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DSC stealing and other teenage issues
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pitchforksandflamethrowers · 08/06/2022 08:56

Name changed for this, should the daily fail appear.

I nearly posted this in teenage section but there's a step element to it so I need some advice.

Usual info

  • been with DH many years, wasn't OW, -

  • get on well with mum, mum has partner who has suspected similar issue has happened before.

    -DSD13 who I care for very much, we have her 40/60. Maintenance of £500 plus allowance for DSD and half of everything she needs. I mention this as the issue had a financial element. I'm not going to debate the money way it's over CSA amount and DH doesn't earn a massive amount but it's what we feel is fair and all parties are happy with it.

  • my DD3 child is also 50/50 with my ex and new baby of 4 months

    So to the bones of the problem. I was told a month ago by mum that she suspected DSD had stolen some money from her purse for junk food (my DSD is slightly obsessed with junk food) and mum has asked for us to support healthy eating and reduce junk food in house which we have done. Mum has asked DSD about missing but she denied it although mum found wrappers in her room. DSD has a issue with lying and will never admit to it even when confronted with evidence. Mum is at end of tether with this but says there's little she can do to stop it as punishments her side don't work.

    So some money has gone missing from my bag, I know it was there had taken it out and checked bag later on because it was for DD birthday presents. The only person in the house at the time that could have taken it was DH or DSD. DH has his own money and if had needed it would have said. I have asked him and he says he didn't touch it. DSD knew it was there as I mentioned it to DH in passing when she was in ear shot. It was only £40 but I'm hurt that DSD would do this.
    There's no way the money jumped from a zipped up bag. We have searched high and low for it, but it couldn't have grown legs and walked on its own.

    I haven't mentioned to mum as she will ask DSD and it will be denied and I don't want to cause ill feelings and as a mum I recognise this would upset any mum . I know that new baby has caused everyone to have feelings about things but stealing is a no no.

    I think DH knows it was DSD but no firm proof . I'm upset because if DSD needed money she knows she can always ask me and I thought we had a good relationship.

    I know she's also annoyed at mum for enforcing this snack ban, there's plenty of healthy food she's able to eat in both house just has been restricted from not having 100 bags of crisps a day (I'm being flippant on numbers but you get my point). The school nurse has advise a healthy eating plan due to weight (she's not obese - imo just puppy fat but not my call) and im trying to support mum. No underlying issues medical with DSD just a love of wotists/sugar.

    Practical advice ? Hand hold ? I know this might be a normal teen issue, but I never did it so I'm not sure. I'm not sure if or how we can punish her if we have no firm proof and she will deny it.
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Moosake · 08/06/2022 09:03

Has DH tried making it as easy as possible for her to put right? Eg. If the £40 has turned up in your room if it is put in this envelope in the bathroom we will say no more about it. But it isn't going away until its solved.

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MrsRobinsonsHandprints · 08/06/2022 09:08

Sorry just to clarify

You have a three year old with your ex?

There is a new baby (yours and DSD father)

Does DSD have access to her own money, is the CM going straight to her mum?

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Vsirbdo · 08/06/2022 09:18

With lying it rarely helps to confront them on it (I realise it was her mum who did that) as they are very unlikely to admit to it. I take the approach of acknowledging that something has happened and providing a natural consequence; in this case you could along with your DH say that money has gone missing which was for some kind of treat or DSDs allowance so she won’t be able to have that.

Is she still allowed any treats at all? I’m all for limiting them but going from lots to nothing is obviously not working for your DSD. I think you probably need to look at why she’s eating so much junk and what need that is satisfying for her.

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pitchforksandflamethrowers · 08/06/2022 10:07

MrsRobinsonsHandprints · 08/06/2022 09:08

Sorry just to clarify

You have a three year old with your ex?

There is a new baby (yours and DSD father)

Does DSD have access to her own money, is the CM going straight to her mum?

