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My 6 year old steals and then lies
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SarahDuncan posted:
I have found other topics about this but I am at a loss. I have a little girl that has no medical problems, she isn't medicated and she understands right from wrong. My child is very bright and intelligent when she "wants to be". Over the last year, we have really come a long way with her. She is the type that will tighten up and not speak if she is in trouble or asked to do something she does not want to do, like assignments at school. She would just act as if she didn't know how. After working on this, she now finds learning to be fun, we just had to go about it a different way. I am a single mother with one disabled child ( spina bifida) which is also my youngest. I have always worked very hard to make sure my oldest doesn't feel left out or that she is getting less attention because of the time spent on my youngest. I know that my oldest thirsts for attention, even when you are giving her tons of it! The problem I am having and have been having is my child stealing. It used to be things like candy, food, capri sun drinks, things to indulge on from our own kitchen or a friends or babysitters home. She would take as many as she could and either suck them down quickly or hide them away for later. She gets plenty to eat so we weren't sure why she did it... We explained, if you are still hungry or thirsty or want something you just have to ask. Last year, my child stole gum from a grocery store. I made her return it and apologize to the lady she took it from. I paid for the gum and the lady told her that the cops could have taken her or me to jail..etc. I thought this would surely work. a few days later I caught her with candy under her shirt in the store and I took her to the police station. An officer scared some sense in to her, I THOUGHT! By the time we got back in the car and a few blocks down she was eating crackers and laughing at her sister. I took her home, put her straight to bed and she threw a bit fit and cried and ended up with her butt popped. She continued taking things from teachers and kids at school and eventually ended up in ISS. The teacher, principal and myself have all been working closely together to get a hold on this and I placed her in school counseling. None of this has made a difference! I have done time out, grounded her, took things away, had something of hers taken so she could see what it felt like, whooped her behind, had sit down calm rational talks... you name it. The behavior faded for a bit and now it is back. Nothing has changed in our world so I don't know what is triggering it. It's like I see it, I want it, its mine. Then she will lie about taking it bold faced! It seems to be happening at school and here in our home only for now. I do understand how serious this is but I'm running out of ideas here! And the weird thing about it is, she always seems to steal right after we do something fun together or I buy her something new. Like I bought her whatever she wanted for school at the beginning of the year, the same day she stole. I spent a entire day one on one, the next morning she stole. Today she got to take her new lunchbox to school for the first time ever instead of eating in the cafeteria.. what did she do? End of the day she stole. I don't want to yell and scream all the time or do anything to scar my child but she is getting older, this is not cute and it MUST be stopped. Someone please help! The other thing is, she is really good about switching it off and cleaning the house or doing something productive and apologizing and saying I wont do it anymore but I stick to what I said from the beginning and I don't allow her to get out of punishment. I am pouring on affection and praise when she acts right and trying my best to give proper punishment when she is not but I am sooo sooo lost!
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MrsAmandaWilson responded:
This posting is three years old, but still I can't help but feel relieved that I'm not the only one going through this. Word for word exactly the same (We haven't taken her to the police yet, but I'm thinking about it. We did do the store manager thing after she stole some things.)

Not sure if you'll ever look at this again...but I was wondering if you got help or there were any improvements with age?

Something tells me there is something disturbed in my daughters thinking. My four year old isn't showing -any- of the same signs. I feel like I'm raising a future assassin or notorious thief.

I feel so lost. Everyone keeps giving me advice, books, etc. but none of them have a clue what it's like. My daughter doesn't just steal and lie she is -calculated-. It's all planned. She thinks carefully over how she is going to go about it, then executes it, and while she apologize profusely after her punishment I feel like it doesn't stick....or that it's an act. That she's manipulating me,
 
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momuv4girls replied to MrsAmandaWilson's response:
Hi,

I believe you are right to be concerned and not just let this behavior go on and on......

This is what the American Academy of Child & Adolescents Psychiatry says about lying:

If a child or adolescent develops a pattern of lying which is serious and repetitive, then professional help may be indicated. Evaluation by a child and adolescent psychiatrist would help the child and parents understand the lying behavior and would also provide recommendations for the future.

Here is the link where I found this info:
http://www.aacap.org/cs/root/facts_for_families/children_and_lying

I think an evaluation by Child Psychiatrist is warranted. I would make sure the Dr. is board certified and has a good reputation.

Good luck, and take care,
-Kathleen


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