catch the message.

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I don't know how old this person is, but this seemed like good info. Link From the link

Tell your children this: “Stealing is wrong for two reasons: It’s illegal and puts you at risk of being arrested and prosecuted. It’s also hurtful because when you take something that doesn’t belong to you, somewhere, someone down the line is being hurt.” Make it real to your child by explaining that if they shoplift cosmetics or video games, the company adjusts its price upwards to insulate itself, and all the rest of us pay a little more for it because of it.

If your child is caught stealing, in all cases, there needs to be meaningful consequences for the behavior. To you as a parent, the most important aspect of your child’s decision to steal is the way of thinking that preceded the stealing. She should pay whatever the consequences are for stealing, and also write an essay on how she justified it. Ask her, “What were you thinking before you stole this?” Remember this: It is in the examination of the justifications and excuses where the true learning will take place.

Certainly consequences like making her take the stolen item back to the store, apologizing and making financial amends are all very good parts of the equation. That kind of accountability can be very productive in deterring future stealing, if accompanied by an examination of the faulty thinking which drove them to do it. You also might give them the consequence of, “You can’t go to the mall for two weeks. Two weeks of no stealing.” If parents ask me, “How do I know?” I say “Don’t worry about it. They need to get another chance. You’re not there to be a cop.” Always give them the chance to earn your trust back.

“You can’t go to the mall for two weeks. Two weeks of no stealing.”

This was a bit weird. I hope it was a mistake because,

"two weeks of no stealing"

is ridiculous. It is never okay for your child to steal.

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