My ex and me split up while I was pregnant and DD is nearly 4. There's a back story to this which is nothing to do with op. We co parent well given what happened.

DSD gets a allowance agreed by both houses - we pay separately to DSD, mum does the same. Maintenance is paid to mum on top along with any extras she may need.

Money isn't a issue if she wants something she asks. Which is why I'm upset by the stealing.

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pitchforksandflamethrowers · 08/06/2022 10:10

@Vsirbdo she gets one treat a day so milkshake, big bag of wotists ect. 3 big hearty meals (not salads because she's not a rabbit) and snacks of fruit, cheese, chicken bites ect plus her treat of her choosing.

I can't comment on mums house but I suspect it's the same because her mums a fab cook. Literally.

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pitchforksandflamethrowers · 08/06/2022 10:13

@Moosake that's a good idea I might try that although because of the days and how the back and forth from houses goes I suspect the money is spent.

Tbh I would be happy if she just said look I took it abs I'm sorry I will ask you next time tbh but I think as @Vsirbdo has said it's probably a unrealistic dream.

I'm worried this is acting out because of the baby, although recognise it could be a teen thing. She doesn't need the money if that makes sense, she's always just asked for it and earnt it through chores if her allowance isn't enough or it's been spent ect

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Moosake · 08/06/2022 10:16

Ah yes I had assumed this had only just happened.

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pitchforksandflamethrowers · 08/06/2022 10:18

@Moosake it's kinda a on off days wise - works for the parents imo it would be better block time for DSD but not my call and I'm not gonna rock boat.

Happened on weekend - I have been stewing over it because I feel paralysed by it tbh. Took me a while to realise I'm hurt but it rather than angry.

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Moosake · 08/06/2022 10:20

pitchforksandflamethrowers · 08/06/2022 10:18

@Moosake it's kinda a on off days wise - works for the parents imo it would be better block time for DSD but not my call and I'm not gonna rock boat.

Happened on weekend - I have been stewing over it because I feel paralysed by it tbh. Took me a while to realise I'm hurt but it rather than angry.

I would feel hurt too. It took time for me to build trust with my DSC and get used to the idea that they would respect my belongings.

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MrsRobinsonsHandprints · 08/06/2022 13:53

Not judging just getting the picture. A lot has happened to the DSD in the last four years. You say you have been with DH many years but that isn't possible.

So in four years you have become her step mum and her dad has become step dad to a small child and you have had a baby. This is a massive change for a child, the stealing isn't really the issue, the issue is that she is struggling and acting out, she is doing it to hurt you because she is hurting.

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pitchforksandflamethrowers · 08/06/2022 14:11

@MrsRobinsonsHandprints to clarify I have known the family for years as we grew up together on the same street and remained fairly tight nit as a friendship group. I have been with my partner 4 years although I'm not going to try and quantify word terminology "many years" as it's ridiculous.
The closeness however has provided the benefit of being friendly with mum and DSD knowing me practically from 0, which explains why I feel hurt opposed to anger. It feels to me like many years to me and DH but your right this may be colouring my view on how much change has been around.

Since it's been brought up and now I feel like I'm going to have someone come along and harangue me (not you mrsribonson I'm not being narky just know this board)- me and my ex split up due to the death of our child - my Dd was a misguided result of two people trying to get over a hurled we weren't ultimately able to. I ask people to respectfully not bring this into the advice I'm asking for as it's mentally something I personally struggle with and painful to speak of.

I also realised I didn't put but my DSD is non NT (thought I had put it in OP my mistake) she's usually pretty straight. She was asking and asked for us to have a baby believe it or not, she wanted a sibling. I had reservations.

I suspect more I type this out this maybe just a aspect of teenage rebellion against the food policy. And she may have new feelings now baby is here on having a sibling and her feelings changed or feeling confused.

But I will counter the thought any of this has been done at my DSD or without her in mind, but stealing no matter what is not ok.

I just want to know what on earth I'm to do about it.

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RocketAndAFuckingMelon · 08/06/2022 14:31

Before I saw your update saying she isn't NT, I was going to ask if there was a possibility of ADHD or ASD regarding the fixation on snacks and lying.There is a good article about ADHD and lying here www.additudemag.com/slideshows/what-to-do-when-your-child-lies/?src=embed_link

ADHD brains seem to need more, and more frequent, little hits of dopamine hence seeking out sugary snacks (or in some adults, coffee / cigarettes / alcohol) plus it's positive sensory feedback. What else could she do to get the dopamine release and the sensory feedback without the sugary snacks? Could you talk to her about this?

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MrsRobinsonsHandprints · 08/06/2022 14:37

With more information I feel even more that the stealing isn't the issue, it is the vent to other issues. You are entitled to feel how you do but I do think you need to extricate yourself and see it as a child struggling rather than trying to hurt you. I'm sorry to hear about your loss, as you are that linked it will have effected everyone. I'm honestly not judging you, teenagers are much like toddlers, they act out their emotions. Doesn't make them bad people.

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pitchforksandflamethrowers · 08/06/2022 14:38

@RocketAndAFuckingMelon this is Brillant thank you ! Because she's so direct it always seems at odd for lying so I hadn't actually put that together or knew it was by product !!

We have tried the whole what else would you like re snacks ands like "nothing I want the chocolate" ext tbh. Which doesn't give much room to move. Any suggestions welcome ? Literally my brain comes up stumps at that question so mention anything that could work.

It's usually something I lead re her being Nt with tbh but I completely forgot and because it's so normal to me to know she's non NT, DSD I almost forget it's not the norm 😅

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pitchforksandflamethrowers · 08/06/2022 14:46

@MrsRobinsonsHandprints I'm totally on board with the feelings around it and sympathetic as to why, it's more the the how element - I'm just looking for ways to deal with it.

She maybe acting out for very valid reasons, I don't doubt that one bit. But there has to be a line and being permissive with stealing isn't one of them. We have to tackle it somehow or with her Being Nt it becomes the norm and that will not benefit her in long run.

I cannot control what goes down in her mums home. Nor really do I have any want to, but I need to handle what goes down in our house. She's had a lot a lot of my and my DH undivided attention completely alone without any of kids. I won't go into how as it is particularly outing but I'm 100% safe in the knowledge this isn't a issue currently in this regard. Although would be relevant if this wasn't happening granted.

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RocketAndAFuckingMelon · 08/06/2022 16:33

@pitchforksandflamethrowers I wish I had some magic answers on this, I really do, I'm struggling with the same issue with my own DC with constantly wanting unhealthy snacks hence it coming to the top of my mind on this thread!

I can see the logic behind it. Poor interoception ( is fantastic to explain interoception), sensory seeking, dopamine seeking, poor impulse control, a tendency to fixation, not quite understanding that asking for snacks 500 times a day or claiming to be hungry straight after a meal is rude to whoever cooked it.... put it all together and you can see why it happens.

What to actually do about it is eluding me. Mine is a few years younger so I'm not sure how helpful this will be, but here are some ideas. DC has a chewy necklace for when she just wants something to chew on. She will sometimes go for fruit or veg sticks instead especially if there's an element of novelty - a cucumber stick hedgehog or something we don't usually get like pineapple, but that is time consuming. I've heard others have had success with frozen grapes which apparently taste a lot like sweets, I haven't tried this myself though. Dried fruit works but she will go through the whole bag and give herself a stomach upset. I get popcorn instead of crisps, and she loves pistachios which you at least have to get out of the shell to get at which limits how quickly they can be eaten. I don't keep chocolate in the house at all. I insist on drinking some water (tap or sparkling) and reassessing if she is still hungry before a snack as DC often mistakes thirst for hunger, and occasionally fizzy water will be enough for the sensory feedback - might work better with your older DSD who will have a better understanding.

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