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Dr. L
Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1166
Experience:  Psychologist, Marriage and Family Therapist
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My 18 yr old daughter is stealing money from me. Im shocked

Resolved Question:

My 18 yr old daughter is stealing money from me. I'm shocked and sad tht I have to hide my money, the loss of trust and also worry for her at the implications, of something very wrong happening for her.

In part I can understand how it has happened, as for some reason her father has sent the household very little money since she turned 18, a lot of bills came in (mainly related to her expenses) for me to pay so I have had to stop handing over money, she got huge bills for her mobile phone so all her savings we gone, and her job ran out. She speaks to her dad on the phone a lot but it is too difficult to tell him she is broke. We seem to argue a lot over money and jobs around the house. All in all it is not good.

When I asked her a few times if she had taken my money, she denied it, and we had big arguments so I tried to believe her. But now I have 100% proof, and don't know how to approach it so I don't make things worse. I want to get her on track again, she's a caring loving daughter. I'm afraid she might start stealing from others. I think she needs the sort of help that I can't provide.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. L replied 1 year ago.

Dr. L :

Hello,

Dr. L :

I would like to help you with your question.

Dr. L :

I can only imagine how disappointed you feel with your daughter's behavior. Since you realize that the issue may lie in bills that neither she nor you can pay with ease, the it would seem far better to sit down with her and have a conversation about finances and how you can work together to pay off the bills and look at ways to bring more income into the house.

Dr. L :

From what you wrote...it sounds like your daughter is stealing not because she is a bad girl, but because she is desperate. So...in my opinion she ought not to be punished and you ought not to have big fights about the stealing...but rather this is an opportunity to work as a team to figure out how to solve this issue together.

Dr. L :

And you are right...you want to come up with a good solution to the money issue rather than her feeling so desperate that she needs to steal the money.

Dr. L :

You wrote that she lost her job. Okay. That's one place to start working together. Can you help her look for another job? Can you sit down with her and brainstorm ideas about what jobs she can do, who is looking for employees, and so forth?

Dr. L :

If you tackle this together..you will be forging a new bond..a healthy bond that is base on love, respect, and the willingness to be a team.

Dr. L :

I imagine that your daughter feels terrible about having to resort to stealing. This is an opportunity for you as her mother to say...Darling, we all make mistakes. Together we can solve this.

Dr. L :

As to her dad, I can understand why it is difficult for her to ask him for money. But...that may be another thing that you can work on together. You can tell her that you understand how hard it is to have that conversation with him, but urge her to at least consider asking him to help with a regular sum that would take care of some basic expenses.

Dr. L :

Arguing over money is likely the number one complaint in most families. But with your daughter, that needs to stop. It is far too negative and far too stressful...so stressful that she resorted to stealing.

Dr. L :

What needs to happen now is that you form a new bond. A new bond that says we can do this together! We can solve these financial issues when we work as a team! We can overcome anything!

Dr. L :

I urge you to take a positive approach with this. Your daughter seems to have acted out of desperation and what she needs from you is support and the willingness to work through this together!

Customer:

Yes, that is what I plan to do.

Customer:

Yes that is what I plan to do. She has got a new job, is still waiting to be paid, but owes her friends money.

Customer:

I am concerned that she has not acknowledged to me , so maybe she has not admitted to herself that she has been stealing, it may become a habit and get out of hand. I am not sure how to broach the thing - son't mention the stealing but work on the positives or say "we can all make mistakes ..."

Dr. L :

At this point, it is better to say...let's start a new chapter..

Dr. L :

We all make mistakes in life or feel we are backed in to a corner with no where to go. All is forgiven here. We need to have a trusting and open relationship. I need you to be 100% honest with me and I promise to be 100% honest with you. We CAN and WILL solve these financial problems together!

Dr. L :

I can understand your fear. I truly can. But arguing about money has got to stop so that you can have a healthy and loving relationship. Please don't let money come between you.

Dr. L :

The problem with her acknowledging what she did is that she's already lied about it...so now telling you the truth is going to take a huge amount of courage. She already knows that you are upset with her...she already knows you don't trust her...she already knows she did something that was not right. She doesn't need anymore reminders of what a "bad" girl she is...what she needs is a forgiving and loving mother who is willing to put aside the past for the sake of a wonderful future.

Dr. L :

She surely do not want her in these same shoes when she is a mother! And if you don't move past this as a team...she is going to continue to see money as a huge/bad/terrible issue that can never be solved.

Dr. L :

So...for the sake of your relationship...please don't pressure her into admitting what happened. Over time...and with love and understanding..she is likely to tell you the truth.

Dr. L :

Your relationship needs repair...and I think that is truly what your heart wants here.

Customer: Ok
Customer: Can close now
Dr. L :

Hello again...

Dr. L :

I removed the lock on the question so that you can rate my response.

Dr. L :

I do hope I have provided you with a hopeful solution to what has happened.

Dr. L :

I'm sure it has been frightening for you to see your daughter resort to stealing.

Dr. L :

I do think that by working together to address this that you will become closer with your daughter and that you will see real growth in her as a person.

Dr. L :

Thank you!

Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1166
Experience: Psychologist, Marriage and Family Therapist
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