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6 year old dd stealing money :(

(45 Posts)
MrsBungle Fri 03-Jul-15 10:45:11

My dd turned 6 a couple of weeks ago. Her behaviour has generally been quite good and she mainly tries to avoid getting in to trouble.

Just lately, her behaviour has been terrible.

She was moved tables at school due to incessant talking. Her teacher had already told me that her talking was distracting others and I told her off and also said if, at the end of term, her teacher told me she had improved I'd give her a treat. Well, it didn't improve, it got worse and she now sits at a different table. Due to that and some general cheekiness and low-level fibbing she has been punished this week by means of no TV, no activities and no stories at night. Due to end today.

Last night I discovered money in her school bag. After at first lying about it she said she had taken it for tuck shop. We had a big chat. I told her how upset I was and how disappointed I am she took money (£1) without asking and she knows she's only allowed tuck on a Friday (50p). I explained how serious stealing is. She became very upset. I thought we had reached an understanding.

Today I found another £1 in her bag. There's a cake sale at school today and for some reason that was worth the risk AGAIN to steal this money. It crossed my mind the £1 was there from a previous time before we spoke last night but she tried to keep her bag from me this morning and so I became suspicious. shes been picking up money left on the sides etc.

I told her teacher and teacher is keeping her in the classroom at cake sale time to make sure she definitely doesn't get any.

I'm at a loss as to what to do next! I've no punishments left! I've removed everything that's precious to her. She was due to get it all back today! Has anyone any advice as to what to do next? I can totally accept some naughty behaviour but stealing seems really extreme? I feel a bit of a failure on the parenting front at the moment to be honest sad

Jasonandyawegunorts Fri 03-Jul-15 10:49:51

Do you give her pocket money?
Maybe it's time to set her a few jobs to do and give her a pound a week.

I told her teacher and teacher is keeping her in the classroom at cake sale time to make sure she definitely doesn't get any.

If you have already punished her this is not fair in my opinion.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Fri 03-Jul-15 10:52:31

I'd want to know why she felt she had to steal the money for the cake sale? Was she worried that you wouldn't give her any?

Does she know that if there is something g like this, she can discuss it with you and she'll get a reasonable amount to spend?

Gobbolinothewitchscat Fri 03-Jul-15 10:53:44

I also agree with jason that it seems like she's being punished twice and humiliated in front of her peers. It's disappointing that the teacher has agreed/suggested this

MrsBungle Fri 03-Jul-15 10:54:16

She doesn't get pocket money jason but this seems a good idea thanks.

The punishment she's had this week was for the lying and talking in school not for the stealing money. I didn't know she'd stolen any money until last night. After we talked I was going to end the punishment today anyway. It was when I found she had stolen money again today that I told her teacher. Mainly because I wanted to be sure she didn't get any of the cake after stealing money for it!

Thanks for your reply. That's really helpful about earning her own money.

AndNowItsSeven Fri 03-Jul-15 10:54:17

I think your punishments at home are way over the top for a six year old . No tv and no activities are bad enough but no bedtime story is just mean.
School are dealing with her behaviour why are you punishing her again.
As for the money your dd just wants to be the same as her friends. If everyone else is buying a cake she probably feels very sad at being left out.
I would give her a big hug explain stealing is wrong and why, but stop the excessive punishments.

AndNowItsSeven Fri 03-Jul-15 10:54:42

X post a bit sorry.

MrsBungle Fri 03-Jul-15 10:58:43

gobbolino they have regular cake sales etc and dd has not once not been given money for it. This is the first time ever. She also gets tuck money every Friday. i am stuck though as to why this was so important it was worth stealing for sad

We talked loads last night about how I just want to truth from her more than anything. im just so frustrated she stole again this morning. I emptied her bag last night after our talk.

MrsBungle Fri 03-Jul-15 11:01:27

seven yes I do think she wants to not be left out. I can see why you'd say the punishment is harsh I suppose. She missed out on beavers and gymnastics and I didn't read her a story for 4 nights in a row. I suppose it does seem harsh but she has been really badly behaved
and I was trying to make her see it was totally unacceptable - clearly that's failed!

I appreciate the responses.

ImperialBlether Fri 03-Jul-15 11:01:55

I would never refuse a bedtime story; I think that's the one thing I would always do.

Do you think she picked up the money thinking, "I bet she won't let me have any money for the cakes" because she'd been in so much trouble?

MrsBungle Fri 03-Jul-15 11:06:04

imperial I can totally see why you'd not refuse stories. Dd loves her stories. This is the first time ever since she was a baby she's not been read to. I just became so
frustrated with her and no amount of talking to seemed to make a difference that I just felt I wanted to make her pay attention. It's not worked anyway!

Yes I do think she thought I wouldn't give her the money due to me finding out last night she'd been stealing. And to be fair, she was right!

ImperialBlether Fri 03-Jul-15 11:08:27

I think punishments have to be immediate - I'm not sure they can really remember why they're being punished when it's the fourth night that they haven't had a story.

