advice please for 12 year old daughter lying & stealing?

Mvcamom - posted on 02/07/2012 ( 10 moms have responded )

7

0

1

I am at my wits end dealing with my 12 yr old daughter. She is the oldest & I have 2 sons, a 4 yr old & 3 week old (Preemie born 5 weeks early). Her biological dad & I split when I was pregnant with her & he has never been a part of her life. My fiance has been an amazing father to her & doesn't tell anyone she is not really his daughter. I am a stay at home mom and he is currently in the fire academy. Cause of his schedule he stays at his parents sun-thurs to be closer to school. So I am home with the kids on my own most of the week.

My daughter is a straight a student and I never have a problem getting her to do homework. Her problems mostly have to do with her lying and stealing. Most of her lies are pathetic and so not worth the effort. She lies about whether she did her chores,brushing her teeth, washing her hair,and conversations that she has with friends. Like yesterday I picked her up from school & she tells me her friend "K" asked if she could borrow my daughter's p.e. clothes cause someone put a lock on her locker & K couldn't get her p.e. clothes out. Last I knew K & my daughter shared a locker & I questioned when K got her own locker. It made no sense to me. Later that night K's mom calls me asking why my daughter said I texted K's mom & why we don't like them...the Congo went on for half an hour about she said/she said middle school drama. My daughter had told me K had said she wasn't allowed to be friends with her cause my daughter made her grades drop. That was a lie. The whole p.e. locker story ended up being a complete lie. Like none of it ever happened kind of lie.

The week before I noticed my daughter kept coming home eating candy. I asked where she was getting the candy from & she tells me her friend "S" sells it. But gives it to my daughter for free. I said I would call S's mom to verify the story cause it sounded suspicious to me. Turns out my daughter had been stealing money from a family coin jar & buying the candy. To my surprise that coin jar had practically been wiped out. She has her own money from her bday & Xmas but she stole money instead.

I am at the point where I don't believe a single word she says and I don't even want to talk to her because she is constantly lying or trying to get away with something. I have to hover over her to make sure she does her chores. Fix her bed. Take care of her cat. Do the dishes. If I confront her about something she always says 'i dunno'. That's if she responds at all. Mostly she says nothing and just stares at us. If I say that 'i dunno' is not a valid excuse/response she will say its cause she is lazy or cause she forgot.

I'm tired of dealing with her BS and am seriously considering sending her to live with her dad & stepmom. I truly believe my daughter has no empathy or conscience. I think she is a sociopath. I'm not trying to be mean but she shows no emotion whatsoever. She is blank. She does not even care about her brothers. Her youngest brother was born 5 weeks early and spent 10 days in nicu. She never asked about him. And when he came home she never asked to hold him or act like he was there at all. Its disturbing to me cause I didn't raise her to be this way. Her 4 yr old brother is sweet and kind and respectful. The complete opposite of her. Oh and she also thinks it cute to act ditzy and stupid and most of the time I don't think she is acting at all. I don't know what to do anymore!

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

10 Comments

View replies by

[deleted account]

I don't hate my parents and never have! ??? Plus I think the rest of your post Michelle is aimed at someone else as I don't know what you're talking about?! I don't even have a husband. Whoever your post is aimed at, it is not very helpful.

Michelle - posted on 01/21/2013

19

0

1

Leah get over it if you have your own children it's time to stop hating your parents. As for your daughter it may not be therapy she needs. You said that you took everything out of her room except for her clothes. Take them away too and give her 3 pairs of jeans and 3 T-shirts. This worked for my daughter. She should not be lying and stealing. Most likely her stealing will escalate I have seen it before. And soon she will be stealing directly from stores. As for her not getting enough attention, this may be true but she needs to realize that you have other children to take care of. Your husband also should not get to escape the house for half the week. You are a team and he should be there helping you no matter how far away the fire school is. Maybe him giving her more attention from him or him taking care of the little ones will help you give her more attention.

[deleted account]

This is the cold hard truth - hope you are strong enough to take it.
I lied to my parents and to everyone from my earliest memory until I left school. It is a psychological problem which is almost always caused by faulty parenting. I am now one of the most honest people you could ever meet and I am shocked/amused/disappointed on a daily basis at how many adults my age and older lie to me on a very regular basis.

It took me 40 years to recover from low-esteem and to learn to like myself.

