Talk

Advanced search

DD 14 stealing from family again- sorry, long

(22 Posts)
IloveJudgeJudy Mon 13-Jun-11 23:31:15

I have mentioned now and again on some other people's threads that my DD has taken money from me quite frequently in the past. Within the last month she took £100 from me. the only reason I knew it was that I had taken exactly that amount from the bank and she stole the whole lot. I was embarrassed in a shop as when I went to pay with the money it had gone. I had started to lock my bag in my bedroom, but got a bit slack, I suppose, and hopeful. Anyway, big, big hooha at home, big upset, she said she wouldn't do it again, but i kept everything locked away anyway.

Well, this weekend she has stolen over £60 from my retired mother. My DM, DD and I went out yesterday afternoon and somehow my DD managed to take the money from my DM's purse. I confronted her, but she denied it (as usual). She came home from school today and I have found receipts for stuff that she has bought. Stupid stuff like jewellery from Primark, books from Waterstones and a couple of ear stretchers. She is still denying that she took the money. Again, big discussion at home. She accuses us of hating her. She hates us all. We don't care about her. We care more about DSs. She doesn't care about herself. Thinks she's worthless. (unfortunately, cynically, by now I'm thinking she's just saying this to get herself out of trouble.) She then says that she tooks 16 paracetomol last time to end everything. I do know that that's true as some paracetomol went missing, but she denied everything, as usual.

Upshot is, DH finally lost his temper with her and DS1, who were each goading the other. I have never in over 20 years seen him so angry. He went out for a walk. She has texted him saying she didn't take the fucking money. He's really worried about her and says I should take her to the doctor or a psychiatrist. I just don't know what to do. Does anyone have any advice for me, please.

I will be going to bed in a minute as it's been a very emotionally tiring evening, but I will be on again for a short time tomorrow morning and again tomorrow evening. I am grateful for anything anyone can say to me.

IloveJudgeJudy Mon 13-Jun-11 23:33:29

I also should have mentioned we have tried taking phone, Ipod, clothes, make-up, taking off the bedroom door from her and nothing seems to matter to her. She has also in the past not been the most hygienic of people, either. We just don't know what to do. She has said she won't tell anyone anything that's upsetting her - not school, not a friend, not her guider, not a teacher, not a doctor.

Thank you for listening.

Get a safe. ABout £25 from argos..an electronic code safe ..NOT a key cash box and keep ALL your money in it.. do not leave anything about.

I have been where you are..my DS1 stole from us from about age 14-16 and it was awful. Started small..a few pounds here ad there and ended up emptying my piggy bank.. several hundred poundssad He denied it repeatedly until I a) caught him b) threatened the police. he also stole from his siblings.

The good news is that he grew out of it. He is still rubbish with money (he;s 18 now) and spends his wages from his p/t job (left school this week)in a week..BUT he has his own money and no longer steals from us. He did it to be popular... it all went on junk food with his mates etc and seemed to think that if it was in the house it was not REALLY stealingsad

We stayed calm..got a safe and made it very clear that we had got it because we could not trust him... needless to say he hated that and threw it up at us in every argument (he was also very volatile and nasty).

Does she have an allowance or a job? If not maybe that's the first step..realistically teens do need money. Can she pay you back what she has taken? We made DS repay every penny...

I think the paracetamol issue is more than likely an excuse to get you off her back but if there is any doubt that she may really be feeling very bad about herself then a trip to the gP is a start. My DS used to claim that he felt worthless and what was the point when he wasn't as clever as his sisters yada yada but in his case he was truly just trying to get out of taking any responsibility for his own actions.. he was a complete asshole between 13-16.

BUT just because she is hard going now doesn't mean she won't grow out of it. We tried to make it very clear that we hated the behaviour but loved HIM and slowly he is becoming human againsmile

Hang in there....

IloveJudgeJudy Tue 14-Jun-11 00:05:52

Medusa. Thank you so much for replying to me. DD does have a job - a paper round that pays £16 per week. She is going to pay back every penny. I am going to try to return the stuff tomorrow. She is very upset about that and says she will pay my DM. I want to know with what as she has spent all her money to date. I have said I am returning it to start paying back my DM. She is annoyed about that.

