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proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1374
Experience:  Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
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I have an eight year old grand daughter that constantly lies

Customer Question

I have an eight year old grand daughter that constantly lies and steals. First it was small items and mostly food. Today she stole $25 from another child at school and gave it all away to other kids. It has been going on since she was little. My daughter and her husband have tried everything that they and I could think of (I live out of town and see them about four timesa year.) We are at a loss.
First it appeared like she was taking things that she wanted like candy and snacks. So I suggested they let her pick out her own snacks for her lunches so she wouldn't feel deprived. Seemed to work for a little while but then she started taking small items like toys and chapstick from schoolmates and then lie about her friends giving her presents. So her parents forbid her from accepting ANYTHING from anyone without asking permission. But today, she took something that she didn't even keep for herself.
My daughter is at her wits end. She is very angry and embaressed that she had to call the school and parents to tell them what happened. And now she is worried that because other kids (and the school) know about this, that J. will be be labeled and she will never be able to live this down.
This is very heartbreaking. J. can be such a sweet, kind hearted child but she gets so defensive when she lies that she is almost violent. Today when my daughter was confronting her, she started jumping up and down, screaming she wasn't lying when she was clearly caught.
Like I said, we have tried everything we can think of. Reasoning,, talking, grounding, extra chores to pay restituion. My daughter is having a hard time even being around her tonight. She said she doesn't even want to look at her. I fear this is not only damaging their relationship, but damaging my grand daughter. I don't know what else to suggest other than contacting a therapist - which I have grave concerns about on so many levels.
Please help.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
Hello and Thank You for using Just Answer. It seems like every avenue at home has been exhausted. Children often steal for attention and the thrill of whether or not they will be caught. Since the events seem to be happening at school, discuss the concern's with the school psychologist if available. If not, then use an outside counselor referred by a pediatrician. Nonetheless, your best bet would be the school psychologist who could talk to your grand daughter often, check in on her often, and create a behavior modification system with the help of the teacher to help change your grand daughter's behavior. You and you daughter have reached the breaking point. Outside professional assistance is needed. A psychologist may even discover some emotional issues that have been masked by the stealing.

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

My daughter has made an appointment with both the School counselor and a child therapist. She feels better now that she has actually taken steps and knows she and her husband aren't alone in this anymore.

Thank you so much!!

Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
You are so welcome. Take care!