|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Kleptomania

Elementary School Expert Advice from Barbara Potts

Q: One year ago my stepson began stealing things from his mother. The behavior has continued, and recently he once again pulled a major heist and denied any knowledge to his mother. I found the stolen items in his room, and together his mother and I confronted him with the evidence. He continued to deny at first, then admitted to stealing things from us to sell for pocket money. His lying, stealing, and misbehavior has pushed his mother to the point where she no longer wants him in the house and is looking for a boarding school to take him in. He is 14 and failed seventh and eighth grades, but was in advanced classes. How can we help this child?

A: You are wise to want to get help for your stepson as soon as possible. He is already exhibiting some very risky behaviors and he needs your help to get back on the right track.

You don't mention trying to get counseling for him before this, but you need to pursue that right away. Talk with the school counselor. You will probably want to get help for your stepson outside the school, and the counselor or your pediatrician can refer you to a therapist in your community. Ask for a therapist who is comfortable working with the entire family as well as with your stepson, as you and his mom need help to know how best to deal with his issues.

More on: Expert Advice

Barbara Potts has worked as an elementary school counselor for many years. She has a BA in psychology from Wake Forest University, and an M.Ed. in Guidance and Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Top 10 Free Homework Help Websites
Is helping your child with homework more frustrating and confusing than ever before, thanks to the new Common Core standards? Check out the best free homework help websites to boost kids' success in math, science, English, and more.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

11 Fantastic Fall Apple Desserts
Nothing says fall like the smell of an apple dessert baking in the oven. Use up your family's surplus of apples with our 11 favorite apple dessert recipes.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!