Thank you so much for what you said about your DS. Sad for you, but a light in the tunnel for us. You have just confirmed what I thought. You're right. She is being a complete asshole.

I had forgotten. I think she has stolen from her siblings, too. I did threaten the police tonight, but am not sure what I really think about that. I was trying to be quite calm and not say anything too nasty.

Thank you for your kind words. They have really helped.

Schtum Tue 14-Jun-11 07:41:49

I don't have any experience of this but I do wonder if there's something underneath this behaviour. I think I would be tempted to find a good child psychologist and give that a go.

You could google UKCP and see who's available in your area if you decide to go down this route.

Hope things work out for you and your DD.

Maryz Tue 14-Jun-11 13:37:11

I think there are two issues here - taking money may just be because she wants money, but it may also be a symptom of the wider issue which is that her relationship with you (with the entire family it sounds like) is on the rocks.

The money thing is solvable by getting a safe. But I would wonder if the taking of the money is more for attention than for the money itself? When ds stole from us it was for drugs, he needed it, iyswim. So he was willing to take the risk of being caught. It seems odd that she would take money from her grandmother, spend it on clothes, leave the bags around and not expect to be caught hmm.

So did she want you to catch her? Does she want you to do more than just punish her. This added to the paracetomol threat makes it more attention seeking than just plain old stealing, if that makes sense.

I think you need to talk to her away from the situation, just one on one, and ask her why she is doing this. Try to get the bottom of her unhappiness, and see if you can work on that, and then maybe the stealing will just stop.

By the way, if she genuinely believes you don't care for her and that you care for her brothers more, she believes it, and it is true to her. It doesn't really matter whether it is truth or not, she believes it, and just arguing with her won't change her belief. I think the wider issues might be helped by family counselling (you, your dh and her), and your gp or the school might be able to help with that.

IloveJudgeJudy Tue 14-Jun-11 16:20:04

Thank you for your advice, Maryz. I have taken on board what you say. I will admit that I speak more to her older brother than her and that's because he has always spoken a lot to me. He tells me loads about his life. I have always asked DD about her day and friends, but if anyone in the family says anything that she doesn't like, she'll stop right in the middle of her story and not continue, even if I ask her to. I do find her a more difficult character than the DSs, I admit. We did ask her yesterday if she wanted some one on one time with us, her parents, but perhaps that wasn't the right time to do so. I am a bit fed up, if I'm honest, of having to walk on eggshells where she's concerned, but I'm only saying that on here, not in life.

Thank you also for your last paragraph. I've probably thought up to now that as it's not true, she can't believe it, but I think you're right, she does believe it, though I can't see why. In my head, she's seeing everything through a distorted lens, but she probably does believe, or she's just saying it to say the most hurtful things she can. She even said that she hates my DM who allows her certain priviliges that she does not allow anyone else. I think that's what I find hard, her thinking we don't care for her, when we really do. I also find it hard as I was never like this with my parents when I was young, nor were my brothers. They were with each other, but not with my parents.

Well, at least she went to school and came back again today. She is sitting in the dining-room with the rest of us, doing homework, so we'll see what occurs today.

Thank you all again for your kind, helpful words.

jshibbyr Tue 14-Jun-11 16:57:22

i think maryz has the idea i was going to say. if you speak to her brother more than her she may feel left out it does appear to be attention seeking behaviour, i don't think depression is on the cards, as she told you about trying to end it all, that's more attention than actually wanting to end it, listen to her, ask her about her problems, ask about her day, just little things like that will make a teenager feel better and feel loved, take time out for her to, i know this may sound like trying to undermine what you have already done, but take her out for a treat, even if it's just a coffee, the talks a daughter and mum have can be the most important in the world, i understand how your feeling having someone thats stealing from you cannot be an easy thing, hang on in there it will get better

Maryz Tue 14-Jun-11 19:42:50

The reason I understand is that my ds1 really believes we don't love him, that we love dd and ds2 much more, that we have no time for him and that we have no interest in what he is doing (except to interfere and stop him doing what he wants hmm). It's a load of rubbish, but he believes it, therefore to him it is true and he looks for every instance to prove it, while ignoring any happening which would disprove it, iyswim.

