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help4two
help4two asks:
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How can I stop my daughter from stealing money from me and make her understand it is wrong?

I am at a loss what to do..... A month ago we found out that my daughter has been stealing money from our wallets!!  To the point that she had collected over $500.00.  I found this out when she went away for the weekend and was cleaning her room.  My husband and I were shocked.  She was grounded etc...... However, once again as she is away at camp, I was cleaning her room to found money again!!!  What is she behaving like this, what causes a child to steal??  I honestly thought she learned her lesson the first time.  At eleven years old she doesn't fear us at all.  Along with the stealing goes lying......  Help???  Any suggestions?  I am opened to everything.
In Topics: Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Jul 18, 2008
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What the Expert Says:

You sound very frustrated with your daughter's behavior and rightfully so.  When she stold the money the last time, what was her plan for the money that she had?  That is a huge sum of cash for an 11year old to be holding on to!   Has she stolen other things besides money?  
Talking to your child about trust may be the first place to start.  If you cannot trust her, let her know that she will not be allowed to do things that other kids can do---sleepovers, shopping, camp. Then stick to it, and let her know that it is because you do not want her to steal things from other people.
Does she take things from kids at school?  If you are concerned that this may be happening, you should do backpack checks when she goes to and comes home from school.  If it she is only stealing from you, is her way of trying to get your attention?
Another thing to keep in mind is that children often have difficulty telling the truth.  They usually are attempting to avoid conflict, punishment, or embarrassment.  This may also mean that they do not tell you the whole story in order to avoid information that may get them in trouble.  It is often easier for them to tell a lie than to admit responsibility for their behavior.
When talking to your daughter keep your questioning neutral, don€™t make accusations or interrogate as she may resort to lying in order to avoid punishment. Set her up for success to tell the truth by not trying to trap her in a lie. Try to get her to reflect on what she did wrong or how she could respond differently in the future.  This approach becomes more of a teaching approach rather than a punishing one.
Best wishes, it is great that you are catching this early before it becomes an even bigger problem.  If you have additional concerns, you may want to consult with a school counselor for additional assistance and input.
Boys Town National Hotline
1-800-448-3000


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Boys Town National Hotline
It's great that you really want to get to the bottom of what is going on and that you are willing to be self reflective in how you respond to her in the future.  You might want to start by trying to set aside time each day to spend time with her without other distractions.  It is easy as a parent to lose track of how much an 11 year old still needs your attention, especially since they are starting to become more independant and can take care of themselves.  You just want to be careful not to let her be too independant too soon!  Also, remember to remove the temptation by not leaving your wallets laying in plain view!  I hope you can work thru this with your daughter, it make take some time so you may have to be patient -best wishes!
> 60 days ago

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