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Old 08-26-2006, 11:42 AM   #1
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my daughter stole something

what would you do if your daughter told you she stole something? She's 15, and has always been very, very good with strong moral values and convictions. She used the excuse all of her friends did it, but she has NEVER been one to follow a crowd at all. I was in shock, and basically did nothing except talk to her for a very long time. All the stuff you think you'd say, I said. Fear, dissappointment, concern, etc....

I am still very upset about it and realized I was in such total shock that I didn't even take the items away!!! I feel like an idiot! I know I need to do this, but any other other well thought out suggestions would be appreciated. My goal in disciplining would be for her to never, ever do it again but still feel she can come to me and talk, even when it's bad or uncomfortable. HELP!!!!

Last edited by laurie864bla; 08-26-2006 at 11:56 AM.

 
Old 08-26-2006, 12:10 PM   #2
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Re: my daughter stole something

Good to keep that line of communication open. My daughter did that once with a girlfriend and they actually got caught and she ended up taking a ride in a police car. Scared the crap out of her. They store didnt prosecute so nothing came of it.
Dont let her keep the items. That is sending the wrong message.

 
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Old 08-26-2006, 12:27 PM   #3
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Re: my daughter stole something

When I was a kid, like 8 and 9, I used to have an obsession with stealing things from my classroom. Like a book, or a classmate's bracelet or highlighter. (It was a really pimped out highlighter, don't laugh). No one EVER knew about it...

As I got older however, people who steal became probably my biggest pet peeve of all time. A friend of mine used to steal craploads of stuff from a bookstore, and she brought me this really awesome journal that I'd been wanting. But I returned it to the store, and then bought one for myself.

My brother too has a problem with stealing, but it never went away. He stole constantly throughout his teens and continuously stole money from our mother. She knew about his stealing as a child and he got scolded, talked to, and had to take the stolen item that she knew about back and apologize. But that didn't stop him.

So I think that no matter what a parent tries to do or instill in their kids, it won't matter. No one had to tell me stealing was wrong, I figured it out on my own when I was young and would never be able to live with stealing anything again. My brother on the other hand, just doesn't care what he does or what affect his actions have. Everyone has their own moral code...and I really don't think that can be changed. We were raised in the same household with the same screwed up parents, but he turned out to be a demon seed while I turned out pretty great.

I think the fact that your daughter actually TOLD you she stole says a lot. Obviously she felt guilty and maybe paranoid about it. It doesn't seem like something she is comfortable with, so that's good. You can tell her it's wrong (which I'm sure she probably already knows). Whether or not she does it again? Entirely up to her, and her personality.
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Old 08-26-2006, 12:49 PM   #4
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Re: my daughter stole something

Hi Lauri, it must be really disappointing for you to know what your daughter did!!!! I think it might help you if you know what kinds of friends she has around, and to stop her from seeing girls who think stealing is ok. Funnily enough, my friend and I were having a similar converstaion days ago about what makes teenagers take the wrong way of life...We agreed that it was not only the parents' mistakes but precisely the wrong company. The long-term help that you can offer her is to have a say in whom she can NOT be friends with.

 
Old 08-26-2006, 01:08 PM   #5
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Re: my daughter stole something

It's great that you two keep the communication open. When I was caught, my mom made me return the stuff I stole and apologize to the people I stole from. That was so embarrassing and humiliating, but I never did it again. Your daughter needs to make restitution. Personally, I think it's better than punishment. It's a life lesson that sticks with them.

Last edited by cookiepls; 08-27-2006 at 05:44 PM.

 
Old 08-26-2006, 01:26 PM   #6
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Re: my daughter stole something

Hey Laurie! first off I just want to say after reading so many of your posts (and your responses to mine)you seem like a truley dynamic person! Ok now get your head back down to earth,lol.Anyway personally I found w/my own life experience that being made to return & appologize certainly thwarted any further ideas or actions.My mom and I were always close and communicated very well,some people may say too much but rest assured it took one time and one time only...I'm nearly 36 now ,14ish at that time, and bring the 50 cents back to the store now if I get too much change... BTW how is the hot neighbor guy????

 
Old 08-26-2006, 05:48 PM   #7
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Re: my daughter stole something

Thanks very much to all replies....

