Education.com
Try
Brainzy
Try
Plus
lanie_gooch
lanie_gooch asks:
Q:

My 11 year old daughter continuously steals food (only sweets) from home and from school. I cannot figure out how to get her to stop. Any ideas?

For a few years now, my daughter, now 11, takes sweets from the kitchen, hides them in her room and eats them. It has escalated to her stealing candy from a teacher and giving it to another teacher, while eating some herself. I do not allow any of my 3 children to have very many sugary snacks, trying to keep them healthy and teaching them that sugary snacks are only for special occasions. Normally she confesses after a few days, but right now we are missing and entire bottle of honey and she won't "fess up" this time. I'm at the end of my rope, I don't know what to do to get her to stop taking food and how to effectively discipline her when she does it (both for stealing food and lying about it). It's causing serious problems with our home life, and I just need some advise from others who have been through this.
Any thoughts, ideas, or discipline tactics that have worked for others would be greatly appreciated!

Question asked after reading: http://www.education.com/reference/article/when...
In Topics: Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago

|

Expert

MomSOS
Oct 25, 2010
Subscribe to Expert

What the Expert Says:

The article that you read before asking your question is a helpful one, and offers some sound ideas for dealing with young children's ability to sort reality. However, at 11 children are typically more able to know what is a lie.  In your daughter's case there appears to be more going on than just the lying and "stealing" of the sweets. There are signs of an emerging pattern of disordered eating behavior.  Discipline in the form of rules, consequences, and follow through is important, but it is equally important that the consequences and follow through happen with a no-shaming policy.  My best suggestion is to consult a clinical social worker or psychologist who can help you to determine the underlying causes for this type of behavior and its escalation. You might want to choose a professional who has experience dealing with families since you mention that this is causing problems in your home life.
Good luck and let us know how it goes.
Bette J. Freedson, LICSW, LCSW, CGP
Clinical Social Worker
JustAsk Expert
http://www.singlemomsos.com/index.html

Did you find this answer useful?
0
yes
0
no

Additional Answers (6)

trixie713
trixie713 writes:
I have the exact same problem with my eleven yearold stepson...
first off, what we did was put an alarm outside his door, (which is basically the kitchen) when he decides to get up at night to take the food, the alarm goes off. we get up and see what he is up too. (this has helped alot)
as for punishment. it doesnt really matter, there has been days where his dad has planned something really fun with him for the next day. its an incentive to not steal food during the night.. but for some odd reason he knows hes got something fun going on in the morning. he still steals the food. we have tried making him write sentences, i have removed everything from his room. (because i am the one that has to search it EVERYDAY and hes starting to get good with hiding the wrappers in his toy box and such.) i have even made him do what we call the jackie chan. (from the new karate kid.) and you can do this with anything (leaving a back pack out, shoes out, not filling the toliet paper roll, anything!) is if he hide the wrapper under his bed. i make him take it from under his bed. to the garbage. throw it away. go back in his room. come back out. take the wrapper out of the garbage. put it back under his bed. take it from under his bed. put it in the garbage. go back in his room. repeat. basically until he gets it. the fact that you have to throw garbage away.
i have really big concerns with his health, he eats a brick of cheese, and then wonders why he cant poop the next day. i am afraid he might develop diabetes. along with black mold off the food, and bugs.
needless to say, he still does this behavior no matter what we do.
> 60 days ago

Did you find this answer useful?
0
yes
0
no
St3phan13
St3phan13 writes:
My daughter used to do the same thing.. The best thing you can do is find non sugar snacks and give her one after she eats her dinner. If she still does it then after you have her pick it up have her vacuum the area where they were and make her sit in time out for 3 min for every wrapper you found, and dont look under her bed until after dinner because then you can also deny her snack that evenimg. She will get the picture. If she is stealing from other people the best thing you can do is find something of hers you know she willnotice if its missing and when she is in school get it and put it where she cant find it. Sometimes its best to show them than just punish them. Good Luck
> 60 days ago

Did you find this answer useful?
0
yes
0
no
kellybrewington21502
kellybrewin... writes:
I have the same problem with my 13 year old stepson he has been dignosed with mental problems and treated but yet he still steals the sad part is he doesnt steal from his dad just me and my family i need help im going insane..and i dont know how much more i can take its hard i can buy him sugar free he wont eat it he goes in my room when im not home and steals i have put my fridge on the back porch with pad locks and it still isnt working
> 60 days ago

Did you find this answer useful?
1
yes
0
no
chriscored
chriscored writes:
I have a 13 yr old and hes always stealing food, my partner and I sleep in the lounge coz we gave our 13 yr old his own room,and hes game enough to steal with us sleeping right near kitchen, weve taken stuff like ipod and he doesn't care, Just the other day I cleaned his room while hes at his dads and found 11 cheese wrappers under bed. Its frustrating my mum says he must be hungry its like he eats plenty during the day and if hes got money hell buy take away but still get up. Our new rule is your going to replace it so when he gets home hes to buy cheese hes not happy bout that.
I personally don't think its normal weve 5 kids at home if they all got up and stole food wed have nothing. We have a lock on our cupboard I think we need one for fridge.
> 60 days ago

Did you find this answer useful?
0
yes
0
no
Wayne Yankus
Wayne Yankus writes:
Perhaps, it is time to review that at 11 years old you have no control over food, sleep or bowels.  time to loosen up.  The hard line on sugar isn't working. Start by teaching her how to cook and read labels.  Tackle the question of stealing--is it because she is afraid to get caught or she truly craves these snacks?  help her make some snacks at home and make them hers.  then you have input on what goes in the snacks with her being part of the process.  Let her plan meals with you and help serve.

Wayne Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist: pediatrics
> 60 days ago

Did you find this answer useful?
0
yes
0
no
sdik11
sdik11 writes:
Please ,enough our children were conditioning to steal sweet things . We need to award them with things like books ,tickets , clothes ,visits outclasses ....Concisely , no more candy in school .Be sure we diverge the manners of our children with that .I think ,as we need to full the room with all excitant candies for a long time to satisfy their stimulus we need at the same time to show them the punishments of this act like in movies of his or her preferring stars.
> 60 days ago

Did you find this answer useful?
0
yes
0
no
Answer this question