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Jennifer, School Psychologist
Category: Parenting
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Experience:  Collaborative parent consultation on everything from modifying behavior to child development.
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I found out that my 15 year old son sneaked out with a friend

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I found out that my 15 year old son sneaked out with a friend in the middle of the night. I also found out that he stole money from our family fun time jar. What is the appropriate way to deal with this?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Jennifer replied 7 years ago.
Hello and thanks for using!

You may try some Love and Logic strategies. It's a parenting / teaching theory I recommend to parents and teachers often (and use with my own daughter).

First, tell him you're going to have to do something about this, but not now... You want to think about it. You'll let him know when you come up with something. Anticipating a consequence can be a consequence in itself and this gives you time to come up with a plan.

Next, you could try a few different things. First of all, he owes you money. He'll have to pay for that. You could decide what he'll pay for that with (e.g., selling a particularly prized item) or tell him he has until a certain time to come up with how he's going to re-pay you on his own. If he doesn't decide by then, you'll figure it out for him -- Then you'll choose what you're going to sell (of his) in order for him to pay you back. It could even be a combo of working for you (you choose what jobs you'd be willing to pay him for and what they're worth) and selling something as well.

I'd encourage you to go with the combo approach, but the work around the house / yard is to be done for a different reason. This experience has drained your energy. This is energy you'd planned on using to (fill in the blank). He's going to have to do those things now since you've lost not only money, but the time / energy to do those important tasks.

You can find more strategies like this on the love and logic website ( -- There are several free articles and videos under the parents tab. The main idea is to cause YOU as little stress as possible and give appropriate consequences in an empathetic way. I hope this helps!
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