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Assielle
Assielle,
Category: Parenting
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My 14 year old step-daughter stole my credit card ...

Customer Question

My 14 year old daughter (step-daughter to be precise) stole my credit card and ordered over $300 in gym shoes online. In case you are curious:
* No, the shoes have not arrived yet.
* Yes, I have all the hard tangible evidence ranging from her online receipt to my credit card statement.
* No, she does not know I know (yet).
* No, I have not called my credit card company yet.
*No, I have no clue how she thinks she is going to explain 4 new pair of expensive gym shoes once they arrive in the mail.

I'd like to tell my credit card company what happened, and tell them to prosecute (or whatever). In other words, the natural consequence of credit card fraud.

Your thoughts?

One other thing, where can I find a legit directory of "troubled teen boot camps", military camps, Christian camps, etc.? This event is just one of SEVERAL bad ones, and I mean SEVERAL. I think Nia could use some 'away time' for her own good.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Assielle replied 6 years ago.

what state are you in?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Reply to Lawgirl's Post: VA
Expert:  Assielle replied 6 years ago.

DearCustomer

Thank you for your question.

I am sorry you are having problems with your teenager. There is no excuse for her behavior.

You asked for an opinion and here it is. If you report the illegal activity, and what she has done is illegal activity, you may have to deal with the consequences of everything that happens to Nia. Once your report the fraud to the police, the District Attorney will determine whether or not to press charges. (This gets sticky because once the ball is in motion it becomes very difficult to stop. So, even if you think they are charging or treating her too harshly, they can compel you to testify against her to follow through with your case.)

If charges are pressed, she could face jail time or a fine. Either way, this could have an impact on her future. Depending on what how the charges are pressed, as an adult or a juvenile, this could have a lasting impact on her life. As you will be able to see from other questions posted on this site, many years after the fact people will write this site wondering how to get an indiscretion or charge off their record because it is holding them back. So, my main consideration here is, once she gets straightened out and this becomes a thing of the past, is the consequence of having a record something you are going to want her to have to deal with?

With regard to a bootcamp or a program, I only know reputations. I have no first hand experience with a school in Virginia. However, I really trust information from the people at The Family Compass. Their website is:

http://www.thefamilycompass.com/

Take a look at their site and if you feel the information is helpful give them a call. They will be able to give information on programs that would benefit Nia and can hopefully get her turned around.

Please let me know if you have any other questions. Otherwise please hit "ACCEPT", so I may receive credit for my response. Tips and feedback are also appreciated.

Good Luck!

-KAT

Assielle,
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 4606
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
KAT,

Nia placed the order online using her real name and our address. If I report my card stolen, but don't tell them that I know who has it, will they eventually find out anyway? Also, if I do not report it stolen, then I have a $400 charge to pay.
Expert:  Assielle replied 6 years ago.

If you report it stolen, then they will review the purchases. When they find out that you reverse the last purchase, it will lead back to Nia.

Contact the credit card company and dispute the charge as a charge that was unauthorized by someone in your home. If you do not want to press charges, then explain that the card was temporarily stolen, but since you are considering military boot camp, or someother proactive parenting method, you do not desire to press criminal charges and will not be contacting the police. See if there is anything that can be done without contacting the authorities. You also have the option of contacting the shoe company and canceling the order if it has not been sent out yet. Explain the card was stolen and that you will be authorizing the card company to stop payment on the funds. Ask them to refrain from sending the merchandise because knowing this situation, they are in the a position to mitigate the damages. Or, you can wait to receive the shoes and return them -- many online companies have liberal return policies.

Assielle,
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 4606
Experience: 
Assielle and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks!

KAT, I will pay more, if you'd like.

But I need to know how you would handle this situation were it your child?

After all, it seems like the natural consequence ('calling the cops') is not advised.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Relist: I still need help.
I am still waiting to get suggestions on what I should do. Sure, you gave your opinion on what NOT to do, but I still do not know what the appropriate consequence/punishment should be.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Relist: I prefer a second opinion.
I am still waiting to get suggestions on what I should do. Sure, you gave your opinion on what NOT to do, but I still do not know what the appropriate consequence/punishment should be.

Thanks so far!
Expert:  Ms Chase replied 6 years ago.

HelloCustomer

Nice to see you again. I'm sorry to hear about what's going on with Nia. I must agree with Kat in that whatever problems you are having with Nia, the last thing you want to do is create a criminal record for her that will stick with her for the rest of her life. I know how angry you must be, but one day she will be an adult woman that hopefully you will be proud of. You're angry now, but a record could affect her schooling, potential jobs, even potential mates.

With that being said, I would consider a few options. One would be to take everything of value out of her room. I know people who have done it, and it's very effective. Wait until she is out of the house and strip her room down to the bare essentials (bed, dresser, blanket, pillow, clothes, shoes), everything else gets packed and put away. When she comes home, explain to her that this is how you felt when you saw your credit card statement....robbed, deceived, lied to. She can do an assortment of services to pay back what she owes, either by doing things around the house, or even better have her do volunteer work at a community center, elder home, hospital, etc. Arrange how many hours she would have to work to pay back the full amount. Once she pays back the full amount, then you can either give her her things back all at once, or you can have her earn those back too. Either box/bag by box/bag, or by the cost of each item.

You could contact your local police department and ask if they have a scared straight program. You could also ask if they could have a cop come to the house and "arrest" her and keep her at the station for a while ( a real arrest might have to be put on record, so they would simply be picking her up, not actually arresting her). You could tell her that you reported the card stolen when you saw the charges and that you didn't know it was her, and that the credit card co sent the police (if the police would agree to do it), I have known police to agree to do things like this for teenagers with problems.