I also understand because my brother is like this - if we (my other brothers and I) talk with him about our childhood, his memories are completely different from ours. He remembers our parents as being strict and distant and never caring about us. The rest of us remember a wonderful childhood confused - in fact to hear us talk you would swear we had different parents, different holidays, different everything when we were young.

Listening to my brother has given me an insight into ds1 and how he views his life. I haven't found out how to overcome it though - so recognising the problem and actually dealing with it are two different things, sadly.

I think you need time with just her. Nothing important, maybe get your dh to take the boys out and watch a dvd, or take her for a coffee (not shopping, that just, ime, leads to rows), even a girlie weekend away if she would go. Or if she won't go, could you take her and a friend to a show, or for a day out, something to fill in the gaps in her memories of never coming "first" in your family. I'm taking dd to London this summer - just a couple of nights, a bit of sightseeing and a show, for example.

Obviously not when you are in the middle of an argument, but maybe pick yout time smile.

BusyBodd Tue 14-Jun-11 20:51:55

I agree with Maryz on making time for some special bonding. Could you suggest you do a manicure/hand massage for each other and get some nice lotion and nail polish. Apart from it being a nice treat, there's something intimate and loving about skin to skin contact, and it gives you chance to say some affirming things. If she'll agree to the manicure, as you're doing it you could say something like how amazed you were at her little fingers and toes when she was born, and how much you were filled with love for her, what a miracle she was to you, and look at how grown up she's getting now, fingers all elegant and long, etc. etc. My 13 yo dd soaks up this kind of positve attention, and as Maryz says, pick a time so it will reinforce a positive moment.

Other ideas are asking her to do your make-up or hair(you might not like what she does but don't say that ;-) but being that close provides more opportunities for close eye-to-eye contact and relaxed affirmation.

IloveJudgeJudy Wed 15-Jun-11 11:33:24

Thank you ladies for your kind suggestions. I will try to do something; I don't know what. When I suggested it to her when it all came out about her stealing she said she didn't want to do anything with me as I didn't care for her, nor she for me sad.

I'm only being honest here, however, when I say that I will find it very difficult to do something with her that involves spending money on her as she knows that money's quite tight at the moment. My DH's company was taken over by another one at Christmas and he's had to take a 25% hit on salary, fewer holidays and no pension. She also knows that, even though we are going on holiday this year, it will be a real struggle for us. Please don't flame me just for writing my thoughts down, though.

My DM came round for a cup of tea this morning and asked me how things were. She's been so understanding about DD taking her money. She's just sad for us (DH and me). I told her that DD is still being aggressive towards us and that she believes that she's being unfairly treated. DM said she remembered quite recently when she, DD and I were out in the local town, just talking and DD said, "That's right, just ignore me". DM says she remembers thinking that DD wasn't being ignored, it was just normal social intercourse with three people talking.

We wouldn't be able to afford to take DD out to a show in London, but I am taking her to a show at a local performing arts college in the next fortnight. That's been booked for ages. This is what I mean when I say that she thinks she's being unfairly treated, but she really isn't. She's had loads more money spent on extra-curricular activities than the boys have; she's my DB's goddaughter and my SIL has taken her out quite a few times on her own and treated her to things, as has DM. This is where I struggle with her thinking that she's been treated differently from the others.

Having said all that, I will try and do a manicure with her. she's very prickly, though and doesn't really like being hugged, touched, just like DM. I will keep you updated. I even gave her a lift to school today as she was late, where I made DS2 walk (he left before her).

Maryz Wed 15-Jun-11 12:42:47

It is unfair isn't it sad. I do so much for ds1 (more than for the others really), but he just never notices. I just keep banging on though, and hope one day he will grow up.

And I do understand that being treated like this by your child is really hurtful, and makes you very resentful. And then it goes round in circles: they feel ignored so are horrible, you are hurt so you try to rise above it and appear to ignore them (or shout at them) sad. And the cycle goes on.

I have had patches where all I wanted to do was walk out of the house and get away from ds, and never have to talk to him again. But of course that isn't an option, so I have become much more practical in my dealings with him. I make the effort, but I have decided not to be upset if he doesn't respond, I just continue treating him the same as the others and maybe some day he will notice smile.

flow4 Wed 15-Jun-11 23:24:25

OP, I've been here too. Medusa's first post could have been written by me. My son stole from me a LOT when he was 14-15, and though he doesn't do it much now, that might be because I've got better at (almost-always) remembering to hide my purse.

