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Old 09-07-2006, 11:11 PM   #11
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Re: Oh no! DD got caught STEALING!!!!

Having to face the teacher will be alot of humiliation and sometimes, that's enough to get the point across. Maybe the thought of having to own up in front of the teacher will sink it in that stealing and lying isn't right. Then having to say it to her friend, then her friend possibly getting into trouble will be another helper to sink the point in.

The punishment you've already given with the no TV, no computer, cleaned out her room, face up to the teacher is pretty good. It's something I would do.

You've done the right thing with telling her of the Commandments and how there is no "it's kinda ok in this situation" type deal. I have always like the "What part of thou shall not didn't you understand..." and "The 10 Commandments are not the 10 Suggestions" (two of those God billboards, know what I'm talking about?)

You are doing the right thing mama, and I'll keep you in my prayers as the month of September might be a long one for you.

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Old 09-07-2006, 11:25 PM   #12
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Re: Oh no! DD got caught STEALING!!!!

I don't really have any good advice, just wanted to say I think you handled it so well! And you and your dh sound like great parents!
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Old 09-07-2006, 11:50 PM   #13
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Re: Oh no! DD got caught STEALING!!!!

The idea of an "if then" chart or talk is GREAT! We had to implement that with my dd (almost 11 yo).

She was doing a lot of needless lying to me and my dh (her step-dad) so when talking with her bio dad he suggested that. So, I sat her down and said

"If I ask you a ? and you lie right away and I know or I find out later you will be grounded for 1-2 weeks with no TV, Friends etc.

If you lie but fess up right away you will be grounded for 3 days no TV/friends etc.

If you tell the truth about what you did no matter how bad it was you won't get grounded. We'll have a talk and I'll be stern and upset but no grounding. I may make you do extra chores or something but no major grounding."

My dd was TOTALLY sassy at ages 2-4. Not so much anymore as she knows who is the boss and what are proper ways to speak to ALL ADULTS including me even when she's mad at me. We do not allow that kind of disrespect here. LOL She is SO polite so it's hard for her to speak that way to me but she'd never DARE speak that way to anyone else.

She's gotten MUCH better. When we were going through all that lying I spent a lot of time "crabbing/yelling" at her, calling her dad, grounding her etc because it'd take forever for me to get the truth out of her or I'd find things out DAYS/Weeks later and be so mad it had gone that far. Now, she's more mature. So, yeah, definately an age thing.

Stealing is another thing. We've never dealt with that. I always made my dd think about how her actions affect others and how they might be feeling at the time (or how what she did made me feel).

If it were my dd I would say:

"how do you think that made your teacher feel when he realized his books were gone and that you had stolen them?

How do you think the other children in the room felt knowing that their favorite books were missing?

What do you think they will think about what you did? (don't make her feel like she is bad rather what she did was bad)

Don't you think they deserve to have them too?

Those books were puchased by your teacher or the school district with money that is very hard to come by. By you taking them you took money from the school district, the teacher and the children in your class and all future classes. The schools don't have the money to just go out and buy more."

Then I would follow up with "you need to face that person and apologize and then we need to come to an agreement on what you should have to do to pay them back" (even though she's returning them she should still have to do something, kwim?)

She needs to know that she cannot just take what she feels she deserves/wants. She needs to know that everything she does has an effect on someone, kwim? Getting her to think about other ppl's feelings will allow her to see what she does and how it affects others.

HTH and good luck. Just know this won't be forever.
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Old 09-08-2006, 12:15 AM   #14
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Re: Oh no! DD got caught STEALING!!!!

Something very valuable that I have learned from smart parents around me is to sit down with them and talk to them about telling the truth. Make a point about how important it is that they come to you when they need you, when they are in trouble, etc. Make sure that they know that you will always be there to help them. That you may not like some of the choices that they make or what they do but that you will always love them.

Then it is important to stress that telling the truth always makes things easier. Tell them there will always be a consequence for bad behavior but you will always take into account that they told you the truth. Then specify that if they are dishonest the consequence will always be worse.

The first time they come to you with a difficult truth or you approach them and they confess - acknowledge the difficulty of coming forward. "I appreciate you telling me the truth, I can tell from the look on your face that it was a hard thing to do. It can take a lot of courage to do the right thing. What you did was not okay. I'm going to have to take some time to think about what kind of consequence is in order. I'll let you know when I come up with one and we'll sit down to discuss it." Or involve them. Ask them what kind of consequence they think is in order. Often times they will think of something far harsher than you would have. If it is too lax tell them you appreciate their input but you think ______ is more appropriate. Involving them in the process doesn't give the power to them, it helps them to see the logical order of things and you always have the final say if their judgement is off - which at times it will undoubtebly be.

It is important for our kids to know they can tell us the truth with things like this or even small things like who tracked the dirt in through the kitchen because someday it will be bigger things like peer pressure, drugs, depression and heaven forbid - pregnancy. We set up how they feel about coming to us when they are small. If they always feel that either way they're going to get screamed at and telling the truth brings no difference, they will always feel uncomfortable coming to us with difficult things - they will choose to confess things to their friends instead.

It sounds like your daughter, on some levels, was uncomfortable with stealing. She was making a point to point out the stickers to you. It seems a trivial thing but it's not. I myself did a lot of stealing at her age and did lots of things like that to get my parents attention to what I was doing without directly coming out and saying it. I didn't understand the gravity of what I was doing. I knew I wasn't supposed to do, I knew the Bible said it was bad, but I didn't know why. I didn't understand that taking a bunch of candy from a store ultimately hurt many people. I wound up stopping the behavior on my own without my parents ever knowing because one of my friends got caught and couldn't shop at that store anymore (a real life consequence) - and no, I am not a criminal in real life and I've never gone to jail etc. Stealing is a common thing in childhood. It is not okay and I don't condone it and it is NOT something to take lightly but the way our society sets things up ownership is very confusing, especially to children.

You are doing a great job with some very touchy subjects. Way to go on you and her dad working together to sort these things out. That will go a long way.

Jessica
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