If the police won't do it, perhaps you have a friend who is a lawyer, who could do something similar, pick her up, and take her out and talk to her about the possible charges and where she could end up. It may be less effective, but still helpful, and may work well with a punishment at home.

I see that you mentioned military school. Is this the first time she's done something like this? How does her dad feel about it, have you spoken to him?

Chase

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Yes, its the first time she stole my credit card, but she has stolen other stuff from me/us. I really could go on all night, but suffice it to say, Nia has been a problem child. She has gotten into ALOT of trouble at school including suspensions, Saturday detentions, meetings w/ the principal, etc. Her grades are terrible. The crowd she hangs around are the type of kids most parents would not approve of whatsoever.

Lots of attitude, sass, backtalk. No respect for either of us.

Her bio-dad is deadbeat...just a sperm donor. She does not know him at all.
Expert:  Ms Chase replied 6 years ago.

Her deadbeat dad could be a big part of why she's acting out. Somewhere in her subconscious, she could be blaming herself for the fact that her dad is a deadbeat. She could feel unworthy of love, kindness, goodness because she may feel that he is incapable of it, and she is his child. She could feel, if he doesn't love her, then perhaps she doesn't deserve to be loved. All of which causes a lackadaisical outlook on life in general. Perhaps therapy is in order? This is a hard age in general, it's a catch 22 between learning how to act like/be a grown up, but also being expected to stay in your place as a child. Hormones are raging, peer pressure can be enormous, television and radio send all the wrong messages, it can be extremely confusing for kids and difficult to find and maintain an identity they feel comfortable with.

Does she participate in extra cirricular activities?

How long have you been in your stepdaughters life?

How do the two of you get along?

How does she get along with her mom?

Any other siblings in the home?

Chase

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Does she participate in extra cirricular activities?
She was on the basketball team, and that is it. And she was lucky to be on that, because the deal is that she must keep her grades up (at least B's) and she did not do that. She has no interest in any other club or activity.

How long have you been in your stepdaughters life?
Past decade.

How do the two of you get along?
Terrible. We have done therapy before, and are doing it again. We have alot of dysfunction going on in this house.

How does she get along with her mom?
Better than she gets along w/ me, but Nia shows her no respect either. Nia is very lazy and does not want to work or do anything. My wife came up with a great explanation: the royaly syndrome. Nia thinks she is royalty in every way you can imagine. Our role is simply to provide everything she wants w/o her lifting a finger. She does not want to be bothered with ANYTHING requiring work. Be it school work or house work.

Any other siblings in the home?
Yes, Edyson is almost 5, and Gary Jr. will be here in a few weeks. My relationship w/ Edyson is marvelous. She loves me to death. And, I am just as 'strict' with her as I am with Nia. Edyson will tell you daddy spanks her and gets in her face. Nia always says I treat Edyson differently. I turn it around and ask "well did you ever consider that Edyson treats me differently???" No comment.

Nia has always been a trouble maker. She is the only kid I know who got kicked out of pre-school (says her mom, I was not there) for discpline problems. Every school she has been in since then she has been suspended for one reason or another. She is very wild too. She told her current therapist she feels like a wild lion in a cage in this house. Honestly, Nia's lifestyle is quite nice. We are upper middle class. We live in a nice home and always have. She has 'stuff'. She has her own bedroom. She was lower middle class when it was just her and her mom (we have been married 7 years). They were sorta living in the hood. She has been exposed to so much since I came along. Her nana sees it and appreciates me.

Now there are things Nia does not get to do. But there are things any responsible parent would not allow. Nia gravitates to the gang-banger-ish kids, the slutty-ish girls, and kids living in single parent households. Kids who can do devilment because a single mom with 3 kids just cannot keep a close eye. Nia has no interest in "good girls". Girls who are wholesome, come from well-to-do, two-parent stable households. Girls (or guys for that matter) who are on the honor roll or are just all around nice, classy, polite, Christian girls. Again, Nia is the kid you would want your kid to avoid. Just being brutally honest. Upon first meeting, she will charm you and come across very mature. But once you open the book cover, you see a kid who sets fires at school, etc.

Nia does not like the way she is treated, especially by me. But she fails to realize that she is the one who makes her bed. If she decides to blow an assignment off till the last minute, then "no, you are not going to that party." All she gets out of that is that I am mean and that its my fault. Any punishment or consequence she recieves for her outlandish behavior in school (daily emails from teachers) is yet another example of how mean I am. I guarantee, that when we talk to her about this credit card thing, she will say "well if you were not so mean, you'd buy me all the $100 sneakers I want." She will make it seem like its my fault for not treating her like royalty and buying everything she asks for. She is of the opinion that every other kid has cart blanch in their household. We got her a cell phone, and said no texting (or at least very little). First bill and there are $200 in text messages. Her response is "well no other kid has limits." A week or two ago, we were all in a fast food restaurant as a family, and there was a table full of teens near us. I walked over and asked how their parents would react to a $200 text message bill. ALL of them said something like "they would kill me and take my phone." Nia was there and heard this first hand. They looked at her like 'dang, glad I'm not you right now.' No comment from Nia regarding why she thinks we should just pay it no questions asked.

And BTW, she does has SEVERAL pairs of gym shoes already.

Listen, what do you know about the Family Compass? Nia is putting alot of stress on the whole family, and we all feel she needs some time away.
Expert:  Ms Chase replied 6 years ago.

HelloCustomer/p>

I'm not familiar with the program. I looked them up on the BBB and I don't see any complaints, but there's also a lack of any info on the web about them at all. I would also speak to the therapist your dealing with and see if he/she has any recommendations

Chase

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