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Question
Posted by: Cosmo | 2006/11/09

Daughter 'stealing' from me!

My daughter is 22 and moved out of the house 2 yrs ago to live with her boyfriend and their son (1yr). My mom who lives with my husband and I , looks after their son while my daughter works (waitressing). I dont often see her as she works shifts and therefor is at my house when my husband and I are not there (he is not her biological father). Problem is she leaves her place comes and showers at our place, eats, does her washing, watches dstv until she needs to go to work. She also goes through my clothes, I dress quite mod and we are the same size, she takes my clothes without asking and then when I look for it a week or weeks later I call her and she says"oh I might have it I will have a look and bring it back" It got to a point where I told her she is not ALLOWED to go through my cupboards and I believe it had stopped. Yesterday my maid tells my mom she saw my daughter in my cupboard and that my daughter took 2 new tops of mine and a pair of trousers and stuffed it in a bag. My mom confronted daughter who became agro and said I am always picking on her and blaming her and that she does not want to come to my house anymore. OK, now the facts are, because of her working hours I almost never see her, she works 4pm till 11pm and every Sat and Sun. I took out a cell phone contract for her BUT her boyfriends uses the phone so whenever I try and call during the day he has the phone. The only time she calls me is to borrow money or for me to drop my grandson. My husband and her do not get on as he is strict and feel I am too lenient with her. I suppose I do over protect her because I know my divorce from her father affected her - she was 5. She has never had consistent contact with him and he calls her MAYBE once every few months. I now feel that I want to ban her from going into my house with me not being there...She can go to my moms section (attached to my house) BUT not to my bedrooms, is this being too harsh.What should I do?

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Our expert says:
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If she does so much at your place ( eating, showering, etc. ) what on earth does she do at her own place ? Surely she doesn't even need a key to your place ? Tell her to return what she stole ( taking without asking IS stealing ) and to stop coming round to your place to plunder it, and that she may only visit when you are there. And cancel that cellphone contract --- from the sound of it she doesn't need one --- who does she need to call ? And her bf doesn't need a phone you paid for, at all. Stop lending her money. and contact Toughlove to get support for pushing this greedy, ungrateful, dishonest slob into growing up and taking responsibility for caring for herself. YOu are and have been far too lenient, and need to become more strict and sensible, for her own good as well as yours and that of the child. I don't believe that your divorce from her father caused her any harm at all --- your guilt over the divorce, leading to spoiling her and being far too lenient, that was what did the damage. Banning a repeat thief from your rooms isn't being too harsh. Calling the police and laying charges wouldn't be too harsh, even if it might not be the best idea at this specific point.
And why isnt the child's father paying maintenance ? The Maintenance court can compel him to pay what he owes.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Momof3 | 2006/11/10

Hi Cosmo. I think you should sit down with your daughter,even if you take an hr of work one afternoon say just before she goes into work and ask her to sit with as you would like to talk to her.
Start off by saying that you love her and your granddaughter very much but she only need come to your house at 3pm to drop off her daughter for your mom to look after if her shift starts at 4pm -11pm she can 1st do all her things at home and then come through at 3pm.
I think she likes coming home and her granny is there her daughter is there and at home at her place its lonely and empty and she likes the company and the fact that you have a maid and grand can look after her child while she just chills.
Explain to her that she can 2 that 2x a week(just to ween her off slowly but you would like her to be at her place on the other 3 days.then say after 2months say ok now I would like you only to come over for an hr just to have a sandwitch or cup of tea at3pm before going to work.
She is still young and she will slowly gain more confidence.
Some parents complain that they never see there kids and here yours wants to be at your place maybe because you have dstv and she does not etc.-and her daughter is there.
The "stealing of the clothes" is not realy stealing.She is just borrowing them as the fit her.It must be difficult if you are the same size and have a daughter.But has she not always done this.You need to sit her down and explain that you work for your clothes and they are yours and especially new stuff you dont want her to wear 1st. It is yours and as she is older now she should understand that you want somethings to be only yours. Explain that you dont mind if she came to ask you 1st if she needed something for a special occasion and you had something she could borrow. But not just taking it and wearing without your permission.Tell her that as from end Nov the contract will be cancelled on that cell phone as she is not using it.You dont have to say anything more.If the boyfriend wants it he must pay for the contract himself.

Reply to Momof3
Posted by: Cosmo | 2006/11/09

Leigh - thanks so much for responding. I was feeling like such an awful mother. Yes, I will be putting my foot down as I know it is the best and RIGHT thing to do for HER sake and yes she is going to be mad at me but it needs to be done.

Reply to Cosmo
Posted by: Leigh | 2006/11/09

Dear Cosmo,

Not only is your daughter 'stealing' from you she also has very little repect for you. It is extremely hard to be cool, calm and collected when you need to deal with a child, however old, who won't grow up, but you know you need to put down ground rules. There is very little you can do if she thinks her boyfriend needs the cell more than she does but hopefully the contract will run out soon. Don't lend her money, you are not helping her but actually hindering her from standing on her own two feet. She will hate you and most likely rant and rave but stand your ground. Hopefully she will thank you for it in the future. Tell her she is not allowed free run of your house - she is an adult with a child and must behave like one. She can bring her little one to the house before she goes to work but not for the whole day.
Can't the child's father take some responsibility over the weekends? You are not helping her by not allowing her to take responsibility for her life. This is one of the hardest jobs any mother can do but if you are going to allow this girl to grow up you will have to 'encourage' her.
Let her know that you really love her and you really look forward to the time when she is standing on her own two feet.
My heart breaks for you because I have been through this and I know how difficult and just plain sad the situation is.
Stick to it, ask your husband to help you and hopefully is a few years time you will be able to enjoy your daughter as the adult she could be.

Reply to Leigh

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