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Stepson Steals and Starts Fires


My 12 year-old stepson has always stolen and destroyed things. He’s started fires and flunked three grades in school. Recently he popped the stones out of one of my rings and threw the ring away. He said he found it outside in the grass. I told him he needed to tell the truth and he said he took it from my jewelry box. I asked him why and he gave me the same answer he does for everything: "I don't know." His dad and I have tried everything including taking him to doctors but he can’t take medicine because of a heart murmur. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.



Parenting, whether step or biological, can be frustrating and challenging. When this young man was taken to Doctors, was he diagnosed with a mental illness? Does he have a counselor, or does the family?  It may be helpful to have someone who can gather the historical information of this young man, stay updated on the current behaviors, help develop a treatment plan to address his behaviors and guide you and his father along your journey of raising him.

Not knowing where you live makes it difficult to offer referrals for specialized schools that deal with behavioral issues and academics. There are a number of them and perhaps you would consider​ that as an option to help him experience some academic success.