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Man Doesn’t Want His Brother’s Family In His Home After His 9-Year-Old Nephew Steals An Engagement Ring He Bought After A Year Of Saving
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People, Relationships2 months ago

Man Doesn’t Want His Brother’s Family In His Home After His 9-Year-Old Nephew Steals An Engagement Ring He Bought After A Year Of Saving

When family members are going through a rough life patch, you feel bad for them, and it’s not always your responsibility to help them, but as we are kind-hearted people, we do. The sad part is that people you are helping might take this help for granted or even expect it as your duty.

A man online shared that he too wanted to help his brother’s family to get back on their feet and let them into his home, but had to kick them out. Not necessarily because they were ungrateful, but because the man caught his nephew stealing his engagement ring he had been saving up for a long time and knowing about his kleptomaniac tendencies, didn’t want to deal with similar issues in the future as the parents didn’t seem to be keen on fixing the issue.

More info: Reddit Part 1 | Reddit Update

Man got in a fight with his brother and his family after his nephew stole a $4k ring from him and didn’t tell him where it was

Image credits: Alexa . (Not the actual photo)

The Original Poster (OP) going by missingring_ on Reddit is a 26-year-old guy living on his own, but for a while he let his brother’s family stay in his home as they were struggling financially. The brother lost his job and the family couldn’t afford rent or to pay for their bills.

But the OP wasn’t all that excited about it, mainly because of his nephew. He is 9 years old and is known for stealing things. The family even got in trouble a few times because the boy would put things in his pockets in stores and he was noticed doing the same at school as well. However, the parents weren’t too concerned about it and weren’t trying to find any solutions to it.

Bored Panda talked to Jiayong Lin, Principal Clinical Psychologist at Annabelle Kids to find out when parents should get worried about their children taking things that don’t belong to them. According to him, “Some situations that might warrant closer monitoring include: persistent behaviours despite appropriate parental intervention, behaviours occur outside of home environments e.g. in school or in shops, progressive and specific targeting of higher value items, in older children or adolescents, stealing in association with other behaviours such as substance abuse (either to fund the habit, or while under the influence of drugs) or if such behaviours escalate into aggression e.g. harm to others and/or verbal threats that come with the bravado of youth.”

Image credits: u/missingring_

The OP knew that the nephew had problems with stealing things at stores and that he got in trouble for it at school

Image credits: u/missingring_

Young children stealing is not that serious, according to the American Academy of Adolescent Psychiatry. They say that children sometimes get too excited about things and take them without thinking. When children do such things at ages from 3 to 5 years old, parents should actively explain that what they are doing is wrong as they don’t really know the difference yet, which usually helps.

If it continues, the reasons behind why older children might steal could be “to make things equal if a brother or sister seems to be favored with affection or gifts. Sometimes, a child may steal as a show of bravery to friends, or to give presents to family or friends or to be more accepted by peers. Children may also steal out of a fear of dependency; they don’t want to depend on anyone, so they take what they need,” but most probably they don’t do it because of need.

Psychologist Jiayong Lin says that “Young children touch and take things around them out of curiosity. At their stage of development, exploration – including touching and feeling and engaging with the world around them with all their senses – is part of healthy and normal cognitive development.” But they should still be taught to not take other people’s things without their permission by using appropriate language, such as labeling it ‘stealing’ or trying to explain the situation turning the tables and asking them to imagine what if the roles were reversed.

Image credits: u/missingring_

But the OP isn’t aware of the parents trying to get to the bottom of this

Image credits: u/missingring_

While the things that the boy in the story had stolen before weren’t of big value, this time he managed to get his hands on a quite expensive engagement ring. It might be that he didn’t realize that the ring was worth a lot of money.

The OP says that he had been saving money for over a year and finally, recently, he bought a $4k ring. He was planning on proposing soon and had hidden the ring in his room under one of his drawers. That is why he got quite upset when he caught his nephew sticking his nose into the room.

Image credits: u/missingring_

Image credits: ljv (not the actual photo)

Knowing the boy’s stealing history, and also because he suspected his nephew of previously taking his watch, which later miraculously reappeared again, missingring_ set up a spy camera and it proved itself to be useful. One day when the OP couldn’t find the ring in its box, he checked the camera and clearly saw his nephew taking the ring.

The OP said that the boy’s parents yelled at him and that they all were searching for the ring in every place they could think of, but couldn’t find it. So the man gave his brother an ultimatum: either he found the ring in a week or paid $4k for it, or the family had to move.

That is why when his brother lost his job and was struggling financially, he wasn’t too excited about the family moving in with him

Image credits: u/missingring_

Unfortunately, the parents couldn’t convince their son to reveal to them where he had hidden the ring and they had to move. The brother called the OP heartless for doing such a thing to his family when he knows what a difficult time they are having.

