Stepson stealing clothes from ours.
Hello, I'm 29 and have been a stepmother since I was 20 to a boy and a girl. My stepson is 14 and over the last year or so has changed dramatically. It has not been an easy journey and over time I want to dicuss and share stories with others who understand. The issue I'm going to bring up today is CLOTHING.
I have always made it so whatever clothes the kids come to ours in from their mams gets washed and worn back to hers. They have clothes at ours that they wear but when they go back to their mams its in clothes from hers. Some might think this is odd but I have my reasons for doing it this way. There are exceptions. More often than not the kids would come to ours in unsuitable clothing (too small, way too big, ripped or stained). I could never let them leave our house dressed like that and also knew they would be forced to wear this clothing again if it went back to their mams. So I would filter our bad clothing from their mams with clothing from ours that I didn't mind parting with. I have been doing this for years.
HOWEVER. The kids are now 12 and 14 and are capable of wearing appropriate clothing and informing their mother when they need replacements, so I have stopped filtering out the bad clothing (unless it's socks with holes!). Clothing has always been an issue for the kids at their mams, for some reason she refuses to keep up with it. I know there are mountains of dirty washing in her house, and that she never sorts through the clothes to make sure her kids have clothing that fits. Unless its a random splurge where she spends a ridiculous amount on clothes that are way too big for the kids with the attitude: "they wear it don't they".
SO recently I've caught my stepson trying to sneak clothes from ours back to his mams, he's even come here some days not wearing a t-shirt so that I'll HAVE to give him one to wear back. He's told us in the past that he has no clean clothes at his mams so we've told him he's going to have to wash his own clothes then (He is capable of doing this just notoriously lazy). We've explained it's not fair for us to have to provide him with clothes to wear when he's at his mams as it's not fixing the problem and our clothes will inevitably end up in a giant pile of dirty washing at his mams, he'll take more stuff from ours, you see where I'm going with this?
Today I caught him trying to sneak pajamas from ours. His response was "I don't have any that fit at mams, I haven't told her they don't fit because I can just take ones from here"
I have never led him to believe this was the case so I don't know why he suddenly thinks this is acceptable. An argument ensued and he went to his mams in a huff (without the pajamas).
Can anyone out there relate to this? I'm at a stage where I don't know how to get through to him. HELP.