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Avatar universal

At my end

I have a 13 year old son. Who wont stop stealing. We dont know what to do anymore. We have taken everything from him. Didn't help. Gave him his stuff back after 1 year on the condition he didn't steal it took only 2 days and he was stealing again.He lies he harrasses his little sisters. He takes Adderall , Clonidine, Seraquel. We have tried everything looking for any ideas
8 Responses
189897 tn?1441130118
What kind of stuff does he steal?  Only from his family?  From stores?  From friends?  Kids at school?
    Does the stealing happen at all times of the day?  Or when his adderall has worn off?
5914096 tn?1399922587
Taking property away for one year from a 13 year old is a relatively ineffective discipline.  Taking privileges away for 24 hours would be much more effective to a 13 year old primarily because you could use that same property as leverage based on their behavior the next day.  

It is all about attention span.  When the discipline lasts longer than it should, either the child will simply forget about it, dismiss it, or learned helplessness will develop.  When we determine the length of  a discipline, we need to think in terms of what would be effective for a child, not an adult.

Given the severity of his behavior and given the fact that he is on several psychotropic medications, I think that you need do discuss this issue with the prescribing physician.  Hopefully, this is a psychiatrist and not a family doctor or pedicatrian as they do not have expertise in psychiatry.   If you child hasn't been referred to a mental health therapist, then he needs to be referred ASAP.  Sometimes, we rely too much on medication to fix things.  Medication doesn't change the way we think.  Therapists can help with this as well as empower your son to disclose the reason for his behavior.  
189897 tn?1441130118
   Definitely agree with Mark about the type of behavioral modification you are using.  It probably would not work with a normal kid, and certainly would not work with a child who has ADHD.
   Wondering if the Clonidine and Seroquel are to help him sleep at night?  If so, there are other ways to achieve that.
   I certainly agree with Mark about the type of physician you are seeing and what medication can or can not do.
   The reason for my questions was to try and figure out why he might be stealing.  Stealing is a very common symptom of ADHD.  Thus, it could be medication related or be related to another problem.  Either way a good therapist should be able to figure this out.   But, do think about the questions I asked.  The answers would be very helpful to a doctor.
189897 tn?1441130118
   By the way, I forgot to mention that this site has many good ideas for working with an ADHD child.  I think you will find it helpful.  The site is -
Avatar universal
Thank you for your reply let me answer some questions first let me start out with the medications they were prescribed by a mental health doctor and was seen a community mental health clinic. They have since discharged him since his coverage has changed he has state medical thru foster care private care is impossible no one will see him due to medical coupon. I have offered to pay cash they won't accept because he has insurance that's useless.
If you have some ideas for discipline I would be so grateful.
He mostly has stolen food from home over and over again for no reason .Over the summer he stayed at our friends home and stole a debit card to buy porn online we fixed that issue but he obsessed with video games and playing games online.
Thank you for all your input
Avatar universal
Being obsessed with video games, that is the age these days.  But since meds are not helping the issue, then you want to try something different?
Go online on meetup.com for your area and look for spiritual healers etc.  The one you really want to check out is the person who can do a "Past Life Regression" on your son.  All this is a hypnosis and maybe be able to pin point the reason for the stealing and correct it.
We all have had past lives and we have chosen this life for a purpose, we have lessons to learn.  Yours is probably to change your sons before it gets out of hand.
Please try it, go with an open mind.  We all answer to the "Supreme Being" westerners call him God, Allah, Buddha, Shiva, etc.
I know that video games are not good for our children, but look at it this way....he's home or at a friend's house, not out running the streets and getting into trouble.  Just tell him that he can only play what 3 hours out of the day on the weekend and 1 1/2 during the week.
Try it...it wont hurt!

189897 tn?1441130118
     Unfortunately, hypnosis will not work with kids who have ADHD.  Sure would be an easy fix though if it did.
    Actually stealing food (like lying) can be pretty common for a kid with ADHD.  Its because when they are on the meds they are not hungry and when they come off the meds, they are starving.  Thus, they tend to eat at late hours.   If that is the case, it certainly is not something that he should be punished for.   As Ashley says, "It is not unusual for some children to skip their lunch and eat large amounts of food when the medication wears off in the afternoon."  p. 156 (book title mentioned later on).  Furthermore, she notes that insomnia (due to meds) "may keep children up long past their bedtime."   And they will also get hungry then.
   Over on the child Behavior forum which I am also the CL, we do get lots of posts about kids stealing food.  The common answer is to just make sure that the food you have is good healthy food and let them take it.
    So it sounds like he is not presently under a doctors care for his meds?  How does he get a new prescription?  That could make it hard to adjust his dosage.  If you don't mind me asking when does he take the Clonidine and Seroquel?  Is his Adderall an extended release?  How much is he taking?
    Frankly, there must be more going on here then is expressed in your first post.  Stealing food really is not that big of a deal.  Knowing more about when he takes his meds and then adjusting them to fit into a food schedule can really help (if thats the cause).  Also this article on "When ADHD Meds Suppress Appetite-How to fine-tune meal schedules to minimize weight loss in children taking ADHD medication." should be helpful.  The link is - http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/1813.html
   I do really get the feeling that the doctors who have been prescribing the meds have not been giving you a lot of the information that you need to help you (and him) with his ADHD.
   The one book I recommend a lot (and quoted above) is  "The ADD/ ADHD Answer book," by Susan Ashley.   Its about $12 on Amazon.  It will provide a ton of help to you.   She has a full section (chapter 6) on discipline.  Not to mention chapters on medication, social skills, self esteem, homework, etc.
   I think I can also give you more specific ideas, but I kind of need to know where to start.  Hopefully, this is helpful - but its really just a start.  
    Happy New Year!

Avatar universal
Hey I just wanted  to give you what could be some of problem.when I was his age I also stole and lied constantly.diagnosed at 6 with ADHD,I. Was in and out of treatment for it.But I never started stealing until after parents divorced it devastated me.of course I would not talk at therapy,cause I was too cool you know,but inside I was a mess.i also was molested by a guy in neighborhood which I did not tell anybody until 30.Now I don't know your situation but did anything major happen while he was younger?stuff like that can really mess people up.i finally realized after years I was acting up to get back at parents for divorce.Also started smoking cigarettes and marijuana  .then I broke back got hooked on pain pills 12 years ,in and out of jail.also whoever his Dr is has him on seroquel which my Dr said can make ADHD medicine not work.i told you this cause I wasted my life.im 37 on disability.you should drug test often,and see if he will open up,also he could be abusing adderall,snorting,taking more.i advise you hold medicine,only give him what he needs for day .if he is abusing I take vyvanse you can't abuse it you have to swallow it cause it only turns into amphetamine after passing through liver.don't give up,I want to help. Email me ***@****  good luck
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