Also, he used to have this big thing about how mean I was, saying I never gave him any money, and all his friends' parents (of course) gave them much more. So I sat down with him one day (when all was calm) and asked him how much he thought I gave him, then went through what he actually got, pound by pound. (I actually shocked myself when I realised how much he was getting!) I then asked him if he would like it better if he got it in a lump sum, and he agreed he would, so that's what he gets, each month. This seems to have brought about a big shift in his thinking - he certainly likes the added autonomy - and he stopped stealing from me - or stealing so much, anyway. I honestly think he didn't realise how much he was getting, and felt he had a right to steal from me because felt I was depriving him of the cash he 'deserved'.

IloveJudgeJudy Thu 16-Jun-11 08:54:36

Thank you all for replying to my post and giving me good ideas of how to deal with DD. Her attitude just does not seem to have changed. She at first would not come down to dinner yesterday. We did make her and tried to discuss her day (one of the things she said that we wouldn't listen about), but it took me asking her 5 times for her even to say one thing about it. I then asked her why, if I didn't care about her, I had telephoned one of her teachers to ask about her mark for a homework that I had seen her spend ages on and she got, for her, a relatively low mark for? She replied that it was to see how crap she is! There had been another incident at school with an adult laying her hands on her at lunchtime. Why had I written to the school then, if I don't care about her? She couldn't answer that.

She was late getting up for her paper round this morning and asked me for a lift. I did do it, but asked her to remember this incident, especially as she says I don't care.

Perhaps I'm showing her too much that she has got to me, but she really did upset me when she said that I don't care for her and that I do more for the other DC than her. She still seems really "down", but I don't know how much of that is playacting as she can be very stubborn which can be a good thing, but in this situation just makes everything very difficult.

We then discovered yesterday that someone had stolen some cash from DS1's room. Obviously she is the only candidate, but she won't admit it and DH and I were both shocked that she took money from him as we though that she wouldn't dare.

We did try to talk to her yesterday and to draw a line under the whole thing, but she is so quick to take offence at any word that comes out of any of our mouths. I find this so hard to deal with as I'm truly not quick to take offence.

Anyway, sorry for the essay and thanks again for all your words of wisdom. I know that Maryz always says that you can't change the other person, you just have to change your own reaction to them. That is what I find very hard.

daireen Thu 16-Jun-11 14:37:11

I can't give you any extra ideas about what to try, but just to let you know that it does get better.

My DS2 stole from me regularly from the age of 14 and when I got a safe to keep valuables would take stuff to sell (DVDs, his brother's xbox as well as games etc etc). He refused to do his GCSE coursework properly and or any revision and failed most of his exams. He started college, dropped out, started an training place the same thing happened. He was often verbally abusive and would through things round the room if I was 'unreasonable' (like telling him he was grounded!). At this point in time my aspirations for his life did not rise above staying out of prison and off drugs and communication with him was impossible.

But then he grew up. Now is a lovely young man (20) and is holding down a steady job and has just been promoted to supervisor. Hang on in there, as long as he really knows right from wrong it will turn out all right in the end

gotolder Thu 16-Jun-11 17:47:04

IloveJudgeJudy

Your DD reminds me so much of my DS: he was convinced that I loved my DDs more than him and that they got more of everything than he did.

The truth was that I loved him to bits even when he was at his worst (which was extremely bad). He could be very violent, to the point where his friends would protect me and lecture him themselves.

Nothing that was said or done during that time got through, or so it seemed. I don't say this to frighten you, but it did last for some years and all we could do was to weather every storm that arose and make the most of any brief moment of reasonable behaviour. We tried never to point out anything we had done that was to his benefit and just behaved as if life was normal most of the time.

I'm afraid that I was not always consistent because I was generally very "laid back" but could boil over very quickly when I got to the end of my tether. That part of my own character became almost a joke amongst the DCs' friends because they knew it didn't last long so would slope off for an hour and then reappear quietly and carry on as if nothing had happened.

