Thieving Child

Dear Sara,

My furnace needed work and the repair man brought his son with him. He was about six or seven years old. The boy followed his father around for most of the time but came in the kitchen asking for water. As I was getting the water the boy reached into my purse and took our a handful of change. I opened his hand and told him it was bad to steal. I took him to his father and let him know what happened. The father asked the boy if he took the money and the boy said “no.” The father became angry at me for accusing his son. I just told him to keep the boy with him at all times and left. Was there something else I should have said or done to make this father more aware of what his son is capable of?

Dear Rebecca,

You probably did all that you could do. The father should have taken your word for it as you had no reason to lie. Sometimes when you love someone very very much, you tend to believe what they say no matter what others tell you. If his son continues to take things that don’t belong to him, this  man will eventually  see that his son is not perfect. It will probably take some time.

The other scenario may be that stealing is something that is normal in their family. In that case I would think you may want another furnace repair person. Lets hope this was a one time incident.


  1. I have a ten-year-old niece visiting for the summer. On an overnight camping trip, during the middle of the night, she woke and gave a 6-year old girl a “hickey” on her neck. When she returned home the parent showed me what happened with the child and my niece was out of the room. I began questioning her and explained to her that if she were a few years older this could be considered an assault. I called her mother in another state and spoke at length. After speaking with a counselor we believe that at some time this may have happened to her by another child and she repeated what was done to her. Our concern is how do we reassure her that it is important to let mom know when something happens and not keep secrets?. She was physically abused by her father the age of two and it was not discovered until her 11-month brother was killed. She has seen a counselor for the past two years.

  2. Or. It’s a scam that the dad and son run on every customer! I would have asked him to leave. And I’d find a new repair man.

  3. Granny in Ga says:

    Change repairmen immediately!

  4. I think I would not want a child I didn’t know
    wandering around my place. I also
    agree with Granny in Georgia who recommends
    changing repairmen. The child apparently hasn’t
    learned good values yet or isn’t being taught
    them either.

  5. Randy T says:

    Yes there was more you could have said, Pick your stuff up and get out of my house.

  6. This was a golden opportunity for the father to teach his son a valuable lesson. Not only about stealing, but also about lying. Too bad he blew it.

  7. Dale McNamee says:

    I also agree with Granny In Georgia… Change furnance repairman and never recommend him to anyone… Also, report him to the BBB !

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