However, the OP is too mad at them to be able to live with them because the ring was a big deal to him and a representation of his love and a promise of a new chapter in his life. Even though he was mad, there was a part of him that thought maybe he was being inconsiderate.

The OP had to set up a spy camera because he was worried after seeing his nephew snooping in his room

Image credits: u/missingring_

There is no way for sure to say that the nephew has developed kleptomania, as it requires an assessment done by a professional, but you can see the tendency.

Mayo Clinic explains that kleptomania is a mental health disorder that gives people an impulse to steal items that they don’t need and they feel remorseful for giving into the urge. They say that “Often, the stolen items have no value to the person with kleptomania, and the person can afford to buy them. The stolen items are usually stashed away, never to be used. Items may also be donated, given away to family or friends, or even secretly returned to the place from which they were stolen.”

Turns out, he had a reason to worry and the camera showed the boy took his $4k engagement ring he had been saving up for for over a year

Image credits: u/missingring_

Jiayong Lin claims that kleptomania isn’t a usual diagnosis among children. Stealing things at this age might indicate “psycho-social issues that originate from family, peers or the individual. Considerations include poor role modelling, a disorganised and chaotic home environment, exposure to peer pressure, or stealing as means to obtain unmet needs that could also be interpreted as a signal for help due to emotional or other issues.

He continues, “Kleptomania can also sometimes be confused with other differential diagnoses such as oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or intellectual disability, all of which might also present with behaviours of stealing but which are due to different internal mechanisms and motivations.” So he suggests parents to first try to understand where such behavior is coming from before seeking a diagnosis of kleptomania because “understanding how this behaviour arose should be prioritised over labeling the behaviours with a diagnosis.”

Image credits: u/missingring_

The OP kicked out the family because he was mad, but at the same time, after being called heartless, he felt guilty for doing it

Image credits: u/missingring_

Image credits: Gerwin Sturm (not the actual photo)

Later the man posted an update saying he’d found the ring after following some advice left in the comments under the original post

Image credits: u/missingring_

A lot of people in the comments thought that the family had probably already sold the ring as it would be easy money for them and the nephew wouldn’t get punished as he’s just a kid. A lot of them were suggesting to call the police, but there were people who also suspected a case of kleptomania and suggested places where the boy could have put the ring.

The man posted an update and it turns out, the ring was not stolen and his nephew had thrown it in the sink, where it it fell into the pipe. The OP was very relieved and shared that he immediately went to propose to his girlfriend and found out she was pregnant. He is excited about creating his own family, but the relationship with his current one didn’t get better after finding the ring.

Image credits: u/missingring_

The OP was not willing to let the family into his house again and told his brother he was lucky he didn’t involve the police because video evidence is hard to deny. The uncle also talked to his nephew and as he already knew, the boy remembered where he had put the ring but didn’t want to tell anyone as he was scared of getting in trouble for it.

Whether it is kleptomania or something else, the boy is troubled and the issue needs attention, but the OP doesn’t think it is his place to deal with it. For now he is just happy this situation turned out fine for him.

The ring was in the pipe under the sink in the guest room

Image credits: u/missingring_

One of the characteristics people with kleptomania might have is that they feel ashamed for stealing and have fear to be caught. However, they still keep on doing that so we wanted to find out why people keep stealing knowing how they will feel later. the Psychologists gave a number of reasons, “Factors for recalcitrant stealing behaviour as the child matures include: poor reinforcement of consequences by parents e.g. adopting a ‘he will grow out of it’ approach or incorrectly attributing it to signs of another disorder e.g. attention deficit disorder; adolescents with an emotional need for thrill seeking or a lack of impulse control; exposure to negative role models e.g. parents who may take office supplies for use at home or peers who continue to steal without consequence; experimentation with substance abuse or tobacco smoking and a reduced sense of vulnerability to the harms of these substances or to consequences of illicit activities. Stealing may also be seen as a means to fund risk-taking behaviours.”

The OP was relieved the boy didn’t throw away the ring, but didn’t want his brother coming back

Image credits: u/missingring_

But the story has a happier side as the man proposed to his girlfriend and she said yes, later revealing she was pregnant as well

Image credits: u/missingring_

While reading the story, what theories did you come up with before finding out the real ending? Do you think the boy is just acting out or could there be more reasons behind his behavior? Let us know your reactions in the comments.

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Laura Edwards
Community Member
2 months ago

I had a similar situation with a family member, but it went on for years. Don't do it. If you're done with the behavior don't torture yourself with being kind to them. Let them go on their way.

