Handling my child's friend who 'stole' somthing

My elder son’s friend seems (I say ‘seems’ because we can’t be sure) to have stolen my younger son’s Tamagotchi. It went missing after the friend had been here, and I’m afraid that this boy has a bad reputation in our home for breaking rules and damaging things - last year he even played too roughly with our gerbil and it died. Suddenly he has an identical Tamagotchi, won’t let our boys look at it, and gives various answers about where it came from and where it has now gone. The latest answer is that a friend lent it to him and then it broke so he threw it down the toilet. My younger son is upset, of course.

So far, I suggested that my boys go round to the friend’s house and ask him, in front of his mum, if he might possibly have Josh’s Tamagotchi. This was when the lent/broken story came out - previously he’d said it was a new birthday present. I hope that the mum may be able to spot her son’s lies but I’m not too sure.

You may well wonder why I allow my son to stay friends with this kid! The trouble is that we are immigrants here in France, and my elder son is a bit of a loner who has this one friend in our neighbourhood. After the gerbil incident last year I really discouraged him coming round, but the family invited us to a few events and then the teacher asked him to do a project with my son. They did the project really well together and I’m really upset that at the same time as doing the work this kid may have stolen something from us.

So, any advice on how to go forward now, please?

Answer #1

I think you should just go right up to his mother and explain, without being too aggressive or too mad. Speak calmly and explain what happend.

Answer #2

Thanks, I agree. The tricky thing about this is that I’m going to have to be tactful in French! I can get by just fine, but I don’t think I can do the conditional tense, which is kind of necessary here… But you may be right, it may be the only way forward.

Answer #3

oh and one more thing…never let that kid in your house again… with that kinda attitude he deserves a smack (please no lecture I know its bad but thats what he deserves for stealing) and tell the boys to stay away from him since he seems to do this often.

Answer #4

I think instead of waiting for the other mother to recognize the lies you could just go talk to her like a friend, just suggest that MAYBE her kid took the tamagotchi and THOUGHT it was his… and youd like to see if maybe you could get it back.

this is quite delicate situation because the mother (being how mothers are) will take the side of her son and might even , in some cases, say she gave him the tamagotchi (yes I’ve seen it happen before). just dont say he stole it or something cause that will just aggravate the situation.

Answer #5

Thanks. My husband is handling this at the moment, a bit as some of you suggest. (His French is better, and this child responds better to male authority.) He spoke to him yesterday and said we know what has happened, and we need the tamagotchi back - J. bought it with his own money and this is not fair. He left the ‘I will speak to your dad’ part unspoken, but will make that the next step if nothing happens.

Answer #6

I heard a similar story a few weeks ago. My neighbor has close family friends over all the time. Some money was stolen from the babies piggy bank, and the two teenagers were the only people who had the opportunity to take it. She talked to their mom. The mom approached them both and said, “Ronda told me that one of you two took the baby’s money. She already knows who took it, so you need to fess up now!” All has since been resolved.

Answer #7

Flossheal - I went throught the same thing with my son’s friend. It is so hard when you KNOW something but have no proof. I set a trap. Bought my son a nice toy and opened the battery part, scratched my initials in a place you wouldn’t normally notice and then waited. Sure enough in a few weeks, my son’s game was missing and his “friend” had a new toy just like my son’s. Then I went to his house and asked the mother. She asked him, and when he lied and insisted it was his, I took off the back and showed her the initials. Well, it ended any friendship but I no longer worried that he would steal anything else from my house. Another way would be to help the child. Sounds as if he has no one teaching him to do the right thing. Tell him, in a private conversation, what you think but that you like him and you want to continue to like him. Tell him about the gerbil and everything. Let him know that you KNOW, but that you like him and want to help. Maybe that would help him.

Answer #8

This is meant to be in ‘kids’.

Answer #9

I would just go straight to the boy’s mother.

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