16 answers

10 Yr Old Daughter Stealing from Her Best Friend!

Hello Moms out there,

We just found out today that my daughter has been stealing things from her best friend whom also lives across the street. She's been stealing pens, pencils, charms and jewelry. I'm so bummed about this because we love all of our neighbors and the fact that she's stealing from her best friend is very upsetting. What's worse is that her BFF is celebrating her 11th bday in Aug and the only girl that she wanted to invite to celebrate with and have a sleepover was my daughter until she saw her stuff in my daughters room. Ya can't really deny it when her things are in your room! She is so busted! As of right now her BFF is very upset and the sleepover is called off and we haven't even confronted my daughter yet. What is a reasonable punishment for my daughter? We talked to our neighbor who is a cop and we wanted him to dress in his uniform and chat with her about why it's wrong to steal but he said it would be better if it was a community cop that she doesn't know. If you have any other suggestions please share them with me. I'd like to go over the 10 commandments and maybe post them on her wall. This is just so wrong of her and I thought we were teaching her right from wrong... She also has a form of ADHD that we are going to address this coming week with a therapist. My husband says we should go through all her things and anything we don't recognize as hers we need to return to the rightful owner. Sorry for venting, I'm just so disappointed :( Please help! Thanks and God Bless
**I just want to add that we found out because the girls Dad came over and told my husband everything...

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

C., awe that is ashame. But you are doing all the right things. I want to tell a story: my sister stole things,at the same age and my mother found them under the bed. She stole them from the zoo gift shop, friends, etc. Now let me flash forward many, many years. She is now a police officer. It works. There are consequences and there also good outcomes. You'll see.

More Answers

My daughter, has a classmate, that steals. Just like your daughter.
My daughter is NOT friends with this girl.
AND... that girl's "reputation" is all over the school. Other kids KNOW and the parents.
So, the good kids and parents, do not, interact with this girl nor invite her to anything.
My friends daughter, had her things stolen by this girl too.

If your daughter keeps this up, she will not have... nice/good friends. And the icky kids, will be the one's that friend her. Because they don't see anything 'wrong' with it.

You need to tell her point blank, that everyone KNOWS she steals.
You need to make her... accountable. Take ALL the things she STOLE... and march it right back to the rightful owners... AND to their parents... and APOLOGIZE... in person.
AND if she lies... she needs to be punished for this too.
She is 10 years old.
Tell her point blank, and show her point blank, that this is simply Unacceptable.
AND, she is lucky the others did not call the cops on her.

She needs a reality check.

Stop it now... or she will be a CHRONIC stealer.
Even if child Therapy, is needed.

NO kid or parents, will want to interact with her or be her friend, if she steals. BECAUSE SHE CANNOT BE TRUSTED. At all.
With her current behavior.

That classmate of my daughter that steals... everyone knows. Even the Teachers. No decent kid, wants to be her friend. And the parents, even if they told her parents, they don't get it. They say "she's just a child... kids do this..."
Yah, right.

You need to, punish your daughter, pointedly.
Or she will have no friends, AND when she gets older, what if she 'graduates' to stealing from stores?
Or she gets caught and gets charged, for stealing?

Don't, pussy foot around this.

WHY have you NOT confronted your daughter on this YET????
Gosh.

You need to ground her. AND take away ALL privileges. You TELL her POINT BLANK.... and that her lying... is ALSO a problem. YOU need to tell the Therapist this too... that she lies. And steals.

Do NOT allow her to go to friends' homes.
She cannot be trusted... she steals.
No one, will want to have her around.
Believe me.
I know, because of my daughter's classmate. Her classmate that steals... only has friends, that are JUST like her. The not-so-good-kids... that even the Teachers, know about.

Your DAUGHTER, needs to return EVERYTHING. Not you or Daddy.
HER. TO the child and TO the PARENTS, face to face.

2 moms found this helpful

I'm so, so sorry. Its so tough to be disappointed in your daughter's actions.

I don't know what I would do, but I hope I would take a wondering stance. Why she chose to do this? What she's seeing as the consequences (ie) her friendship and her trustworthiness?

I love your idea, and would follow it up with a discussion with the police. Way to reinforce not only natural consequence, but legal consequence. I would also wonder how she feels about her self right now? Does she want to continue feeling this way?

Now, what is a good way to make reparations? Amends and humility are tough and important. It will also show character if she is able to accept the consequences of her chosen actions.

Again, very sorry mama!

2 moms found this helpful

The best thing you can do is to make her return any stolen items. She has to look them in the eye and apologize to the person who she stole from, not the parents. Yes she will be humilated, that's the point.