I was the only girl in my family and the youngest of 4 children. My father was extremely strict. My mother resented me because I was pretty, playful and extremely intelligent. Neither of my parents showed me any real affection even though deep down some kind of a bond existed. I remember painfully wishing my Dad would play with me the way some of my friends' dads played with them. I went to sit on his knee once when I was about 11 to see if he would cuddle me. He froze. It was the most awkward and heartbreaking of moments for me. My lies were partly to get out of trouble because I was scared of my dad both verbally and physically. My lies were largely to impress my parents or to try to make them like me. My lies to my friends were to cover my embarrassment about the fact that my parents didn't appear to like me as they always criticised me in front of other parents. I stole food. I stole money. I even shoplifted so I could have nice things because I knew my parents wouldn't buy fashionable things for me. My lies became habit. The stealing stopped because I got caught by the police.

My mother didn't believe me whether I lied or told the truth. She called me "a spiteful little cow" when I was four. I've never forgotten. She repeatedly told me I was selfish. I was a liar. If you are told you are something often enough, you become that thing.

How did I change? Certainly not with help from my parents. I just grew up. I saw that when other people lied I didn't respect them. I saw how other people wouldn't necessarily tell someone they knew they were lying. I didn't want to be that person any more.

Now, as an ex-teacher I realise that there are probably only 5% of children who don't tell lies fairly regularly. As an adult I realise that this figure is much the same for adults. Teaching helped me to see that lies are a dark part of growing up. Lies are a form of defence. The brighter the child, the more likely they are to use lies to protect themselves from the negatives in life.

ADVICE. When your child lies to you, don't automatically criticise or turn off. Listen. Listen to what is not being said and try to work out why she is lying - what is the real issue behind what she is saying. Never NEVER call your child a liar. You can instead say things like, "that is strange - I wouldn't have expected Lisa's mum to have allowed her to do that..." and explain why you might doubt something - but don't say "Lisa's mum would not have let her do that." If you use reasoning then your child will see that you want to believe her but that you have thought this through and she will see that her lie is not very believable and will feel guilty for attempting to mislead you. She might not lie next time. If your child lies about some factual information - for example, "Lisa's mum bought her some Ug boots. They cost $2000 from George" - wait a few days then casually open a magazine advertising Ug boots with a price and say something like "Are those like Lisa's boots?" Your child will then have the opportunity to backtrack - "Oh, Lisa must have been lying/Lisa must have got that wrong" or even better, "Oh, I must have misheard the price."

If your child is lying a lot then you need to have a good look at yourself. Do you tell lies? Has your child heard you exaggerating when you're speaking to your friends? Has your child heard you omitting to tell the whole truth in order to give a less than honest picture? You need to learn how to stop judging your child and start accepting and loving her instead. She needs you. And when you are older, you will certainly need her.

Good luck.

Silvia - posted on 02/19/2012

1

1

0

Hi!

It seems you got a hard time with your daughter.Having worked with children and being a mother to two children (in their twenties now) I have to say what you describe sounds a bit serious. I am sure that the most important thing to you is to help her to mature and become a good person. So I would recommend you:

1. Do not send her to her father. This does not solve her problem only moves it somewhere else. Furthermore it does not help her to see her biological father as a threat... if she is going to build up some sort of normal relationship with him which she definitely needs for her future well-being.

2. Do not lecture her or threat her with what will happen if she does not change but rather ask her what does she think of her own behavior. If it is correct or not? If she thinks it is correct, challenge her with examples that show it should not be considered correct.:Ask her how does she think her behavior affects her especially and also the family members, her friends and other people around. It is important that you ask her how does she see the situation and NOT that you tell her what you think!!

3. If you have not done that already explain to her that she is an example to her brothers and ask her how does she see her responsibility in how they will behave in the future? Try to make her to arrive to insight about her responsibility as a person that has an IMPORTANT role in the family, but then again, don't tell her but ask her questions about this.

4. Make her feel important and dialogue with her regarding the family's everyday issues in a positive way, for instance asking her opinion and advice about: what should you have for dinner? her younger brother did this and that, what does she think about it? how does she think you should handle it? share with her information about your and your fiance's professional life especially regarding the challenges you or he confront and ask her what would she do in such a situation, share with her every day's issues, talk with her about the news: did she hear that this and that happen at x place, what does she think about it? What should you invest in when it comes to financial issues? etc etc. Shortly, share with her your concerns that are related to other issues than her behavior and ask her advise. This should make her to realize that she plays an important role in the family.

5.She needs attention but also positive feedback so try to focus more on the positive steps she takes and give her recognition for those steps and praise her all the time for the good things she does rather than concentrate on what she has done wrongly.