I have taken the items away. Also kinda freaked out a bit at my "under reaction" to the whole thing, and analyzed the crap out of the situation. My bf said he didn't think it was a huge deal, and that lots of kids do this once or twice, but that obviously I needed to give some sort of consequence.

He had a friend that his mom took back to the store he stole from and they presented the store with said items as a discipline/embarrassment whatever. The store arrested him on the spot!!! OMG--I'm not going to do that now!!

I thought about how rough the last year has been for her...watching me get my own personal life, losing her dad, not having any money to buy little extras, like she was used to. I dunno if anything has to do w/ stealing, but certainly isnt any darn excuse for it!! I just talked to her again about it and she swore she'd never do it again. I told her if she did, and got caught, I wouldn't come and pick her up...I'd let her sit there. (I know, I know...i said I kinda freaked out...but it got better after that!!lol)

She said she wasn't acting out, and didn't have 'issue' and kinda laughed. She just said she wanted new earrings for school (first day is monday) and she knew I didn't have the money to buy them, and she was being selfish. We talked about hardships, immediate gratification, life being unfair, and having integrity--no matter what the situation life deals you.

AS a consequence, she is not getting a new outfit for the first day of school, like she desperately wanted--since she obviously felt untitled to something new, I thought this was a logical type of consequence. I told her to get a darn job if she wanted extra things, and not be a selfish baby, and told her I'm not that poor and not to be worried. Altho, I think the "poor" thing was more to take so much blame off her, and put some guilt on me.

Hopefully, it won't happen again. She has really goody goody type friends, and the ones she was at the mall with were the best of the best. No drugs, no smoking, all virgins and proud of it, involved in drama and very outgoing and sweet. I guess even the goody goodies can do something bad sometimes. I just never stole anything. I was always too scared when I was young, and when I was old enuf, I just wouldn't do it. The nerve just floors me with her.

ANyhow...I hope this passes and we never have to deal with it again. I know to keep my eye on her decision making, b/c if you would've asked me if she'd ever steal I would ve said NO WAY!! WRONG!!!



Oh, and shmal....I'm still quite happy with Micheal...AKA "young guy." lol...Going to see him in a bit, actually...snuggle and sleep. This is my weekend with no kids so I went out last night w the girls and got pretty bombed. lol.. I haven't been out with them since we got back together and they bought me WAY too many drinks in celebration of me coming out. Nice to see them, but I'm hurtin a bit today! been recovering and huddled up watching movies all day. Have a great rest of the weekend everybody! And thanks for not judging my daughter too harshly also. She really is a fabulous person--just got off track I guess. Thanks..

 
Old 08-26-2006, 08:54 PM   #8
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Re: my daughter stole something

I have always been a high moral person, but when I was 15 I was stealing all of the time. It was, just as your daughter said, something my friends got me into. I'd take a closer look at who she is hanging out with. I'm 19 now and wouldn't take anything as small as a piece of candy...so don't worry too much.

 
Old 08-27-2006, 05:03 AM   #9
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Re: my daughter stole something

I am actually reading a book right now about discipline and the chapter I am in talks about teens and stealing. (I am a teacher).

I would also be afraid about taking the item back to the store b/c they may arrest her. Although that would teach her the lesson in no time, it would mean court costs and a legal mess for you (and her).

The book recommends paying double the price of the item - perhaps giving that money to a charity. In other words, making her earn money in our out of the house. She should also be grounded - no friends, no TV, no computer, etc. THe length is up to you, but I believe the book says one month. Also, don't pound her with one long lecture - send the message and leave it at that.


THe bigger picture here are her friends. It only takes one bad friend to lead a group down the wrong path. Although her friends may be great, they are influencing her poorly and you are going to need to keep an eye on it.

And I am sorry, but stealing is a BIG deal. She isn't 5 or 6 years old. She is old enough to know better. She could be prosecuted if caught - where as a small child may not be - so it is a big deal.

I think the punishment you are giving her is a start, but not enough. She needs more - JMO.

Best of luck, you are doing the right thing.

