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how do I stop my kids stealing??

(17 Posts)
liahgen Mon 04-Aug-08 09:15:01

Right, dd1 (13) has just been excluded from school from school for taking a purse out of a visitors handbag! When deed was found out she owned up straight away, and had already thrown away said purse. She said she didn't take anything out of it, woman says she took 20 quid, which i had to bloody pay back.

School left it to woman to see if she wanted to press charges, 3 days laters, she didn't. Lucky for dd imo.

History is this is not the 1st time, or 2nd or even 3rd. She has stolen from her friend at their house, (20 quid birthday money), money out of my friends purse at my house, she took my debit card once, took out 130 quid and bought herself a new phone. (cos we wouldn't have noticed a new phone).
Each time, she is in tears, sorry, and says won't do it again. We got police round last time, and they talked to her about repucussions now she is a teen etc.We thought she had taken it in then.

Most recent incident, shook her up i think as we had no control over it, ie it was up to a stranger if she went to police or not, iyswim.

I grounded her for 2 weeks, which has just come to end, she behaved impeccably during this time, was pleasant, helpful and a totally different child to the one that she is in rl when she sees her friends regularly.

I am married to her stepfather, she is the oldest of 5, and she doesn't go without. She sees her real dad intermittantly, she thinks he is a waste of space who can't be bothered with them, (her and 10 yr brother) She is right. Last week she saw him for 1st time in 8 wks, before that it was 4 mths. (he gives me 50 wk for the 2 of them)

Yesterday we found ds1 (10) in posession of his cousins psp game, made him take it back and face very stern uncle, but wtf, why do they do it.?

Just found jar of noney in ds1 bedroom, they take food all the time, other people's stuff etc. I slapped ds1 on the arm as i was shouting at him but this is not really the answer is it?

Was just the icing onthe cake, a jar of honey fgs!!


sarah293 Mon 04-Aug-08 09:18:00

Message withdrawn

liahgen Mon 04-Aug-08 09:20:18

bothe kids say "I don't know why i did it, "

Aggghhhhh. Am at wits end tbh.

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Mon 04-Aug-08 09:22:53

have they had any counselling? i think if it is both your dd and your ds from a previous relationship could be it be because they feel rejected by their father?

filthymindedvixen Mon 04-Aug-08 09:22:56

I used to steal from my mother's purse when I was that age. I didn't need the money. I don't know why I did it. I used to shoplift too. (stupid, small things I had no need for) All I can think is at the time my parents were divorcing, I was uprooted somewhere different and was having hellish problems with my evil step-mother and her evil daughter. I think it must have been a cry for help. No-one knew I did it, I was never caught. My mum said nothing about the missing money.
I am pathalogically honest now - almost to a fault, if it's any consolation.

It is a terrible worry, isn't it? Are there opportunities for her to 'earn' some extra money round the house?
I suppose the 'drip drip srip' effect of ''you will get a criminal record, you will not be able to get a job with a criminal record for stealing'' etc etc is worth reitertating, in a calm, reasonable discussive sort of way rather than a rant/nagging way.
And give them opportunities to talk about wether there are things which are making them unhappy?

I hope someone with more concrete ideas comes along...

LoveMyGirls Mon 04-Aug-08 09:26:12

I would empty their rooms of absolutly everything apart from bare basics so they know what its like to be without their things, then they would have to earn each item back, it would then be easier to know what they have in their possesion and where it came from.

liahgen Mon 04-Aug-08 09:27:40

I think they do feel rejected by their father yes. He was a drug taking womaniser, (he's not now) He was, however and still is a criminal, and a car thief. Yes they saw that stuff and know it still goes on. I asked him to have them for a week last year (2007) but he said he couldn't afford to take them onholiday, since then, he and his child disliking partner have taken 8 holidays abroad.

Me and dh been together 7 yrs.

I encourage them to earn money by doing garden and such like. Also every now and then, (when had a good month) my dh'll traet us all and give us a £50 budget to just splurge on whatever we like, kids aswell

liahgen Mon 04-Aug-08 09:28:56

Lovemy girls, neither of them have tv's video games or suchlike in their rooms, ds has toys, dd has just clothes, make up etc, do you think it would still be worth it?

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Mon 04-Aug-08 09:29:20

i would be inclined to say that thier behavior could be their way of trying to gain attention from their father. id definately see about counselling for them. hope you get it sorted out anyway.

liahgen Mon 04-Aug-08 09:30:12

Maybe i will have a look into counsilling.

NotQuiteCockney Mon 04-Aug-08 09:35:01

Counselling sounds sensible. This sort of behaviour isn't that odd at this age, tbh.

Do their siblings get more stuff from their dad, or from their dad's family? Just on the off chance it's something like this ...

wannaBe Mon 04-Aug-08 09:41:44

sorry but, how on earth did she manage to take money out of your bank account? How on earth did a 13 year old gain access to your pin number?

Only I know my pin and it is not written down anywhere.

I would come down hard tbh.

Agree with LMG - remove everything from their rooms, mobile phones, games consoles, make-up etc etc.

Or take them down to the police station and get the police to have a stern talk.

wahwah Mon 04-Aug-08 12:17:38

That's a flipping tough situation to be in and I'd like to add my bit. I think you do need to be boundaried, but not deprive them of too much or they'll just get resentful and not listen to what you have to say.

If they actually don't need what they take (not that that's an excuse) then where I used to work, we called it 'stealing love' - they didn't always know what they were missing or why they did what they did, but there was usually some sort of gap and this wasn't necessarily anyone's fault, so it's not about apportioning blame.

If spending time together or a family meeting isn't working, then counselling sounds like a good start, would family therapy be more useful?

liahgen Mon 04-Aug-08 13:33:50


I don't have my pin written down anywhere, she says she just saw it when i was shopping. I'm careful from joe public but didn't really think about the kids looking over my shoulder, sad

We've had the police round, the school incident was after that.

Tbh, I think the school thing, did scare her, befor ethat, it was down to me what happened, but this time it was totally up to a stranger.

Wahwah, what is the difference between family therapy and councilling then?

wahwah Mon 04-Aug-08 14:32:53

I think counselling is usually 1:1 and useful where one person wants help. Family therapy doesn't have to involve the whole family, but usually has parents and children together for the first appt-the idea is that often one person's behaviour has some sort of meaning for the whole family and everyone can help them (and everyone else) to change by doing things differently. It can stop individuals feeling blamed if the whole family says there's a problem and they all want to help fix it and be supportive.

If anyone else has more knowledge, please add as I can only speak generally.

MadameOvary Mon 04-Aug-08 14:39:35

I used to steal as a teenager, it began as a result of my older bro doing it. My mum was ill (she died when I was 17) and my Dad didnt pay much attention to us. I Stole from family and friends mums sad I'm lucky both friend and mum understood and forgave me.

What saved me in the end was counselling. It helped me understand the consequences of my actions and how people were hurt by deceit and lies. Much more than having the police called, which was scary but didnt help me to stop.

After that I completely went the other way and ow if someone so much as gives me too much change in a shop I'll give it back!

liahgen Mon 04-Aug-08 15:21:51

thats useful and probably helpful madame.

I think I may go look at councelling, everyone who has had experience of it, has found it helpful.

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