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Hard Time with Son's Casual Dishonesty

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Harriet posted 4/1/2014 00:51 AM

I took my son's computer away because his grades dropped. It was long understood that good grades meant freedom with time on his computer. It went to his dad's house (he's never over there usually). He went over for dinner last night and stole it back.

When I caught him, I asked him how he could just take it like that.
He said, "Did you think I wouldn't?"
I said, "I really did."
I was stunned.

It's hitting me extremely hard. I know that kids can be dishonest like this, but I can't seem to handle it right now. I'm crying. I'm not even mad, it just really hurts.

When I was texting his dad about it (he was worried the computer had been stolen) I asked, "Do I need to assume that people will generally be dishonest with me? It really hurts."
Crickets from him. Of course. Which also hurts, but is not unexpected.

Not being new to the parenting of teens rodeo, I know the pain is out of proportion. I think any time someone I trust does something behind my back, it's going to be a trigger for me.

Daddo posted 4/1/2014 01:29 AM

Humans are born with a sense of right and wrong - of fair and unfair. But that is not the same as being born with a full ethical sense. Ethics are learned behaviors - and your teen, like most teens (like myself as a teen) has a long ways to go.

Don't take it personally, don't get angry and don't let your triggers rebound on him. Teens have a sense of power that is disproportionate to their commitment to honesty. This can change over time. Treat him firmly but without anger and without going overboard with the emotional trauma. Stay firm in your decision - and let him know how disappointed you are in his behavior.

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