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13yo dd with sticky fingers- UPDATE (long)

Posted by on Aug. 25, 2013 at 2:47 PM
  • 24 Replies
Backstory: my 13 yo dd has a bad habit of taking stuff that doesn't belong to her. A few years back she stole money from a friend of dh's who was visiting us for a few days. He mentioned to dh that there was money missing from his stuff, and we went right to Lexi. She brought us a $20 bill. He then said that more than that was missing, and she then finally turned over the rest. Was around $50 total. This was shortly before her 11th birthday, which was subsequently canceled. She had appeared to be doing better, until now.

Yesterday, her best friend's mom came by and said she had stolen her kindle fire from her house. Apparently this happened a couple months ago, and she confessed stealing it to her friend's mom (unknown to me at this point). All the mom wanted was for her to return it, and there would be no issue. But instead of doing that, she just avoided them completely. I had just asked her about a week ago why she hadn'thad Olivia (her friend) over recently, and thought that was strange since they were constantly together. She blew it off as nothing, and I was hoping maybe they were on vacation or something. Lexi has always been kind of immature, and has at times had a rougher time keeping friends, so I was worried something had happened between them. This came out of nowhere though as we thought her stealing issues were behind her. So now mom either wants the kindle back, or is threatening to press charges.

This is where I'm at a loss. Part of me says let her press charges and hope that sends a message to her. The other part says to replace it and deal with it ourselves. But how? We've already taken her phone and ipod indefinitely, and plans for her 14th birthday in six weeks are obviously on hold. Beyond that, what can I do to get through to her? School starts after labor day, and sports practices start next week. She was going to play volleyball, but I'm not sure if she should or not. What would you ladies do?? Open to any creative ideas at this point. I'm just so disappointed in her, I really thought we were past this.

Update:
Sorry it's been awhile, but I do have a happy update. The changes in this past month have been incredible! We have found a wonderful psychiatrist who she feels comfortable opening up to and she has been on meds for almost a month. Though I was hesitant for so long, I'm glad we finally did it and I'm almost wondering if we should have done that sooner. She's been getting herself up every day on her own and just seems like a whole new person. Instead of me reminding her every night to get her planner signed, she's been coming home after practice, completing any homework she didn't do at school (she has a free period to start homework and get help with assignments) and bringing her planner to us to sign. Plus instead of needing an additional hour or two for homework after she gets home, she's only been needing around a half an hour! And she currently has 4 A's and 2 B's, which is awesome considering she's finally in all grade level classes! As far as dealing with what happened, she's been grounded from electronics until her birthday and she personally reimbursed the mom the money owed from her own savings. The school police officer also talked to her about what would happen if she did something like this again, including getting arrested, going to juvie, paying hundreds in fines and owing three times the value of what was stolen and community service. I wanted her to pay her back herself, which she did out of her car fund. She is also not receiving allowance while she's grounded, we've explained this as her way of paying fines that she would owe the court if things had escalated to that point. And, she's been helping the mom out with projects around her house as doing community service. I'm so glad she has been so supportive through all this. Our girls are really close and she was more hurt by this than anything else. She was practically in tears as she's always been there for Lexi, and felt betrayed by this. Her birthday has also been scaled back to a family party only and dinner at her restaurant of choice. DH initially wanted to cancel her whole birthday, but I feel like a birthday should always be celebrated, even if it's just a simple celebration. He finally agreed with me a couple weeks ago, and has even suggested that she could still go on her trip with me this spring if she continues making strides in the right direction. (I took my oldest to Cali for her birthday and DH took my 12 year ds to Philly a couple weeks ago to an Eagles game). Which I'm totally on board with. I'm guessing his change of heart has to do with how well she's responded to all this, and I'm glad he suggested the trip in spring since we don't do birthdays this big but every few years. She doesn't know about the trip still being a possibility, and she was so sad when she realized she screwed that one up. My mom thinks that's still rewarding her in the long run, but I'm thinking if we've really moved past this, she should get a chance to earn it back. Plus her birthday is just before Halloween so she has to wait another six months or so and if she's still on track, I'll say she's earned it. Plus a part of me is feeling guilty about not checking into meds and getting her in to talk to someone sooner. Looking back, I feel like the warning signs were there and I just didn't see them. I guess that's why they say hindsight is 20/20! Thanks for all your advice ladies, much appreciated!!
by on Aug. 25, 2013 at 2:47 PM
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Replies (1-10):
drfink
by Emily on Aug. 25, 2013 at 3:14 PM
2 moms liked this

 Sometimes when kids /teens steal there are underlying issues.Sometimes not very obvious .Perhaps letting her talk to a Child and Adolescent Therapist would help stop for good.Keep the consequences ,when you talk to the therapist ask for advice on the best consequences.When I worked my most successful clients ,a recovery step house, had both consequences for action and therapy.

