18 Answers

We’ve just discovered our 11yo daughter continually steals things.

Desperate to go on a shopping date with a friend, she was grounded because she stole $50 from my wallet.

A week later she was discovered with a device clutched to her chest at 10.15 at night. (There are a few reasons this is not OK: she doesn’t own a device [we’re waiting til she’s in high school], devices are to be put in a central charging area at 9.00pm; and we already know she has a device addiction).

She was grounded again. I informed the friend, but there ensued a long text conversation – between my 11yo and her friend – about how she wouldn’t misbehave again and she’d be good and they’d be able to go shopping the next weekend.

That was on Fri.

On Mon we discovered the wrapper of a Lindt chocolate block on her desk. She’d stolen it from the pantry on Sunday and eaten the whole thing Sunday-Monday!

We sat her down and had a long chat, she admitted she’d stolen money and things from the pantry before… She doesn’t know why she does it.

What should I do?


Posted anonymously, 3rd December 2018


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  • I’d seek professional advice it could be a very good opportunity to deal with her device addiction too.


  • She is eleven, she knows right from wrong. She was getting a reward from stealing, even leaving the wrapper to be found. This has continued, she gets a bugger buzz each time. It is like a person at a Poker Machine. Adults who gamble will say they don’t want to they know they can’t afford to but the buzz they get from that intermittent reward, is why they return to the Poker Machine.
    I would suggest, you get her an appointment ASAP with a Child Psychologist, both parents present near, perhaps in a waiting room. Once your child feels comfortable, her story will unfold. Work with the therapist for as long as is needed.


  • I would do the hard stance and take her down to the police station. Obviously ring the police before hand and state what is going on (without her knowing that you have already talked to them) and they can give her a very stern talking to. Hopefully it will scare the beejesus out of her and she won’t do it again.


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