My son stole a laptop. Should I expose him?


Further Reading

Dear Stanton,

I read one of your responses and thought it was really thoughtful.

My son, 15 years old and away at boarding school, stole a laptop from a fellow student’s dorm room within the first month of his being at the school. My husband and I just found out less than a week ago.

He has a very good laptop of his own.

He had told me that he was going to do something that would get him thrown out. In fact, he may have already done it though, and said that to me to justify his actions.

He is generally a well put together, well-liked boy and is the last one you would think of to have done this.

I did have a hair analysis done a few years ago, and found that he has high lead and other metals in his body. This explained to me why his health over the years has not been glowing.

We want him to stay at the school for the full 4 years. We love this school.

We thought that we would talk to the dorm mother first. It may have to be reported to the student judiciary board, which my son is frightened about, because it is made of up of the best and brightest, and my son is friends with all of them.

He did use the laptop, and it has his name in it now on various applications.

We want him to move beyond this, so he can have a good career at school. Exposing him is a two edged sword, though with the possible benefit that he might be redeemed in his own eyes and the eyes of his fellows through confessing the truth, the possible downside that he might get expelled.

What do you think?




Of course, you need to tell the authorities your son stole the computer – or better yet, have him tell the authorities. He could certainly speak to someone he trusts, to see how he might best overcome his misstep.

Than you need to explore his reasons for stealing it. He seems to have a puzzling split in his personality – dreading being shown up at school, yet somehow desiring to be kicked out. Of course, you need to understand his feelings about being there. Is there any chance that he is going there only because you want him to be there? Does he feel inadequate in being a student there?

Michelle, being at this groovy school seems like a secondary issue to finding out where your son’s head is at, sorting out his relationship to you and your husband, and getting him on a direction in life that he feels okay about.


Stanton Peele

Stanton Peele , recognized as one of the world's leading addiction experts by The Fix, developed the Life Process Program after decades of research, writing, and treatment about and for people with addictions. Dr. Peele is the author of 14 books. His work has been published in leading professional journals and popular publications around the globe.

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