Serious HELP needed -- caught my child stealing!!

Stacy - posted on 05/24/2010 ( 11 moms have responded )




I am just sick about this! Going through my child's backpack this morning, and I found her friend's iPod, which my daughter had stolen. The mother had called me yesterday asking if that, and some other items were at our house. I'd asked my daughter and she told me that it wasn't here and she hadn't seen it. So this morning when I found it I was almost out of my mind!

I confronted her, and she had NOTHING to say for herself, just looked at me like this was no big deal!!! OMG!!!

This is not the first time this type of thing has happened, but before it had always been small toys from school or daycare that just 'happened' to come home, and I always made her return them, and tell her teacher what she did. (That has apparently not had any effect on her.)

I'm trying to come up with an appropriate punishment:

1. Return the iPod, and tell the mother and the child what she has done, and apologize (this is a GIVEN)
2. Make her give away ALL of her toys
3. Grounding from all play for a (week/month)
4. Talk with the parish priest (with her)
5. Spank


Jennifer - posted on 05/25/2010




Wait a sec here.. first how old is your daughter. does she understand about personal property and ownership and second she admit to stealing the ipod and other items. as a teacher myself i have seen belongings end up in the wrong place with both sides to blame. Your daughters friend may have loaned it to your daughter and asked her not to tell knowing her mother would be angry with her. If It comes down to the fact that your daughter did intentionally steal the items from her friend than an appology ( preferebly written) must be made. would also warn her that if she cannot stop that maybe her belongings should be inspected before leaving her friends house after each playdate. I think the embarrasment of having her things checked before she leaves anyones house would be enough to stop any child from stealing more than once. if that still doesn't work than you may have teacher her the really hard way and involve the law, if only just to scare her. but before any of that i would sit down and find out if and why she would steal from her friend.

Shannon - posted on 05/24/2010




My daugher stole from school when she was in kindergarten twice and the second time I just was beside myself. I ended up sitting down with her and asking why she was doing it and I just started crying. I couldn't help myself. I told her I wanted her to be a good girl and when she does bad things like stealing it makes mommy upset. Of course she started crying and we just sat there and cried. I ended up grounding her for the weekend and she had to appologize to her teacher. I have not had a problem with her since and she is now going into the second grade.

Angie - posted on 05/24/2010




I think #1 is the biggie. Have her write a letter of apology to her friend and her friend's family. Ground her, letting her know that the reason you're doing this is because you cannot trust her to go to someone's house because she might steal again. This incident will get around and she will soon learn how big a deal this is. A few years ago a little girl stole a pedometer from my daughter - my daughter never let her come to our home again.

Speaking with the parish priest is an excellent idea too. It should be done with tough love - something I'm sure he's used to doing. I think doing it as you would confession - with only the priest and your daughter present - might be best. She'll be more inclined to listen if you're not there...

Danielle - posted on 05/24/2010




This is a tough one. I would make her return the item to her friend's mom and fess to what she did, then ground her for a week. By grounding I mean no TV, no video games, and no radio/ipod. I would also make her pick out three toys to donate to a charity and since you said this has happened before in the past and she doesn't think it is a big deal I would set her up with some counseling, she might have some cleptomania tendencies. Please don't freak out over that word, for some kids this is just a way to deal with stress when they can't think of any other ways. A counselor can help her find other more appropriate ways to deal with things.


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Kelly - posted on 07/28/2012




i had this problem for a bit as well when my daughter lifted things yes she was grounded but also i made it a point for her to earn the money that idem would have cost id have her do work for family and friends at min wage so she could see how somebody worked for that thing she so easily just put in her pocket of course i didnt give her the money just tracked the hours belive me it took 2 times of this she hasnt stolen sence

Chaya - posted on 07/27/2012




How old is the child? If the kids of an appropriate age to spank, I've found that I never had to spank over the same thing twice. Certianly have her speak to the priest, or pastor or whatever you have.
You could take her toys away, although I don't see the point, giving them away would only encourage her to acquire more. When my daughter gets something taken away, it's for the same number of days, or (offenses) as she's been caught at or is abusive to me or whatever.

Molly - posted on 05/27/2010




hello hun I think u need to due all except the church doesnt need to know, unless she stole from them, keep a close eye on her all day long no tv and early bedtimes 7pm make her sit there and if not tired to badd I will email u more latter lets chat molly

Sarah - posted on 05/27/2010




Something an earlier post said struck me. Do you know for sure that your daughter stole the items or did her friend say "here you can have this" or something along those lines. My 5 year once said this to another friend because at the time they were playing firemen and he wanted him to have a hat. The other boy took that to mean he could take that hat home. Depending on the age of the child its very possible that there was just a misunderstanding. I'm not saying she doesn't need to apologize and I like the idea about giving away some of her own items. I'm just saying there could be more to the situation. But I feel like this can be a learning moment on all sides. Like if you don't want toys or expensive gadets to be at risk then you and your child should put those away during the playdate. I know that some toys by sons are just not willing to share. Those get put aside when we have friends over. It keeps everyone a lot happier.

Jessica - posted on 05/25/2010




What really helped when we went through this, was explaining to the child, that "after you confess and apologize to your friend, there is a good chance that they won't want to ever be your friend again, because they can't trust you." I would also donate some toys, but I wouldn't let her choose which ones. Choose a few of her favorites and explain, that now she knows how it feels to have someone take something that you love. And remind her how much more hurtful it would be if it was one of your friends that did it. I would also ground her for a week.

Shari - posted on 05/24/2010




Obviously #1 was a given. However, I agree make her donate some of her toys to a charity or to a day care by your house. I also agree with grounding and absolutely no priviliges except for school and then immediately back home and to her room. #4 is also another excellent idea. I hope this can be dealt with and no more problems like this will come up. Also, explain to her that this will get around and she will not be invited over to anyone's house ever because nobody will trust her!!!!

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