I had quite a shock today when the local department store called to ask me to come and pick up my light-fingered daughter (12, going on 15)
She’d tried to steal around £250 worth of make-up clobber.
We’re relatively well-off. She doesn’t want for much (IMHO) but compared to her peers in her school, she’s a bit behind the curve on “gear”
(And rightly so, says the Yorkshireman in me. Ecky thump, ee by gum, etc )
I’m not for one second excusing her, and am still processing “how to deal with it” (Mrs Craig is literally somewhere over thr Atlantic right now, incredibly helpfully) but I did thi k i might not be the only Dad who’s kid has stolen stuff and got caught.
Hit me up with your (Viz-esque) top tips and experiences
I think that I would want to know why she did it. Does she not get enough pocket money for the stuff she wants? Does she value this really expensive stuff really highly? Was it for attention, or the thrill? Does mum have expensive make up? Does she share?
Gahh, it’s difficult when trust is damaged with this stuff. Go to her room with her calmly and ask her to show you anything else she has taken. If she comes clean accompany her back to the shop(s) and get her to pay for the items taken. If today was a first offense get her to start donating to a charity to the sum of the item stolen. She will A learn the value of money and B do something positive.
I guess the urge to punish is there but taking the time to explain why relationships are built on trust and no one has the right to steal is a balancing point. Kicking off with ‘it starts with makeup & ends with prison’ or getting into the labeling of thief / shaming can be counter productive. If she is genuinely showing shame this is healthy, she’s crossed a big boundary. If she’s not something else may be going on.
I can only offer an opinion - every kid is different - but any form of punishment - anything even faintly humiliating - will probably do more harm than good.
I was the kind of kid that responded to it, but even though I barely know you, I doubt you raised kids the way I was “raised”. Far from it.
Some of this is trying to compete with the rich kids, some of it is pubescent rebelliousness, and some of this is boundary-exploring. All of it is 100% normal. Annoying, but normal.
Try and be unjudgemental and get her to open up to you - find out what’s bugging her, and yeah deffo find who she’s hanging with.
I’ll go out on a limb and suggest that making her repay a bunch of stuff will make you feel better, but her feel like shit. Talk to her about getting a job (bit of babysitting, that sorta thing), so she can afford the extras she wants.
Talk to her, too, about how stuff like makeup is a bunch of outdated, outmoded patriarchal bullshit, that’s she’s beautiful au-naturel - corny as fuck I know, and she’ll harrumph the living shit out of you, but it’s good to hear anyway, even from lame old dad.
Growing-up’s a motherfucker, and she needs you on her side more than ever, even though this has come as an unpleasant surprise.
Around here it seems kids influence each other and push each other on, often led by one bad one. One bollocking and the good ones get on with life and the bad one move to other friends, who end up getting asbos.