Hi mama! Just wondering if you’ve been able to resolve your issue with your 11 year old? Now while I have no experience in this area I can give you some advice as to what I would do personally. I’m a mother of two girls and the last thing you want to think about is them stealing – it happens though unfortunately and know you are not the only parent to go through it. While my daughters are quite young 18 months and 5 turning 6 I’m constantly thinking about the future and what they will be like as teenagers and it scares me (as good as they are!) If you feel like you cannot get through to your daughter do you have another family member that might? Or is extremely close to her? I didn’t always want to open up to my parents when I was a teenager but I had two older sisters I could go to. Do you know your daughters friends? These days who your child is around really makes an impact on them – what they’re doing she will want to do. Now personally if I were in your position I would be driving my daughter to the closest police station to let them talk to her – trust me they have a good approach on these situations especially since your daughter is so young. And as forward as this might sound I would be telling my daughter the cold hard truth about the consequences of stealing – she will end up with a record she has for life and it doesn’t go away, she will be arrested and charged. I remember in high school two of my friends stole clothes from a clothing store (I didn’t steal a single item but knew what they were doing and was with them) they got caught – and yep I was arrested and handcuffed at 14. Now I ended up with no charges but my friends did. I remember them putting handcuffs on me and shoving me in the back of a police van after me telling them I didn’t steal anything. I was SO ASHAMED! I had to walk through a shopping centre with people staring and talking about me it was horrible. Not only that I was interviewed at the police station for hours and had to sit in a room by myself without my parents. As I said I wasn’t the one who stole anything but the shame that came with placing hand cuffs on me and having people watch is something I’ll never forget. Everyone knew at school the next day and my friends were named and shamed by everyone in our year level. I’m sure you’ve let your daughter know the consequences of stealing but let her know true stories, if she gets caught not every police officer will be nice (especially these days with the amount of stealing that happens) let her know it’s a criminal offence and she will get a record if it continues. People won’t want to hire here if she has any sort of history with stealing and that could potentially ruin any job opportunity that comes up for her. But also have a calm approach you want to be clear and stern with her. Another idea is to speak to the school and get them to organise a police officer to come out and talk to the children about stealing and the consequences that come with it. Maybe spend some one on one time with her and take her out to do something she loves and try to get to the root cause of this issue. Tell her she won’t be judged for what she opens up about and that you are there to listen and help her through it all. You still have time to set rules and boundaries with her now so don’t think it’s too late. Keep a close eye on who she interacts with also and give her as much support as possible because after all she’s only 11! I would love to hear your outcome on this situation. All the best!

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Published 6th April 2020

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