6. Be consequent in applying the steps above and set a 3 months period to follow up changes. Be open minded and see the positive changes rather than the failures that remain. Take note to record the changes or lack of those.

7. If there is no change I am afraid you need to go and see a counselor. Your daughter's behavioral issues might have a medical explanation/diagnostic that is beyond "normal misbehavior".

Good luck! S

Heather - posted on 02/12/2012

1

21

0

I Totally understand where you are my 13 year old son and 11 year old twin girls do the same things. The other week I went thru their rooms and bathroom and found about $50 worth of groceries they took and ate. They also take ipods, makeup, toys, money and I could go on. One of the twins kept telling me she only had lotion on her face even when I took a wash cloth and it came off brown (foundation) she still tried to say it was lotion. And also NO punishment works. I finally found a place that has a grant for counseling and they start this month.

Michelle - posted on 02/07/2012

2,191

23

1087

Based on your description I think your daughter needs to see a counselor, possibly she may have some issues you don't know about. Sending her to live with her dad isn't going to fix anything it just moves the problem out of your house and into his, and she sounds like she needs someone to take the time look a little deeper and see where all this is coming from. She may suffer from something like Autism or any other number of disorders the disassociate with others and hide emotions. Get her tested and get her some counseling before you give up because I guarantee if you send her to live with her dad without trying to fix things,any chance of a decent relationship with her in the future will be gone.

Mvcamom - posted on 02/07/2012

7

0

1

She still has her p.e. clothes. She never loaned them out. The whole thing was admitted to being a completely made up and fabricated event. There was no truth to her story whatsoever. I asked why she even bothered telling me the story if none of it was true. Her response...K was extremely clingy to her in first period and she got annoyed by her so she made it up. I asked her how I fit into the whole situation and why she had to insult my intelligence by creating such a lie. What did she have to gain or benefit by telling me THAT story? It makes no sense at all.

As for her and her.relationship with her brothers ...in my opinion its cause she was an only child for so long that she doesn't like not being the center of attention anymore. But she's like that with all children. She wants to be the only one. She even competes with me for attention from my fiance. Mind you, I don't play along. I either tell her she's being rude and interrupting an adult conversation or I walk away and let her have time with him.

And the new baby is still so little that all he practically does is sleep and eat. I have plenty of time for all 3 of them. However her behavior was like this before either of the boys were born. She's just older now. But still acting immature and irresponsible. I even warn that if she doesn't take care of HER cat that I would find it another home. She is unfazed by any threat. She continues her behavior regardless of the potential consequences.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/07/2012

9,042

21

1999

Oh, and best of luck with the little ones! Big job, handling a 12 yo, 4 yo and preemie! Blessings to you!

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/07/2012

9,042

21

1999

Sorry but "distorted face trying to hide yawns" IS rudely yawning and being disrespectful.



Sounds like your daughter needs attention. The new baby is taking it all, or so she thinks. I'm not surprised she didn't want to see him in the hospital, she's twelve and self centered, just like they all try to be at that age. She's making up stories. Either because she thinks the truth will get her punished, or because its easier to make up a story that people like than to tell the boring truth.



Did you ask her where her phys ed clothes are now? Bet they aren't in her locker, and she probably threw them out for some obscure reason. The lie about a friend wanting to "borrow" them was to cover that she'd already gotten rid of them.



The candy lie is simply an attention seeking ploy. She was HOPING that you'd notice the change jar was slowly being depleted and ask her about it.



I'd start with spending some one on one time with her in a neutral setting .If things don't improve, go to counseling, but first and foremost, keep explaining EACH TIME you catch her that A) You've caught her AGAIN B) it's not acceptable and C) punishment will be as follows: (whatever you do to punish)

Mvcamom - posted on 02/07/2012

7

0

1

Just to clarify...these lies are several times daily. The same kind of lies. You'd think she would eventually get over it and realize she never gets away with it but it's almost as if she becomes more determined to get away with the lie. I get she wants attention but I refuse to give her attention for bad behavior. We've tried everything as far as punishments, chore charts. Grounding her. Taking away privileges. Consequences don't phase her. She just moves on to the next best thing. One summer we removed everything from her room so all she had was a bed and her clothes. Nothing works. She doesn't care. She doesn't cry. She doesn't defend herself. She doesn't talk about her feelings. She is blank. When we talk to her or lecture her about her behavior ...she yawns. Not rude yawning either. Like a distorted face trying to hide her yawning. It makes me absolutely livid!

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms