advertisement
Question
Posted by: Mum | 2010-09-01

Stealing

My 11yr old daughter is lovely, kind, well-liked, does well at school etc and we are very close. She went away for three weeks with her father and when she got back, we were informed that she stole from the people she stayed with. When we confronted her, she admitted it and we worked out a punishment plan: including no TV for a month, no internet, she had to write a letter to the owner apologising, buy beads with her pocket money tomake items to give to charities. We have now found out that there were three other items as well (stolen at the same time) which she kept quiet about and therefore didn''t return.
What do we do now? Her father now says no TV, internet, cellphone, sleep overs for a year and no pocket money. Apology and return of items of course.

I''m dreadfully concerned.. I''m trying to find out why she did it in the first place but nothing is forthcoming. Perhaps it is partly because she was so homesick during that time, I don''t know. Also: is the punishment appropriate? I''m particularly opposed to the no sleepovers as this will isolate her. Her father says it is because she needs to prove that she can be trusted. But at her age, she cannot really lie about sleepovers as everything is arranged between the parents. I really don''t know what to do here. Please advise.

Not what you were looking for? Try searching again, or ask your own question
Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Such things are often done impulsively by people who are unhappy, but who could not give a clear reason, nomatter how hard they tried to do so. Homesickness might have been part of it, but to continually press for an Explanation is usuall counter-productive if one doesn't get offered promptly.
have you asked her what she thinks would be an appropriate punishment ( it can be a revealing question ). And does she understand that the further penalties are both for taking the other things, and for effectively lying by omission, in not admitting them.
I'm not sure that no sleepovers is necessarily draconian. Maybe for 6 months ? What is the purpose of this component of the penalty - to deny her something she likes very mugh ? Or to limit her chances of stealing things when in someone else's house ? The latter problem seems less likely, as she would probably fear the awful penalty of being discovered and talked about by her friends.
As Also Mum points out, this is an unfortunate phase with many kids, which most, thankfully, grow out of. Shoul it persist, of course, a further assessment would be called for.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

5
Our users say:
Posted by: Red | 2010-09-03

I did exactly the same thing when I was around that age - and to this day I have NO idea why I did it. I also gave back the majority of the stuff, but somehow, and for some strange reason, didn''t confess about one or two others. My mom did punish me, by making me write an apology note &  return the stuff. I was also grounded &  had pocket money taken away, etc. She also asked me to explain to her how I would feel if someone did that to me. The worst punishment though was the humiliation &  guilt at having been discovered &  feeling bad about what I had done.

To this day I feel SO guilty about it and wish I still had those things so that I could return them (20 years later). Your daughter probably doesn''t know why she did it and it probably is a phase that some kids go through. If it makes you feel better, I never ever did it again and now am a law-abiding citizen who contributes to charities and has a good job, etc. So, take heart: she will almost certainly grow out of it!

Reply to Red
Posted by: mommy dearest | 2010-09-02

I would spank her bare bottom solidly with a wooden spoon. bet she''ll think twice next time.

Reply to mommy dearest
Posted by: Maria | 2010-09-02

This is a phase that some children go through, and the fact that your daughter was away for 3 weeks could have contributed to the problem. I think your original plan sounds good. It is important to stress to her that stealing is against the values that you as a family adhere to.

The issue with trust and sleepovers is more that she might steal again if she is in someone else''s house. How often does she sleep over? Perhaps ground her for a period of time, but not a whole year.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Also Mum | 2010-09-02

Good day. I had the very same problem when my daugther was also +- 10 years old. I was just as disturbed as you, but rest assured it will pass. She stole money out of wallets and our chains, rings and what not. I even took her to church and asked for prayer, nothing helped. What someone told me is maybe it''s her circle of friends, not that they were stealing, but it''s either she wanted to fit in or be better than them. I left it and just talked to her about how wrong it is and before I knew it, that phase was a thing of the past. I didn''t punish her, I could only talk nice and pray.....
I would suggest just talk nice to her and do everything in your power to tell her how wrong it is and how God will punish us if we steal. That''s what I did, it wasn''t about how God will punish her, i said He will punish US.
Hope this little info helped a bit

Reply to Also Mum
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010-09-02

Such things are often done impulsively by people who are unhappy, but who could not give a clear reason, nomatter how hard they tried to do so. Homesickness might have been part of it, but to continually press for an Explanation is usuall counter-productive if one doesn't get offered promptly.
have you asked her what she thinks would be an appropriate punishment ( it can be a revealing question ). And does she understand that the further penalties are both for taking the other things, and for effectively lying by omission, in not admitting them.
I'm not sure that no sleepovers is necessarily draconian. Maybe for 6 months ? What is the purpose of this component of the penalty - to deny her something she likes very mugh ? Or to limit her chances of stealing things when in someone else's house ? The latter problem seems less likely, as she would probably fear the awful penalty of being discovered and talked about by her friends.
As Also Mum points out, this is an unfortunate phase with many kids, which most, thankfully, grow out of. Shoul it persist, of course, a further assessment would be called for.

Reply to cybershrink

Have your say

Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
advertisement