Is my son steal­ing from us?

The Invercargill Eye - - BACKYARD BANTER - Q: My part­ner al­ways leaves his loose change ly­ing around. He dumps coins from his clothes into a dish on the bench with his car keys, and of­ten leaves money in his truck. Re­cently, my son bought him­self ex­pen­sive tick­ets to a concert and when I asked whe

It’s a shame your part­ner didn’t speak up a while ago. Your son has been work­ing and has bought some­thing big for him­self but your part­ner’s late call now brings your son’s cred­i­bil­ity into ques­tion. It’s harder deal­ing with this after the fact.

Many house­holds have vary­ing opin­ions on how re­laxed they are about their chil­dren tak­ing things that are ly­ing around, ie, clothes, treats or money. In some fam­i­lies, loose change is seen as com­mu­nal and no-one keeps tabs on who owns the coins, while in other fam­i­lies there are clearer bound­aries. It seems that your part­ner has been fairly ca­sual about his change un­til now and this might be a good time to de­cide how you feel and set some guide­lines.

I think a blan­ket rule that says no-one in the fam­ily should take any­thing that doesn’t be­long to them with­out ask­ing first is a good safe­guard. Your son would know that the coins ly­ing in a dish be­side your part­ner’s car keys be­long to your part­ner. Per­haps take a mo­ment to have a pri­vate chat with him where you make it clear that this money is not for the tak­ing.

Some chil­dren are born with an in­nate sense of man­ag­ing or ac­quir­ing money and your son sounds enterprising, to say the least. There are life lessons in ev­ery as­pect of han­dling money for young peo­ple and it sounds as if you’re in the per­fect sit­u­a­tion to help him. If he’s run­ning his own busi­ness and is al­ready quite suc­cess­ful, then chat to him about pay­ing those who work for him, about sav­ing and bank­ing etc.

Can he ac­count for the money he’s spent? You might be best to learn


Where is my son get­ting all the money he’s spend­ing?

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