2 moms found this helpful

Have you ever heard of the term transitional object?

Some times young kids steal an item to remind them of things they love. It is how blankies and other items make them feel safe by reminding them of mommy and safe places. It is possible she (and many others) steal from people they care about. You're hurt and embarrassed and frustrated. Beating her over the head is of limited value. Only you and the therapist can determine why she is stealing.

Listen to Living Life about sitting down with her. Not a huge fan of posting the commandments in her room, but she needs to make amends.
Good luck

2 moms found this helpful

I would ask her why she took them. There are compulsions and obsessions that make people do things that they know are wrong but that they cannot stop. I would be gentle and understanding if you think this is out of character. Kleptomaniacs steal to belong and feel wanted. I had a college roommate who stole stupid stuff - underwear and paperclips and a photo, even a cigarette pack, things that were not expensive nor missed, but it made her feel better. Find out what is happening with her, but don't make her feel worse than she maybe already does. AD(H)D can come with co-existing conditions, my daughter has ADD and dyslexia. On the other hand maybe she is a selfish little sh*t and needs a good beating, lol! I do not know her at all, but there "may" be another side to this story.

2 moms found this helpful

Going thru her things and returning all the stolen items would be a great start.

I'd then also cancel any parties or special events she has planned for a set period of time and let her know she'd get nothing new for a full year. Thieves don't deserve to get new things when they steal other people's things.

If you aren't harsh with her this first time, she will not learn her lesson. She may also need counseling as a kleptomaniac.

1 mom found this helpful

Oh my....what a mess. To help your daughter be accountable for her actions I would march her right over there to her friends house and make her apologize not only to her friend, but to her parents as well. (and of course along with returning the items she took). Then I would take her down to the police station and have her 'scared straight' by one of the police officers. Tell the police what she has done and that she has apologized to them, but you want them to help her come to grips of what can happen if she continues to go down this road of being a thief. Let them take her into the cell hall to see all the people whom they've caught breaking the law. Let her experience a little bit of what can happen if she continues. Make sure she understands that if she is ever on the wrong side of the law and she is guilty, that she will be on her own to deal with it. My parents have always told me growing up that they will always help me, and defend me if I'm in the right...but if I'm on the wrong side of the law, they will let the police take care of me.

I think with you taking her over to her friends house to apologize to her friend and her parents, will be a bit humiliating and she may remember this experience and never do this again. A little humiliation can go a long way in this type of situation. Also the visit to the police station will help her to realize the consequences if she continues to steal.

This must be also humiliating for you and your husband as well. I feel for you both. I hope these suggestions help. I don't want to sound too harsh, but, I have two boys and if I'm ever in this type of situation with them, this is exactly what I will do.

1 mom found this helpful

I think you and your DH should sit down with your daughter and tell her about her friend's father contacting DH and share exactly what he said. First thing is first, explain that you will be going with her to the friend's home and she will personally hand over the items and apologize to the girl and to her parents. Together, go through her room piece by piece, every square inch, every pocket, bag, box, clothes drawers etc. Every object your DH was told belonged to the friend, or that you do not personally know with absolute certainty is rightfully hers should be collected and returned to the rightful owner, your DH is right. Do NOT believe the "so-and-so gave me this" "she let me borrow this" or "I found that" Some of it may be true, but too bad, she has lost your trust. Tell her you will be regularly searching her room and bags, and follow through and do this. After she brings the friend's stuff back with apologies, you should explain the seriousness what she did and give her stiff consequences.

I would do a total grounding for 2 weeks. No contact with friends, no going anyplace without you or DH. Then for another 2 weeks, allow her to have contact with friends by phone, and invite a friend over to your home only or only to something they will be directly supervised by you or DH. Again, be vigilant about checking her room. She is basically on probabtion. During the 4 weeks, she will not be allowed to go to parties, to play at others homes, out to movies or mall, or any place friends may invite her out to. She has lost your trust, and she needs to spend time understanding the seriousness of what she has done, and begin the long process of slowly earning your trust back. Do NOT let her out of your sight while at retail stores, relatives homes, etc.

The biggest natural consequence will be her friendship with this girl. It will likely not recover. That is going to be a big life lesson for her. saying you need to explain the reality to your daughter that even IF her friend forgives her, her PARENTS may not trust her again.

Then hug her, love her, tell her she will be a stronger, better person for having gone through this gut-wrenching experience. Spend a lot of time doing things with her while she is having her consequences. Deep down she will be relieved, and secure in knowing her parents care enough to see she isn't going down the wrong path.

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