I can only hope that you may be reassured that the situation may not be terminal as when he was app 20 he suddenly reappeared as the wonderful DS that he had been before puberty and hormones kicked in. He now has teenagers of his ownwink.

IloveJudgeJudy Fri 17-Jun-11 17:04:36

Thank you again the last two posters. gotolder what you said about not being consistent is me. I'm generally laid back, but then boil over very quickly when I get to the end of my tether.

Not looking forward to having to wait another 6 years sad. Reality will set in for DD when she has to hand over her wages from paper round.

Should we make her hand it all over, or let her keep £1 from it? thanks again.

kakapo Sat 18-Jun-11 20:41:56

hi IloveJudgeJudy, sorry you're all having such a hard time. When I was young my DB used to steal from the rest of us, so I understand some of your frustration. The only thing that really helped was a place to lock things up and time.

It's a toughie with how much to make her pay back. On the one hand, why should she keep a pound or two to spend, when her GM might like a pound or two to spend (and it is GM's money!). On the other, if she has no money it may exacerbate the stealing. I think I would be tempted to tell her she has to pay everything from her paper round to GM, and if she can do a hated chore (e.g. ironing) for you every week to earn the two pounds for random spending. Of course that leaves you out of pocket, but at least you might not have to do the ironing/clean the toilet. And if she does it well you can tell her how great she is at it.

Maryz Sat 18-Jun-11 22:25:54

I would let her keep a little, simply so that it is worth her while doing it. I would say keep about a third, maybe.

Otherwise you may have her chucking in the job which won't help. Could you get her to do jobs for Granny, since it was Granny she stole the money from - it might make the seriousness of it sink in a bit better?

My younger children are very careful not to leave any money around any more - I have told them it is up to them to keep it safe or give it to me, as I can't prove ds1 has taken it sad. They have learned quickly and the hard way.

chumpion Mon 20-Jun-11 12:20:16

My dd 15 also steals from me. Over the last few months the odd £20 went missing but I kept on putting it down to forgetting how much money I had in my purse. Then my bank balance was always lower than what I expected.

I started to suspect dd, started to hide my purse and changed my pin number. She was caught out last week, I forgot to hide my purse and she took my bank card and blocked my pin.

When I checked with my bank they were able to tell me the exact time it had been tried.

She tried to deny it at first but I lied and said the fraud dept had rang me and emailed me a photo form the security camera. She has apologised but the trust has gone.

I know it was daft her knowing my pin but it has been the same for years (before she turned into a liar and a thief)

She is grounded and had her phone took away, but at the moment I am so cross with her I begrudge giving her dinner money knowing she has been robbing me blind. I also feel cross with her best friend because she has been in on it as well and no doubt she has been eating mcdonalds, smoking cigs and drinking alcohol paid for by me.

I have no idea how much she has actually stolen from me.

IloveJudgeJudy Mon 20-Jun-11 14:22:53

OK, latest is she's being more affectionate with me, but still not really showing any remorse about what she has done. If it is mentioned at all, she just goes up to her room or glowers and does not reply.

She usually gets her paper round money on a Saturday. She tells us she has not picked it up yet. This could be true as the normal manager was not there this weekend. I am thinking about ringing up the paper shop and asking if she's picked it up. The money has to go to my DM, not us first. I really don't think she has any idea of exactly how much she has had. We think it's about £200 or more. The most galling thing is that she just doesn't seem to show any remorse. We are veering towards getting her to give us £15 of the £16, or rather, my mother. She's going to Thorpe Park with the school on Wednesday, that cost us £30. We paid before she took my DM's money. I'm definitely not giving her any spending money. I will be giving her a good packed lunch and checking her pockets before she leaves.

Chumpion, I really do sympathise with you. I know what you mean about the eating MdDonalds, etc paid for by you. Money is tight for us at the moment, as I wrote at the top, and my DD knows that.

Perhaps you could try asking your DD how much she took? Not let her buy lunch, but give her a packed lunch. I know how difficult this all is.

kakapo Mon 20-Jun-11 16:17:47

I would ring the paper shop JudgeJudy, and explain to DD that lack of trust are the true consequences of stealing. If you feel too mean when talking to them, you could always just ask when DD can expect her pay this week.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now