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DD stealing stuff from my room

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riet · 25/05/2013 13:37

I need some advise on worrying behaviour my 13 yr old DD2 is displaying. She has been 'appropriating' stuff from me and has been stealing stuff (including money) from other members of our household. She's been talked to (especially about the money), but has never admitted to anything or is vague about things (she 'thought it would be ok to have so-and-so in her room'). She hasn't done anything (that I know of) for a few weeks, but I found make-up and some other stuff from mine in her room today. She is not being denied any make-up or anything, and gets regular pocket-money.

She is hormonal but has not started her period yet, she is healthy and generally happy, does really well at school and has good friends. She and I do not always have the best relationship; she has always been very clingy and emotionally dependent on me (basically from birth), but pushes me away as well and could (can) have the most phenomenal tantrums about anything. With me she lives in a busy household, with sister, 2 stepbrothers (similar ages) and stepdad, her dad lives 2 hrs drive away and since a few months there are serious mental health issues with her stepmum (there are no stepsiblings there).Possibly a divorce is happening there, but as her dad and I hardly speak, I do not know what's going on.

I have been rather mild with her, although she had a severe telling off for the money that we know she took, but I'm at a loss what to do now. I am inclined to confront her with the newest findings, but she will probably deny everything and be very cross with me for going through her stuff (the cheek!). I am worried that the situation with her stepmum is really upsetting her very much, but finds it difficult to talk to me about it, because of the difficulties I have had discussing anything with her dad. I would love her to open up towards me, like her older sister does, and I'm afraid that being angry with her for taking my stuff is not helping her do that. I don't think this can continue however, I don't want a child stealing and being dishonest. Any advise??????

OP posts:
Andro · 26/05/2013 18:19

Two likely possibilities spring to mind:

  1. Attention seeking - if what's happening with her dad has rocked her, she may be looking for extra attention (and possibly not know how to articulate her feelings or ask for help) - how much 1:1 does she get with you? She could also be acting out to see your response...if you'll be pushed away (an underlying fear perhaps?).

2. Are you absolutely sure it's her? There is the possibility, especially if there's been no incidents for a while, that one of her SB's is playing a prank/trying to wind her up/seeing if she'll get into trouble. Not a nice thought, but something to consider.

As for advice, does she have any 'I'm lying' tells? If so then speaking to her will ascertain whether or not she's guilty, if she is then there needs to be a sanction. Beyond the sanction, I think you need to really talk to her about what's going on in her head (easier said than done) and maybe try and help her home in on what she's feeling. If she isn't guilty then she needs to see an appropriate sanction handed out to the guilty party and that party needs a lecture on getting siblings into trouble.
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