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help my dd is stealing AGAIN

(8 Posts)
mcstress1 Fri 18-Jul-08 10:46:55

my dd is 12, and for the past year we have caught her stealing from school. she is a bright and intelligent girl, and attends grammar school. we have had a rough 2 years with four deaths in the family, lost two houses in six months which resulted to five of us living in one room in a hostel. we are settled in a house now, which is council, for ten months. it started this time last year, when she pinched a present that was meant for a teacher from another child. we was living in the hostel at the time and put it down to unsettled life. since then, we have found 4-5 items and havent dealt with the problems very well. most recent was yesterday, i found a ring on the sofa. when we confronted her, her first reaction was she didnt know where it came from. she then said it was from lost property and they were allowed to take items home as no-one had collected it. my dh, who is sd to her, got a friend to phone the school and ask if this was true. she has found out that it is true, but dd must of lied, saying it was hers. what should i do about the stealing as a whole. please help

Hecate Fri 18-Jul-08 10:56:31

I think she needs some help. She sounds like she's really struggling and crying out for help. Go to gp and ask for referral.

TotalChaos Fri 18-Jul-08 11:01:18

Agree with Hecate. I would hazard a guess that because she's had some unsettled times the last few years, and she's been in unfamiliar surroundings and presumably there's not been much if any spare money, she's hoarding/clinging on to things for herself to feel more secure.

wilbur Fri 18-Jul-08 11:02:26

Yes, I would talk to the school and get some gentle counselling for her. They should have systems to deal with this kind of thing, lots of kids do it. I went through a stealing phase at exactly that age - def a cry for help due to v complicated family stuff at the time, and I was found out, blasted with shouting and then it was all swept under the carpet and never mentioned again. Mum conveniently blamed it all on the steroids I was taking at the time for a blood disorder. No one ever included me in discussions about it and I was never asked why I stole. It made me v ashamed and unwilling to talk to parent about ANYTHING for years.

HumphreyCushioni Fri 18-Jul-08 11:03:28

Yes, I agree with Hecate and TC.
Access some counselling for her via the GP.
It must be very worrying for you, mcstress; it sounds like your DD is finding things really difficult at the moment.

lizinthesticks Fri 18-Jul-08 11:06:06

Wow - so difficult. I guess you've already tried to get her to understand what it must feel like for the shoe to be on the other foot - i.e. for her to imagine what it must feel like for the person she has stolen from. How sad that person must be feeling if her ring has disappeared. Maybe the ring was a special present from someone she loved and the fact that it's now gone has broken her heart, etc. Just over egg the pudding with these kind of possibilities so that she eventually feels moved to sympathise with the person she's stolen from.

I think this kind of approach might work better than threats of punishment because if it's a plea for attention - any attention - the possibility of punishment might actually be the goal she's aiming for.

However, the difficulty comes when there's no obvious victim - e.g. if she stole a book from school. Trying to get her to empathise with a school would be sort of hard and probably not possible.

HonoriaGlossop Fri 18-Jul-08 11:28:31

but with the latest thing; MUST she have lied? Saying that they could take uncollected things might be true - I mean she WAS telling the truth that it came from lost property. and at present you're just assuming she must have to the school and get the facts, i'd say, before you make ANY assumptions. This might not be a problem at all basically.

I think you can only deal with the current issue, the others are in the past.

If she HAS lied then yes she would benefit from some help I guess. I wouldn't say that necessarily this would have to be counselling, i mean it might be, but it may be deal-able with just by extra time and attention from you, or you and her teacher perhaps...maybe some extra responsibility in school, that sort of thing....she WILL need time to settle and adjust, you've had a very unsettled time clearly.

And I think you need to lower your expectations; many, if not all, children lie! It's not a sign that she's going to always do it or that she's going to be a problem person! It's natural; children lie because they are relatively powerless and it's one of the strategies used by the powerless to try and gain some power over a situation; it's also a way of putting your head in the sand and hoping a problem will go immature response, because children ARE immature! So don't focus too heavily on it.

julesrose Fri 18-Jul-08 16:18:47

She's had a tough time, as have you all. See it as a symptom of her emotional difficulties and try and get some help. Is there a school counsellor or could you get some family therapy via GP?

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