light fingered relatives.(114 Posts)
my nieces has moderate special needs, she is a sweet girl, and all the family cousins get on well with each other. When she was small she was a bit light fingered with my daughters belongings. Or she would go in her bedroom and break or tear personal things like necklaces.
My BIL was apologetic but found it difficult to stop this impulsive behaviour. So we learnt over the years to sweep the house of anything she might be tempted by or destroy and hide it before she came.
For a long time she seemed to have grown out of this, and is now past her teens, although still not capable of independent life without support.
We had her over for a sleep over with all her cousins and they had a fantastic time. My daughter left her make up on her bed, the stuff she uses every day and is has now gone. This make up was worth over £100 and some of it was saved from christmas and birthday money and some my mum brought her together on a day out.
We cant tell her father, it wont end very well. there wont be any confession of guilt from her because although she grasps that she had belongings, other peoples are a bit 'fluid'.
If we tell BIL it will end up him getting cross with us for the whole situation,and its not worth it.
my daughter is very upset, and I feel so angry and frustrated with the whole thing. I cant let her come in to our home again as we cant trust her.
Just go round there and ask for it.
He needs to know.
I'd want to know if DS was stealing.
Just go and ask for it, you can't ignore it
If he used to be apologetic why won't he be now?
Do something about it or accept you'll lose stuff.
I can't work out from your description of your niece's special needs whether this is stealing or not. It's not clear what "fluid" really means.
You don't need to call BIL and calm his daughter a thief.
Is it your husband's brother? Get the actually blood relative to call and say "niece borrowed daughter's make up - it's all her favourite stuff so she wants it back now, can you get niece to bundle it up for tomorrow please?"
You need to say something-she can't just walk off with £100 of your daughter's stuff.
Is it a set or lots of individual items?
SN or not she is a thief and has stolen from your DD. You should not let this go, she'll be doing this all the time then. Tell her parents immediately so they can address it while it has just happened.
You say you can't tell the father - why? Won't it be more difficult to try to find excuses not to have your niece in the house?
You need to mention it to your BIL. Does she understand enough for him to explain that she won't be able to go to sleepovers/go to peoples bedrooms etc if she takes things?
It's very difficult.
I live with this with a close relative, and the lifter has no insight to recognise what she has done, and actually no apparent shame when caught in the act, which I think is part and parcel of having no insight.
The lifting relative's partner has gone long passed embarrassment. He simply checks her bags discreetly when she is in the loo and removes all of our stuff. If he doesn't catch it then (pockets, etc) he will return it to us on next visit.
We too hide things that we know are more attractive from past experience, but you cannot hide everything in your house...you are better off approaching it in the most matter of fact, non-judgemental manner possible, and accept this as a lesson relearned
I'd text/email the parents of all the children at the sleepover and explain that it has gone missing and that you suspect someone has probably taken it home accidentally in the chaos of packing bags.
Ask all the parents if they can have a check through their children's possessions for it, and let you know whether they found it.
That doesn't target his daughter and gives them a way of saving face. Also it may not have been that cousin.
They don't sound like children anymore, Death. More teens/young adults.
Difficult situation, I'd also just ask for it back. Would she give it back? Or I'd ask for reimbursement if no giving back - along with visits at their house in future to prevent this happening...
It's not worth it to who?
Your daughter is upset. £100 of her belongings have been stolen.
Is it not worth it to her?
If it's not worth it to you to demand your daughter's belongings back are you going to replace them yourself?
Of course it's worth it.
You simply do not want confrontation. Fair enough. Many people are afraid of confrontation and would rather just let others do what they want. I get it. Confronting people on their bad behaviour can be scary. But your daughter must not be the one to be out £100 because you don't want to stand up to your brother. It's not fair on her.
Just tell him in a matter of fact way. Say you find it difficult to tell him, but it's not fair on your daughter.
If they are under about 16, or if parents were involved in organising the sleepover, I would still email their parents and ask them to check (either ask the kids/teens or however they felt appropriate).
If they are over about 16, or the OP's DD organised the sleepover entirely herself then I'd suggest to the DD that texts everyone who was there asking if any of them have accidentally taken the make up home. And if that didn't get it returned then I'd email the parents and ask them just to check/keep an eye open for it.
Will he be cross because he is used to a situation where all valuables are hidden before she visits?
I can see how that became a strategy in the past but it's not sustainable now. You all need to continue to work together to manage it. You by putting stuff away if you want to, him by returning anything that she takes.
If the make up is ruined then I would replace it for my DD. I wouldn't expect the girl's family to pay.
Why can't you tell her father or your BIL?
Of course you can. Just ask for it back, don't make a big deal out of it, if you get upset then it could escalate it unnecessarily.
Perhaps if everyone in this girls life stopped fannying around with phrases like 'fluid about belongings' and 'being a bit light fingered' and calling it 'impulsive behaviour' and instead told her its stealing and it's wrong, that might help?
That's a lot of make up-my daughter would be devastated and would think I was being really pathetic by just letting this go. I doubt she'd want the cousin ever round again either.
I presume this girl knows not to steal things from every shop she ever goes in??
Can I just ask... do you know for sure that it was your niece who took it?
I know that seems like the most likely thing that happened, but sometimes people do take things home by mistake, and sometimes teenagers (who you would never suspect) do go through a phase of stealing. Also some children steal when they are very little and then never do again.
If you have no evidence that it was that particular niece, then I would tread carefully before making an accusation. That's why I suggested emailing all the parents.
Out of interest, because I know someone very like this, who steals and breaks things of personal use to people. What type of moderate special needs are they called? Is there a name for her condition - Asperger's, Autism or something? Is the compulsion part of a wider pattern of behaviour? Hope you don't mind me asking.
my daughter is very upset
She appears to be the person you're least worried about: can't upset her father, can't upset your brother in law, can't upset your niece. If she's now "past her teens" she's twenty? Your poor daughter: adults nicking her stuff and a mother who won't do anything about it.
If we tell BIL it will end up him getting cross with us for the whole situation,
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