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Avatar universal

10 yr old going in wrong direction

my 10 year old daughter steals all the time. She was grounded for stealing and stole the first day of grounding. She was recently caught vandilizing her school with some 'friends" she lies about everything things that dont even matter things that she doesnt even need to lie about. She is very sweet toward people but she is a sneeky theif that lies 24\7 i am at my witts end i cant imagine what problems i will have when she is 16. It is starting to effect my family it is causing stress on my marriage and the way i treat my other kids i tend to be angry with her which makes me feel angry all the time
4 Responses
189897 tn?1441130118
    Ya, she is definitely going in the wrong direction.  At 10, there is still a lot that you can do about it.  Trouble is you have to figure out what is causing the problem.
    It could be her "friends" are unduly influencing her.
    It could be she has something like ADHD which will cause kids to do things without thinking about it, and then many times lie about it cause they really don't remember doing it or don't remember why they did it.  And, of course, is she has ADHD - her friends could really influence her the wrong way.
   Either way, I would talk to her school teacher.  Ask her how she is doing in school.  Does the teacher notice anything unusual?  What does the teacher think of the people she hangs out with?  Does the teacher notice any signs of ADHD.
   And here is a link to ADHD that may prove helpful:
Avatar universal
The stealing is only a symptom of the real issue. She is hurting deep down and her hurt has started long before she has stolen anything. This could be as a result of some sort of abuse (even things you have no idea about), because of an unstable home environment where there is a lot of anger or lack of rules or even too many rules or something that has happened outside of the home. She is stealing so that she can get power and control and because she feels that based on her hurt that she "deserves" it. Also, you have called her a sneaky thief and I think you have labeled her along with the behavior. What you want to do is let her know you love her, despite her failings and that stealing is a wrong behavior but doesn't make her any less lovable. She is hurting so much that she is seeking out others who are also hurting- other kids who have similar problems tend to gravitate towards each other. The reason that things are not working is because the root problem is not being addressed. I think it would be so helpful if she could get some counseling. In the meantime, you have to set out very clear boundaries and consequences and let her be part of the process in deciding what the consequences should be if she steals- i.e. working off the amount she owes, writing a note of apology, etc. Let her know that you do not see her as a thief but as a child who is hurting and desperate for attention. My guess is too that she is often mouthy and angry too towards you and I bet you are often the same way back. It is a vicious cycle that is only feeding the behavior. She is even willing to get the negative attention because deep down she is crying out for you to solve her hurting. If you can, step back and see that she is still a child and there is a reason for everything. Sometimes it is hard as parents to realize the mistakes we have made in parenting or the environment we are in ourselves. It is a family issue too and it might be helpful for the whole family to participate in counseling so that the environment is warm, loving and happy. She is very unhappy and she is telling you this through her actions. Please let her know she is loved and that you will be consistent with discipline but it will be fair and not done in anger. And, hopefully you can solve the root issue. You are correct in assuming that it will only get worse if not solved now. Focus less on the stealing (the symptom) and more on the root issue and the stealing will resolve itself because she will want to change, she will have self-respect and she will be able to love herself enough not to go against the rules. Right now, the rebellion is because that is all the power she feels she has...it shows that she feels powerless. And, give her ways too that she can earn money (even though that honestly is not the issue right now) and give her as much praise as possible when she does something good. She is desperate for love.
Avatar universal
You need to get her some help. You can not do this on your own. If this is not dealt with immediately it will lead to problems that will lead to issues with juvinile court. The antisocial behavior needs to be investigated and the root cause found and dealt with.
Avatar universal
Yes, she needs help.  Do you know of a good child therapist you could go to to start with and see what they think.  Also let the school know, and see what they think.  I would not let this go any further.  She may not be hanging out w/the right crowd. I know this is tough and SCARY..
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189897 tn?1441130118
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