Foster adopt child is stealing

Laura - posted on 10/07/2013 ( 3 moms have responded )




I am looking for a group of moms who adopted foster kids and are struggling with strategies and tools that work for their children.
My 2nd child is a chronic stealer and I keep finding food and her sisters' personal belongings hiding in her room.


Sarah - posted on 10/07/2013




Some kids are harder to love them, but don't like their behaviors very much. They require a LOT out of you and DON'T give much back. There are a few foster/adopt parents groups on Circle of Moms....not sure if you have tried those groups or not or how active they are, but if you have not that might be helpful.

I work in adoption and also have siblings that were adopted. Over the years one thing I have learned is that sometimes you can't change the behavior instead you have to change how you parent. This is REALLY big for those that have fetal alcohol. Often times their part of the brain that has common sense is not developed and may never develop. So it is pointless to try to teach them cause and effect as they will never be able to learn it. Instead you teach them routine and habit. I once went to a seminar about FAS and they gave an example of a guy in his 20's.....Throughout his life his parents taught him how to check with someone else before he did the idea that had just popped into his brain (as impulse is another thing for FAS people). They taught him became a habit to check with others when ideas came to him. They did not try to teach him right and wrong. So for a child that is younger time outs mean nothing as their brain is unable to process what a time out means. Instead you teach by having him ask you first before he does something. For stealing, though it is wrong and you don't want to make the action ok.......sometimes you have to figure out how to avoid it. At home have locks on the bedroom doors. When not in the bedroom lock the door....this goes for siblings as well. If you have something you don't want taken store it in the bedroom, so you can lock it up. As for the stealing food, that could be a whole different issue there. Always keep a bowl of fruit on the table. Let her know that it is always there for her to eat. Keep the bowl always filled. Stealing food or hoarding food is a VERY common one for adopted kids that had to do without food many times. Always having some healthy foods available and in easy reach helps with the stealing and hoarding.

The phases you mentioned she has gone through tend to be common in those with attachment issues. Have you ever gone to a therapist that works primarily with adopted children? As stated above you may not be able to change the behaviors, but a therapist that works with primarily adopted children might be able to give you ideas on how to parent a child that has certain limitations.


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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 10/07/2013




So, if your child was diagnosed with ptsd, why are you not still getting her counseling?

PTSD does not just "go away". If she was in a situation traumatic enough to have her removed from her biological parents into the foster system, and you have subsequently adopted her, things are not going to automatically be "OK" takes time, and a lot of effort!

Now what? Continue her therapy! That is the best advice I can give.

Laura - posted on 10/07/2013




My 2nd child is 10 and she has been in our family now for 7 years. She has struggled greatly with attaching to me, but does better with my husband. She started stealing when she was 5, from her teachers and classmates but it quit for several years. Now she's back doing it again. She goes through phases-like pooping in her pants and hiding that, or chewing her toes, or rocking, but now we are in the stealing phase. I have tried restitution and such, but it's not working. We went to a therapist for several years and she gave me some tools, books, and long explanations why my daughter does these things-post traumatic stress disorder and brain hemispheres not right-but now what? Any advice out there? The last group of moms I joined could only talk about how crappy their therapists were and not how crappy their home lives were. I feel like I'm drowning and I want to love this child but it's getting harder and harder. I still do, but I'm always looking over my shoulder, wondering what she's going to do next. Broken heart.

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