A.D.D. Child That Continues to Steal. Has Anyone Else Experienced This?

Updated on July 22, 2007
S.C. asks from Flower Mound, TX
4 answers

My daughter is 9 1/2 and diagnosed ADD. She is not hyper, but VERY impulsive. To make a long story short, she continues to have a fascination with money. She will steal money out of my purse, my husband's wallet and even her sister's piggy bank! She went so far as to steal a credit card from my wallet one time. She did not use it, but wanted to show it to her friend so they thought she was "cool". She tells us she uses the money to make friends, which I know to be true as she has a hard time making friends. Has anyone gone through this type of situation? We are truly desperate at this point as all punishment methods up until now have not helped, nor has counseling.

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answers from Denver on

Hi, I am sorry you are going through this. I am certainly not an expert, but that does not sound like ADD behaviors....more like OCD. I'd recommend you check out counseling for her...try a new practice if you have not had success with the first one.

Good luck! I have a difficult child with some emotional issues, so I know how hard it can be. I just recently saw the movie Evening and the mom in the movie sang this nursery rhyme to her child in the movie. I wrote it down and hung it over my desk to remind me how much I do love her on the hard days.

I see the moon
The moon see's me
The moon see's the one I long to see

God bless the moon
And God bless me
And God bless the one I Long to see

Seems to me
That God above
Created you
For me to love

He picked you out
From all the rest
'Cause he knew
I loved you best.



answers from Dallas on

You didn't mention what methods you've tried....but....I would sit with her and encourage her to set some small...easily attained goals...things she'd like to buy. Then I would make her a chore chart to hang on the refrigerator or on her bedroom door. Now when you watch her check off a chore that is accomplished...I'd put a little money (an agreed upon amount that was set when the goals were made)in the jar. You may have to put the money jar in YOUR room to begin with. Sit with her during this time to count her money. If she steals it and gives it to friends...no goal met or a longer time to meet it. If she doesn't then she'll begin to learn many things about goal setting, spending, saving, etc. Now, you may have to keep the jar locked away at first. Or you can lock it away the first time she steals from it. Make sure you have a paper inside the jar with the amount written on it, each time you count it with her. As she learns and becomes trustworthy, you can increase her moneys, chores, and goals.

You can also do this with marbles in a jar and when a goal is reached on how many marbles are in the jar, she can have an agreed upon amount of money and a shopping trip to spend it. Don't turn her loose with the money until she has proven she can be trusted. By the same token....keep your word to her...to teach her how to be trustworthy.

I don't normally agree with paying kids...other than an allowance...but in this case, and since she is pre-teen, I think it will work best for her.

Be consistent and keep your word to her.


answers from Dallas on

Maybe good, calm lessons on the value of money, how it is earned, how it multiplies when invested, and how important savings are, as well as the adverse lesson on creating debt and long term consequences of stealing would help her have a more responsible understanding.

The chore chart idea is great. I got my own "checking account" when I was about her age, that encouraged me to learn how to record my expenses on the transaction register, and how to understand that I couldn't spend when funds were low. With my own allowance that I recorded my intake and expenditures, I made wiser choices and thought more closely about items that I purchased.

Perhaps helping her learn this, as well as some more modified counseling for her behaviour as the other moms suggested may help for the stealing, coupled with the trouble she has with making friends, can be part of a larger problem.

Here are some helpful links:




Lessons, I believe on her own personal value and worth, and the meaning of true friends, who don't judge because of money can help. Perhaps getting her involved in some activites or programs with new girls can help give her a fresh start and confidence.(Cheer, gymnastics, dance, soccer, cooking classes, arts/crafts, church group, Tae Kwon Do...) I love this quote:

"If young women know of God's love for them, it will influence and shape all of their thoughts, feelings, and actions. They will understand they have a mission to perform in this life. They will have confidence in their ability to make responsible, righteous decisions. They will be able to resist temptation, to flee from worldly things, to dress modestly as is becoming of a divine daughter of God."

—Susan W. Tanner, Young Women general president




answers from Birmingham on

Why not try counseling? Dr. Denise Wooten is in Lewisville on 1171 and very close to you.

My daughter is OCD and she takes things and then denies she did it.... no matter if you can prove it or not. It hasn't gone away, but it has gotten much better with counseling, meds, and our efforts.

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