Good luck ,this is hard for you.

sabrtooth1
by on Aug. 25, 2013 at 3:38 PM
1 mom liked this

Stealing is NOT a "bad habit".  Biting your fingernails is a "bad habit".  Kids who steal repeatedly, with little remorse, have a problem.  You need to get her to an GOOD pediatric psychiatrist, and get to the root of the issue.  Something is causing this, and you really need to find out what it is, AND get her the appropriate treatment.

aandt1999
by on Aug. 25, 2013 at 3:41 PM
Why would you have to replace the Kindle instead of just returning it...... doesn't she still have it?
atlmom2
by Susie on Aug. 25, 2013 at 3:43 PM
2 moms liked this

She needs counseling.  Maybe pressing charges against her will be the best thing also.  She needs to be accountable. 

I would continue sports unless another issue happens.  Let her know that playing sports is a privilege, not a right and one more slip up and sports are gone. 

bizzeemom2717
by on Aug. 25, 2013 at 4:28 PM
1 mom liked this
I agree with the counseling. Still take away phone, TV ect she should basically be "unplugged" like I tell my kids. Zero social life meaning not just no bday party for sure but no friends. Stealing is SERIOUS stuff and esp since this isn't just a one time thing I agree with the pp, counseling ASAP
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lakerfan420
by Jamie on Aug. 25, 2013 at 4:42 PM
I've looked up some therapists that I'm going to check out tomorrow, and I'm also going to the jr high to find out if there's anyone particular they recommend. I just can't imagine why she does this. We work so hard with her, and she honestly gets more attention than her siblings do as she struggles the most in school and follows an almost perfect child. I never compare them to each other though, and there's times I check with my oldest to make sure she knows I'm proud of her too since I have a tendency to downplay her accomplishments to not make Lexi feel inferior. I'm almost wondering if I've coddled her too much over the years in trying to raise her self esteem. Things just seem to happen for my oldest, while Lexi has to work twice as hard to be average. Although she's always had a bright spirit and is generally a sweetheart, minus this one issue. She really is a great kid and I love her so much, but I just feel helpless.
lakerfan420
by Jamie on Aug. 25, 2013 at 5:00 PM
She claims she can't find it, and we've all searched this house like crazy. My son said he saw it about a month ago, but hasn't seen it since. I also heard that my toddler may have gotten to it and thrown it and that the screen is cracked. Which is possible as she left her ipod out and Tyler threw that and cracked the screen on that. She has almost $400 saved for her car, so it's definitely coming out of her money.


Quoting aandt1999:

Why would you have to replace the Kindle instead of just returning it...... doesn't she still have it?

bizzeemom2717
by on Aug. 25, 2013 at 5:57 PM
Hugs it sounds like you are doing everything you can and on the right track

Quoting lakerfan420:

I've looked up some therapists that I'm going to check out tomorrow, and I'm also going to the jr high to find out if there's anyone particular they recommend. I just can't imagine why she does this. We work so hard with her, and she honestly gets more attention than her siblings do as she struggles the most in school and follows an almost perfect child. I never compare them to each other though, and there's times I check with my oldest to make sure she knows I'm proud of her too since I have a tendency to downplay her accomplishments to not make Lexi feel inferior. I'm almost wondering if I've coddled her too much over the years in trying to raise her self esteem. Things just seem to happen for my oldest, while Lexi has to work twice as hard to be average. Although she's always had a bright spirit and is generally a sweetheart, minus this one issue. She really is a great kid and I love her so much, but I just feel helpless.
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sabrtooth1
by on Aug. 25, 2013 at 6:51 PM

If she has struggled in school for a long time, it may be that she is an undiagnosed ADDer, be BiPolar, have Executive Dysfunction or any of a number of other emotional/learning disorders.  Many kids with these disorders manage to get thru grammar school, but then fall apart in middle and high school.  Poor short term memory, poor organizational skills, poor sense of time, failure to understand or be motivated by consequenses, losing things, forgetful, lying, stealing... are all symptoms.  If these disorders continue to be UNtreated, trouble with school AND the law, impulsive sexual encounters, auto accidents and drug use are inevitable.  MAKE SURE you consult a doctor who is familiar with, and recognizes these conditions.  That is why I suggest a psychiatrist.

aandt1999
by on Aug. 25, 2013 at 9:18 PM
Oh.....wow. I'm sorry you're dealing with this. I agree though, it would be her paying for a new one.


Quoting lakerfan420:

She claims she can't find it, and we've all searched this house like crazy. My son said he saw it about a month ago, but hasn't seen it since. I also heard that my toddler may have gotten to it and thrown it and that the screen is cracked. Which is possible as she left her ipod out and Tyler threw that and cracked the screen on that. She has almost $400 saved for her car, so it's definitely coming out of her money.




Quoting aandt1999:

Why would you have to replace the Kindle instead of just returning it...... doesn't she still have it?


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