 
Old 08-27-2006, 07:28 AM   #10
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Re: my daughter stole something

Quote:
Originally Posted by KeltoKel
The book recommends paying double the price of the item - perhaps giving that money to a charity. In other words, making her earn money in our out of the house. She should also be grounded - no friends, no TV, no computer, etc. THe length is up to you, but I believe the book says one month.
Grounded for an entire month with no friends, computer or TV?? I think that's a bit harsh, especially that she's never stolen anything before. I think you handled the situation very well, Laurie. I hope your daughter has learned her lesson and will stay on the "right track" from now on

 
Old 08-27-2006, 11:41 AM   #11
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Re: my daughter stole something

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nina000
Hi Lauri, it must be really disappointing for you to know what your daughter did!!!! I think it might help you if you know what kinds of friends she has around, and to stop her from seeing girls who think stealing is ok. Funnily enough, my friend and I were having a similar converstaion days ago about what makes teenagers take the wrong way of life...We agreed that it was not only the parents' mistakes but precisely the wrong company. The long-term help that you can offer her is to have a say in whom she can NOT be friends with.
I agree. Check out the company she keeps.

 
Old 08-27-2006, 05:31 PM   #12
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Re: my daughter stole something

Quote:
Originally Posted by SophiaM
Grounded for an entire month with no friends, computer or TV?? I think that's a bit harsh, especially that she's never stolen anything before. I think you handled the situation very well, Laurie. I hope your daughter has learned her lesson and will stay on the "right track" from now on
Ummm...I am sorry, but taking away TV and the computer is harsh? Let's see - she can still listen to music, write in a journal, go outside and walk or ride a bike, explore a new hobby, go the the library, volunteer at a local animal shelter, etc. You know, things that are GOOD for teens to build character.

The punishment needs to fit the crime. A teen coming home an hour past curfew or lying are much smaller than stealing and might mean 1-2 weeks of punishment. Stealing is something that must be dealt with on a more serious level. Laurie is lucky that her daughter didn't get caught stealing.

My friend's daughter got caught stealing from Kohl's - also, her first time. She stole clothing with friends. You know what happened? She was arrested, had to get a lawyer (you know the costs involved in that?) went to court, paid over $500 in court fees, had to attend county classes, and did 36 hours of community service. Now, does taking away the TV sound all that harsh? This girl is very lucky she did not get caught.

Last edited by KeltoKel; 08-27-2006 at 05:36 PM.

 
Old 08-28-2006, 12:30 PM   #13
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Re: my daughter stole something

I also used to steal from my grandps's wallet, my mum's & dad's, my brother ... and now I still turned out OK, got a good pay job and supporting myself, and love spending on my family (never steal again of course). This is just to tell you that people do change, you just have to always be opened to communicate and explain right and wrong. Ask your daughter, how would you feel when your stuff were stolen? It makes you angry, right ... ?! ... that's a good trick, or a good way to make them think and see.

Good luck.

 
Old 08-28-2006, 01:28 PM   #14
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Re: my daughter stole something

I don't want to be a judge by no means, but is that what you call goody-goodies best of the best?? Don't know what she would do if she was with the worse ones!!!!! You may want to re-evaluate the attention that you are giving her, in terms of time and quality? Just a suggestion.

Last edited by WhiteLily; 08-28-2006 at 01:29 PM.

 
Old 08-28-2006, 02:26 PM   #15
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Re: my daughter stole something

What I mean is, I know HS kids. I teach them for a living. I know the groups, the crowds, the clicks. I am a pretty cool mom, and lots of my daughter's friends share stuff with me. I know their morals and values AND their families. The come in my house w/ out knocking, b/c they know they can, and call me mom..(joking of course!)

By goody goody type kids I mean, none of them smoke, drink, do drugs--most have strong church families, etc..Most have good jobs and a great relationship with thier parents. They volunteer for our community, act in local theatre groups and have a weekly girls movie night where they make food and parents are always there--the homes rotate.

To me, this is pretty freakin goody goody compared to my HS years!!! It just shows kids will do stuff that's out of character--in any "group." And as far as speding time with my daughter--quality and quantity are both not a problem with us. We spend plenty of time together, and have a great relationship, so it was nothing I did wrong as a parent. I have certainly always taught right from wrong, adn of course she knew stealing was wrong. It's not like kids that are good never do anything wrong--Sometimes kids have hardships you cant predict or protect them from tho. (Her dad left her this past year--and I have had to make up for a lot, and we are very close)Just one of those things, I guess. I think she really just thought it wasn't that big of a deal, and now she knows MUCH better what a big deal it could have been.

 
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