Kanuli
Community Member
2 months ago

Quite wholesome after the initial drama. Might seem hard for some people who never experienced a thieving relative in the same household, but that’s really as described above. You can’t trust, you can’t always secure everything, and in the end you lose things, time, nerves and money. And yes things and money might be put behind family for some time. But all together this will put stress unto everything until someone breaks. So better keep distance, visit them instead of inviting a thief in your house. Ok, he is still a kid, and maybe he learns and grows up, and someday regains trust, but this doesn’t happen over night.

-
Community Member
2 months ago

I have to wonder why a 9-year-old persists in stealing. As the OP wrote, I hope the parents can get help for him.

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Bunzilla
Community Member
2 months ago

I can understand why the guy doesn't want that kid back in his home. He even took preventative measures, hiding the ring and he setting up a camera after he caught his nephew snooping around. Then the kid threw the 4k ring down the sink because he didn't want to fess up and it could have easily just been washed down into the sewer and be lost forever (thank goodness for the advice he got from the other Redditors). I think that both the kid and his parents need this wakeup call. The stealing is a SERIOUS problem, and will land that kid in jail (juvie) if he doesn't stop. They're extremely lucky that the ring was found. Maybe now the parents will actually take it seriously. The situation sucks for the parents, but this is something they should have done something about much sooner instead of denying the problem exists, then they wouldn't haven gotten kicked out. Really happy for the OP though, that he found the ring, his girlfriend said yes, and that they're going to have a baby!

Honu
Community Member
2 months ago

A 9 year old is unlikely to understand how plumbing works. I seriously doubt the child was intending to "hide" it in the sink. He most likely does not realize that there was a chance the ring would still be there in the bend. I'm glad he didn't flush it down the toilet. I think he was trying to get rid of it permanently. Whether he was just trying to do something hurtful to his uncle or didn't want to fess up or be caught, I don't know. He should understand by now that stealing is forbidden, upsets the people you steal from, and upsets his parents. He's been caught multiple times. While he is unlikely to be able to guess the value of that ring or how much work it took for his uncle to buy it, he likely grasps that it's expensive and important to him. This kid needs some help. I don't know if he has an empathy issue, an impulse issue, an anger issue, some other issue, but he's going down a bad road.

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Laura Edwards
Community Member
2 months ago

I had a similar situation with a family member, but it went on for years. Don't do it. If you're done with the behavior don't torture yourself with being kind to them. Let them go on their way.

Kanuli
Community Member
2 months ago

Quite wholesome after the initial drama. Might seem hard for some people who never experienced a thieving relative in the same household, but that’s really as described above. You can’t trust, you can’t always secure everything, and in the end you lose things, time, nerves and money. And yes things and money might be put behind family for some time. But all together this will put stress unto everything until someone breaks. So better keep distance, visit them instead of inviting a thief in your house. Ok, he is still a kid, and maybe he learns and grows up, and someday regains trust, but this doesn’t happen over night.

-
Community Member
2 months ago

I have to wonder why a 9-year-old persists in stealing. As the OP wrote, I hope the parents can get help for him.

Load More Replies...
Bunzilla
Community Member
2 months ago

I can understand why the guy doesn't want that kid back in his home. He even took preventative measures, hiding the ring and he setting up a camera after he caught his nephew snooping around. Then the kid threw the 4k ring down the sink because he didn't want to fess up and it could have easily just been washed down into the sewer and be lost forever (thank goodness for the advice he got from the other Redditors). I think that both the kid and his parents need this wakeup call. The stealing is a SERIOUS problem, and will land that kid in jail (juvie) if he doesn't stop. They're extremely lucky that the ring was found. Maybe now the parents will actually take it seriously. The situation sucks for the parents, but this is something they should have done something about much sooner instead of denying the problem exists, then they wouldn't haven gotten kicked out. Really happy for the OP though, that he found the ring, his girlfriend said yes, and that they're going to have a baby!

Honu
Community Member
2 months ago

A 9 year old is unlikely to understand how plumbing works. I seriously doubt the child was intending to "hide" it in the sink. He most likely does not realize that there was a chance the ring would still be there in the bend. I'm glad he didn't flush it down the toilet. I think he was trying to get rid of it permanently. Whether he was just trying to do something hurtful to his uncle or didn't want to fess up or be caught, I don't know. He should understand by now that stealing is forbidden, upsets the people you steal from, and upsets his parents. He's been caught multiple times. While he is unlikely to be able to guess the value of that ring or how much work it took for his uncle to buy it, he likely grasps that it's expensive and important to him. This kid needs some help. I don't know if he has an empathy issue, an impulse issue, an anger issue, some other issue, but he's going down a bad road.

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