Why not say 'Let's start from scratch' and put it all behind you. Let her earn some pocket money and have a piggy bank, perhaps. Read to her tonight and let her remember how lovely that is.

elderfloweriver Fri 03-Jul-15 11:08:35

I think she needs her own money.

It's tough always being the kid who can't buy stuff, even at 6.

MrsBungle Fri 03-Jul-15 11:08:53

i would give her a big hug explain stealing is wrong and why, but stop the excessive punishments.

seven to be fair this is exactly what I did last night. We had a big non-shouty talk and I cuddled her, told her I love her and that stealing is very wrong. The she stole again this morning!

Gobbolinothewitchscat Fri 03-Jul-15 11:11:42

I think imperial might have knocked it in the head with that suggestion

I'm wondering if she felt that too - it's almost as though the person she can trust to be kind to her etc has suddenly withdrawn all usual affection from her and it's kind of turned her usual norms on their head.

My DC are only 1 and 2 but I was horrified recently when I collected DS from. Insert and was told he had pushed someone over and grabbed a car from them. However, his key worker was very quick to say that it had been dealt with at nursery (no cars for DS for 30 minutes - torture!) and there was no need for me to do anything bar back up the key worker when he told me in front of DS. I know there's a difference in age but I think what goes on at school/nursery stays there in respect of common or garden behavioural issues - and I'm sure chattering and lying is quite common at 6

MrsBungle Fri 03-Jul-15 11:12:10

imperial I think you're right. The punishment probably went on too long. I think pocket money is a great idea.

elder I can totally understand that. That was me as a kid as it was just me, mum and my db. We had no money for mum to give me. I think I overcompensate with dd. she has everything and has never ever before not been given money for a cake sale.

Gruach Fri 03-Jul-15 11:12:50

Have they just been learning about money at school? IME that can be a trigger for a perfectly nice child to suddenly become obsessed with the acquisition and hoarding of any cash they can get hold off.

I guess, for a few weeks at least, their information (money is a desirable thing to have) exceeds their moral / legal understanding. (I long for the innocence of believing that the cashpoint is a generous source of random, unowned money ...)

Solemn discussion and a show of (shocked) disappointment if the behaviour is repeated seems to work. It doesn't appear to be the precursor to a life of crime!

MrsBungle Fri 03-Jul-15 11:14:30

I'm wondering if she felt that too - it's almost as though the person she can trust to be kind to her etc has suddenly withdrawn all usual affection from her and it's kind of turned her usual norms on their head.

That's really struck a chord imperial. She's not used to being punished at all! I think that's exactly right. Thank you flowers

And thanks to everyone for replying. I feel better and slightly more in control!

MrsBungle Fri 03-Jul-15 11:18:52

gruach YES! They have been learning about money! On reflection she's been talking quite a bit about money lately. She definitely believes that all one has to do is go to the cash machine and it will give you endless amounts!

Velociraptor Fri 03-Jul-15 11:20:09

It sounds like you have accidentally got yourself into a bit of a vicious circle. I suspect she is just going through a difficult phase as they all do. I would maybe scale down the punishments a bit, so that one misdemeanor at school gets her one punishment at home, leaving her with a lot more to lose, and incentive to behave. Also maybe focus more on rewarding the positives if she has a good day at school.

I would agree with the others saying make the punishments immediate. My DS has been in trouble at school a couple of times this year, and he has had immediate punishments that evening, a talk about it, and then I've told him, that it can be forgotten as long as he doesn't do it again. It has sort of worked, in that so far he has not got into trouble for the same thing twice!

MrsBungle Fri 03-Jul-15 11:21:11

I might get dh to do the solemn discussion tonight rather than me! I'll read the stories! Dh has been late in all this week so hasn't really been involved in all this really as he's not had the chance to talk to her much about it.

MrsBungle Fri 03-Jul-15 11:25:39

velo thanks. I agree. She has lots and lots of positives to be rewarded for.

houseHuntinginmanchester Fri 03-Jul-15 11:27:45

Op this might be a bit out there, but on both occasions she's stole money to buy food items, hasn't she?

Is it worth considering checking to make sure she's had enough to eat and isn't still hungry after mealtimes/has a snack perhaps?

Do you keep any snack/cake type things at home that she could have now and then just to reduce the novelty of such foods?

Gruach Fri 03-Jul-15 11:31:51

Thought so!

It's honestly a perfectly natural reaction. But they do seem to grow out of this Silas Marner phase quite swiftly.

MrsBungle Fri 03-Jul-15 11:34:33

Yes house I noticed that too. It is about the food. She did say she was hungry at morning break which is why she wants tuck. She has a massive bowl of porridge in the mornings for breakfast and her class are given free fruit or veg. She did say though that sometimes the fruit or veg she likes is gone by the time it's her turn so we agreed last night that I would make sure she had something in her bag. She is definitely obsessed with 'treats' though like cake. Because I never had cake or puddings or whatnot as a child I became quite obsessed with them so I ensure dd can have them as part of a balanced diet. She's still obsessed though! But I suppose lots of 6year olds are.

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